Sunday, January 31, 2010

"He is the king, he is the master"

In displaying the most unique combination of brutality and elegance, Roger Federer dismissed both Britain’s and Andy Murray’s Australian Open hopes by lifting his 16th grand slam title. The score in many ways is deceptive as Murray was anything, but ordinary. Federer, though at times lifted his game to dizzying heights of brilliance, heights which, perhaps have never been reached by any other player in the history of the game. After having broken Murray early in the opening set, Federer suffered a temporary stutter with Murray breaking back, but with the Scot serving at 3-4, Federer wrestled the initiative back by producing a brand of ruthlessly imperious tennis that we have now almost come to expect from him. He followed a glorious backhand down the line with a sumptuously hammered forehand winner to give himself the edge in the first set, which he consolidated in typically authoritative fashion in the following game to take the set, 6-3. Federer tends to up his game in the biggest of stages and the first set in particular was testament to this outstanding talent that he possesses.

Having zipped ahead, Federer was never going to let go of the initiative and the second set exemplified some of his remarkable qualities that sets him apart from the rest. Serving with venomous efficiency and by producing stupendous angles on his ground strokes, he infused a sense of urgency to his game, which left Murray, literally gasping for breath. I have always felt that Murray uses the geometry of a tennis court to better effect than any other player, but on this day, Federer was quite simply matchless. Murray came into the match with a definite strategic plan of playing more towards Federer’s backhand, but with Federer in such sublime form, Murray’s tactics were rendered insignificant.

The third set finally saw Murray exhibit some of the form that he had produced en route to the final, only to be thwarted both by his own inadequacies in finishing of the big points and the sheer brilliance of Federer. Murray broke Federer’s serve and raced to a 5-2 lead, but the Swiss maestro fought back splendidly and took the set to a tie-break, which he won 13 points to 11, but not before Murray had spurned several wonderful opportunities. An inevitably pessimistic response is sure to follow Murray’s loss, but there were moments in the game, when Murray showed us exactly why he is so highly regarded. He would do well not to be overly disheartened by the loss, as it was more a case of Federer’s genius than his own frailties, which tipped the game convincingly in Federer’s favour. I am sure the world will witness Murray picking up a few grand slam triumphs as he certainly has the game to do it, but as for this final, it merely reconfirms the fact that Federer is perhaps the greatest of all time.

3 comments:

短裙 said...

He that travels far knows much. ....................................................

Siladitya said...

I think the primary difference in Federer's game in this Aus Open and esp. the final was that he played aggessive tennis.....he tried to construct points rather than wait for the opponent to make errors.....which was the reason for his below par performance in 2008/2009.
Having said that, I dont think this was his best ever performance and Murray shud have taken his chances better. I think the most remarkable aspect of his game remains his service.....how many times have we seen him deliver two top serves when he is down 15-40? ...its an almost divine ability.

Suhrith said...

I agree. I think the serve is defintiely the most underrated aspect of his game. But, where I believe he has made the most remarkable improvement is his backhand. 2-3 years back, Federer couldn't attack well enough on the backhand side, now he creates both brilliant angles and he is able to hit terrific winners of the backhand.