I am not easily dealing with the fact that Roger Federer is no longer a magician on a tennis court all the time. I cannot bear with him losing to no names in the first and second rounds. My friend Diane is working hard on a political campaign in this busy season, so we only went to the Western & Southern Open on Friday, quarterfinal day for the men and the women.
It was a great day, and the environment at our tournament is very nearly as wonderful as the US Open itself. We should be even prouder than we are!
The evening match was – Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, Switzerland versus Spain, Roger versus Rafa. For the first set, Roger played his sublime tennis, perfection. It was all gone by the second set, and Rafa took it in 3. Roger dropped to 7th in the world, while Rafa rose back to number 2, and likely will be number 1 by the end of the year. Which would make me happy for Rafa. but watching Roger drop like a stone is so hard for me.
I wail that his continued play damages his legacy. Others say that no one and nothing can take that legacy as the greatest player the world has ever seen away from him.
And now the drama of the US Open is entering its second week, with both Rafa and Roger still in the hunt. They are set to meet in the quarterfinals, in the middle of the week. Both fairly easily dispatched their opponents yesterday, and will likely play in the fourth round tomorrow.
Roger declares he will be playing for more years. So many of us are struggling with his decision, now that the glory is only infrequently glimpsed.