It’s here. The biggest extravaganza in the world of tennis begins on June 29. The slow bouncy red clay will make way for the lush-green lawns of London. It’s time for The Championship; it’s time for the Wimbledon. And when the center court opens its gate for the top tennis athletes, it’d welcome a man that has embraced the grass like no one else before: a man who has made millions to fall in love with the game and has blessed us with the most awe-inspiring moments; a man who unleashes his best here, when he literally floats around the court in his classic whites, captivating us under the spell of his Wilson wand. Wimbledon is ready to witness him yet again, its adopted son, Roger Federer.
It’s been 12 years since this guy from Switzerland won his first major, winning a Wimbledon. Three years since he last added to his tally of majors, winning Wimbledon a superlative seventh time. The big question now is, can he do it again? Can he end his drought of slams? He came mighty close to winning it last year, at the same venue but it ended up in eventual heartbreak for many. At the Flushing Meadows last year, he had to get past Cilic and Nishikori to grab his 18th major, but was denied by Cilic in the semis. Many argue that it was his last shot at winning another slam. Well, maybe not!
But there are no second thoughts about the fact that with each slam it gets tougher for the Maestro to win, to make it his 18th. It’s the time that is not on his side. Winning seven best of five set matches is tougher for his body now than it was in his prime. He still produces some illegal looking shots, only to be shadowed by an ever increasing number of unforced errors. The ever so calm Roger, has started to voice out some of his frustration on court, shouting occasionally, a rare sight from this man. Having said this, you can never doubt a player like the great Roger Federer, you cannot write him off, not here, not at his favorite slam!
Come Wimbledon and Federer can surely delight us with his unplayable self, the vintage serve and volley, inside out forehands, oil painting of a backhand down the line, the biting slices and sliding serves. There won’t be a better sight to watch the Greatest of all time at his scintillating best on his beloved grass.
For Federer to clinch his eighteenth, numerous things must go in his favor. The draw needs to be easy- there are possibilities that he can face his nemesis Nadal in the quarters, a scenario he’d like to avoid looking at his mental block against the Spaniard. He must keep the matches short-winning them in straight sets-just like he did last year in his run to the final. The biggest of all, he must bring out the vintage Federer on court more often, especially when the tournament enters its business end. If he happens to face Djokovic, he must play his very best- a repeat of the Shanghai Masters should be sufficient enough. He can easily beat anyone without having his best day, but not the Serb, who is the favorite to defend his crown.
They wrote him off in 2011, only to be proven wrong in 2012. Many have written him off again this time and Federer is all set to silence their naive opinions. For a player of such greatness, he will always remain a contender as long as he plays, wherever he plays. Even if he fails to win here, he’d still enter the USO with the same hunger to win. That’s the thing that makes him a legend, makes him the Roger Federer. Just sit back, and enjoy the magic he exhibits on the court.
Wrapping things short, the answer to whether Federer can end his drought of majors, at Wimbledon is…YES. There are hardly any better moments in tennis than those when Federer lifts a trophy. We’ve had plenty of those and we want plenty more. Let’s just hope he continues to do us a favor and win. Allez Roger!