He who appears undisturbed in the wind, isn’t really undisturbed in the wind… but he will beat you.
I was either expecting Federer to lose the second set and then silently dismantle his Serbian opponent to win the third, or, just as likely, Djokovic, the 2007 Sony Ericsson champion, to power through the second and the third to advance to this Sunday’s finals against either the Argentine Juan Martín del Potro or Scottish Andy Murray.
What I wasn’t expecting was a Federer meltdown, but it wasn’t that much farther into the second set that comentator Justin Gimelstob, a recently retired ATP tennis player who has seen a lot of tennis, said, “This is the worst I’ve seen Federer play.” Shortly after that, Federer flung his Wilson into the puple hardcourt surface, shattering the frame into a marionette.
All three comentators proceeded to agree that Federer needs a coach, someone who can, per Gimelstob, “hold him accountable for his style.”
Lindsey Davenport, a recently retired WTA tennis player who got to the finals here in Miami, said that the Key Biscayne stadium court gets some swirling wind that makes it difficult for players to find their range, and today the island was particularly windy.
Even where I live in Miami, north of Key Biscayne and inland, the wind was swirling inside the palm fronds. I could only imagine how frustrating it had to be on court, with the ball never traveling as predicted, but coming at you from odd angles that get worse off the bounce.
On screen, Federer’s hair, though kept under control by a stylish Nike headband, still fluttered tragically in the swirling wind, as did his Nike shirt, Nike shorts, and Nike shoelaces.
But, perhaps symbolic of the emotion on court, Novak Djokovic’s Adidas-capped hair and Adidas clothes seemed completely undisturbed amid the reckless and unkind stadium drafts.
And with that I’ll enlighten you with my profound insight for today: He who appears undisturbed in the wind, isn’t really undisturbed in the wind… but he will beat you.