Roger Federer: A Memory to Cherish

Shashank KambleContributor IApril 16, 2009

LONDON - JULY 08: Roger Federer of Switzerland waves to the crowd as he celebrates victory, following the Men's Singles final match against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2007 in London, England. Roger Federer claims his fifth consecutive championship title. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Just a few days to go before the French Open. And surprisingly Roger had won the Hamburg Masters by defeating his nemesis Rafael Nadal. I was completely overjoyed and eager to see Roger take out Nadal in the French final.

I knew this would be the time Roger will conquer clay and went on claiming to all my friends in college, "Roger will win at Roland Garros". Ofcourse, I was ridiculed and made fun of. After all who had the guts to even think of Nadal losing the French. But after Hamburg, I was convinced and did not bother about my friends as I knew Rafa would lose.

So, as expected, it was Roger v Rafa in the final and.........

"FEDERER SUCCUMBS TO THE CLAY KING AGAIN" said my newspaper on Monday morning of 10th June, 2007.

You guessed it right!

Federer had lost the French Open final for the 2nd time in consecutive years and the 3rd time in 3 years to Rafael Nadal.

I was completely crestfallen at that news as I read it.

I had my college as it was the first day of the week. I just couldn't show my face out there as my hero had lost and this particular news created great rejoicement among my friends as all of them were Nadal fans. They couldn't stop talking about the fact that Nadal was the better player than Roger. Every time I disputed the fact, saying Roger was the No. 1, they immediately referred back to the Monday morning news-headline. I just couldn't win my battle of words with them. Everyday, they just went ga-ga over Rafa and even went on to claim that he would win Wimbledon this year.

This was a little too much for me to take in my stride. They were going a little overboard. After all, how can Roger lose that prestigious Wimbledon title that has been his for the past 4 years. Ofcourse, Nadal might have made the final in 2006, but that doesn't mean he could do it again.

So, after a few more days, began the battle at the All-England club in Wimbledon. For me, the most anticipated question was "When would Rafa lose?"  I mean, I admire Nadal but I just wanted my friends to know that Roger was the greatest. So, I followed Rafa's matches all through and even though he had a few very tough matches, he came through to the final!!

I hadn't really worried at all about Roger's matches in the tournament as I knew that he would be there in the final and he didn't disappoint me.

So, it was Sunday, the 7th July, 2007 and Roger was going to be facing Nadal for a 2nd Wimbledon final in a row.

In the meantime, I had to face a torrid time as my friends kept on going with their praise for Nadal and how he would take away Federer's title and also his No 1. ranking by winning Wimbledon. But, I still knew that beating Roger in a Wimbly final was not going to be a piece of cake for anyone. So I staunchly stood beside him. Final over.


It was a sigh of relief and Roger had proved again that he was the best in the business. Although it was a very tight match and Nadal could have clinched victory in the end, it was Roger who won. I was ecstatic. I went back to college and did not stop hailing Roger until all my friends ran away from me.

My friends just had no answer. They had to keep mum. It was one of the best days of my life.

Moving on to the present…its April 16th, 2009.

Roger has not won a title yet this year. Roger is not the World No. 1 anymore. Roger is not the defending Wimbledon champion. Roger cried at the Aussie Open. Roger has broken a racquet!!!...and Roger just lost the 3rd round match at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Seems like everything's just haywire….