November 23, 2014
It just had to be Roger, didn’t it? The script demanded that one man alone could clinch the Davis Cup for Switzerland and give us all the climax we craved.
It had been written in the sporting stars and Federer fulfilled the prophecy in sumptuous style.
This was not just any Federer. This was the great man back to his very best, his back injury forgotten, the team and the triumph consuming all his thoughts, the killer instinct and sublime fluency too much for poor Richard Gasquet and France.
The score read 6-4, 6-2, 6-2. The artistry of the tennis behind that score was something to behold, the willpower overwhelming, the hunger that led to the early breaks almost youthful.
Federer had won seventeen Slams but never the Davis Cup. Now his trophy cabinet is complete. Even more important to the man who has everything is the fact that he has given his friends on the team and his country the trophy they wanted so badly.
It was supposed to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga facing Federer but he has injured his elbow.
Gasquet,so popular with the French tennis crowds for his wonderfully flowing one handed backhand, became the surprise replacement. He lacked Tsonga’s power, he had more mental strength but still not enough to compete with Federer. This was not the worried 33-year-old who was all but destroyed by a rampant Gael Monfils on the first day at Lille. This was the imperious Federer of times gone by, the sporting legend in full flow, the array of shots simply extraordinary.
The cow-bells and the party wasn’t limited to the victorious Swiss. There can hardly be a tennis-lover in the world who is not delighted for Federer, unless of course you are French. Even among the French there will be many who are happy for Roger, knowing that they have won the Davis Cup countless times already and history decreed on this occasion that they must bow to Federer’s brilliance.
Today was Federer’s day. This was the day to salute one of the greatest sportsmen of all time, to rejoice in the fact that he has won everything, to marvel at his perfection.