I couldn’t watch the final of the US OPEN because I live in Dubai and obviously the timings vary between the two countries. To give you an idea, 9pm of Newyork means 1am of Dubai. Obviously I waited until 1 for the match to start and 1 hour more because there was a delay due to the weather. As there was no prospect of the match getting under way soon, I slept. Upon waking up, without doing anything, still in bed, I opened up the tennis.com website on my iPhone to see the result. As the page appeared, my eyes were wide open at seeing the face of Djokovic with the trophy. Obviously as you might know by now, I am a Roger fan. So it hurt me obviously because I had my heart for Federer to win the trophy. But Roger losing was one thing that saddened me but more so was the belief that I had in him to clinch the trophy of a Grand Slam this time. It wasn’t just a belief but my sixth sense that constantly kept telling me that he would surely win this one, about which I have written in my previous blog. I had such a strong gut feeling after his win against Isner that I had already started celebrating way before the quarterfinals has begun. But that wasn’t to be. So this loss has obviously saddened and angered me, so much so that I didn’t feel like talking much that day. I didn’t feel like watching highlights right away, as I knew the result .It was a disappointment, no doubt. So at the end of that day, when the exasperation and sorrow had lessened a bit, I had the courage to watch the highlights. I even watched the presentation trophy afterwards, talk about courage! As I had my eyes and ears fixed to Roger’s reaction and his talk at the ceremony, to be honest it gave me such a comfort that no Roger fan or journalist could have given. His short announcement “ I will see you guys next year” and the way he said it, reassuring us that he was more than ever determined, was more than enough to give me a huge relief. That is why I along with millions of my comrades been following him from years and will continue to do so till the day he says goodbye to the sport.
It has been 3 years since his last win at a grand slam event. Many people in the midst of these years started speculating if he had that energy, that athleticism left in him anymore. And many people still have their doubts. Could he win another grand slam? Can he overtake the likes of Rafa, Novak, Murray and the other young bloods once more? Or will the number 17 be his final destination? These are the questions that many have in their minds. But frankly, to me, it doesn’t matter. The thing that mattered or still matters to me even more is his passion for the game and the hard yards that he is still putting day in and day out to compete professionally. The hunger, the desire, the animation that he still has and which he has carried throughout his career is what i salute him for. Consider this very carefully, a man who has already captured the most number of grand slams and has conquered almost every possible record that is out there and for him to be going empty handed without winning a single grand slam title in 3 consecutive years and still being in the top 10 and playing as well as ever he has and that too with the growing age is mesmerizing. Although I’d love to see him putting his hands on more of those grand titles but to be honest even if he doesn’t, his enthusiasm for the game as a whole and not just grand slams and his thirst for winning every single match have won my heart and the hearts of millions.