I am writing this with the backdrop of what many sports and tennis fans state to be the greatest matches they ever watched in the history of this sport! It is with a pang of regret I realize that I missed it. 😦 I stopped watching tennis (did not stop following it on the web though!) when the Great Sampras retired in 2003. Not because I hated tennis. But I missed the drama that I usually associated with a grand slam championship. This in turn I associated to the fact that the Fedex started winning games at a canter. For all his domination I believed that tennis was becoming to boring to watch. Every other day I would read on the web that Federer won a new tournament. Losing just four matches in an entire year? I just could not patiently watch a human do that! More so the same individual who had dethroned Sampras from his perch? No way. When Sampras was at his peak, he also had few others like Agassi, Rafter, to an extent Becker, and of course the always eccentric Ivanesevic to give him company. But when Federer was at his peak, there was no competition at all. Or whatever competition that Fedex had was brushed aside by his pure might. But only over the past year or so, with the emergence of Nadal and Djokovic as serious contenders to Federer’s throne on any surface for that matter, have I considered watching Tennis again. Yesterday’s loss at Wimbledon, only goes to show that even Roger Federer is just a human. And now that he has finally lost a match at Wimbledon, his achievements at SW19 might finally sink in on laymen like me! 12 Grand Slam Titles? Just two short of a record equalling 14? This is where one has to appreciate Rafael Nadal too. For it is because of him, one realizes the scale of Federer’s achievements. This is where one has to recognize people like Rafter, Agassi and Ivanisevic too. For it was because of them that we were witness to many a rivalry during the 90’s. I still remember the epic quarter final between Sampras and Agassi at US Open when all the four sets went to tie-breakers. I still remember when Sampras decimated Agassi at a wimbledon final. I still remember the record breaking 13th for Sampras in the gloom of Center court. It was always interesting to see how Sampras would return after a loss or after critics ruled him out! The same applies now to. It would be interesting to see how Roger Federer would end the year? Would it be another year where he ends as world no. 1 or would Nadal finally overtake him? Would it be the first time in 4-5 years when Federer ends up without a grand slam title in a year or will the Fedex blast back onto the courts at Flushing Meadows and prove to anyone that the first 6 months of 2008 where just a blip (according to his own mighty standards atleast) ? Yes, now tennis would be interesting! Mighty Interesting!