Monday, September 14, 2009

Federer goes for 16, Boykin offers analysis

With Rodger Federer on the cusp of winning his 16th grand slam title, this time at the US Open, I thought it would be appropriate to ask someone who knows tennis a little better then I do to try and analyze how ‘Rod-ga’ is able to continually perform at such a high level.

Charlotte head tennis coach Jim Boykin took a few minutes to talk over the phone about Federer’s dominance before sneaking out of work early to watch the men’s final. No worries Jim I won’t tell Judy. I am going to try and do the same thing.

“I think Rodger has proved time and time again that you can’t win a grand slam without going through him,” Coach Boykin explained. “What is more impressive to me is that semifinal record he has.”

Coach referring to Federer’s 22 consecutive grand slam semifinal appearances.

“People need to understand how hard it is to make just one Grand Slam quarterfinal, so many things need to go your way. It just tells you how good he (Federer) is,” said Boykin.

Some numbers for you, Federer is looking for his…
41, straight win in Flushing Meadows.
6, consecutive US Open titles
21, Grand Slam finals.
2, now proud dad of twin girls

Asked to describe Federer’s game Boykin exclaimed, “He’s smooth. Style is perfect. He’s got a one-handed backhand, serving harder and is the perfect size, not too big, able to move well, nice touch and he keeps his head straight.”

Well that pretty much sums it up. But how did he hit this shot?

Boykin’s reaction to that shot? A simple chuckle.

“That ball was perfectly hit.”

Coach’s prediction for today? As if I needed to ask.

“Federer in four sets. It should be a good match, but Federer is up to power with Del Potro.”

Federer will never be as popular in America as Lebron or Kobe or Tiger. However, from a sheer sports standpoint I’d be willing to argue he’s better at tennis then Tiger is at golf or Lebron is at basketball. I will be watching today. Cheering for Federer. Cheering for greatness. Is he the greatest of all time? Almost impossible to say. For my own sanity he needs to beat Nadal in a Grand Slam final again. That may never happen, but odds are it won't be because Rodger wasn't there.

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