I woke up at 3:30 am this morning and was back in bed by 5:00 am. Perfect. Just as I had planned. I knew I didn't have to be awake longer than that to see Roger Federer win his 12th Grand Slam title. It wasn't his best performance by far, but enough to get him within 2 grand slam titles of Pete Sampras' all time record of 14. Sampras was my idol growing up. When he won the U.S Open in 2002 and took his tally to 14 Grand Slam titles in all I remember thinking, like many others did, that it would be a long time before anyone even came close to it. It takes so much dedication, hard work and sacrifice to be able to sustain such high levels of play year in and out. It didn't seem like anyone had what it took. How wrong we all were.
Same time next year, Roger may well have tied the record or even broken it. It's scary that he will be a good 5 years younger than Pete if it happens next year. Makes one wonder how many more he will pile up. With such great talent and so much more time on his hands, there are amazing heights that he could scale.
In the era of hard hitters, double-fisted backhands and oversize racquets, its such a pleasure to watch someone that shows that one needs more than power alone to come out on top constantly. As a die-hard tennis fan, I'm just happy that I'm blessed to be watching him at his peak. Good luck Roger and thanks for making watching tennis a pleasure again.