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Australian Open

Is Federer vs Nadal one more time too many times?

Saqib Ali

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Podcast loyalist Nakul Bharadwaj (Pune, India), has asked the question if a Fedal match is needed for Federer fans on the eve of Australian open business weekend. As usual Anand and Saqib have a different take on a fan’s view.

Anand says

I’m a tennis fan first, a Roger fan next. If Roger’s legacy must be preserved, then it must withstand the sternest tests. I do like Roger’s chances more this time around than before, but I also think that at their best, Rafa offers the superior match-up.

For me, Roger’s greatness goes beyond the sheer number of slams he won. He plays tennis like a ballet dancer would, with impossible grace and skill, and with unmatched endurance and spirit, and with sheer joy and creativity. I don’t care that Rafa would end up with 18 slams as much as I care that I get to see Roger play like this for a long time.  If Rafa does get to 18 slams, who can begrudge his comeback from what we thought was a career-ending tailspin. It would be one of the sport’s greatest stories.

From a pure tennis standpoint, the contrast in styles, the mental attrition, this is a rivalry that transcends the sport, so much that books have been written about it. No matter what happens, these two will go down as the greatest players that ever played any sport. I, for one, want to see them play again and again.

Saqib responds

Good analogies used Anand, and was a solid read. Not to be different for the sake of a discussion but my take is we become the fan of a player then the sport comes to you. Of course over the years one eventually becomes the fan of the game itself. As a kid I fell for Becker as the drawing force not the rallies or the clutch saves on second serves.

Becker introduced me to tennis and the rest is history. I am crazy about tennis as you very well know that. Like all fans I follow or identify with certain players and I like the saying that no player is bigger than a sport but I will admit when Becker retired I was little removed from tennis of course by my insane standards. But it took a while for me to root for Rafter and Rios in the same manner. Until Safin came along and then Fed, tennis did not became the same fixation for me. It is my favorite sport and even now a tough loss of my favorite player has me down for days. Tennis is a very important passion of my life and it will not go away after the golden generation.

But Federer like Becker, is a huge catalyst for me to stay intensely involved in the game. And of course as his fan I want him to hold on to his records. In the end his legacy to me is deserving to be the holder of most slams. I agree we should not be fixated with stats but it’s hard not to see your player get to the finish line. I look at this way that you have to beat the field. I am very content if he does not have to go through Nadal again. The urge is there sometimes for them to lock horns at Wimbledon maybe but not here, not now. Tennis has been a winner every time they faced off and now I am super happy if Federer wins once again. Tennis will have many moments later!

what do you guys think?

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