“Heart of a Champion”

Today is Day 2 of Wimbledon, the Championships.  The most prestigious tennis tournament of them all.  The most classy tournament in the world played in all whites on the beautiful grass court surface that only London has to offer.  And the Championships avoided possibly a most memorable of Day 1’s as Roger Federer, a finalist each of the past 7 years, staved off elimination to advance to round two.  The greatest Grand Slam Champion of all time nearly did get sent home on Day 1.  And really, what would this tournament be without Roger Federer coming out to Center Court on the final Sunday?  The man is a mar of consistency.  Definitely one of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time.

So lets recap what happened yesterday.  Roger Federer got matched up with Alejandor Falla.  A player that I will admit I have never heard of.  And I consider myself an avid follower of the pro tour.  Falla is a player out of Colombia.  He joined the pro tour in 2000 and has never been ranked higher than 58th in the world.  He is currently ranked 60th in the world.  Falla has never advanced past the 3rd round of a Grand Slam event and is just a lanky left hander not even weighing it at 170 pounds even with his 6 1 frame. Realize that Stalla had a crack at Federer at Wimbledon in 2004 and was unable to win more than 3 games over the duration of the match.  So was this the man who could slay possibly the greatest player of all time on his best surface?   He came very close.  But this is why Roger Federer is Roger Federer.  This is a prime example of why Roger has the heart of a champion.

The facts are lost on most of you to really understand the significance of what Roger Federer has accomplished over the past decade, which makes up the entirety of his opponent Falla’s career.  Federer has captured 16 Grand Slam titles, which is the most of any player ever. Going into the French Open last month, he had been to 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals.  That means that the French Open, earlier this month, was the first time he had not been to the semifinals of a Grand Slam in over 5 and a half years!  Just to let you understand how amazing that is.  No player had ever been to more than 10 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals in the Open era before Roger’s run.  Federer also held the number 1 ranking for 237 consecutive weeks which is a tour record.  He has been to 7 straight finals at Wimbledon, and won the event 6 times.  So do you think staring at a 2 to 0 set deficit really worried this phenomenal champion on a day where he was really not on his game?..

NO WAY.  Roger is a champion who refuses to lose.  Yesterday he demonstrated for the world why he has the heart of a champion and is probably the most consistent player of all time.  Also a final point that I would like to bring up.  Many people do not realize how slim the difference is between the level of players in the top 100 on the men’s tennis tour.  The actual talent of the number 1 player versus the 100th ranked player on tour is very slim.  It is all mental.  And Roger Federer holds probably the greatest mental game of all time.  But that is for another day.  The point being, any of the players in the top 100 could knock off anyone on a given day.  Upsets can occur at any time.  This is a testament to how mentally tough a player like Roger is in avoiding being upset more frequently. 

So Federer lives another day.  I am looking forward to seeing him on that final Sunday doing what he does best.  Wimbledon would not be the same without his presence on that final day..

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

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14 responses to ““Heart of a Champion”

  1. I briefly discussed this topic on my blog, and I think you are off point a bit on this post. Federer is the greatest tennis player right now and maybe ever. He was a bit nervous in that third set battling to not be eliminated. It was Falla that choked under the pressure. I think we will see Roger in the finals again this year. It seems when a guy struggles early, he plays the rest of the tournament with a chip on his shoulder. Looking forward to more coverage.

    • Big Daddy,
      You are right that Federer showed some slight nerves in both the 3rd and 4th sets. But I think it is impossible not to in that situation no matter how good you are. He has been to the Finals on the greatest stage tennis has to offer for 7 consecutive years. Exiting in the first round to a relatively unknown would have been very tough to swallow.

      But I will state though that is the sign of a champion though in being able to gut it out. Regardless if the other guy choked up a big one, a win is a win. It is near impossible to come back from 2 sets down. Roger did it and I will be surprised if he doesn’t make the Finals even though he has not been playing his best as of late.

      -Kraze

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