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Video: Roger Federer Cusses at Chair Umpire After Delayed Challenge

Roger Federer has provided two youtubeable moments in the past two days. First he had an incredible between the legs shot to help him beat Novak Djokovic in the semis. Then on Monday he dropped a few cuss words on the chair umpire during his match against Juan Martin del Potro. When you watch the video, consider that Federer had just won the game giving him the 5-4 edge in the 3rd set, thus putting him in position to win. Anyway, here’s the Roger Federer cussing video:

And this whole time I thought he was Swiss, and now I hear him cussing in English? Wassup with that??!! As I pointed out, he was winning at the time so this wasn’t an indication of him being a poor sport, but he was clearly frustrated with the umpires. Earlier in the second set he got screwed on a review by del Potro where the ball really was wide but got overruled and that helped del Potro turn the tides. Additionally, no player should have as long as del Potro had to finally decide to challenge — that was bogus. Federer was upset and he had the right to be so I don’t have a problem with the foul language here, especially since it wasn’t spoken harshly.

Del Potro played very well and dominated Roger with his blazing forehand. Roger also didn’t help his chances by missing half his first serves and some of his seconds, but man, del Potro looked great. If you want to talk about earning a Grand Slam the hard way, del Potro beat Nadal and Federer back-to-back to win his first major — no easy task. He sure earned it and he’ll probably be back for more.

Roger Federer: That’s the Greatest Shot I Ever Hit in My Life

Usually when guys make the between the legs shot, they’re just doing it for show to mess around because they can’t get to the ball. When Roger did it, he did it to produce a passing shot that was better than what he could have done with a forehand. The ball went crosscourt and super low — it was incredible. Just look at the reaction from Novak Djokovic to know all you need to about that shot. Meanwhile Rafael Nadal went out 2, 2, and 2 to del Potro, making his U.S. Open exit prior to the finals like usual.

Federer Winning Majors Without Beating Nadal Raises Questions

Maybe it’s the nature of our society to be critical and look for the negative angle in stories, but on the day that Roger Federer became the first player to win 15 majors, the critics already began chirping. How can Roger be the greatest when he has a losing record to Rafael Nadal? Doesn’t his lone French Open title come with an asterisk because he didn’t have to go through Rafa to get it? And what about winning his 15th title that separated him from Pete Sampras — Nadal, the defending champ, didn’t even play in it because he was injured. How can Federer be the greatest when he lost his top spot in the world to Nadal and only regained it once Rafa was out of the picture?

I’m not a big guy on longevity and instead prefer absolute dominance. For instance, give me Pedro over Maddux any day even though Maddux has many more wins. But for this argument, I’m comfortable saying Roger Federer is the best of all-time. Here’s the reality: you can pick on anyone and find holes in their resume. Sampras wasn’t worth the hair on his ass on clay, Borg never won the U.S., and nobody else won enough to deserve a mention in this conversation. Yes, Nadal appeared to have overtaken Federer last year, but just when he was counted out, fast forward a year and you realize who the last man standing is — Federer. That counts. Roger can’t help that Nadal got knocked out of the French Open and that Nadal plays so hard that he hurts his knees. All Roger can do is beat everyone in front of him — no easy task — and he’s done that. 15 times at majors, more than anyone else.

Just when it looked like Federer’s days on top were ending, he’s now taken over 2009 and made it his year, and he still has one more major to go! Going back to a few more of the arguments, I never felt comfortable with all the majors Steffi Graf won after Monica Seles’ stabbing — Seles had been dominating the scene and had taken over but had her career derailed by a psycho fan. Nadal’s downfall this year is not the result of a crazy fan but of himself and his injuries. Federer, with every obstacle that faces all players in front of him, has managed to make it to the semis of 21 straight majors. Maybe his only problem is he makes it look so damn easy people lose site of realistic expectations.

Video: Pete Sampras Congrats Roger Federer in Nike Commercial

From showing up at Wimbledon to watch Roger Federer in person, to calling him the greatest ever after Roger tied him by winning the French Open, Pete Sampras has been quite gracious in losing his standing as the player who won the most grand slam events. In fact, Nike rolled out the red carpet in their commercial congratulating Roger Federer for winning his record 15th grand slam:

Yes, that’s John McEnroe, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and the rest of your friends at Nike congratulating Fed on the record. That’s a pretty sweet cast to assemble but I guess it’s easy when they’re all pulling in paychecks from the swoosh. Oh yeah, and what does Tiger have to say now that Roger’s passed him up?

Robin Soderling on Facing Roger Federer: Nobody Beats Me 11 Times in a Row

When Roger Federer beat Robin Soderling in the finals of the French Open to win his 14th grand slam title, Soderling injected some humor into his runner-up speech. The Swede was just yoking around when he said this:

With the two set to meet once again, this time in the 4th round at Wimbledon, Soderling could be preparing his “nobody beats me 11 times in a row” speech for after the match. Soderling did upset Rafael Nadal on clay so I guess it’s possible he does the almost equally unthinkable task of knocking out Roger on grass. If he pulls it off, he would be ending one of the more impressive streaks in all of sports: Federer’s reached 20 straight grand slam semifinals. That’s like reaching the Final Four in March Madness 20 years in a row. Impressive.

Can Roger Federer Capitalize on Rafael Nadal’s Biggest Gift?

One of the biggest upsets you’ll see in sports this year occurred over the weekend. Spaniard Rafael Nadal, undefeated in his career and a four-time champion at the French Open, lost in four sets in the fourth round to Robin Soderling. Now the loss isn’t significant because of its impact on Nadal — he was bound to lose at Roland Garros eventually; the loss is most meaningful to former number one player in the world, Roger Federer.

While Federer has enjoyed tremendous success throughout his career, the major knock against him was that he never won the French Open and that his dominance was limited to the grass and hard court surfaces. Sure, Nadal may have passed him up recently and even beaten him at Wimbledon, but winning the French would cap off one of the top careers the sport has seen. What would Rod Laver supporters have to say should Federer win on clay? Moreover, a win at the French Open would not only give Federer the coveted title he’s been missing, it would also tie him with Pete Sampras for the most all-time singles grand slam titles at 14. With the U.S. Open and Wimbledon coming up, it’s highly likely that Fed would break Sampras’ record by the end of the year.

Following his surprising loss to Soderling, Nadal said that Federer was the favorite to win it all. Roger didn’t look like anyone’s favorite going five sets to beat Tommy Haas, but the message is clear: The title is tangible for Federer. While Roger could use the French to quiet all the detractors, his legacy will still be strong without it. He still has an excellent chance of beating Sampras’ mark of 14 and unlike Pete, Federer actually competed well at Roland Garros, making it to the finals three times. It just so happens that he was defeated by the man who might be the best clay court player of all time, Rafael Nadal. It might also be that this was Rafa’s gift to Roger for making him cry at the Australian Open.

Video: Roger Federer Cries Following Loss to Rafael Nadal at Australian Open

Man, I wish Australia wasn’t on such a different time schedule from us because they really screwed up my sleeping routine as I had to stay up late watching this epic battle. The awesomeness of the competition between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the finals of their five set match in Melbourne is indescribable. Both players raised the game of tennis to new levels. It wasn’t about choking or collapsing, nor was it about unforced errors or double faults. It was about who could top who with the better shot. These two shot-makers were on top of their game. They hustled to every ball, produced winner after winner, truly showing that they were the top two players in the world, and two of the best ever. Balls you never thought a player could get to, they retrieved. Shots you never thought they could make, they pounded. Just when you thought Roger could get a break, Rafa blasted one up the line. Just when you thought Rafa would get a break, Roger responded with an ace. In the end, Nadal appeared to be the fresher body as he rose up to a new height and dominated Fed in the final set. Though he was unfairly playing on less rest, Nadal was in excellent condition and persevered.

While the play of the match was astounding, one of the lasting impressions I’ll have was Roger Federer’s post-match acceptance of the runner up’s trophy (video below).

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