From my son-in-law, great friend, former prominent Egyptian junior tennis player, and superb tennis analyst who months ago predicted uncannily the decline of Nadal and the corresponding excellent adventure of Novak Djokovic in saving classic tennis.
Abdel’s reflections as follow:
Wimbledon, July 10, 2015.
—I still can’t believe the quality of tennis that Federer and Murray produced today (in the Gentleman’s semifinals).
—Federer said it was one of his best matches ever. Certainly it was his best service performance ever–the stats are incredible.
—Some believe what I suspected as I watched point after point and winner after winner at the end of the second set: that 14-minute, 14–second game to close the second set might well be the greatest game ever played.
—Federer has turned back the clock. Today, he looked like that religious-experience Federer of 2006. He seldom missed a shot. This master, maestro, super athlete, has left us all hypnotized by his win over Murray. Now many are tipping him to win on Sunday, especially with rumors of a rainy final, for the record shows Federer to be almost invincible when playing under closed roofs in major tennis arenas.
—Federer is my choice for greatest player of all-time. Majestic. Legendary.
—But in his convincing wins in the past few months over Nadal–that pleasant and athletic but herky-jerky affronting stylist spawned by modern racket technology–Novak Djokovic, tennis classicist with no weaknesses in his game, is our hero.
—In the end, pure classic tennis has prevailed.
—This coming Sunday we get to watch the Greatest of All Time fight one more day and perhaps earn his last major. Will he seize this last opportunity and beat Novak one last time, in four sets? I hope so, but if Djokovic produces the better tennis, then all is good.
—Fast forward to 2016. Imagine Federer’s Dream Exit at Wimbledon. If we are lucky, Federer reaches that final. On the other side of the net is again Djokovic, there for the last Final in their Wimbledon Trilogy. Novak is up 5-4 in the fourth and two sets to one. Federer has managed to make the match close, but Novak is winning the rallies. Federer is pounding aces past Djokovic, but Djokovic has that extra gear. Imagine that it is 40/30, match point for Djokovic, and Federer‘s backhand finds the net. Djokovic, the true heir to the throne and the Second Greatest of All Time, has just won his third Wimbledon and twelfth major (having finally won that elusive French Open a few weeks ago). The two gladiators hug at the net. Federer is done. But tennis is in safe hands. Federer points to Djokovic and gives a goodbye speech signaling an end to the true golden era of the sport. Tennis’s Deity hands over the keys to Tennis’s Rescuer.