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The Greatest - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
The Greatest
The first tennis match I watched with complete focus was the famous Björn Borg victory over John McEnroe at Wimbledon. That one still ranks as the best one I've ever seen, because their respective styles of play led to so many long rallies and beautiful shots. I missed much of last year's rain delay-prolonged epic in which Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer, but what I saw came very close to that match. Today's contest between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick was of a different order, given the dominance of both men's service game. But it was remarkably well played and developed, over the course of that astonishingly long final set, the sort of tension that the Borg-McEnroe tiebreaker provided. I'm so glad I was woken up in time to watch it. I was pulling for Roddick, but I knew that I'd be happy if Federer won. He's a truly remarkable champion, with a feathery touch of incomparable precision. In the end, though, I think it was the onset of early-evening shadows that gave him the edge he needed to prevail. He couldn't have asked for a better mach in which to stake his claim to the title of greatest men's player ever.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
letter_2elise From: letter_2elise Date: July 6th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Wasn't that incredible? I have been pulling for Roddick for years - which has been rough. I wanted him to win so badly. With Nadal out, this was his big chance. Oh well, maybe in the next few years.

But you know what was a bit aggravating for me... the game is becoming more and more about aces. I began watching tennis in the McEnroe/Connors/Lendl days. I loved long, exciting rallies. The occasional ace was exciting. Now it seems a rally is the rarity. It only begins to get impressive when someone can actually return one of those rockets.

I do still love the game though. I just found myself getting a bit nostalgic. (And by the way - "hawkeye???" Can you imagine if McEnroe had that? We would have missed some great arguments and tantrums.)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: July 6th, 2009 05:32 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm with you on the aces. And Hawkeye, too. I actually think, though, that the Borg-McEnroe-Connors era was atypical for Wimbledon, because the first two weren't big servers and the latter was the best returner in the game. And there were some huge servers back then, too, like Roscoe Tanner, whose matches were short on rallies. The strange thing yesterday is that Federer, who is less of a pure serve-and-volley guy than Sampras was, had so many aces. I didn't see all of last year's final, but my memory of what I did see is that the rallies were longer on average, which would make sense with Nadal.
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