Thursday, January 29, 2009

DAY 11, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SHOWS NO MERCY

In swift and decisive form once again, Roger aka our heavenly father Federer has prevailed over his longtime rag doll, Andy aka Izod Roddick, in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5, 7-5.


What is it about Roddick that makes our heavenly father salivate? For the 16th time in 18 matches, Fed has put the beat down on Andy - calling it anything other than a beat down would be utter hypocrisy by the way - and moved into the finals. Now Fed gets to relax and await the winner of tonights All Spanish Semifinal between Rafa Nadal and Fernando Verdasco.

Many, myself included, were anticipating a more thrilling affair. After all, Roddick took Novak Djokovic to the woodshed in the quarters, he is sporting his newer svelte look, and he seems to have been reinvigorated by his recently developed relationship with new coach Larry Stefanki. Perhaps this will be the time that Roddick does more than simply lick Fed's boots for three sets in a major, we were thinking.

Three games into the match, after Fed scored his first break, then easily consolidated in the fourth game, it was painfully apparent that this was not going to be the case. Roddick's desperate attempts to get to the net behind some very average approach shots were shunned by Federer - passing shots like laser guided missiles blistered by a flailing Roddick time and time again - with the greatest of ease. When Roddick played points from the baseline he looked like a dog on a leash, being led from corner to corner, until finally Fed found the opening and blasted a winner.


As great a player as Andy Roddick is, there is just something about the way he matches up with Federer that makes him look like a child trying to play against a virtuoso. How often do you see Andy Roddick's opponent serve twice as many aces as he does? Not very often, but Federer, having seen that near nuclear serve now for the 18th time, seems to have very little trouble redirecting its energy right back in the face of its source. The ace count was Federer 16, Roddick 8.

13 break point opportunities yielded 4 breaks for Federer - it could have been worse, but it was much more than he needed, given that Roddick was being handcuffed by Fed's serve and couldn't manage a break.

A mere 2 hours and 7 minutes after it began, this one was in the books, just like it has been so many times before. Maybe next time we should just put it in the books before it starts? No, no, anything can happen in the semifinals of a major, right?