Wednesday, 2 July 2008

The Latest Quest XI

I'm still too frightened to read the rules on blogging from the Olympics. Maybe it's because I have other things on my mind.

Rain at Wimbledon played havoc with my television viewing and sports bulletins today. It meant that Canal+ had to show old matches. They started off with Richard Gasquet and Andy Murray's fourth round epic in which Murray came from two sets down to beat the French boy.

They then wheeled out Federer against Pete Sampras from 2001. The one where Rog beats Pete and the commentators said it's the passing of the baton. Sampras has been beaten by the New Sampras.

And so it came to pass that King Roger did reign on the lawns of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

After last year's lucky escape in the final against Rafael Nadal, I just don't think he's going to get away with it this year.

Nadal has just mashed up Murray in the quarter final. While Federer did do more or less the same thing to Mario Ancic. So they're both into the semis.

But while I was watching the Federer Sampras thing. I wondered why I warmed to Federer.

And it is simply because when he beat Sampras he was a spotty youthed kid who blubbed when he won. They had close ups of Federer's face and there was the late adolescent acne tucked away beneath the Nike headband.

Me and the missus are agreed that Roger is not world number one in the pretty boy tennis player stakes.

But his lambent beauty is the way he plays the game. The silky agility and luminous ease. Not one for grunting he.

Rog blubbed when he won Wimbledon in 2003 and I got tearful too. Mainly because you got the feeling that had he not been a tennis genius he would have been the type to get bullied in class.

I think he's ace. And even if he does get crunched up before Sunday's final or even in Sunday's showdown, he has defined the way the game should be played.