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Roger Federer – Greatness Knows no Age

By Thomas Shubert

Feeling Down?

Well folks, it was inevitable that Federer’s tournament would come to completion.  Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz has always been a very dangerous player and seemed to float past everyone’s radar as the 14th seed.  He is also well coached by American Craig Boynton.  Craig is no stranger to Roger’s game either, having faced him numerous times in the past with his former charge, John Isner and Mardy Fish.

This brings me back almost 10 years to an Indian Wells final when Federer managed to dismantle Isner’s biggest serves in a closely contested match.  In that regard, I’m sure Craig deserves his day in the sun!  And I hope he’s still involved with Solinco Sports!  I’m also supposing that after 10 years of general advancement of tennis, natural physical decay/development, and inspiration to play one’s idol on the biggest stage, the recipe was ripe for Hurkacz to strike – He didn’t disappoint.

So now the gutted feeling and dread that so many tennis fans might be feeling right about now.  Take it from me, being distanced from the results is actually a good thing.  Imagine if you had this experience:  The year was 2010, and I was with my college team at Wimbledon with Center Court and Court 1 tickets (yes we were a very lucky bunch thanks to our coach, Brad Pearce).  My team and I rotated the tickets so everyone got a chance to watch the center court matches.  Lo and behold it was my turn to enter the grandest court in the entire world to watch none other than Roger Federer from basically next to the royal box.  I proceeded to watch him get bulldozed in a set 6-1 by Berdych.  He didn’t win a game when I was watching him.

As a college kid on your first trip to Europe, that was quite a kick in the gut.  I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get another chance to watch him live again!  But subsequently, in the years to follow, I was lucky that more opportunities presented themselves to watch Roger live and witness some really great wins like that Indian Wells final in 2012.  I was also inspired by working on one of the first slow motion videos featuring Roger in an extended setting (at the time video cameras were not that great and access wasn’t easy!).  You can still view that video here on 10sballs.com’s channel where it has received hundreds of thousands of views.

So what I’ve learned is that life is cyclical.  This isn’t really the end.  Roger is undoubtedly going to have the best exhibition tour of any professional athlete ever.  His reputation and moving artwork will draw crowds that we haven’t seen in decades and the tennis business will figure out a way to capitalize.  Let’s face it, we are still writing about this guy 20+ years into his career, and probably will continue to do so another 10 years from now.  Greatness knows no age.