Roger’s The One
Roger Federer’s four set win today gives him sole possession of holding the most men’s Grand Slam singles match wins in the open era. His first round match allowed Federer to tie Jimmy Connors for the honor. I would not make too much of this record. Many players routinely skipped the Australian Open. Connors played the event just two times in his career. Jimbo also skipped the French Open for a period of years. Also, it makes sense that the man with the most Grand Slam titles would be at the top of the match win totals as his career progresses. Jimmy did win his first round match at the 1992 US Open when he was 40 years of age. For Federer to surpass him at 30, is no easy task. Still, Federer likely cares more about winning a seventeenth major much more than he does this record.
Roger Federer’s first match at the French Open (a loss to Patrick Rafter who had apparently just finished a cameo on Baywatch)
Serena Williams’ loss reminds me that tour veterans often get tighter as their career advances. Serena locked up mentally after failing to close out the match in straight sets. As a tennis player, I know what it is like to see a lead slip away at a park or junior tournament. It feels awful to put it politely. To magnify those stakes by an exponential amount begins to explain what Serena and others on the pro tours face. Professional athletes tend to handle these situations incredibly well. Sometimes they do not. I think Serena has proven she can still win tennis’ biggest prizes during this clay season despite this early exit. I think she will bring home at least one big prize at either Wimbledon or the London Olympics.