It was an epic five set match worthy of its semi final status. Milos Raonic, the up and coming Canadian up against Roger Federer, the seventeen time grand slam champion. In the end Raonic was too good as the match entered a fifth set and Federer’s weary legs gave way.
As sport fans we are all acutely aware that fairytales don’t always exist when it comes to a champion bowing out of his or her chosen sport. These champions don’t always go out on top and rarely do we think that a champion could have prolonged his or her career anymore than they did.
If there was ever anyone who deserves a fairytale send off, it is Roger Federer. His record speaks for itself:
- 17 grand slam wins. This includes four Australian Opens, one French Open, seven Wimbledon titles and five US Open crowns. He made it to a further ten grand slam finals.
- Gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Silver medalist in London in 2012.
- Six year end championships.
- 88 ATP World Tour Titles.
- He has twins – Not tennis related but hey, anyone who can do that is a special person. Let’s be honest.
This isn’t even scraping the surface of the millions of Federer statistics that are out there.
He will never be world number one again, never be as dominant as he once was and never have a calendar grand slam next to his name.
He will though, continue to wow the tennis world with his unbelievable shots and his refreshing good sportsmanlike attitude that we rarely see on the tour these days.
However, it is one more grand slam that he really deserves. One more trophy to hold up in front of his endearing fans. One more night of Roger’s tears as he makes an acceptance speech.
It is going to take a mighty effort. The last time Federer actually won one of the big four was in 2012. Instagram didn’t control our lives. Snapchat was just for nudes and Europe was a safe place to visit. Good times.
Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have all showed the tennis world that they too deserve legend status in the sport since Federer last lifted a major trophy.
Federer should have probably won the game against Raonic. He had him on the ropes in the fourth set, but just couldn’t lay the knockout blow. That match proved though that he still has some level of power left in him. Win that match and he was every chance of knocking off Murray in the final.
With injuries plaguing Nadal, Novak getting nervous as he becomes one of the greats and Murray still being erratic at times, there surely will be one more chance for the man they call King Roger.
Federer is the ultimate role model. He handles himself well on and off the court. He has enough personality without being over the top. He says what he thinks, but manages to do so in a respectful way. Above all he is humble and honest. A couple of Aussies could learn a thing or two from this man.
Tennis will have more greats. We’re watching a few of them now. Just where Federer sits in the tennis hall of fame is still to play out, but one thing is for sure, we’ll be taking about him in a positive light for years to come.
So come on Roger, you don’t need one more grand slam win to reassure us you’re one of the greats, but good grief it would be a cherry on top of that Swiss chocolate cake.
Picture courtesy of The Telegraph.