Saturday, September 06, 2014

Why I Don't Like Federer (Anymore)

When Federer first burst onto the scene, I wasn't a fan. Why? Well, to be honest, I didn't like his hair. And, sure, that's trivial, but that's how sports work. I started liking Djokovic after seeing him do serve impressions of other famous players. I started liking Andy Murray because I saw that he was from Scotland. I like Dimitrov because he's hot. The reasons for liking players and teams can be pretty random. That's sports for ya!

For Federer's first Grand Slam title, he beat Mark Philippoussis in the final. I held a grudge against him for several years for that and then again for that epic final against Roddick at Wimbledon. Grudges are also normal in sports. As a Redskins fan, I automatically hate the Cowboys. And those first few years of his career (2004/5 especially) were boring. I hate to see the same player win everything. Even when I was a HUGE Pete Sampras fan, I still wanted some of the other guys to win some of those major tournaments.

It was fun when Nadal started having a great rivalry with Federer! I loved the talk about Federer not being able to beat Nadal on clay and it was even better when Nadal beat Federer at Wimbledon in 2008! He also owns a winning record against Federer. Nadal totally puts Federer in his place and I think he alone is why Federer keeps playing. Nadal has 14 Grand Slam titles and is about five years younger.

As the years went on, though, I definitely started to respect Roger Federer's playing. He's amazing. No one can deny that. And then, around 2010 maybe, I even started to like Federer a little bit. A little little bit. He wasn't winning everything and he was starting to get that over 30 Agassi aura about him. Honestly, it felt like he was going to retire soon and I think everyone had the feeling that we should enjoy his beautiful style while we could. (But not while winning more majors.)

But now it's 2014 and he's still around. And I get it, I do. He's still really good so why not keep playing? That's fine. BUT OH MY GOD SO MANY TENNIS FANS ARE COMPLETELY OBSESSED WITH HIM!!! It's weird. I've never been to a sporting event where it seems like people have been brainwashed to like someone. I often say that people have drank the Federer kool aid and that is exactly what it's like to sit in a stadium and hear 90% of the crowd cheer for him no matter who he is against. And it's different than just having a favorite player. I've asked some Federer fans about liking him, and they either never watch the early rounds of tournaments and aren't true fans or they seem to like him because they're seemingly told to by the TV.

Now, the over 30 Agassi aura that he used to have has morphed into this obnoxious GOAT* aura that he and most commentators encourage. Federer is always going to be a factor in a tournament. He's consistent and knows how to win, but after not even reaching a Major final in 2013, I feel like tennis experts should not be talking about him like it's still 2005.

It's time to move on from Federer. A Federer win is a boring win and I don't want my favorite sport to be boring.


*Greatest Of All Time

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