I kind of feel like the Slam tournaments are doing the wrong thing by stacking the deck so heavily in favor of Roger Federer. It’s not that I begrudge him the wins, and it’s not that I don’t understand the realities of television sports programming, advertising and ticket sales. Obviously, it benefits any tournament to have Roger stick around for the final. But it’s also bad television to see him breeze through these easy draws. Granted, his Australian Open could have been a lot harder, had Juan Martin del Potro or David Goffin made it through to the fourth round (neither did). Still, the most exciting Australian Open men’s matches this year had nothing to do with Federer.
It also would have been a lot harder for Federer if he ended up playing an in-form Rafa Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov or Nick Kyrgios in the final. Instead, what we got was a redux of the 2017 Wimbledon final between Federer and Marin Cilic. Full disclosure: I like Cilic a lot, I think he’s got a great game, but my God does he crumble in big moments these days. Cilic managed to push Federer to five sets, only to completely crumble in the final 15 minutes of the set. So yes, Roger Federer has won his 20th SLAM. He has won the most (singles) Slams of any man in history. The only people who have more singles-slams than Roger? Serena Williams, Steffi Graf and Margaret Court. Here’s his selfie:
🏆20. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/WqUiSo3fd5
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 28, 2018
Here’s Roger crying with the trophy. Is it just me or does it feel like… Roger sees the end in sight? Like, I’m more convinced than ever that Serena Williams is going to play for several more years. I’m not convinced Roger will. Or maybe he’s just crying because he touched himself again.
Meanwhile, the women’s side of the tournament was amazing. Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber, Elise Mertens, Karolina Pliskova all had multiple impressive matches. I was rooting for Simona in the final, but Caroline Wozniacki pulled it out, winning her first Slam title and returning to the #1 women’s player in the world. Much like last year’s Wimbledon, the women’s matches were so much better than the men’s, and the final was so much more exciting.
Photos courtesy of Getty.