Roger Federer: The Man For All Seasons

Mahesh S BharadvajContributor IJune 1, 2009

PARIS - JUNE 01:  Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory during the Men's Singles Fourth Round match against Tommy Haas of Germany on day nine of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 1, 2009 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Roger Federer is the cynosure of all eyes now! Apart from his millions of fans, I suppose a good measure of those who have been pining for Nadal and Djokovic—who have since been left shocked—are seen rallying around Federer to win the French Open this time.

Federer and Nadal in the tennis world mean what Citi and HSBC mean to many in the financial world. That being said, the financial world is not a good basis for comparison with tennis, even after much of the financial world is trying to stay afloat.

Roger Federer holds an incredible record of having made 19 consecutive appearances in the semi-finals of a major. He nearly made an enviable record in consecutive final appearances, but the one exception was the Australian Open in 2008.

It took a dual combination—of a diagnosis called Mononucleosis (which owes its popularity to Roger Federer) and the then emerging Serbian player Novak Djokovic—to put an end to Federer’s record of final appearances. That loss also helped to hold up Federer’s pile up of Slam wins until much later that year when he lifted the US Open trophy.

All avid tennis watchers waited for the possible appearance of Federer and Nadal in the semis this year at the French Open, if not the finals, with almost the same certainty as the sun rising by the day. Such is the consistency that the duo brought to professional tennis.

I bet it is going to be a challenge for the rest of the tennis world and players to come in future to follow those standards.

In the end, it’s somewhat ironical that Nadal had to lose in the hands of Robin Soderling and more astonishingly in fourth round. With due respects to Soderling for what he achieved and without seeking to undermine his brilliant achievement, it would have perhaps been less shocking and perhaps more befitting if Nadal were to lose in the hands of his famous Swiss nemesis in the finals!

Kudos to Federer and Nadal—for athleticism, behavior on and off-court, mutual respect, calm demeanor, unwavering focus and all else that the two stand for. The world salutes you!