It’s well past 10:00 pm. I have to get up early tomorrow morning to get to work. My father nudges me more than a few times. I need to rest my weary eyes.
Roger Federer is struggling in his quarterfinal match against Stanislas Wawrinka.
‘Not again!’ I say to myself. Is he going to miss this one too? Both of us are on the edge of our seats, hoping we weren’t watching yet another upset.
I had missed every single match he had played in the tournament. With the newspapers focusing on the football extravaganza, Federer had slipped under the radar of most news reports, becoming only a one-line announcement in articles dedicated to other flamboyant players.
I followed as closely as I could; half expecting a line saying he’d been knocked out; and at the same time, hoping he was still playing competitively.
Playing in his quarterfinal match against his compatriot, Wawrinka, I couldn’t help but think his campaign was going to end. And like all those other matches, I’d end up watching the only match he lost. The past few years I had stopped watching his matches for this very reason. It’s hard to think that my watching television could have an impact on the result, but that’s how it invariably was.
Later today, Roger plays his semi-final. Many people have written him off. His run this Wimbledon may well be attributed to the ‘easy’ draw he’s been given. It’s very tempting for me to skip the match. It can be painful to watch him lose on the court he used to own not so long ago.
But I will still stay up tonight. I won’t bother about the result. His best days may have passed him by and it is very possible he may not win another match*. But I do not want to regret missing a match, when I am lucky to be part of the generation which get’s to watch, arguably, one of the greatest grass court players of all time, play live.
* Federer, please prove me wrong.