Arguably the greatest player of all time, is old. His decline is inevitable. It has happened to Laver, Borg, McEnroe, Sampras and he'll not be spared. He hasn't won a single title till now in 2013 and that hasn't happened in years and years. So, is it time? Maybe. But this isn't the first time his obituaries have been written. They sprung on after he lost the Best Match of Tennis at the Lawns of Wimbledon in 2008 to the younger, stronger Rafael Nadal. And, more so this is clay. He isn't the favorite and Benneteau has done it before to him.
Anticipations were high as Federer and Benneteau walked on the court yesterday. The heavy conditions would be supporting Benneteau's big hitting and Federer's back issues tend to surface. Roger's been seen wearing a warmer inside his T for some time now during cooler conditions. And to top the speculations, he got broken in the very first game with 3 unforced errors, failing to convert break points in the 2nd, to hand a 2-0 lead to the Frenchman.
That was that. Federer pounced back finding his range and movement breaking in forth and eighth game to close the first set 6-3. The rare to see these days, the one-handed backhanded was on fire. It was solid in return and spectacular in down the line shots that leave Benneteau stranded.
Federer was on such a roll that he won 14 out of last 15 points holding the opening game of second set with ease. It needed a 'lucky' net cord in the 2nd game from Benneteau to hold serve and put a stop to Federer's momentum. In the next two sets, Federer broke Benneteau only once in each set and wrapped the victory in straights. Despite less number of breaks, he was too solid on serve, holding many games to love and was in no threat.
Benneteau was consistent in the match, never fading away, but never in control as well. He looked a bit restricted with his movement. Still, he went out today to a better player while Federer marches on another Grand Slam match of his long and legendary career. His cute twin daughters were in the box wrapped in pristine identical fur coats and he did not disappoint.
In the on-court interview, Roger Federer was asked if his daughter's in any way comprehend or understand his success, and he replied "No. They have no clue. It's better that way. But they know that i play a lot of tennis, and i go back and forth, back and forth. I come back from the courts, and i go play a match and i come to the practice and then i come back to the room. They must be, like, this guy is crazy. I don't know what he's up to."
Well, the girls are pretty right, i say. This guy do play a lot of tennis because he's seldom upset-ted and goes deep into the draw. And i am sure they'll soon come to understand the term "tennis legend".