Thursday, September 6

Match Point: Roddick versus Federer

You know you’re out of shape when a couple hours of bowling – bowling! – make your legs feel like they’ve spent the night supporting Kirstie Alley during a fettuccini binge. My soggy butt looks even worse when compared to athletes like Roger Federer and Andy Roddick but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching them compete, especially when they play so very well.

I was able to catch their U.S. Open quarterfinal match earlier in the evening. I don’t watch a lot of men’s tennis – their physical assets are much less impressive than women’s – but Andy Roddick is my favorite tennis player next to Marat Safin (so fiery!) and Roger Federer is… Roger Federer.

My flag was firmly planted in Roddick’s camp when their match started and I wasn’t disappointed.

Roddick was brilliant through the opening two sets. His powerful serve was in top form and even his second serves were effective. Even more impressive perhaps was the early success found through his net play, punctuated with a dizzying array of winners (If it sounds like I know what I’m talking about, it’s only because I used to have a thing for a tennis player).

Roddick played as well as I’ve ever seen him play (four times now), and he probably would have won if his opponent was anyone other than Federer.

Because Federer is the best. In case you hadn’t heard.

I’m not sure what it is about Federer that I don’t like. Tiger Woods shows the same razor-sharp, almost inhuman level of focus but he comes across as being more of a human being than Federer. I guess an $873 billion advertising presence will do that for a guy.

The fact that Tiger and Federer are buddies makes Federer a little more likeable, but something in the way he effortlessly runs down shots and playfully toys with his bangs makes me want to take a racket and shove it in Federer's face so that he’ll sign it but rather than keep it I’ll sell it on eBay because I don’t like him.

What do you guys think about Federer? Will Roddick, or anyone else for that matter, ever have a chance at beating a healthy Federer?