Here’s how it would go if Hollywood were writing the outcome of RG 2009:
So far so good. The much loved champ and heavy favorite got stomped out by the big mean Swedish guy with a bad attitude.
The Swiss, a formerly unbeatable but now down on his luck underdog, has a chance to own it for the first time. Clearly struggling through the draw but grinding out wins none the less, the pressure builds.
Next, it’s the quarter finals. A narrow escape from the gazelle Monfils in an energy zapping five setter. Though he made it through the quarters, the last 10 sets on the French dirt have done the deed.
Federer has all but lost the tournament. No way can he hold out against Del Potro in the semis. Everyone knows it, even the press who have always painted the Swiss in shining light, have written Federer off.
He is done.
Luckily, a freak moped accident leaves Del Potro with a broken pinkie toe and unable to square off in the semis. Federer gets a pass to the finals. In his mind though, it’s more like a slow death than a stroke of luck.
On the other side of the draw, Soderling is breathing fire. He screamed through the quarters, blasted through the semis by devouring Davydenko and munching on Murray. He is ready to win it all.
It’s now 2 a.m., eve of the finals. Federer’s on a practice court, alone, working on his serve. He has no idea how to win. A flash back to an argument with Mirka.
Then… suddenly, a shadow steps onto the court.
“Roger.. joo up late, no?”
“Rafa! What are you doing here man?”
“Mirka, she call me, she say, joo could use some help, no?
“No Rafa, I’m on my own on this one. Even you can’t beat the Swede.”
“Roger, I can help joo, I can show joo why joo lose to me so much on clay, no?
“OK Rafa, I’m ready. Show me what to do!” (queue "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor)
Stoic Soderling (insert some kind of scary motion) across the court. The French crowd murmuring, pointing, staring at the Swedish Darth Vader. Federer does not immediately follow.
Quiet settles over the crowd.
(queue the Rocky Theme)
It’s Roger Federer!!! He bursts onto center court, sleeveless and sporting a pair of pink pirate pants! With fire in his eyes he doesn’t bother to arrange his bench, merely hurling his bag to the corner-he sprints to the base line sporting a mean face. He is ready.
Soderling just rolls his eyes.
Soderling to serve. Federer standing 20 feet behind the baseline firing backhand winners at unbelievable angles. Federer breaks with a top spin winner and a VAMOS yawp. Now it’s Fed’s turn to fire the aces. 15-0, 30-0, 40-0 VENGA!!!!
The Swiss is in a flamenco rhythm winning the first and second set in less than an hour flat
(queue something from the Gypsy Kings)
Now the third set: 40-0 / Five Games to Two / Federer serving for the match.
He checks his socks, pushes back his hair and tweaks his shorts. He is ready. The windup and BAM! It's 159 mph straight down the middle, Soderling gets a piece of it but it’s a miss hit, sending the ball high into the announcers’ booth. OMG! The ball knocked Justin Gimelstob unconscious!
The crowd explodes into raucous applause. Roger Federer has just won the French Open for the first time in his career (and someone knocked out Gimelstob)!!
Hey, it could happen!
My real prediction is a Federer / Davydenko (er.. Soderling) final with Federer being crowned the new RG Champion in 4 sets.
Hope you got a laugh.