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Our Hearts Might Be Broken… But I Know We Will Survive…

Every Federer match is a real emotional roller coaster for me. Whether I am alone or with family or friends, at home or at work, I shout, I fist pump, I cry and I laugh without restraint. I am totally and completely into it that when he wins I am euphoric and when he loses… well, I become a real mess…

2013: Wimbledon, Cincinnati.. 2014: Wimbledon, USO, WTF.. 2015: Wimbledon, USO again.. Every time I feel so bad for days and days and I promise that the next time I will not throw all my emotions into it and that be it a win or a loss I will take it in the most casual way… You can guess that it doesn’t usually go as planned..

So this time I decided that I will try a new coping mechanism, one I know for sure will help me deal with it better. Words.

Words have that magic effect on me. And as long as I kept writing, I could distance myself from the emotional whirlwind I found myself drowning in a few seconds after this year’s Wimbledon SF was over.

Somehow I believe the next lines apply to some of you as well, so I hope some will identify and most importantly that you will all enjoy reading…

Every time I tell myself I won’t do it again
I will no more make the same mistake
I will no more feel the same pain
I just can’t take anymore heartache

Every time I tell my heart not to break
Not to cry, or shout, nor complain
I tell it to stop, for its own sake,
Spending so much energy in vain

Every time, I promise, then take back my word
And despite knowing the risk I just stay
I let the hope back in, I let those absurd
Dreams fill my mind, take me away

And away from reality I find myself every time
I sit and watch, unable to blink my eye
Because every time feels like the last time
And I simply can’t let any second fly by

Anyway, today is just another Friday
We’ve been here ten times before
There is no way this can slip away
He’ll wrap it up in three… At worst in four

Fifteen Love… Thirty Love… Thirty Forty… Double fault!
There goes the game, the set quickly follows
My heart skips a beat after each assault
But my hope isn’t shaken yet, it just grows

In the tiebreak, I sit still, holding my breath
Until he wins it, then wins the next set
It now has become a matter of life and death
But he’s on the right track… Only not there yet

Forty Love… Forty Fifteen… Two double faults in a row!
There goes the set again, we’re in the decider
Tears fill my eyes, my hope takes a big blow
But I still hang on to it even harder

Only three games in and danger is already looming
I start biting my nails, but keep my faith alive
Then the great champion falls, by every meaning
My heart breaks again… But I know we would survive

I feel the pain crushing my chest again
The bitter taste of defeat increasing the ache
One thousand and one thoughts invade my brain
I close my eyes finally to forget those I can’t shake

Yes I am hurting, but I haven’t the slightest regret
Yes I am mad… Yes I am disappointed… Yes I am sad
Yes I wish time turns back so the games could be reset
But looking back at it now, it wasn’t really that bad

Two weeks ago I never thought he would make it this far
But he has this thing about him that makes me quickly forget
And how could I not when he constantly raises the bar
Swinging on the court without so much as a sweat

How can I not believe and dream of more
When I see him defy time and rewrite the game
When he repeatedly makes history and goes for
Records that were thought impossible to claim

How can I not support him with all my being?
How can you blame me to do it in good and bad days?
Aren’t you seeing what I am seeing?
Don’t you see him redefine the rules whenever he plays?

Every time I tell myself this will be my last
I will put my feelings aside and shield my heart
I will be logical, rational, I will stay detached
But then my logic gets beaten by his sublime art

He has lost a match today, and then what?
This is not the end, only a setback
I still believe in him and I know that
He will surprise me again when he comes back

And even if he doesn’t win anything anymore
I will be happy just to see him play… Rise or fall
And I will be cheering for him even more
For the magician of the courts, the greatest of them all

— Alex


Editor of Perfect Tennis and a big fan of Roger Federer, I've spent countless hours watching and analysing his matches. Alongside playing the sport, I also enjoy writing about the tour, rackets, strings, and the technicalities of the game. Whether it's breaking down the latest tournament results or discussing the latest gear innovations, I'm always eager to share my insights with fellow tennis enthusiasts.

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  1. Thanks for this Alex.

    I am waiting for someone to comment who missed ‘Alex’ at the bottom of the post and say “Great poem Jonathan, didn’t know you had it in you” 😆

  2. Ah, beautiful, Alex, saying it all how we (all?) feel, so nice to share some emotions like that!

  3. Simply beautiful! Fed’s connection to those of us who love and appreciate him will never dim. Thanks for this.

  4. Nice rhyme of “word” with “absurd” – well done Alex.

    I confess I was reading the whole thing thinking, Seriously? JONathan did this? 😉

  5. I normally don’t comment, but this one I have to. Thanks Alex for beautiful poem. I cried. I do and feel exactly the same!

    As disappoint it is, we are so proud of Roger.

    Haters and media (and even some fans) can write him off as much as they want, but as long as he wants to continue, I’d say, Roger, do it forever. To think about it, it’s kind of funny no one writes off other players who’s about same age or older, like Feliciano Lopez or Ivo Karlovic. Is it because their ranking is going higher as they get older?

    Jaromir Jagr plays ice hockey at 44, Ichiro is planning to play baseball at least till 50, because they love the sport so much. So why not Roger?

    It’s just a privilege to be able to see him play so beautifully, win or lose.

    And I every time I root for him, just like all of you here.

    1. Hey Mari! So happy my poem made you finally comment. You’re right about Roger. We will just enjoy him as long as he plays (hopefully for a long time ahead!)

  6. Very Well Written Alex, hard to disagree that mostly…I am sure many agree on that…..And what fun when we watch with out emotionally involving…more than likely fall sleep (based on experience)..

    1. You’re right, but sometimes when there is a lot on the line (like an 8th Wimbledon title) I get a bit extreme :p

  7. Very well written and what touches me most is that I feel the same way that Alex describes. I am still sad and angry for that 4th set but you put it in to words and it also feels nice to know that there are more like myself out there. Thanks !

    1. I think it is the same for every Federer fan out there. I would have loved to write about his victory, but I know this will come too!!

  8. I was in agony and it still hurts. One balm is that there are articles saying what a bore the final was and that the match of the tourney was Fed’s 1/4 final. So at least he stole the thunder. But how many more times will he get these chances???? Arghghgh

    1. Exactly, that what i am worried about, that he wont get any more chances….I hope he will. US open can be good if he is healthy, he played well there last year. I believe that he playeed a good final to wxcept on the million breakpoints…..

  9. Alex, You’ve said it: “his sublime art”. Art is honest, is not good or bad, its honesty. That’s what touches me (us?). Thank you so much for this poem, it expresses in a beautiful way what sometimes is difficult to share. But words can help almost every time.

  10. Alex, so lovely especially “my logic gets beaten by his sublime art”. A very magically human that Roger.

  11. Jonathan – sometimes I wonder if you really FEEL the feels with the rest of us.

    Also cause you’re English.

    Now I know the truth.

    You feel the feels.

  12. I am gradually getting over the agony of the match but every once in a while I get a stabbing pain in my heart when I remember. And then I tell myself..Roger has 7 Wimbledon championship trophies…and 17 GS titles..let’s put things in to perspective!

    Tennis is such a cruel sport and so much depends on the luck of the draw…arghh..

    Now my immediate goal is to see Roger win at least one title this year and retain a good ranking for the seedings, and also the WTF. Who knows?

  13. I think Roger should have retired after his 2012 Wimbledon. It is painful watching a great player in decline. But like any professional sportsman, it is difficult for him to give up the only thing he knows. To me, he is nowhere near the player he was before 2008. He is somehow still in the mix because he was once so far ahead of everyone else. But make no mistake, his game is now going in one direction – as hard as it is for him and his fans to accept that.

    1. Richard I must say I disagree strongly with you! I didn’t get to watch RF (as well as tennis) until 2014, and had Roger followed your recommendation, I had missed SO MANY wonderful shots, interviews, runs, sabrs, clothing, dramas, THE davis cup –
      So – when tennis is art, it’s not just lose/win, being no. 1 in ranking, defeating anybody, and so on.
      Now Djoko is there (maybe) at the moment, but do I (and many others) love RF less for that? And not consuming every match he performs with greed and emotion?
      I’m so grateful he’s still motivated. I’ll cry the day he gets a slam – or getting close but lose it –
      Federer is more than just an excellent tennis-player. He’s GREAT! And he loves the playing! And this love is catching! And much much more than by any other player (maybe except Roberta and Francesca) 🙂

      1. Muser, if you only “discovered” Roger (and tennis) in 2014 I am wondering what you have been doing with your life.

      2. 🙂 Right on Richard. Is there really any more to life than tennis? Yes there is still (other kinds of) art and exchange

      3. Oh! I thought I was the only one who got late in discovering roger (and tennis).I became his fan in late 2011?.
        By the way if roger would have retired in 2012 ,then the people who are saying that he is tarnishing his legacy by playing would have been the first to curse and abuse roger for retiring.I am sure many fans would have said that if roger hadn’t retired in 2012 he would have had 20 slams so it works both ways.

      4. 🙂 right Pranshul! (Nice to meet you). – There’s always things to find as opportunity of criticizing people’s choices…..especially when object for own identification!
        (Well of course I identify too, and roars of annoyance when Fed hits an error – but such is love also, and would we like to be without love? NOPE!)

  14. Richard, I suggest you not watch then. It’s none of our business if Roger plays or retires. He loves the game and it’s his decision when he packs it in.

    1. If it’s none of our business then why do we follow the sport? And comment on it? As you do. There is no professional sport without the public. It is our business. Sportsmen can choose what they may, be we have a right to an opinion. Even if it’s one you personally don’t agree with.

      1. We follow sports becaus we love it, we enjoy it and we have a passion for it. If it’s hurting your eyes then just ignore it. Just because I hate rugby can I tell everyone to screw the game and retire? Even your boss who pays your bills can’t tell you to just quit. Who are we to tell Fed who has been No2,3 in the world in the past couple of years?

      2. We aren’t telling him. I doubt he even reads this blog. I also doubt he would be offended by anyone expressing their opinion – unlike you, it seems.

      3. I think it’s fine for Richard to have an opinion. That’s what this blog is here for – and folks can disagree.

        And I get the instinct w Roger’s historic past in view. But to me it’s more simple: a guy who has been 2-3 in the world the last several years and who’s last 5 GS tournaments includes 2 finals and 2 semi-finals should be competing if he wants to.

      4. You are absolutely right, Richard.

        BUT…I see three choices for you.

        #1 Stop watching tennis
        #2 Follow a player whom you think should have packed it in 4 years ago.
        #3 Follow any other player BUT they are doping.

        Just teasin ya.

      5. Sadly, I think most of your options are correct. Roger’s tennis is the only tennis I have enjoyed – but he plays less and less like the Roger I remember. The other guys play like robots – and I suspect most of them are indeed on something. I used to love the game – and especially the way Roger played – but now I rarely watch it, apart from some of Roger’s matches.

  15. What a poet you are Alex! Simply beautiful! And you describe exactly how I felt in the match with those ups and downs

  16. What a pleasant surprise for all of us! Brilliant Alex! This is how a wound of a true poet heals. Where is Murali? Waiting for his comment…

  17. Thank you Alex. What a lovely poem. I was also greatly touched by Roger’s interview. He himself could not believe he lost and he was really upset. Same as we all were. And he showed it. So I suspect he is hoping to win again just as we do. He will always try his best and I love him for it.

    1. Yeah I could sense the frustration in his tone too! He plays for his pleasure, but he plays to win too, so I too believe he will always try!

  18. Wow… fantastic poem and words Alex. Man you have written exactly what and how I feel every time Federer plays. Lately now I start panicking when the match is close or Federer playing poor, so I either switch channels or check on live score on the Internet. Like you have written I get worked up sooo much. I rather watch the highlights afterwards when he has won or the few points or sets Federer did win in a match which he lost. Lol. I am forty years old the more I watch now the harder it is for me.
    Likewise I was celebrating when Novocaine Djokovic lost, man a life I was doing cartwheels and fist pumps as I totally despise his style and his team and personality. And although I was rooting for Fed I was happy knowing that it wasn’t going to be the Robot fake Serbian holding up the trophy.
    Even though I don’t like Mugrey too I was quite happy that he has won again and I now want him to get to the number 1 ranking as Djokovic dominance over the last 4 years is unbelievablely sad and boring.
    Anyway great comment and poem. It was funny as for a moment while reading I thought you were writing about me and my thoughts when I watch and follow Federer. Well done my friend. I enjoyed reading it. Thanks and cool.

    1. Thank you for your nice words Sab786truth 🙂 Murray winning this will indeed give him the confidence he needs to finally counter Novak.. Or so I hope..

  19. I think it is time for Murli to gracefully retire, rather than keep loitering and scraping around for that one last poem, that never will be. This is the official changing of the guard, the passing of the baton.

    The poet is dead! Long live the poet! On behalf of all readers here, I wish Murli the very best! 🙂

      1. As long as Murli wants to write poems you have no right to tell Murli to stop. What if there’s more to poetry for Murli than the adulation of the blog – what if Murli just enjoys it??? What if the travel and competition that all poets live for is a joy to Murli? What if the twins are just getting acquainted with Murli’s love of Haiku and stream of consciousness as Murli had thought impossible as a single poet before the family entered the picture? Sure balancing poetry and family and is not easy, But This is not your decision Sid.

      2. Typical hero poet worshipper, this Alb, I’m telling you.

        I don’t understand why Murli is still writing poems. I don’t know why he is still trying to rhyme – he’s already, however old he already is.

      3. What if he’s lost his ability to rhyme? There is no sadder sight in a once fine poet. Time then to put away the pen.

    1. Murli inspired me to become a better poet. And as long as he wants to rhyme, he can. And we will enjoy it. Simple as that. Without someone as talented as he is, I don’t see how others might appreciate real art and want to start rhyming too 😉
      A true poet never dies because his art guaratees him eternal recongnition 🙂 🙂

      1. Some of the most delightful in life is sharing the genuine expressions of art – THANKS to all that sources of inspiration – tennis, poetry – RF, Murli, Alex, other poets on this site, Jonathan, Sid and all others posting 🙂

      2. I saw Murli at a poetry competition in Stuttgart a few weeks ago trying to rhyme “against” and “happen” in a poem about the life of Henry the Fifth. It was hard to watch.

        2007 Murli -even 2012 Murli – would never have tried to rhyme two words that were so obviously mismatched.

        He hurt his tongue that night right in the midst of a simple limbic pantameter poem. It was a simple poem to close out the final and 5th round to take the trophy. Instead he had to call the trainer right in the middle of the recital to get treated for tongue cramps.

        I don’t want to keep seeing this.

  20. Murli keep at it Clive James is writing some of his finest work on deaths door and David Hockney producing some of his finest art at 79 and says when he is painting he is like a man reborn, and feels 30 again. Fed against Cilic a man reborn or against Andy in the semi last year and numerous other matches. I love Fed going against the orthodoxy of tennis that a tennis player has little to offer post 30. A great like he is obviously still does have plenty to offer. Alex the next gen keeps Murli on his toes, and there is a place for both so thankyou both of you for being inspired and sharing.

  21. Okay, On Off Topic Out of curiosity what’s the deal with video passes around as crowd laughing when Roger fell on 5th set in SF….I couldn’t find any odd, but seems many though….any one has comments?

    1. I don’t think they laughed. But maybe my own screaming sigh”oh what – no!” was drowning the TV-sound at that moment…

    2. Hi there Nambi… I was thinking that too.BBut with the slow motion replay, sometimes even the nasty hard falls doesn’t do it justice. Unless the slow motion ankle twists they look more horrible and scary than the normal slips and falls. As for Federers fall , even on grass when you fall on grass it still hurts as its quite hard with the layer of soil and the finely cut measured millimetres of grass. Therefore to cut the story short I too couldn’t work out why the crowd was laughing at federers fall???? Tbh I found that bad taste and very ungracious of the Centre Court crowd.
      Ps. I remember seeing the slow motion of Mary Pearce when she properly twisted and totally rolled her ankle and that was cringe worthy and bad as I think that ended her career. Sorry I can’t remember which tournament it was but you could find it on you tube if you wanted to see it.
      Anyway I hope you are okay and good. Kind regards. Serajul Islam

      1. Where they laughing AT Roger? I almost thought they sensed in his face and expression a sort of “what do I have to do here???” moment. I though the reaction was a little more empathetic.

        But of course I’m a few thousand miles away at that point.

      2. Agreed, Even crowd laughed, it doesn’t bother me much…..I seen that video few times and i didn’t find anything specific as they laughing on Roger, but many other thinks that’s case…….As pointed out its almost not a worthy moment to discuss much more, but out of curiosity i raised it here to see what many of us think…

  22. Hi Alex, rather late for the party but what a lovely poem! I thought as if you made ‘my’ Fedemotion into words. Is English your native tongue? The rhyming is crazy good, really 🙂

    1. Hey Wanda! Thanks 🙂 I am really happy you liked it 😀 😀
      English is not my native tongue. It is my third language. Picked it up at 14 😉

  23. Bit late Alex but…that was great; echoed my sentiments exactly, and completely agree with the last stanza! 🙂

    1. Thx Slamdunk! And to be honest, can’t wait to have him back on court and live all the emotions again! 😉 😉

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