Monday, 8 June 2009

A Day For Champions

The day must belong to Mr Federer. There now seems to be a general consensus amongst tennis pundits that Roger can be regarded as the finest tennis player of all time. Much attention has been concentrated on him becoming the sixth man to win all four grand slams. I would suggest that his total of fourteen slams in all may be a greater achievement when looked back upon in future decades.

I was ready to write an obituary marking the end of Federer's greatness during his match against Tommy Haas earlier in the week. One of the effects of such dominance in a sport is that opponents are intimidated by reputation, and underperform when pitted against the top player. I was convinced that Haas, having played Federer nine times, and lost on the previous seven occasions, would not have the mental strength to overcome Federer. A loss for the Swiss master would therefore be evidence that the shroud of invincibility had finally been torn away. It was a close call, but six days later his reputation is further enhanced and Wimbledon may give an opportunity for slam number fifteen.

There are mutterings regarding the condition of Rafa's knees at present, and he will have to come into Wimbledon without a warm-up event after pulling out of Queen's. I'm sure that there is further greatness to come from Nadal, but I believe that those knee problems will ensure that he never endangers Roger's 14 slam total.

On a day where the 'Greatest Of All Time' label is being discussed, it seems fitting that the day ended with victories for two probable candidates for such a title, and certainly two men with the ability to intimidate by reputation alone - Tiger Woods and Phil Taylor.

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