If you are great at one thing make it everything – Roger Federer
Roger Federer is once again the hot favourite to win next month’s Wimbledon. It has been five years since he won the title last. If he succeeds, the 35-year-old Swiss will be installed as Wimbledon’s greatest ever as he is now on a tie with Pete Sampras with seven titles each.
Win or lose, the love the global audience has for him is very unlikely to change. Undoubtedly the most respected and loved sportsman on earth, Federer is spectacularly different from the possible rivals for the spot like the soccer legends Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Even the humble Messi who is more liked than Ronaldo has been accused of diving and flopping, two disgraceful habits in the game and ended up in courts last year for tax evasion. On the other hand besides his arrogance, criticism on fellow players and attention seeking nature, the ever-so flamboyant Ronaldo is also hated by many for his obnoxious diving habits on the field. Besides he has quite a checkered record of partners.
On the other hand Federer who first stepped into limelight as a junior player at Wimbledon in 1998 owns an unbelievably clean slate both in professional and personal fronts in a career that spans nearly two decades. In a game where players are known for their aggression, grunts, rants and racket-throwing Federer’s temperament remains good as gold. There had never been a player with such a steady temperament among the top players.
Ever so humble and dignified his love and respect for other players is there for everyone to see. Plus Federer is a perfect family man. Other than the warm hugs and kisses he exchanges with his wife Mirka after every tournament, Federer also makes it a point to pay public tributes to her at regular intervals. “She was there when I had no titles and she’s still here 89 titles later,” Federer said after bagging this year’s Australian open. His adorable two sets of twins complete the perfect family. He is a complete package in every sense of the word.
Meanwhile the experts are still trying to decipher as to how Roger Federer maintains that inimitable grace in a game that demands a slew of mechanical movements. Federer’s out of the world graceful footwork has earned him the moniker, the Baryshnikov (legendary ballet dancer) of Tennis. The elegance in his movements saw former World Number One Andre Agassi calling Federer the most ‘regal’ tennis player he has ever watched. It is this beauty in his style that brings an array of stars from Hollywood heart throbs to world leaders to his games.
This nimbleness in the game and unblemished character, absence of even a speck of blemish in his career or character, have seen analysts elevating the Swiss to almost superhuman levels. The appeal is such that Federer today remains the role model for all his rivals and whenever media attempts to write him off it is they who take on the media.
“No way would I be a journalist. You guys have tried to kill Roger -- often. But he’s always come back and proved you wrong,” even Federer’s arch rival Rafael Nadal is known to have said. Nadal’s uncle is on record as saying, its Federer and not Nadal that is his favourite in the game.
The appeal is such that Federer today remains the role model for all his rivals and whenever media attempts to write him off it is they who take on the media.
Roger Federer may or may not win the Wimbledon next month. Win or lose, the 35-year-old Swiss already has etched his name in the history books as the Greatest Tennis Player ever. With 18 Grand slam titles in his kitty, being the only male player in the Open Era to register over 300 weeks as World Number One and the only one in history to win six or more titles in six different tournaments, the world today is fast running out of titles to bestow on Roger Federer. He remains an inspiration to hundreds of millions across the globe for being both good and great. There was never one like him before.