Roger Federer

Waiting For… Part 2

Sometime in February 2016, I had contributed an article called ‘Waiting For… ‘

Using the Beckett play ‘Waiting for Godot’ as a simile, I had reckoned that it was not really worthwhile for a whole legion of Fed-fans to keep waiting for the 18th, like these two guys who kept waiting for Godot, who never showed up.

It wasn’t really necessary, to be honest, as Fed was the GOAT even without the 18th.

The final line in the article was that “when you don’t wait for Godot, the bloke may actually show up“

And so did it, when we stopped waiting for it to happen.  In the sense that none of us ever thought at the beginning of the Australian Open that Fed actually was a serious contender.

Just back from an injury layoff. 35 years old and counting. No match-play. So many factors. So….

Most of us thought that Berdych would be it. Well he wasn’t

Then we thought Nishikori would be it. Well he too wasn’t

Thankfully Murray was out, and the match vs. Mischa Zverev was the only match where all of us felt positive of the outcome. It sure was.

Then we thought now Wawrinka would be it. Well, well, he too wasn’t.

And finally, we thought Rafa has to be it. This is now going too far.

And when I say we, I don’t mean individually because I am sure that quite a few of us may have thought that Fed will win, but I am sure a vast majority would have had a déjà vu feeling especially after the Grigor-Rafa match a la the Verdasco-Rafa match in 2009.

I, for one, wanted a Fed-Rafa final so that Fed had the opportunity to beat Rafa, avenge 2009 and also put to rest once and for all, any discussion about the GOAT.

And so it happened. A Fed-Rafa final which the world wanted. Though the world thought that it would go the same way as in the past. Five-setter and Fed will capitulate in the end.

And we will be still waiting for….

The day dawned and soon enough the sunset in Melbourne and ‘the most important match in Grand Slam history’ ( as per the witty and wise Andy Roddick ) kicked off.

Do we wait or do we not…

Before we could even decide… The first set.

Wow, we thought, Godot has arrived and is in the parking lot

After the second set, we thought that Godot is finding it difficult to get a parking spot

After the third set, we thought that well Godot had found the parking spot quickly, has emerged from the car and is just checking his GPS to find the exact place. He should he here soon enough

And then after the fourth set, we thought that the GPS has failed, but maybe there is a remote chance of it starting to work again, hopefully.

And then the break in the final set.

The final nail in the coffin or what ???

Wikipedia updated Rafa’s Australian Open 2017 status as won.  There are a few people in the world who are ahead of their time, we thought.

Now we distraughtly thought Godot has just given up and is going back to his car and heading back to where he belonged these days. Also-Ran country.

But Godot had other plans.

He threw the damn GPS away and searched within the realms of his memory because he had been to this place long back, four times before to be precise. It was matter of being confident that he could find the way.

And of course, he remembered and found the way.

And in that exhilaration of knowing that he had found the way, he threw caution to the winds and started running at full clip and burst into our midst like a monumental thunderclap.

‘The waiting is over’ he said calmly

And we jumped in glee, hugged each other joyously, high-fived each other proudly, wept copiously*, but eventually we bowed to this phenomenal spectacle that was Godot.

And soon enough, the euphoria was over….

Now we wait for him to come again and again… which is what I term, here we go again….

I am sure quite a few would have shed tears of joy. I was at work as in the Middle East we work on Sundays, but my daughter in the UK had a holiday, and she wept copiously after Fed won. She was pretty disappointed that I didn’t. Well, I made up for it by imbibing copiously in the evening !!!

Murli Pillai

Fanatic Federer fan. Watch all his matches on TV if shown ( outside working hours ! ), and quite often drive down to Dubai from Muscat to watch him live. Apart from being an IT / Telecom sales professional, am a quiz-master, classic rock & blues fan, movie buff and a veteran tennis-ball cricketer. Love to research on Fed’s on-court & off-court doings – the Fedberg quiz an outcome of that.

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  1. Thanks for the article Murli. I really enjoyed it. You were expressing exactly my feelings through the tournament. And it’s beautifully written :).

  2. Amazing article !!

    For me, it was a roller coaster.

    As per my tradition, ritual, superstition whatever you want to call it, I don’t watch Fed’s matches live.

    It has NEVER ended well so I don’t.

    It was sunday morning in the UK where I am. But i followed the match on twitter and kept checking scores and reading tweets. Just drips and drabs of info..

    As you can imagine, it was …..

    First set: Now we are talking…good..has to keep the nose in front…could it really be straight sets?

    2nd set: FFs…why can’t he just kill it off by winning the 2nd set…here we go again stupid Rafa comeback is on.

    Third set: Yesssss!! I can breath again….heck even shouted “Finish him now” Mortal Kombat style….at my bewildered family !!

    Fourth set: Here we go again….again…I hate Rafa so much…why doesn’t he just get injured and retire or die whatever he finds comfortable but just go away….ofcourse don’t mean it in literal way. But you know what I meant.

    Fifth set: Get info that Fed has treatment….ohhhh no….pls no….comes back and loses first game and gets broken…and that’s it. I can’t go through it again…and I just stopped following the match.

    Nervous tension for next 25 mins with expectation of Fed’s loss….roaming around in the house, shouting at wife and kids for silly reasons (ofcourse I apologised afterwards).

    THEN FINALLY….OH it was better than an orgasm…I got an alert from the AO app on my phone…I just read “18th grandslam” and I just cried like a baby!!! Didn’t even read full notification…didn’t need to. Didn’t need to check the score. I didn’t care what the score was, didn’t care how good or bad it was. Just the fact Fed won was enough !

    Heck I am tearing up even writing this 🙂

    1. ‘OH it was better than an orgasm’ 😆 😆
      Somebody, please make a banner or T-shirts with the phrase!

      And we all agree with you, P3rfact!

    2. Can so identify with your emotional ups and downs through the match. Especially the damn you Rafa bit. And even more especially the tearing up bit.

  3. Heck I am going to say Fed sweeps the calendar slam now. Anything is possible because everything is awesome 😉

      1. ELEGANCE! Too often defeated by raw power, let it be as competent as it must. Fairytale when it prevails, and making me so grateful that it still exists – giving hope – FedMurspiration filling all over! Nice nice, NICE!

  4. What a lovely write-up Murli! Thank you You have beautifully and poetically expressed the roller coaster ride we were all on, not really believing it could happen and when it did, WOW! Was on such a high all day my friends thought I had lost my mind but I knew I was in the company of millions of elated Fed fans.

  5. Just re-read Murli’s”Waiting for… (I)”
    Fun! Emily (and probably others too) predicted a future 18’th then.
    Can’t say I wouldn’t be a fan without it, but I very much prefer it’s material.
    And this is “my” truly awesome virgin slam-win with Federer – (tennis was not part of my universe until somebody told me about him – end 2013 – )

  6. Life is so much brighterer and happierer now than 6 months ago, or ever! Yes, worth the wait.
    A great fun as always but particularly this time after the 18th, thanks Murli. Keep going as long as Fed does.

    1. Hey Wanda, you know one thing

      Fed never perspires
      Fed only inspires

      So as long as there is Fed..
      The rest I can leave unsaid

  7. Thanks Murli the words and feelings Fed’s Tennis and particularly a win evokes, so beautifully tied into a classic and even unknowingly a connection with the author of Stan’s tattoo! Whilst what we have seen and shared some of us feel there are few words to describe, you have been inspired to take us to another level just as RF does on the court . Again thank you both.

  8. Yeah.. It’s always working. Like when you find something and you really can’t find it and you just give up then suddenly it will show right in front of your eyes.. Deep inside my heart I really really didn’t give up waiting to win a slam but sometimes your faith will test you. maybe because of many heartbreaks, those finals was a tear jerker.. Now Im hoping again but not in an obsessed mode like I did in the last 5 years…

    This was very special because I’ve became a fan of Roger when I accidentally watch his final match in wimbledon 2012 and really became obsessed to watch him lifting the trophy.. I waited for five years and totally worth it.. 🙂 so happy right now.. until now.. 🙂

    But I think Im the only one who wants him to win the RG rather than Wimbledon..

    1. Me too Beansprout. I want him to win RG and erase that one-time wonder tag ( at FO ) amd that too where as its said he won because Rafa lost early.

      Its time for Fed to set the record straight on a few counts. AO was an awesome one of course. RG will just take it to a new level.

  9. Thanks Murli…always love reading your takes. I remember your comments before the final when most of us were pretty morose that it was Rafa instead of Grigor, but you said Bring on Rafa! Ano so it was. History made….

    1. Thanks Sucharita. Let me be honest, I have seen enough matches of Fed & Rafa in the past and have been pretty despondent later. But I did see the Basel match and Fed showed real determination to beat Nadal.

      Plus the way Fed was playing in the Australian Open, I thought that this is his best chance to beat Rafa and this opportunity will not come again. So as you said Bring on Rafa…

      Now I say Bring on Novak…

  10. Murli you were so spot on – I personally just want to see fed play out the rest of his career with no pressure to win anything else – he has no need to he is the Goat and look how he can play when he and we all believe in him!!

  11. So beautifully written Murli, thank you. Hats off to you and others who were strong and brave enough to actually want this match and have faith in Fed all along. Too many heartbreaks before..just needed less expectation for my own sanity’s sake. Boy didn’t he surprise us all. Can’t describe the happiness I feel all week. So satisfying, so peaceful, so on top of the world kind of good feel 🙂

  12. Thanks Murli! The magic of last Sunday will never vanish. And thanks as well to all you guys in the blog, sharing makes it happier!

  13. Hey guys ( Anna / Suketu / Roelie / P3rfact / Vik / Alison / Simon / Alb / Miss Elly / Susie / Luis / Katie / Beansprout / Sue / Trudi / April / Moonriver 11 )

    Thanks so much for the appreciation.

    One thing I know that Fed-fans like us think a lot alike and admire the same things like aesthetics, virtuosity, humility and of course determination. Qualities which Fed has.

    Lets hope we get to see more of it in the near future because the very things we all admire and like are in real short supply in the world of tennis and probably life in general.

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