Thursday, January 27, 2005

Safin reminds me of Goran

The first thing that I ever do once I get myself near a comp. is to check out the Australian Open results. Never missed watching a slam since 1989. But all that changed once the rigors of higher education gets to you. Four years in the hostel so most of the tennis came through Nirmal Shekhar and The Hindu. And, for the past two years I atleast got to watch the US open and Wimbledon on TV. So, Safin beat Federer 5-7 6-4 5-7 7-6 (8-6) took some time to sink in and bear in mind this is your average couch potato whose only form of excercise comes through moving the mouse. I think Safin might feel like that he won the Australian open itself. Well why all this hullaboo? Federer in his current form is like a grave digger with a racquet instead of a spade for the other players on the tour. Pure genius, I remember reading an article which called him the Mozart of tennis. This guy shut out the best returner of the 3 straight sets. Ok, Agassi is 35 but still shutting him out in 3 sets requires superlative tennis. He made mince meat of Hewitt in the wimbledon final last year....If you had the chance to see the would have felt sorry for Hewitt. Hewitt looked like a 14 year old atleast that was the kind of respect he got from Fed. It took 4 years for the tennis world to find the next Sampras.

I like Sampras's and Federer's game but the predictability that comes along with makes it really boring to watch. Only the McEnroe's, Goran's , Safin's and Roddick's make tennis exciting. All these guys are dynamite talent but they can play like horseshit the very next day after winning a slam. Goran is probably the classic example....a 3 time wimbledon finalist...Agassi and Sampras made sure that he remained a finalist and the best player to have never won the wimbledon. But all that changed when he was a given a wild card to play the Wimbledon in 2001. I remember watching the wimbledon 2001 semifinals where Goran was playing Henman. He was 2 sets to 1 down,with the help of The RainGods and some breathtaking tennis he was able to dispatch the eternal semifinalist of Wimbledon. Henman has a a sobriquet too...the best brit to have never been in a wimbledon final. I think this Australian open semifinal in a way reminds me of that match and Goran. Goran jokingly in a press conference said that he plays his best tennis when all the other 11 Gorans inside him agree to play. He would be a handful to anyone if all the Gorans played collectively.Safin is just like Goran, a huge serve that comes with a mercurial temper. He could pummel anyone down on his given day. But...I had my doubts....we are talking about Federer here. And this game followed the same pattern Safin was 2 sets to 1 down and came back from behind by saving 1 match point to beat Fed. But Federer saved 7 match points in the final set to hang in there...thats what happens if you havent lost to a top 10 player in the last 24 matches that you have played. All I want as a tennis fan is that if there is one God like Federer we need a dozen devils like Safin to test his genius and thats what will make Tennis exciting.


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