Five Years in the Life of a Fed Blogger

Hi guys. This is a special post for me because it marks 5 years of existence for my blog!! I did my first post on December 4, 2008. Long time ago, isn’t it? It has been an amazing journey since then following the career of arguably the greatest tennis player that ever lived. If you take a look back at my first post you will see I predicted there that Roger would break Sampras’ slam record, at which time Roger was on 13 slams. I also said it’s not that relevant whether Roger wins the French Open, since at that time there was no possibility in my mind of Nadal catching up with him. The focus was more on Sampras and Roger surpassing him, and since Sampras didn’t win the career slam himself Roger just needed to pass his slam tally to be considered greater. How much things have changed in the last 5 years! When I started my blog Roger came off his worst year since his ascendancy to the top of the sport.

He got mono after his exhos with Sampras in the East and his results started dropping off. He did however finish the year on a relative high by winning a 5th consecutive US Open, the only player in the open era to do so. He was still struggling though, because he struggled during the indoor season with a back injury having to withdraw in Paris to Blake, and didn’t qualify for the semis of the Masters Cup. When Roger withdraws from a match you know something serious is wrong because it almost never happens. Despite winning the US Open and ending the year on a relative high there were more problems toward the end of the year. Then in Australia when my blog was in its infancy it received which was to this day its biggest setback. Roger was back on track when he made the Australian Open final and would face Nadal who had played a marathon match against Verdasco in the second semi-final.

It was a titanic struggle that lasted more than 5 hours, and Roger would have the clear advantage as he had 24 hours more to recover from his routine straight set win over Roddick in the other semi the day before. Roger ended up losing in 5 sets to Nadal after having opportunities to win the 3rd set and end all hopes of a tired looking Nadal. Squandering those opportunities proved to be a disastrous mistake because Nadal sensed the fear, and he is like a predator when he senses fear. He goes straight for the throat and doesn’t let up until the victim blows out its last breath. This was a crushing loss. I had just started my blog and already I wanted to give it up. It was the worst possible start for my blog and I was absolutely devastated. I mean I was floored. The only good thing about being floored is that there is only one way to go and that is up.

Broken

Even at that time my oldest reader Johnny had already started commenting on my blog. He has ever since lurked here in the background. I mean I’m not even sure he is around anymore. That’s how subtle he is. Anyway thanks for the support and loyalty if you are reading this Johnny. Fortunately I decided to endure with my blog after that crushing loss because 2009 would turn out to be one of the most rewarding years as a fan. But not before many more disappointments and people writing Roger off. Already at this point people were writing Roger’s obituary. They said he was finished and would neither catch up with Sampras nor surpass him. Roger was feeling the frustration as well as he shattered his racquet against the court surface against Djokovic in Miami. He was really in a bad place in his career, not unlike 2013.

Nothing was going his way. It was like he was cursed. He even suffered his only loss to Stan at Monte Carlo that year. He also lost another 3-setter to Djokovic in Rome. It wasn’t until Madrid when the breakthrough came and Roger got only his second victory over Nadal on clay in the final. It marked the moment where Roger stepped out of the shadows and into the light. He went on to win his first and only French Open after Nadal was shocked in the 4th round by Soderling of all people, in which was for me his most emotional slam victory. Never mind the fact that he didn’t have to face Nadal. He had already been in 3 French Open finals before 2009 and once more afterwards. So it was thoroughly deserved. He had the all important career slam. That was all that mattered. He was also tied with Sampras on 14 slams, which made him the greater player as Sampras had no French Open title.

As crushing as the Australian Open loss was, the triumph in Paris went a long way towards making up for it. Many a time you see an absolute high after an absolute low like it happened here, which is why I believe that Roger could possibly win a slam in 2014 after the bitter disappointment of 2013. But he wasn’t done yet. After the incredibly emotional French Open win Roger went ahead and won his 6th Wimbledon title after missing out so disappointingly the previous year to Nadal. He had done the channel slam, he had broken Sampras’ slam record, and what is more is he was back to world #1. A similar situation than 2012 where Roger equaled Sampras’ 7 Wimbledon titles, returned to world #1, and soon after broke Sampras’ record amount of weeks at #1. Certainly Wimbledon has been the site of some of Roger’s very best moments.

Emerging from the shadows

After Roger won Wimbledon in 2009 things surely could not get any better. He had silenced the critics in the best possible way and the Australian Open loss was now a distant memory. He was back on top of the tennis world after some testing times. In hindsight that period was like his first encore after the main show which was his prime. I say that because he did not return to his prime. He would never be as dominant as he once was. He did however add a record 4th Australian Open at the start of 2010 in a brilliant display Down Under. It was a shame he lost in the 2009 US Open final to Del Potro after being a set and a break up. If he won there he could have had the ‘Federer slam’ and a record 6 US Open titles now. But it’s really pointless to look at it that way because Del Potro’s tennis basically ignited out of nowhere and he started playing unbelievable tennis.

Also you can never be sure how the future will be influenced by changing something in the past. The rest of 2010 was nothing special as Roger’s semi-final streak at slams got broken by Soderling at the French Open, and he lost to Berdych in the quarters of Wimbledon as well. The US Open was another disappointment as he lost to Djokovic after having match points. Things only really started improving again in the indoor season where Roger won 3 titles, including his 5th Masters Cup to equal Lendl and Sampras. There was new hope for 2011 but 2011 saw the arrival of Djokovic 2.0, a devastating force that utterly dominated the 2011 season. Roger didn’t win a slam in 2011, but he did stop Djokovic from most likely winning the calender slam when he beat him in the French Open semis in one of the best matches of his career.

It was Goderer through and through. It also happened to halt Djokovic’s streak who hadn’t lost a match all year until that point. It was another one of those moments where you wonder about what could have been, because had Roger not stopped Djokovic there I think he would have beaten Nadal, because he had dominated Nadal throughout the clay court season. But instead Nadal faced Roger in the final who was a much more comfortable opponent for him. Not that Roger just rolled over in the final. He put up an admirable performance but as usual could not capitalize against Nadal when he was in a favorable position. But still it was the highlight of what was an otherwise pretty disappointing season by his own high standards. He was convincingly beaten by Djokovic in Melbourne and at Wimbledon he lost in the quarters to Tsonga after being 2 sets to love up.

Fixed

But the biggest disappointment came at the US Open where Roger lost for the second consecutive year in the semis to Djokovic after having match points. It was time to ask some questions and do some introspection, which Roger did. It seemed to pay off because he won the next three events he played in Basel, Paris, and London, in the process breaking the record for the most Masters Cup titles. This was indeed a sign of things to come in 2012 because Roger went on to have another terrific year that saw him win his 17th slam, a record equaling 7th Wimbledon title, and ascending back the top of the rankings. I see that stretch from the 2009 French Open to the 2010 Australian Open as his first encore, while 2012 was his second encore. Now, will there be a third encore? I think we will see one in 2014.

What that encore will entail I can’t say. He may or may not win another slam. It would be the ultimate achievement if he does, and could well put him ahead of Nadal in the GOAT debate for good. Realistically it is hard to see him win another French- or Australian Open. The conditions at Wimbledon and the US Open are more favorable. Of course an 8th Wimbledon title would be the fairy tale ending. Whichever slam he wins he would be making history, but Wimbledon would just be that extra bit special. It is the Mecca of tennis and where it all started for him. It is the greatest tournament ever and if Roger wins the most Wimbledon titles ever he would surely be the greatest tennis player ever. If that happens it will surely be damn hard for Nadal to surpass him. But even if Nadal does surpass him by winning 6 more slams(which seems unlikely) Roger’s legacy will be forever cemented as peRFection.

There is of course no guarantee he can do it. It seems unlikely at this point, but one can dream right? I have written mostly about Roger and his tennis in my anniversary post which is perhaps fitting. I thought I’d write more about my blog itself but this post has already gotten long. Let me just say that the last few months have been the most testing time my blog have gone through since the 2009 Australian Open. 2013 has been a testing year as a Fedfan where our loyalty and faith got tested like never before. Around the beginning of the indoor season I started noticing less comments from my readers. I could not figure out what the reason was. Was it because the lively Veronica had mysteriously disappeared? Was it because I gave Roger a kind of ‘deadline’? Or was it just because Roger had been struggling so much in 2013?

A legend among legends

It was somewhat disappointing but I have since realized it was mostly due to Roger’s on court struggle, which is understandable. It is hard to remain enthusiastic when things hit rock bottom. But lets face it Roger did a great job of starting to change the momentum during the indoor season. I am happy with how things turned out and I am excited about 2014. On a personal note I will be going to Thailand to teach English in January and will be doing an intensive English teaching course starting in the second week of the Australian Open. So don’t expect any posts from me then. Hopefully after that things will settle down some and I can start blogging again. But I will do something I have never done before and will be putting a lot of work into it, so I can’t promise anything. My blog survived me going to work in the US so lets hope it can survive Thailand too.

A lot of that may depend on you too. I have tried carrying you guys in the last couple of months and maybe you will need to do the same for me at the beginning of next year. I just wana thank you all for reading my blog and participating with comments. It seems fitting that I have 992,028 all time blog views as I’m writing this post, and there is a good chance I will pass a million blog views before the end of the year. It has been a terrific spell for my blog over the last 5 years. There have been some incredible highs, as well as lows. I started my blog when Roger had reached the end of his prime and it has been an interesting period where Roger broke countless records and proved countless critics wrong. Roger has won 4 slams since I started this blog and each one has been an absolute triumph.

In that time he also returned to #1 twice and broke the record for the most number of weeks in the top spot. He won 2 more Masters Cups to break the record held by Sampras and Lendl. He completed the career slam and broke Sampras’ slam record. He equaled Agassi’s record 4 Australian Open titles. He equaled Sampras’ 7 Wimbledon titles. He extended his semi-final streak at slams to 23, and his quarter final streak to 36. He won 20 more titles. These are just a few of the amazing things he has been able to achieve in the last 5 years. And he is not done! I would still like to see that 18th slam at Wimbledon, but like I said it’s anyone’s guess whether he will be able to pull that off. He is Roger Federer though. He can probably do it. I just want to thank all my readers again for helping to make this blog what it is. This post is as much for you as it is for me and Roger.

Sweet 16

I couldn’t have done it without your support. I don’t like to call names out because everyone plays a part, but I do feel like I have a bit of an obligation to thank some of my long time readers who forms a kind of core group. Readers like Chris, Steve, Dolores, Wilfried, and Veronica(who sadly has been absent for some time now and will hopefully see this post and comment), have been with my blog for a long time and have been loyal supporters and big contributors. I already mentioned Johnny. A special thanks to you guys. Your support means a lot to me. I know there are many of you who have followed my blog for a long time as well who have only commented once or twice, or never. You guys are just as important. It’s always a thrill when someone leaves me a comment and they say something along the lines of having followed my blog for years or never having missed a post.

This blog is something I am very proud of because it seems I have created something here which is meaningful because it is valuable to many people. That is probably the single most rewarding thing for me about this blog. The last 5 years have not been the most exciting or most eventful time of my life, and this blog is what kept me going. I didn’t find anything as far as a job is concerned that I was passionate about. So this blog was an outlet for my passion for tennis. Even though I couldn’t make a living off blogging at least I created something of value for people. Money is not everything anyway. It’s more important that you feel good about what you do and to add value to other people’s lives. I know I have my shortcomings and can probably seem very grumpy and egotistical at times, but at least I am honest and objective.

People get the wrong impression about this blog. They think it’s just another fan blog because of the name. But I have always stated that this is first of all a tennis blog, and second a Federer blog. I have always tried to be brutally honest. I have been Roger biggest fan as well as his worst critic. The fact that I have been so brutally honest and objective have no doubt chased away many a Fedfan from my blog, but telling it like it is have always been more important than having a lot of readers to me. Without authenticity popularity means nothing. I don’t have time for the fanatical type. I am not a blind worshiper who can’t find any fault with his favorite. I have always thought Roger is a great role model and ambassador for the sport, but he is not even my idol. I feel more like I’m on equal footing with him.

Is there one more left…?

I have always felt a strange connection with Roger. Of course Roger has a South African mom while I am from South Africa as well. But it’s not really that. When I watch his matches I can sense when he is going to slump or peak. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t want to watch his matches, because whenever I get bored during the match and start to lose interest he does the exact same. It probably sounds extremely superstitious but it is uncanny how it happens. Like Roger I have a sense for the dramatic, and I get bored with things easily. I think because Roger is so talented this tends to happen with him too. We have seen it time and time again in the latter part of his career. It clearly doesn’t make things easy on us fans. A match like the Del Potro match in London this year for instance leaves you tired and emotionally drained.

But at the same time it is thrilling and exciting. It’s all part and parcel of being a fan of past prime Roger. It has been a very emotional 5 years that’s for sure. It has also been a very rewarding 5 years as a fan. I have always felt that being a Fedfan is the most privileged position you can be in as a fan of any sport. Overall Roger’s career has been a fairy tale, and I would love for him to have a fairy tale ending to a fairy tale career by winning Wimbledon one more time. But if he does not it would still have been an unbelievable career. Now onto something a little more serious. I want to discourage the doping accusations toward Nadal from here on(yes Rich, that goes for you as well). I know I have been guilty of this myself in the past, but there are two reasons I want it to stop: (1) we don’t have any hard proof and (2) it reflects poorly on Fedfans and this blog.

If Nadal is doping he will surely suffer the consequences at some point. It is not our job to make that happen. We would be well advised to support Roger and enjoy what is left of his incredible career. It is always better to focus on the positive. We must remain righteous in our thoughts and actions if we want to endure. Cheating and dishonesty on the other hand never endures. Lets just leave it at that. Well I think I have said more or less what I wanted to say. We will just have to see what 2014 have in store for us. I am kind of entering a new phase in my life now where a lot of things will change again. My going to the US was just the beginning and I have big plans for the future. But a lot of things will stay the same as well. And hopefully one of them will be this blog. We never quite know what life has in store for us which is what keeps it interesting.

But whatever happens I thank you for a great 5 years. It was a blast and I wish you all the best!

Posted in Uncategorized.

58 Comments

  1. Hey Ru-an, haven’t read the article yet (am at work) but wanted to be the first to congratulate you !!!
    Up for another atleast 5 years !!!
    Allez Roger & Ru-an !!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Katyani I appreciate it.

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  2. Hi Ruan, Congrats on 5 year completion of this unique blog!!! Also thank you for starting this very nice blog for all of us Federer fans. I hope you’ll keep blogging.
    And all the very best to your future endeavor :-)

    PS: Veronica is back. She posted a LONG comment on your last post :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the comment on my last post Girish. And yes I saw Veronica’s comment. I’ll wait for her to comment here.

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    veronica Reply:

    Guardian Angels are for life, Ru-an!! Thanks, Girish, for the mention!! Our posts must have crossed, Ru-an! We both didn’t see each other coming. Ha! Angelica has been watching over you these testing months; and she weeps with you, walks with you and…. gosh! you are walking ahead of her now! Do you even need her anymore??!!! What an absolutely beautiful piece, Ru-an!! Happy 5 years old and many many happy returns of the day!! This is not just an excellent written history of Roger and your blog through these 5 years but your personality permeates through every word! I didn’t just enjoy reading the well-planned, thoughtful and orderly factual details, I found myself drawn to the writer! What a life you’ve had, Ru-an. All those struggles, uncertainties, loneliness, gosh! I’m crying. And yet you remain grounded, you do not pretend to be perfect, and you plod on with this blog! Just like our Roger! You and Roger certainly have a thing going on between you, don’t you?! This blog is a labour of love as Steve so aptly described it and must have taken a lot out of you, especially this post. I really really appreciate you, Ru-an! And you are so right. When you are gone, you bet you will be talked about as Ru-an, THE person, THE goat blogger; NOT how much money you made. (so you can go ahead and make all the money in the world and a career of yourself but NOBODY will talk about that about you!! No! it will always be Ru-an, THE person, THE goat blogger! Ru-an, you have already created your legacy. The rest is gravy. RESPECT.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi stranger. Thanks for the nice words. I read your other comment too. I’m sorry you are feeling under the weather. Your optimism and moral support have been missed in the last couple of months. It was a bit of a dry spell as far as comment activity went but it is great to have you back anyway. You know you are one of the core group and this blog can’t function properly without you, right? Seriously though I really appreciate your words. You always had a special ability of reading between the lines and getting into my soul. Yes, soul! I guess you just have a way with people. I’m sure part of the reason why there were less comments was because of your absence. People get sick of my cold and calculated demeanor. Haha. You are needed to balance me out! Please don’t stay away for such a long time again!

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    veronica Reply:

    Balance you out?!! Haha! Part of the appeal of this blog is the authenticity of the author – a pissed off, smart alec, cold and calculated Ru-an makes my day!!!! Hehehe!!! Then I get all worked up as Vily begins his prophesy as V puts on the brakes and Wilfried backs up the stats as Rich pushes his D theories down anyone whose throats are opened and then Big Brother Steve calms down every throat with his optimistic lozenges and along comes passionate Katyani with her destiny thesis, with brother Jiten running all the way from India trying to keep up with her and then Susan Brown gave up everything for Cincy for that is where her love is, then Veronica goes on a word rampage and Summary Sue came along and cut every word down to size. Vily then opened Prophesy chapter two which turned into Apocalypse Now. Fedfan, Dave and Feddybear sang in chorus, “The King is not dead!” as Dippy gave her two cents to second the motion. Gary’s had enough and went for a drink looking for Muhammed (Where is he? Is he still hitting his head against the wall?) It was time indeed to bring on Gandalf Dolores and she whispers, “kindly, kindly” and everyone calms down as Chris, the Swiss knight, saunters in with his objective neutrality but Johnny wins it all coz he was the FIRST and everyone takes a bow!! My tribute to all you beautiful commentators, whether you are named or unnamed, who made and carried this blog with Ru-an all through these 5 years!! Thank you! It has been a privilege to meet all of you!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hahaha you cracked me up with summing everyone up. I thought it was pretty damn accurate too. The description of Vily was especially funny! You have a way of bringing everyone together here and you certainly show a certain appreciation for my blogging unlike anyone else. You definitely inspire me, so blogging was less fun when you were gone!

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    Chris Reply:

    Gosh, Veronica, don’t do that, we’ve been worried about you! Good to have you back!

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  3. Hello Ru-an, have never posted before so if my post isn’t up to the high standards of your regulars I apologise! As you can tell by my last sentence I follow and look forward to reading your thoughts on this wonderful tennis player Federer….He is by far the most magical player to watch. I am old enough to remember so many of the greats and by far Roger is the greatest. Having said this although I don’t enjoy watching Nadal his mental toughness is second to none, and even if he manages to surpass Fed in numbers that won’t make him the greatest. Because it’s not the numbers people remember Mcenroe for(maybe his mouth). So Sir after all this rambling I would just like to thank you for many hours reading , and to wish you well in all your future endeavours…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Scotland x

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Elizabeth I wish you well too.

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  4. What a milestone! Happy 5th Anniversary and many more 5 years to come. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dippy Merry Christmas.

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  5. Hi, Ruans…congratulations on completeing Fabulous Five..

    I have been fedfan since 2008 and i always feel positive abgt roger whenever i read your blog.you are a great blogger may be best federer blog that i’ve read…

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Good to know Dharmesh thanks for the follow.

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  6. Hey, Ru-an! Congratulations! I have been with you since 2009 and I am proud to say that this is the best Federer blog ever. It’s the first place I go to after every match that Roger plays. It’s a true testament to the quality of this blog and its blogger. :-)

    We’ve shared a lot of good and bad memories together but that can only reflect how life works – peaks and valleys, right!

    It has been an amazing journey and I hope that it will go on for a bit more.

    Congratulations, Ru-an!

    Vily

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    You have been reading my blog since 2009? I don’t think you were leaving comments until recently? Thanks anyway I appreciate the words.

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  7. Hi Ruan,
    I never had the privilege to watch Roger play(ing) in a tennis avenue ‘life’ like you and many of your readers. Reading your blog has however given me the opportunity to have my own “Federer experience”, and I’m grateful for that.
    You didn’t sneak in ‘my life’ through the backdoor like a thief would do, you know, but nevertheless managed to turn things upside down in me a bit with your insightful, fascinating and sometimes very emotional posts which made me shed some tears occasionally.
    I hope God may bless you in whatever endeavor you undertake, and also wish you’ll still find some time for blogging.
    Kindly,
    Wilfried

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hello Wilfried I appreciate the loyal following. I have put quite a lot of emotion into being a Fedfan and in my posts but I didn’t know it brought people to tears. I really hope you still get to see Roger play live. I was lucky enough to do so in 2001 when he played your countryman Malisse at Wimbledon. Pretty amazing tennis it was.

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    veronica Reply:

    I always feel awefully sad for Fedfans who have never seen him live and wished I had a magic wand to get Roger to play in front of them!! With a bit of luck you just might get to see him play, Wilfried! – it required so much forward planning and headaches on my part to be able to see him live. Although AO happens every year in my country, I’ve really only seen him twice. But since last year, I have resolved to see him every year he comes and nothing is going to come in my way!!! OK, Wilfried, you are in my prayer list; that you will get to see Roger live at least once before he retires! It will happen, Wilfried!!

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    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Veronica, what about me?? I buy, especially to see the “love of my life”, both the SF tickets at ATP Rotterdam (to make sure that I don’t miss his match) and what does Roger do?? He gets defeated in the QF !!! And now I learn that Roger will not play Rotterdam next year !!! What about me sweet Veronica??
    But…… I have not and will not give up on seeing Roger. If he will not come to Holland in 2014, I will wait for him in 2015…2016….2017…. as long as it takes….
    If Roger is stubborn, than so I am… he has to come to Holland…

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    And.. here she comes! Dutch Dynamite!! Sis, at the rate you are going, Roger wouldn’t be able to get away from you!! Aww.. that QF loss must have been heartbreaking! I do consider not being able to see Roger live at least once in the lifetime of a tennis fan as…. tragic! Ha! Truly, there will never be another successful, consistent and dominant tennis ballerina like him EVER! That is why I feel there is an urgency now for Fedfans to “go to the ends of the world” to catch him before he retires. Why don’t you try other European tourneys that Roger plays? There are PLENTY in Europe, the FO and Bercy, for a start; not to mention Wimby which is certainly not too far off for you! If I were in Europe, I would be stalking Roger!! Hehe! Don’t work so hard, sis! Take a break and plan that next holiday to Wimby! Who knows you just might meet Wilfried there!!!

    [Reply]

    Wilfried Reply:

    Thanks for your kind comment, Veronica.
    I’m one of those who are very happy to have you back here commenting on Ruans Federerblog.
    My dream is to see Roger play ‘live’ at Wimbledon.
    Perhaps things work out well this year for me and make that dream come true.

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    Jiten Reply:

    I went to Wimbledon 2010 to watch Federer live in the QF match for which I could not procure center court ticket despite queuing up from 5:30 am in the serpentine. Just could not arrive earlier than that as I arrived at London only the previous night at around midnight. I was too tired and scared to come out of hotel alone for the Wimbledon site at midnight hours as it was only my first (and only) visit to London. However, I could manage a groundpass and watched the QF match on that big screen from what they now call as Murray Mountain. And what do I get to see? The heartbreaking loss of Federer to Birdshit. So Katyani and Wilfried, you are not alone. I am still hoping and I still believe, if I am destined to watch Fed live in person, I WILL be doing that some day. Oh, what a fabulous day it will be!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    That’s the spirit Jiten. With that attitude you will see him in no time. The key is to visualize it and form a picture of it in your mind, and have full faith that it will happen. You seem to have all of that covered so I have no doubt you will see him. I feel very fortunate to have seen him. Back in 2001 I wasn’t even a Fedfan! I was still an Agassi fan and when I had to choose on QF between center court and court 1 I chose court 1 where Agassi played Escude and Rafter played Enquist, while Roger was playing Henman on center court and Ivanesevic was playing Safin! At least I saw a match that Roger won and it was a classic match between two extremely talented players.

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    Jiten Reply:

    I forgot to add: I went to London all the way from India.

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    veronica Reply:

    Hahaha! Bro! Love your story!! What lousy timing, eh? Gosh! you must have been absolutely gutted! – spending all that money and energy and what did you get? ….The ALL-TIME horror show of Roger being Birdsh@@#!!! I prefer to wipe that match out of my memory forever.It didn’t happen.Total denial.

    [Reply]

    veronica Reply:

    It will work out Wilfried if you work towards it!! I know it’s not easy; work, family, etc. I tried two times for Wimby, still NO luck. Was too early in 2012 and this year, was too late!! But in a way I’m glad I missed it this year, it would have been unmendable heartbreak for me if I had watched that Starkovsky match….aaahh! still giving me nightmares, that one…..

    [Reply]

  8. Hello Ru-an, Oh, what a great occasion, your 5th Anniversary of your great blog, Roger Federer. Congratulations! Am so very happy for you, wish you many more years of tennis blogging, my very best wishes in your future life, Ru-an. Have much learned from you in the game of tennis, thankful to have found you several years ago.
    Roger is our hero, loved all over the world.
    Best of wishes to you and all Fedfans.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Dolores it was always good to have you around. You are clearly one of the most unique and loyal followers of my blog. Thanks again.

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  9. Congrats on your 5th year anniversary Ru-an. I always look forward to reading your blog. In good times or bad times I am a Roger fan for life. Sometimes I wish I could rewind the last ten years and enjoy every tournament that Roger has been in. To me his style of play is what it should be not what we see from other players. I am not a fan of Nadal or Novak and never will be. I want Roger to keep playing as long as he can and wish him the best of luck this coming year. I do hope you will continue with this blog and keep us informed of the latest Roger news.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Chris I will do my best.

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  10. Ru-an, congratulations on your five-year anniversary. I have to add my voice to the comments of those like Jiten, Katyani, Dolores, Wilfried, and everyone else who urged you to continue. Your voice is very distinctive, always frank and blunt and passionate. It’s very clear that this blog is a labor of love and I think that’s one of the things that makes it so special. I always enjoy reading what you have to say, whether it’s after a big win or a tough loss.

    Your blog is a great place to meet spirited Federer fans and talk about our favorite player. I’ve had great fun posting and reading people’s posts too. I hope you keep it up for many years to come.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    It’s been fun to have you around too Steve. People certainly seem to love your comments and they are always well articulated and optimistic. You have no doubt been one of the stalwarts of this blog.

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  11. I am a long time reader here but almost never post. As I feel I have nothing to add to the intelligent exchanges here. But Ruan, this blog has enriched my experience immensely as a Federer fan. On this milestone of an occasion, 5th anniversary, I want to say thanks for that. And I like to wish you the all the best in Thailand (one of most favorite countries)! Hope you’ll find some tennis related work there too.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Kit. Thailand does seem like a very interesting country. I hear they are incredibly welcoming to foreigners and from what I’ve seen it is beautiful there. Don’t worry about not posting often. Your presence is as important as any reader. If there wasn’t people like you reading there would be no point in writing! It’s great to know I have helped to enrich your experience as a Fedfan and I hope I can keep doing so!

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    veronica Reply:

    I will add to that, Kit! Thailand is a beautiful country and its people are just wonderful – welcoming, very polite, and humble. Plus food is great and things are really cheap. I am SURE you will love it there, Ru-an! Generally, Asian countries are pretty hospitable and they just love Westerners. There also seems to be a dire need for English teachers there; so you have made an excellent choice and decision Ru-an! My relative married a Japanese girl after teaching English for 2 years in Japan! A guy friend went to Thailand and came back with a Thai girl!! So I wouldn’t be too surprised if a certain goat blogger starts blogging in Thai soon!! Hahaha! A couple of years ago, I did play with the idea of going overseas to teach English too! All the best Ru-an! A word of caution – although you get lovely people in Thailand, like every city in the world, there will also be the dodgy ones. You will love the Thais and they will love you back; but being a foreigner, take care you do not become a sweet target for lesser honest ones. Just my two cents, your Guardian Angel

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks for the advice Mirka. I will sure try to remember that. I like what I’ve seen and heard about Thailand and I’m looking forward to going. I will also be closer to Australia so who knows maybe I could finally go to my favorite slam at the AO at some point!

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  12. A very very happy 5th anniversary Ru-an. My apology for the belated wish. Caught up with end-sem grading: 624 students! Anyway, I would just sum up your blog with one sentence “Life as a Fedfan would have been dull without your blog”. And I really mean every word of it. Keep up the great work Ru-an. We really need your tonic. Probably Federer himself would have been incomplete without your spot on analysis.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha that’s very nice of you to say Jiten. I probably couldn’t receive a nicer comment so thanks!

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  13. Well done Ruan.You should be really proud of your blog.I hope you keep this amazing blog going for another five years.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I hope so too! I am enjoying my blogging more than ever and I think I am a better blogger than ever. I guess a lot depends on people’s enthusiasm and involvement as well. I hope people don’t lose interest in the latter part of Roger’s career.

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  14. Hello Ru-an,

    Congratulations for your 5th Anniversary of your wonderful blog!

    I wish I could rewind the time and become a RF fan before Australia Open 2008. I really cannot understand how could have I missed Fed before 2008.

    Thank you for writng the best federer blog !
    I hope you keep it up until 2016, at least.

    And all the best in Thailand !

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20120330-the-secrets-of-thailands-islands

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Rahan. Yes prime Fed was something special. I was still playing tennis myself at that point and therefor couldn’t follow it as much as I do these days, but I saw most of his big matches. The he destroyed the best players out there and made it look effortless at the same time was insane. Definitely the most dominant player in history in his prime. No one comes close to the level he showed during that time in terms of quality and consistency. Just unreal. Thanks for the link.

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  15. Lovely to read this and Veronica’s tribute. Congratulations and I wish a generous increase in your reader base during the new year. Thanks Ru-uan. And thanks to the others here for their insight.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks to you too Grumpy. You’ve been another great addition to this blog of late. I enjoy your comments.

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  16. Congratulations Ru-an!
    I’m in the group of long-time reader and while I’ve always loved reading through your posts, comments are rare. I guess I feel my opinion isn’t quite as valid! Put it this way, I’m too young to remember Pistol Pete’s last slam haha
    Anyway, this really is a fantastic blog, the passion in your words and the time you selflessly invest is there for all to see. I’m merely echoing what Steve, Jiten, Dolores, among countless others are saying here. Keep it up and best of luck with everything to be coming your way!
    Now since this is a celebration I’ll share this: I’ve been lucky enough to see the G.O.A.T play twice, and I remember reading your latest post in the stands waiting for Roger to come on. Both times it worked a treat! Firstly with JesusFed against Berdych, Bercy 2011, where I met probably the most passionate FedFans outside of this blog, my voice was gone for days after!
    And again against Raonic, Halle 2012, a proper Roger 3.0 performance if I ever saw one, and right before #17 too! Thinking about 2014 I always cast my mind back to Halle, how I saw the intensity in his eyes that day with my own, I knew something big was on the horizon and it came. That same intensity was there against Del Potro in London last month albeit in a different way. The Del Potro win was a more monumental win of course! Once he catches up with his training and the back allows him to push forward and play his aggressive best, he can make a real charge I’m sure.
    Congratulations again, here’s to another 5 years and #18!
    By the way your message on Nadal should be echoed for all FedFans to hear.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Well it’s nice to hear from young readers as well Tom. I like to have readers from all age groups, which seems to be the case. And don’t think your opinion is not valid. It certainly is. I find the story about reading my blog in the stands before the match with Berdych interesting. You sure saw two very good matches from Fed 3.0. Now lets hope there is a Fed 4.0 on the horizon in 2014!

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    Tom Reply:

    Thanks, much appreciated! Yes Bercy was a lot of fun, helped of course with how Roger played… he just toyed with Berdych! I remember one shot in particular, this ridiculous open stance backhand pass he hit and the crowd nearly blew the roof off ha, no one does it better.
    Ooh you mention Roger 4.0, I have tickets for Madrid in 2014 so maybe he can relive his 2009 glories? Knowing my luck I’ll get a Nadal match, but I shouldn’t complain! I’ve been VERY lucky to see him twice already.

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    veronica Reply:

    Tom! Young?! What young?! Pistol Pete?! Who is he?! I don’t know him either! Or Agassi or Laver…. And you watched Roger 3.0 twice!! That is NOT fair!!! Haha! Love your comments, Tom! Stay!

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  17. Guys,

    I moved into my new house 2 weeks ago, and have been swamped with work to do, and my job. Therefore, I haven’t been around. Congrats Ruan, on the 5 year anniversary. You do a great job, as you have been told by all of us. And yes, Vily causes me to drink. LOL, G

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Gary don’t think I have forgotten about you. You must have been with me for a long time as well. I always enjoy your comments. Your last sentence totally cracked me up…

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  18. As Jiten and so many readers have testified already, Ru-an, being a Fedfan in your blog has certainly not been dull and definitely more exciting. I do not do regrets BUT, like Rahan, not following Roger in his prime is one regret I shall NEVER get over! Not one day passes by without me wishing I can turn back the clock to 2003-2007 and I would be sitting glued to my TV as the world passes me by; who cares?! Roger Federer is playing! It was really great to read your recap of the important moments from 2008 as I do not know much pre 2010 although I started seriously following Roger after Madrid 2009. Picket Fence was one of the first blogs I followed although I never commented there. Then I stumbled upon your blog and I remember distinctly my first opinion of your blog, “hmm…this guy is too serious, too business-like, I don’t like him!” Haha! I preferred to be “entertained” at Picket Fence but then the language they use over there got to me and I went back to “that serious guy with the sombre grey blog!” Before I knew it, I was hooked and started commenting! What stood out for me in your blog (besides being SO serious! Ha!) was the civility, intelligence, knowledge, respect, class. Btw, Vily,if you are reading this, I hope you don’t regret your prophecies! You must have had a hard time being shot left right and centre! For me, it just shows you cared and how passionate a fan you are!! And who has not ever made a wrong prediction, huh??!!! I hope you are not offended with my picking you as the “star” of my tribute above! There wouldn’t be a tribute without you, you know! Ha! I am really really excited for 2014. Why is Roger taking so long in releasing his new schedule? Have you all read his interview with Credit Suisse? He sounded good, pretty realistic and let in a bit more about his injuries. I feel good after I read it. And…he is testing a new racket!!! I hope he will turn it up to 9.3/5. I thought 9.8 was a bit overboard. 9.3 maybe the best; its just a bit more and shouldn’t take too long to adjust to and yet provide a bigger sweet spot, even if slightly so. Two things we need to keep our fingers crossed for Roger : His back and his head!! Altogether Now! Everybody! – CROSS! And do not uncross until Roger gets his 18th!!!!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha I remember you were at Dootsiez’s blog first. I have no doubt always been very serious. But I think I have loosened up a bit of late too. I like using a bit of sarcasm in my posts of late. I bet many people have felt like you did when first visiting my blog. That is why my blog is not for everyone. I would say my blog is for people who knows their tennis and isn’t afraid to face the truth. I see too many fans who just want to hear good things about their idol and can’t stand any criticism at all. I like to analyze things in a logical manner and get down to the truth, whatever it may be. I like to think that I know a lot about tennis and that people who can appreciate my posts need to have at least a certain basic tennis knowledge. Some of you are highly educated in tennis. I like to be challenged as well, because I know I’m not always right. I don’t want just a bunch of yes-men as followers either. I like to have a discussion with intelligent people and exchange ideas. But it’s not all that serious. I do like to crack a joke now and then to keep it light. As for Vily don’t worry about him he can take the punch. He’s a big boy! Haha.

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  19. Happy anniversary, I had to wait until 4 December though! Thanks for creating this space and for bringing all these people together! As I said previously, the GOAT fan experience is only complete when reading the GOAT blogger! And finding a bunch of people that think the same about Nadal is priceless :-) Enjoy Thailand!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I could have waited until 4 December but there was a reason I did it 2 days earlier. I was wondering where you were but you were right to wait until the right day. My blog is now officially 5 years old! I think it was you that first called me GOAT blogger? I was going to say something about that in my post because it’s something that I appreciate and value, but I ended up leaving it out. Anyway thanks for all your great support GOAT commenter. This anniversary wouldn’t have been complete without a comment from you!

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  20. Dear Ruan,

    thank you again for your effort in maintaining this blog. I really love reading it because you seem to be very genuine. I was wondering a bit about your comment that people commented less in the last few months and whether it’s because of Fed’s bad season.

    I think it might be, beause it’s kind of painful to dwell too much on these kind of losses. Especially when this loss came right after another loss and people maybe tried to keep their hope up, only to be disappointed.

    But… I don’t think, it’s because people would lose interest in Fed. He is still very much loved and maybe more so now then ever before, because he shows such vulnerability, it’s painful. He even wins new fans now in his worst year ever. (Yeah, that’s me!) I had not been following tennis for many years because it’s almost never shown on TV in my country. Weirdly enough, I already had some connection to Fed, even before I started following him (and tennis by association). Some time ago, I went to Munich Oktoberfest and we shared a table with people from Switzerland. They commented on the stunning likeness of my husband to Roger Federer (even though he is built much heavier, haha!) and even wanted to take pictures with him! I thought that was quite funny.

    Now they showed some Wimbledon this year on TV (it was the women’s final) and I was surprised there was no grunting (hate all kind of grunting, it’s cheating, pure and simple and should be banned!) and it was even watchable. I started to watch some other matches and what can I say? I fell in love with the beauty and elegance of Fed’s game. Something neither Nadal nor Djokovici can get even close to in my eyes. It helps he does look a bit like my husband though, haha, and they are of a similar age too, to draw me in that much more emotionally. :)) )

    On Nadal and the suspicions: I know, you said you don’t want to hear anything about it because it spells sore losers and I kind of agree. Now imagine a scenario where rivals of Nadal knew that something suspicious were going on. They still could not say anything publicly because he would be branded as sore losers, thus possibly perpetuating this state of affair.

    And so… even though he was not caught red-handed and it’s not very likely all considered that he will be, people believe what they have to believe and it’s hard for me to say anything on Nadal because I honestly believe he’s on to something. It’s also kind of hard to comment on Fed without saying something on Nadal, seeing as their lives are so connected, seeing Nadal so often in his way and causing so much heartbreak. So I hope you understand the difficulty I experience, even though it’s very difficult to express and I might not have chosen the right words. I mean, whatever I believe about him, I don’t hate Nadal, he is what he is.

    I wish you fun teaching English; it’s a great experience being abroad teaching. I did that myself and it was the best time of my life. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Ute, I very much enjoyed reading your comment. Yes I understand why people commented less. Probably my own vibes wasn’t too good either because I had lost some faith in Roger. But a lot of that is back now. And it’s true what you say about people liking him even more because they see a vulnerable side of him. My blog’s traffic is actually still increasing all this time, so it definitely doesn’t look like people are losing interest. If I didn’t stop blogging for a while when I went to the US and put a bit more effort in over the years who knows what my traffic would look like now. I definitely would have been way past a million views. But like I said it’s not all about the traffic and popularity of my blog. I agree with you that grunting is cheating and should be banned. Maybe not so much on the men’s side but on the women’s side it’s really bad and annoying. As far as Nadal goes I know what you mean. It is very hard not to say anything. I just feel we need to have that discipline. If we keep bringing that up we look like sore losers. I can’t allow that. It also takes the focus of Roger’s achievements, like we are already making excuses for why Nadal is going to surpass him. It’s not sure that Nadal will surpass him and it’s not sure that Roger can’t win another slam. It’s better to focus on a good 2014 season for Roger and just forget all the negativity in 2013. A lot of that is my own fault and that’s why I wana stop it. Funny story about your husband. I bet many women are jealous of you haha.

    [Reply]

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