Sunday, January 28, 2007

Roger Federer is the balls.

When you sit down to watch Roger Federer's matches, you know the outcome already; unless it happens to be on clay, he will win. It's always a question of how bad he will make his opponent look. He made Fernando Gonzalez, who didn't do a bad job tearing though guys like James Blake and Lleyton Hewitt to get to the Australian Open final, look like a Tour rookie, especially after beating back two set points in the first set.

After watching that display, Gonzalez looked beaten, and it was over. The next two sets were mere formality, as if Federer and Gonzalez were obligated to play out some form of comedy in the next two sets, getting the necessary break in the second and third set and dominating service. The only player who gives him a fight is Rafael Nadal, and that's on clay -- Federer owns him in every other form of play.

It's never a question of whether Federer will be considered one of the greats; it's always if he will be the best ever, and while he's well on his way, he needs to win at Roland Garros to make sure he doesn't pull a Sampras. If he were American, regular sports fans in American would probably talk about him in the hushed tones reserved for Tiger Woods (despite the whole "not being black" thing). He makes dominance look clinical, precise, and boring, which is kind of a buzzkill -- but eventually, I just give in to watching it.

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