Jul/17

9

What if Roger Federer summoned his inner beast… The Rogimal?

fedkarlrWe all know Roger Federer plays tennis like a gentleman wearing a top hat and tuxedo. Heck, maybe someday Nike will design such an outfit for the King.

Federer plays with grace, elegance, perfection. He is a work of art, or as Greg Norman told me, he is “like watching live art.”

But what if Roger Federer found another level? What if Roger Federer round his sixth gear turbo power?

You know, that extra intensity level of emotional adrenaline that Rafa Nadal, Lleyton Hewitt and Serena Williams summoned from deep within.

We rarely ever saw Federer utilize his “beast mode” of physical and emotional fury, vicious grunting and wild-eyed, crazed, obsessed, ferocity.

Federer always plays tennis as if he’s Baryshnikov or Oksana Baiul. Aesthetic beauty.

What if Federer got down and dirty, and found a new level, with the eye of the tiger and pit bull snarl? And used it on those rare occasion when he needed a boost?

Shoot, Fed might have won 30 majors by now.

If Federer added a Jimmy Connors, Hewitt, Serena, Rafa, McEnroe edge to his arsenal he might never lose a match.

No one could beat The Rogimal.

(Federer art by Karl Rosenstock)

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184 comments

  • Andrew Miller · July 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Yep, Thomas, Sweeting! That’s right. I agree, but he got to the 60s in the ranking count, then his complacency I think sorry to be harsh, wrecked his career.

  • Andrew Miller · July 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Thomas, what you’re saying is totally right. I’ve only seen a few players decide they wanted to meet a, I thought unmentioned but no less real, obligation to the sport’s future here in the states. I’d guess like you are saying they are John McEnroe, Pat McEnroe, Tim Matotte, Mal Washington, Marry Fish, Taylor Dent, Gambill, Russell as you mentioned. It’s completely bereft of the USA men that globalized so to speak, which depresses me. Not that they globalized – that’s fine. That they feel so little towards guys that were literally in their shoes.
    At least in Australia they take a page out of the Courier book, and Hewitt, Rafter – grand slam champions – are part of the sports future as much as its past. They may not be doing a fantastic job (see Tomic) but Kyrgios has said he’s best when practicing with the Davis cup team (even if he off loaded to Tomic for a tie).
    Like Berydch must have felt calling Lendl. That’s what id think it must have felt like to be Roddick, seeing Sampras cheer on Federer in the most important match of his life in the Wimbledon 2009 finals. That had to stink.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Andrew, exactly. Pistol Pete had no relationship at all with Roddick. That’s kind of how it goes. I know tennis cutthroat but when you are retired, you may want to know the champions from your own country. And if I am Berdych I’d hate Lendl now. I really want Tomas to get to Friday.

    Hate to say it but I think Sam is going down hard tomorrow. Hope I’m wrong. He’s not too satisfied, I think, but it may be too big a moment for him, Friday on Centre court. Cilic is two wins from becoming a tennis immortal – he may lose Sunday to Fed but he’s not losing to Samimal with that on the line. Hope I’m wrong.

  • Andrew Miller · July 13, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    I meant Duke, exactly what you said!

  • Andrew Miller · July 13, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Duke, I don’t understand Sampras’ affinity and Agassi’s affinity for today’s living legends. That’s great everyone’s friends or respectful, but they really distanced themselves from the us men’s players. Was it not to “pick winners” or generate friction between, say, Querrey and Isner? If so, wouldn’t that mean the USA men’s legends wouldn’t join the coaching camp of Djokovic, sonewhat unsuccessfully, as Agassi has done kind of?
    I guess they are in a darned if you do and darned if you don’t situation. Maybe I’m not up on whether Sampras shared a few insights or if Agassi welcome Querrey and Johnson to camp Agassi in Vegas. I get it that there’s probably only so far they can go, they are limited in terms of setting up longer term coaching arrangements. For Berdych, maybe that’s a box, the pressure of coaching a fellow Czech box in a country Lendl left, that Lendl wanted locked with key tossed away.
    It’s still hard to see Agassi join Djokovic camp, or Sampras in the Federer box as he had been. And maybe USA men don’t want Agassi and Sampras around given that they haven’t been all that positive on USA men’s players. They haven’t been negative, but nor are they encouraging.
    Key word is distance. They’ve been distancing themselves from current and future players. Maybe they have to. Maybe it’s to avoid the limelight. But Rafter, Hewitt have waded in, for Davis Cup at least. Then again, Agassi and Sampras never loved Davis Cup either!

  • Andrew Miller · July 13, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Sam has a shot to win whole deal. That unlikelihood could be history tomorrow. But he’s going to have a shot at the final.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Querrey takes set 1 in tiebreak. Wow.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Vesnina and Makarova in dubs semis. I’ll always like these two players games. Classic tennis.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Querrey takes first set, is very important because Cilic had previously owned and dominated Q Beast. Now Q has reversed the stranglehold. If QBeast does not wilt and choke he wins this and bounces into the final.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    V&M are one of the great teams in WTA doubles this decade. They are always a factor and threat to win any tournament. Looks like this one is theirs with a couple of hodge podge teams left in the semis.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

    1 set all for Querrey Cilic. Now it’s about fitness and playing your game as trite as that is.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Or it's about who chokes less :)

  • Chazz · July 14, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Scoop, I don’t think that was a choke. QBall may have won the first set but he wasn’t in control. The margin is so thin in a match like that. Both have played extremely well but Cilic has a little extra and the end result is no surprise.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Sam becomes Qball again. It was good while it lasted.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Chazz, true, no surprise. And Cilic is one of a few players, joining Wawrinka and Del Potro, outside the big four to own a slam. I was hoping Querrey would Samurai Cilic but, not to be.
    Ultimately, huge result for Querrey. I’d like to think the result wakes up his USA men’s counterparts up and down the ATP rankings, but I hoped for the same thing last year and only Querrey has proven he can make it to a slam quarter or further. Maybe his A+ game is just better and he has another gear, both in the shots and attitude department, that Sock etc don’t have.

    Then again, USA still arguably does not yet have a contender for slams, even with Querrey’s great performance and best USA men’s result since Roddick’s retirement. Enormous achievement in context, smallish nonetheless within an era where a lot of other guys have made this mark many times without a slam to their name either.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Chazz; I think Cilic wanted it more. His facial expression was very serious and almost mean. Almost like a hatred. Cilic's expression and demeanor seemed to communicate "I will hatchet you into pieces before I let you win this match." Cilic is a very nice person but he looks like an absolute Charles Manson killer out there on the court. Sam stole that first set but he needed to be more intense and show Cilic and everyone he wanted it more. I think Querrey needs to consult with Todd Martin's alter ego Todd Monster, who famously appeared just once at the US Open match vs Moya when Todd Martin was down two sets to love. Todd Monster showed up and changed the whole match. Qball needs that little bit of rage and fury to go all the way. He is close.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Samimal checked out for Heathrow flight after first set.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Andrew; Great result for Q and USA tennis but in the end it's the same old story. Sam looked like a pro golfer out there. Cilic looked like a guy ready to do anything to win. Cilic wanted it more. Sam needed a can of Desire and to guzzle it before each set. Confidence tank full but desire tank was not as full as Cilic's.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Scoop, I hear you. Hard to be downbeat, Querrey did amazing – he broke the five year spell of no USA man in a slam quarter, then broke it again this year by making the semifinal. That’s a lot for one guy! Even Switzerland has more help from their bench. But I did notice that he said I never expected to be here. Maybe it became too real. After a while it may have dawned on him, holy smokes there are only four guys left in this tournament, I might win it!
    I heard this among women’s players, that they too are startled when they win a huge tournament because all of a sudden there’s no more preparing. That’s why when asked to describe what’s it like to do x y z every player falls flat. Because it’s so new. New territory. Cant explain it and it’s pretty much surreal to win these things, realize there isn’t another match.

  • Andrew Miller · July 14, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I’d love to see Querrey make a run at top ten. If he gets one more QF and a top ten ranking he’s going to officially be ahead of guys like Blake, Fish, who never got a slam semifinal. That said Fish is an Olympic silver medalist.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    The tough part now or Querrey is Andrew he has the big fat X on his back. Last summer he didn't capitalize on the Djokovic win. This year hopefully will be different.

  • Duke Carnoustie · July 15, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Scoop and Andrew, Sam was too satisfied and not hungry enough at this stage. Hard to understand the mentality that come Monday and Wednesday is when the tourney actually begins for these champions. I didn’t like his comments Wednesday on reflecting on the fortnight, etc. Meanwhile, Cilic seemed completely focused on the semifinals.

    The correct players are in the final, the two playing the best on this surface and the two who deserve to be there. Should be a great match but no doubt Roger wants to pay him back for that Open defeat.

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 2:05 am

    It is payback time. For Federer, it’s always payback time!!!

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 2:23 am

    Querrey was devastated! His reaction on dropping serve to lose the game and fourth and final set was one of absolute disappointment, the guy is crushed. Probably wanted to be as far away from a press room as possible. Cilic played with a fraction of desire more and brought his considerable a+++ game. It’s a case where Cilic went ahead and took the match when it was out for the taking.
    Seems like a very good match. The outcome wasn’t in doubt, but nor did Querrey roll over.

  • catherine · July 15, 2017 at 2:32 am

    On the match today I’ll go for Muguruza, particularly if it’s a 3 setter.
    Sentiment says Venus but I think Garbine will be too strong.

  • catherine · July 15, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I like the way Venus did what she sometimes does, ducks the press interview and pays the fine.
    I know she can afford it but I wish more players would do that now and again.

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Scoop, Sam did good with the X this year. His Acapulco run was a “step up” from his Delray title last year, more proof he could take out the big guys. Could say that Sock’s first quarter of the year was pretty good performance with the X on his back too. Just that once surfaces changed for the Sockster, it was as if he didn’t exist.

    I still hold Fritz scared the living daylights out of Querrey, Sock, Johnson Donald Young, etc, Fritz, Opelka, Tiafoe, Donaldson etc. And now, hopefully, Kypson, a semifinalist in the boys Wimbledon, will scare the daylights out of those guys.

    My sense is negative though and I think the young guys are just as likely to look at Querrey and say see, when I’m 28 and 29 I’ll make a quarterfinal, I’m doing fine.

    Hunger is a two edged sword. The further you get the more you want, the better the wins feel and the tougher the losses sting. That’s why Querrey is understandably upset even after a career best. The less you want the more you’re satisfied.

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Duke said Dimitrov had more talent than Blake. I’d agree, that’s fact. Dimitrov is better than any USA men’s player not named Roddick since Agassi’s retirement. We’d have been glad to claim him in the states as well as to pull a Rusedski as England did and claim Raonic. Instead we went for the likes of Sweeting and Levine.
    Go figure.

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Sweeting, Levine, and Collari? The argentine kid. Or one of the argentine kids who had been a French Jr winner or finalist? Not Bjorn Fratangelo, his opponent.
    Sorry to be cruel, but there were some huh? arrangements made by USTA in the Pat McEnroe era on sure things that didn’t pan out. Dumb, controversial ish moves. But they struck some silver even gold in supporting the next genners. They are complacent but a hungrier lot than we’ve seen in the States since Fish’s cohort with Roddick, Ginepri, etc.

  • Hartt · July 15, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Catherine, your prediction is looking smart. Muguruza is up a set and a break.

  • Scoop Malinowski · July 15, 2017 at 10:16 am

    Scoop Malinowski writes:

    Andrew; Querrey does well with a big result then he dips after it. Would like to see more consistent great results but of course it's not easy to get any big results.

  • catherine · July 15, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Hartt –
    Yes, that worked out. I’ll comment on the new thread.

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Scoop, a USA ATP pro made a slam semifinal. It’s a miracle. That it’s Querrey is a miracle. Where is Isner? Sock? How about Fritz, shouldn’t he have shown up at least in the latter half of the first week of a slam by now?
    It’s a miracle.

  • Andrew Miller · July 15, 2017 at 11:32 am

    That we fans are so discontent either shows we believe in win a slam or you’re a failure of a player, or we don’t remember how bad it’s been. Remember it was a mere three plus years ago, February 2014, when the sports world was sticking forks every week in USA men’s tennis for having one top fifty player and two total players in the top 70 including Brad Klahn, who himself had miraculously pushed himself from the dregs of ATP rankings into the # 67 or 68 slot and into a match with Lleyton Hewitt at Delray. After which Hewitt said the guy has no backhand and good luck to you people!

    There’s no understanding that the major backlash against the USA men that month, February 2014, led to the best performance in years from USA men at the French open three months later, and in under a year’s time four USA men in the top fifty and steady performance at slams (better than it had been). It’s as if a stadium full of Lloyd Carrolls yelled at the USA cohort and told them they were all journeymen, it had that kind of effect. Three and a half years later, with USA men winning a bunch of decent tournaments, however small, this year and a nice Sock run at a Masters and an even more phenomenal Querrey run, for the second year in a row, at Wimbledon and here we are saying well, you didn’t do x or y.
    Nah. This was a fantastic run, another milestone and proof that we’re not back in February 2014 when we were only following challengers, even the challengers that later that year Querrey found himself playing with a top 80 ranking as he made a fast comeback to the top 50.
    We cant ignore facts here. Harrison won the French open dubs title and made Wimbledon dubs quarters. Donaldson made third round. Querrey made the semifinals. It’s been a huge run and way different than a few years bac. Querrey even beat singlehandedly the performance of the vastly more talented French players. Did better than them, than Australia who USA matches up well with. Incredible run.

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