Australian Open 2011 - The first grand slam of the season has already started Down Under. What would I give to be in Australia right now. There are many records on line with this Slam. It seems these days whatever Roger and Rafa are winning, they create some or the other record. So what new about this one you will ask me? whats so special about it.
If you look at it, nothing much really. but for me its really important. If Roger wins this, then he will be the first person to win 5 Australian Open titles. Also First player to win 3 different slams 5 times. That in itself is no mean feat.
Now another aspect of this AO is if Rafa wins it then he will be the first man to win all 4 Grand slams (though not in single calender year but a very BIG achievement nonetheless) at the same time after 42 years from when Laver hold this honour.
Now lets talk about the rest of the field. Djokovic is surely looking for his second Grand slam and second AO title. He is surely fired up after Serbia's Davis cup win. Andy Murray is still waiting for that 'First Grand Slam'. This year he seems to be having less pressure from British media than usual so he can flourish too. The other dangerous opponents are Soderling,berdych, Delpo (though he is just back from injury so if he wins it then its a miracle).
Now though the analysis and stakes are as high as any of the grand slams in recent years, why it is making so much of difference to me. The reason is purely Fereder's loss in 2009 AO. Since 2008 AO has been a throbbing wound for me. Nole played brilliant that year in the SF and Federer was left stranded. Though he was recovering from mono at that time which made his season one of the 'Oh so not great seaons' by his standard.(Though if I was a tennis player, I would gladly take such season as my best if I win one slam, lost in 2 other slam finals and 1 semifinal. But of course I am not Roger). So people started telling me Roger federer is done and dusted. Then next year in AO 2009 came the crushing blow.That year I was behaving very superstitious. So I was not watching the match Live. Though the stream was on my laptop I was just listening to the commentary and was following BBC's live text. So every unforced error, every point lost was like needle prick. Still I was there telling myself that this is just a game and nothing more. When Roger lost, I was still fine. But during the presentation ceremony when Roger broke down, I couldn't help but break down with him
When he said ' God this is killing me' then I am sure all Fed fans around the world felt the same. I still remember the feeling as someone is plunging a knife into my hear.Though he won last year's AO, every year the AO will undoubtedly return these memories.
I don't want to do this post as negative factor. The only point here is this outbreak showed the world how much this guy loves this sport. How much he puts into each and every match(no disrespect for all the other players please), how much this means to him. And so as a player this AO record is important to him. He can add to his tally of maximum GS too.
Over the period of time, Roger has become like a family. I was overjoyed with his each and every win and saddened by each and every defeat. Its like he is an integral part of the family. I celebrate all his joys/sorrows the way I would do for my family, my friends.That's why the above pic is the hardest blow for me as no one wants to see their Family/friend hurting so much.
Thats why this AO is important for me. This year its revenge time. A win here (preferably over Rafa) will make me treat AO as any other slam in future and will somehow help me to get over AO 2009. So all the best Rog, remove all the scars of AO 2009 from all ur fans' hearts and give me an opportunity to feel immense joy for you, my friend.