His heart on his sleeve

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Roger Federer has just won the Aussie Open and is now giving his speech. He is crying his heart out. He has received the trophy from one of his lifetime idols, Rod Laver, and he has equalled Pete Sampras. In my imagination, he's probably just realized that he is on his way to beating Sampras's record, to becoming unequalled in the game of tennis, and realizing how much it means to him.

In tennis, Roger is not invincible and what makes it twice as difficult for a man that close to perfection is that we hardly permit him to be human. Baring his soul for the world to see... the statue cracks and, well, Roger is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, tennis player of all time. I'm sorry I doubted.

Due respect to Marcos Baghdatis, who is, himself, a superstar in the making. Baghdatis-mania was certainly one of the highlights of this tournament. However, he was playing one of the greatest players of all time, and tonight it was a measurement of the size of legends. It's like telling Kobe Bryant, hey, you're cute and maybe a good dresser, but you'll never be like Mike. But, Roger isn't even like Mike. He's far too reticent and generous to be like Mike. And now he's added another weapon to his already formidable arsenal of charm and skill: he sure can cry.

Roger Federer: Thank you Rod Laver for giving me this trophy. (sob sob sob sob)
Rod Laver: The trophy could not be in better hands.

Roger Federer beats Marcos Baghdatis: 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2