Peter Bodo November 19, I found it fascinating, for what it revealed about the standard we have applied to and expected from Federer. It's an impossible standard that he has proven possible each time he unsheathes the stick with the Big Red W on it.
This has created, in some ways, a dilemma of epic and tantalizing proportions. It seems surreal to realize that all Federer must do to become the all-time Grand Slam singles champion is have a that is as good - not even better!
Federer is on track to shatter Pete Sampras's mark of 14 Grand Slam titles, with Rafael Nadal as his only legitimate rival and so far, at just two of the four majors. This puts TMF in a position Agassi federer intimidating synonyms unheard of in tennis lore and legend.
Right now, Federer's main rival in Agassi federer intimidating synonyms quest for the record is. And each time the Shadow Federer has raised the bar, the flesh-and-blood Federer has answered the call.
It's like the guy is playing a game of comeuppance against the one opponent "Agassi federer intimidating synonyms" can beat. This is not meant to disparage the quality of Nadal's game, the emerging talents of Novak Djokovic, or even the continued huffings and chuffings of Andy Roddick.
I dwell on this angle of the multi-faceted story only to underscore the unique corner into which Federer has painted himself with the brush strokes of genius. Think back on the great champions of recent years, from Sampras to Borg to Lendl and Laver.
Sampras had Agassi, a rivalry that was explosive, unpredictable, and subject to shifts of momentum. Borg and Lendl played musical chairs in the tennis firmament with McEnroe and Connors.
Laver was tormented by Ken Rosewall and there was always the towering menace of dashing, mustachioed John Newcombe. What does Federer have? He has had - to this point - Nadal, for longer than not, a boy fighting a dogged guerrilla war with distinctly guerrilla-like tools and tactics.
When I envision Federer in battle dress, I see him wearing a bright red waistcoat with gleaming brass buttons and a plumed hat, gilt-handled saber dangling at his side. I see Nadal in sleeveless fatigues and a boonie hat, cartridge belt strapped across his grimy and dirt-streaked chest.
He likes to do battle in the dust, Agassi federer intimidating synonyms he's recently made great strides in meadow warfare. Beyond that, it's borderline tautological to suggest that Federer has been so dominant for lack of quality rivals in the same way that it's screwy to say the only reason the sky is blue today is because there are no big scary rain clouds around.
That's the point, pilgrim! I have only one quibble with the the Federer-Nadal rivalry; young Rafa matured into TMF's rival a bit too late - Federer had already put enough distance between himself and the rest of the pack to benefit, and greatly, I think, from the confidence and command that is the chief mental weapon of Agassi federer intimidating synonyms great player.
Those rivals will be much on Federer's mind, but the pound gorilla in the room will be the simple fact of "pressure. Should Federer's level of play drift down to a more earthly plane, will he still have the confidence, poise and emotional flexibility to withstand the "Agassi federer intimidating synonyms," dismay, criticism and morbid diagnoses that will be directed at him from so many quarters - including, perhaps, the Shadow Federer?
Open final, in which Federer's continuing ability to win big points got a welcome, and seemingly invaluable, assist from Djokovic's inexperience as a Grand Slam finalist. Watching that match, I not only felt that Djokovic was a critical step short of breakthrough, I also thought Federer walked the edge of the razor blade slicing his persona in two: Is this that day when they shall murmur, Thus was it written.
TMF needs three wins to get over the Sampras hump; they're likely to be the three toughest of his career. It ain't easy playing yourself, or, perhaps more accurately, playing to a standard that is impossibly high and impossible to sustain.
The question is, when does Federer stop sustaining? When does that break point forehand corkscrew into the net, or that service return that previously fell in by a hair!