Much to my disappointment (kind of), I wasn’t able to watch Roger Federer win his first French Open. In fact, the only match I took the time to watch at Roland Garros was Nadal’s fourth round loss against somebody, I can’t remember his name.
In the same round, Djokovic lost. Andy Murray was the only remaining seeded player other than Federer that I knew by name, and I figured the Scot had a legitimate chance to emerge victorious like he did at the Sony Ericsson.
Then I hit the road for Maine and, after that, NY City. During this epic journey I didn’t bother to stay current with the standings. Real life swept me in its palm and showed me bounteous lands. What did I care about other people’s glory when I was creating a little glory of my own?
It wasn’t until one early morning in Astoria, on a gray and rainy run to the park for six sets of pull-ups, that I remembered.
“Oh yeah,” I gesticulated to my friend who let me crash on his sofa, “do you know who won the French?”
That was all he had to say for me to imagine Roger hoisting the trophy, silver set afire inside the salvo of camera flashes, and basking in the glow of not only another Grand Slam victory, but also a defining moment in tennis history.
This was Federer’s fourteenth Slam. Pete Sampras, almost exactly 10 years older than Federer, is the only other player to have won fourteen, but even the legendary American couldn’t master the red clay of Roland Garros.
In other words, this victory not only matched Federer with the Grand Slam record, but also proved he is the most versatile champion ever to grace a tennis court (period).
Next is the slippery fast grass of Wimbledon, where Roger has already won five times.