The Shot

“Almost anyone who loves tennis and follows the men’s tour on television has, over the last few years, had what might be termed Federer Moments. These are times, as you watch the young Swiss play, when the jaw drops and eyes protrude and sounds are made that bring spouses in from other rooms to see if you’re O.K.

“The Moments are more intense if you’ve played enough tennis to understand the impossibility of what you just saw him do. We’ve all got our examples. Here is one.”

— David Foster Wallace, Federer as Religious Experience, The New York Times.

Federbear is here

Ayeee! After five weeks of waiting, the claim stub for my Tennis Warehouse package arrived yesterday. Inside was the cute “Federbear” beanie baby bear and a white cotton shirt with gold monograms. Don’t ask who; it should be a dead giveaway. The shirt is a tad bigger than my size since it’s a men’s shirt, but that’s okay, I can have it fixed. I think.

Part of the Beanie’s proceeds goes to charity, so buying the Federbear is a good way of splurging on something that on the outset looks inconsequential. But ja! I want to join UNICEF’s effort to promote world peace and feed hungry children everywhere. There are millions of starving children in the Philippines alone because of runaway pro-creation among irresponsible and/or ignorant parents. Anyway, Mr. Bean is not the only one allowed to keep a teddy bear all the time. Plus, there are tennis champions who also advocate world peace, not just inspire online retail therapies.

Roger Federer Beanie Baby, Federbear

Fifteen, Six, One

Roger Federer wins Wimbledon 2009

After 4.5 hours of harebrained tennis that topped the excitement of last year’s final, Roger Federer prevailed at 16-14 on the fifth set, denying Andy Roddick the Wimbledon title for the third time. Their previous championship battles were in 2005 and 2006.

Fifteen is also his sixth Wimbledon title, and it sets him up as World Number 1 in the ATP rankings this week after languishing in second for almost one year behind Rafael Nadal. It’s interesting to note that three months ago, he was behind the Spaniard by almost four thousand points and only ahead by 30-odd points of world number 3 Novak Djokovic; now let’s see how many more weeks he will hold the top spot, and if he will beat Pete’s record of 280 weeks at the top of the rankings.

Federer vs. Roddick Wimbledon 2009 Scoreboard
Did he fly in Sampras to the finals? I’m not sure, but had Roger lost, that would have been as heartbreaking as the last Australian Open results, where all five men who held five career grand slams were in attendance. Sampras and wife walked into the Royal box where Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, and Henri Kissinger were already watching as the first set was progressing. Spotted somewhere else, Woody Allen.

Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, and Bjorn Borg on Centre Court Royal Box, Wimbledon 2009
Unlike in previous Wimbledon championships, the giddy GOAT did not collapse on the ground. No tears either, but only a victorious yell followed by several high leaps that made him look like a ballet dancer instead of a tennis player. I was almost disappointed to not see tears flow down the champion’s face, but I suppose he can also win and not cry.

Roger Federer's 15 Grand Slam Titles
What did I say? What did I say? I made the wrong bet, didn’t I? Oh Andy, thine had put up an awesome fight, but I had put my bets on thee. Record-wise, shouldn’t this put Roddick as second best on grass? His performance at Sw19 this year has been so much better than last year’s where he lost to Tipsarevic on the fourth round.

Today’s Facebook message: “so excited and thank you for the support!!! more to come soon…” Does he mean more grand slam titles to come soon, as the US Open starts in six weeks? Or are we getting more news from him, as his wife is about to give birth soon? Will it be a girl or a boy?