The Times of London called Fed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’. A pretty amazing headline I thought as Fed just won the eighth Wimbledon, so it kind of figured.
The other seven wonders are all also ancient stuff and still standing and that holds true for Fed as well. At 36 he is definitely ancient in tennis circles and of course still standing.
How did this happen and how did Fed make so much headway in 2017?
I call it the Fed-way. Read on…
Two steps backward to go 20 steps forward
One has to pull the arrow backward for it to race forward.
And that’s what Fed did.
Fed was coming up short in 2014, 2015 & 2016. Three finals, four semifinals and a quarterfinal in 10 Grand Slam appearances and nothing to show for it. For a normal tennis player, this would have been a great achievement but not for Fed. He was not making any headway, so to speak.
Decision time. Two steps backward time.
End of years play after the fall at Wimbledon. No two ways about it. Time to hang up boots ??? No way. Just the two steps backward.
A simple decision with far-reaching consequences.
And soon enough the arrow sped all the way to a magnificent Australian Open title. As it happened, two birds with one stone. One – the end of the Grand Slam drought since 2012. Two – a genuine ascendancy over long-time nemesis Rafael Nadal.
Headway made and how…
Don’t push your luck
This may sound a little too obtrusive while talking about Fed, but let’s face it and Fed himself would agree that luck does play a role many-a-time in one’s going deep into a tournament or to win it. Not always but it sure does and it always favours the brave. Fed was decidedly a bit lucky against Tomas Berdych & Nick Kyrgios in Miami.
Fed definitely didn’t want to push his luck at the French Open keeping in mind the treacherous surface and a resurgent Rafa, though he had handily beaten him thrice on hard-courts.
I, for one, being carried away with the euphoria of Fed beating Rafa twice, thought it would be better if he skipped Miami and took a shot at the French Open. A mouth-watering win over Rafa in the French Open would have been pheno-monumental.
I, for sure was wrong. Fed decided to continue the momentum on at Miami, beat Rafa ( no luck there ) and then decided to not to push his luck at the French Open.
A wiser decision if any.
Home is where the heart is
The famous turf of Wimbledon – home to Borg and then home to Sampras and then to Fed when he famously evicted Pistol Pete from Pete’s home. Of course, Fed didn’t take total possession till a bit later, but sooner or later he would, more sooner than later of course.
And then made it his home.
But for the past few years his home was being raided and despite his best efforts, he could not stave off the usurpers.
And this year he knew it in his heart that he was well on his way to reclaim his turf, so to speak, and put his entire heart and soul into it.
And when the King was back at home where he belonged, what he told people a la Harrison Ford, metaphorically speaking, of course, was “Get off my lawn”
Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be ?????
Good song no doubt, but not for our Fed.
It is No. 1 or nothing. No holds barred. And for that, the US Open is a must and to my mind and probably his, it’s for the taking.
There is Rafa in the path no doubt ( based on similar no-points-to-defend scenario ) but the two-steps-backward plan has already taken that into consideration and to a large extent that threat has been neutralized thrice.
Come September ( another nice song, no doubt ) the headway or should I say the Fed-way will be complete.