It was due, wasn’t it? Federer has been knocking hard at the door of his 18th slam title in in his last four slams but Djokovic kept denying him. So all credit to him for not losing hope and keeping the faith.
When he called it a season last year after Wimbledon things weren’t looking promising. Some feared the end was near. But then he comes back after six months off and wins his 18th slam in his first tournament back.
And that against his nemesis Nadal with a scoreline of 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. It seems too good to be true. Going into the match I actually felt Federer had a chance because it felt like he was due after all the near misses in his last four slams.
Especially the final losses against Djokovic at Wimbledon and the US Open. You felt like he was playing well enough to win a slam but Djokovic was just taking tennis to a whole new level. But credit to Federer for taking advantage of the early loss of Djokovic.
He had the same opportunity at Wimbledon last year but there Raonic stopped him. I guess the break did Federer really well and was exactly what he needed. It’s a ridiculous story and I still find it hard to believe.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 29, 2017
I mean I wasn’t looking past Nishikori as far as Federer’s draw went. How does he go from six months out of the sport to winning a grand slam in his first event back, at 35? It seems insane but it happened.
I have never seen someone reach Djokovic’s level of tennis and completeness as a tennis player but this is something else too. Federer’s achievement doesn’t quite match Djokovic’s personal slam but if you look at the bigger picture it does.
That is 18 slam titles and the most recent one at the age of 35. I’ve said for a while now that Federer’s level is still unbelievably high and now you will see all the Fedfans all of a sudden agreeing with me.
There was no doubt in my mind that he would win another slam if he kept the level that he showed against Djokovic at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2015. What I didn’t think would happen is that he would be back to that level after six months out of the sport.
You also have to give him loads of credit for slaying the demons of the past and especially the 2009 Australian Open final. The court speed no doubt helped because Nadal constantly looked rushed but Federer deserved that bit of help with how conditions have been slowed down on tour in recent years.
— Morad (@moradfutbol) January 29, 2017
Coming back from a break down in the fifth against Nadal is another shocker in an Australian Open full of shockers. Nadal was uncharacteristically un-clutch. I think it was at 3-2 in the fifth on his serve and game point where he missed a routine forehand.
That was unlike Nadal who is normally so clinical but Federer played a big role in that by keeping the pressure on Nadal and never giving up hope. I mean you just have to give him credit for that. His backhand didn’t break down the way it usually does against Nadal.
And even when Nadal turned things around coming back from 2-1 down in sets to go a break up in the fifth he kept believing. He finally slew those Nadal demons which took huge courage. I’m happy for him.
Things had come full circle and you could see what it meant to him when the final hawkeye review went his way. As someone who was once a fan of his, it was hard not to feel happy for him.
As far as his fans go, as annoying as they can be, they had to wait almost five years for #18 and suffered many brutal losses at the hands of Djokovic in recent times. There was the 2014 Wimbledon final that went right down to the wire, the 2015 Wimbledon final, the 2015 US Open final, and last year’s Australian Open semi-finals.
— Sports Degens (@TheSportsDegens) January 29, 2017
You’d have to be a pretty ungrateful and cold-hearted Djokovic fan if you can’t at least allow Federer and his fans this moment. They literally went through hell at the hands of Djokovic in the last few years.
I have no problem in allowing Federer and his fans this moment because since I became a Djokovic fan at the French Open in 2015 it has been an immensely satisfying time as a tennis fan.
Since then, Djokovic completed the personal slam, something neither Federer nor Nadal could achieve. It would be absurd to be bitter over Federer finally winning #18. I am truly happy for him after not only the heartbreak of the 2009 final but the heartbreak of many other losses to both Nadal and Djokovic.
It’s an inspiring story of the power of faith. Despite heartbreak after heartbreak Federer kept believing that it was his destiny to win #18 and eventually, he did so in spectacular fashion. This is truly the fairytale ending that the Fedfans hoped for.
Yes, Federer fans can be annoying but the ones who stayed faithful you can’t accuse of not staying loyal and having faith. So I am glad for them and hopefully they can also have the decency now to accept me as a Djokovic fan.