A Withdrawal from Roger Federer....Maybe at the right time....
Roger Federer announced yesterday that he will not be participating in the Stockholm Open which starts next Monday.
"2008 has been a tough year for me as I was always playing catch up after being diagnosed with mononucleosis at the beginning of the year. I feel fortunate to be healthy again, but I want to remain at the top of the game for many more years to come and go after the No. 1 ranking again."
He added, "In order to do that, I need to get a proper rest and get strong again so that I am 100 percent fit for the remainder of the year or next year. At this point, I am not sure when I will be ready to play again, but I hope to be back at some point before the end of the year.
He concluded, "I apologize to the tennis fans in Sweden as I was looking forward to playing in Stockholm again. The country has produced so many incredible tennis players and the tournament has such a great history. I hope to be able to come back at some point in the future."
I can't deny my disappointment, I was actually waiting to see Roger in action again, not just for the mere pleasure of watching every move, every exquisite play and joyful win, and not only to gain some more points to take us a step closer to the No. 1 rank we lost back this year, but also I wanted a good preparation before the Madrid and Paris Masters because a win there is what really counts, a masters title is what's written in History books....
The withdrawal itself isn't as much trouble as his statement actually...I don't know if he meant it or not but for Roger to say, "At this point, I am not sure when I will be ready to play again, but I hope to be back at some point before the end of the year."
This is totally new for me to hear from Roger who always seemed to me like a person with planned steps, it actually terrifies me that he doesn't know when he will be back.
I mean he could have simply said, "I will pick up at Madrid," but he didn't...which made thoughts play in my mind like a little boy messing with his toys, that maybe he had or developed an injury that we don't know of.
I am sure everything is fine and I will convince myself with the tired excuse till otherwise proven, actually reviewing what happened this year and putting myself in Roger's shoes, those wonderful Nike shoes that i absolutely adore..,haha.
If you put yourself in Roger's place and just imagine:
You woke up one day diagnosed with a terrible disease called Mononucleosis, a wicked disease that sucks the energy out of your body and yet you have a major tournament in which you are the defending champion and everyone is expecting you to win!
You, as a champion, don't withdraw as people around advise you, and get into the tournament reaching the semifinal with just half your power! And then, a series of defeats follows from unexpected players at surprising early rounds takes places during which no body suffers but you and the ruthless media is on your back criticizing and writing you off, saying your era has ended...Poor you!
Another Grand slam comes, you have never won it before and it isn't your best year to win it either, but you are a fighter, you don't give up so you battle your way , in an exquisite way, playing wonderful tennis till reaching the final, where you have to play against the man who has beaten you repeatedly on this surface where he is considered the king.
you get in, with the hopes of all your fans to see you holding that trophy that has always eluded you, but unfortunately the press is given some more drama to talk about...A "humiliating loss," they call it...
You take some time off, then prepare yourself to play on your ground, where you ARE the KING, the place you call HOME...everything goes just fine and the final everyone waited for is real...no need to remind you of an epic match arguably called:"THE BEST OF HISTORY."
You actually don't care about all that, the only thing that really matter is that you were two points away from writing your name in history books but instead you see your usual rival stepping on the same lawn you ruled one day holding your trophy. I won't claim that I feel what you must have gone through but let's just say it was a dark night that saw the tears and sorrow of me and thousands of your fans....
The story doesn't end here, you raise your head up again and carry on with your season, a season so terrible for you but would have been graet for others if they had it!
You with your tired body, your wounded heart and diappointed mind get into two masters series where you lose at early rounds,but unfortunately it didn't end at loosing points you also lost your No. 1 rank, the rank you have worked so hard to keep for four and a half years...your loss gives the media a chance to do what they excel at..Destroying people...
The Olympics comes, you say you have been set all year for this, and although you lose in the singles you team up with another Swiss to win the doubles gold and you two have the most wonderful celebration,welcomed as heroes back home, this win actually acts as a turning point for you.
Now, with much more confidence in your game you start defending your title in the fourth and last Grand Slam of the year, they say it is your last chance if you want to save the season...you actually make a mark in history books and win your fifth consecutive title giving us all your fans extreme joy...
SO, if we look at it from outside, Roger has actually played 15 tournaments from January to August...15 tournaments with that weak body, with the pressure on him to defend points and titles and the media talking about how it has been nice to have Roger around and how his days are over!
I actually didn't realize until now how it has been so hard for Roger this year, physically mentally and emotionally, so for him to ask for some rest now is more than his right...It is actually strange that he didn't ask for it earlier!
Will he be back? Of course. I haven't got a doubt in that, this is ROGER FEDERER we are talking about; A man who has gone against all odds and wrote his name in history books, a man who endulged us with the pleasures of tennis, a man who has been so great that his name can't be just forgotten, a man who has changed the sport for ever...
Just when you expect the worse he surprises you with the best...
But when will he be back? Only Roger can answer that...
And I am sure, we all would like to see that day very very soon..
Thanks Roger for all the excitement and flavour you added to our lives, it is always a pleasure to cheer and support you and we will be your fans for ever...Just wishing you a speedy recovery so that you come back rocking courts again...
Wishing Roger the best,
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