It is a well-known fact that for some years now Federer has been without the services of a coach.
Some time ago when he parted company with his last coach Federer observed that he thought he was doing well and that if he ever thought it necessary to hire the services of a coach he would do so. Until that time, however he was contented to make his game his own way.
Analysis of the way Federer has been playing since he parted ways with his coach has been simply remarkable.
He continues to grow in the sport, forever improving his game.
All of the astute critics of the game have been amazed of his immense potential and the giftedness of this athlete in so highly technical a sport.
In his game against Agassi on Sunday last, Federer produced strokes from angles that the commentators, including John Mc Enroe, thought were almost impossible.
The serenity of Federer, his physical balance, awesome power, tremendous foresight into the play of his opponents and overall athleticism are characteristic features that combine to set him apart from mere mortals who learn to play the game.
Federer has every stroke in the game at his disposal and he plays all of them with the greatest of proficiency. That is what makes him the greatest even if he were to stop playing at the p[resent time.
While analysts point to the particular stroke strength of this or that athlete, never before have they been able to place all of the superlatives of a game on the head of a single Tennis player as is the case with Roger Federer.
Tremendous commitment to excellence
Roger Federer ensures that his every opponent is treated with the same measure of respect on the court. Every player possesses the potential to win the match and therefore he takes particular care to understand and appreciate the opponent’s game before posting his game to do battle for victory.
Federer does not appear eager to underestimate the potential of any or all of his opponents on the court. This is what allows him to treat each of the opponents with the respect that they deserve in e
very match he plays.
At the award ceremony on Sunday last Federer observed that he does not yet know why it is that his very best Tennis emerges when he is in the finals of a Tournament but that he is certainly glad that this happens so often.
Here is a humble giant in the sport of Tennis whose achievements thus far and genuine commitment to excellence does not allow either boastfulness or profanity to emerge from his noble personality. Instead he is characterised by humility without every having to use the term.
Such is the stuff of champions whose legacy would be indelibly etched in the hearts of all who follow the game.
Federer does not want to relax on his laurels.
While analysts recognise the strength of his overall game, he knows only too well that he is not sufficiently proficient on clay surfaces. That is the reason why, after falling short at the French Open prior to Wembledon earlier this year he observed that he thought he was making progress on the surface – an ominous sign for the future.
Such is Federer’s commitment to excellence that he continually works at his game. He is never completely satisfied with his performance. There is always room for improvement and he proceeds on working to make that improvement.
Federer as an athlete is exemplary.
A young man, Federer seems destined for greatness. He works diligently at building his game.
In his quietness on the court he maintains remarkable concentration.
Playing against an American sports icon on Sunday last and before a clearly partisan crowd whose vocal support for Agassi was everywhere evident, Federer maintained a coolness that would have required much of his energy, even as this same energy was required for the game on the court. He stayed calm and soldiered to victory.
The knowledgeable crowd appreciated that his systematic dismantling of the great Andre Agassi was the stuff of a true champion and they rose in recognition of the new star, the athlete of the moment.
To his credit, Federer was humble in victory. He paid due tribute to the historical achievements of Agassi and of his tremendous challenge in the finals that had just concluded.
He praised the former champion for his contribution to the sport and the commitment he has shown to it over the years. He called on the crowd and the entire Tennis world to recognise Agassi for what he has meant to Tennis everywhere and his great show of talent in the finals even at the age of 35.
There was no time to boast of his own achievement but rather an urge to plead with Agassi to stay around a little longer to contribute more and to permit similar contests between them in the future.
Greatness is achieved not by loud shouts from those who achieve something but by those whose actions command, in and of themselves, the attention of the peoples of the world.