The all-but-undisputed GOAT of tennis, Roger Federer, repeatedly smacked brilliant backhands for winners against Rafael Nadal this week. Including a stinger on match point, he assailed his main rival of the past decade-plus, putting on a show reminiscent of that not-so-distant Australian Open final from January.
The one-fisted backhand lasers are precisely what his father, Robert, envisions for his son, as it turns out. "Hit the backhand, damn it! Don't just fall back and slice all the time," is what Federer said his dad often tells him.
Ah, parents to the tennis stars: They're just like ours.
If said backhand is on for Federer, and it surely was in his last two outings against Nadal, the shot can be unsparing. (It might also be said that Nadal's whipping southpaw forehand hasn't quite been at its most potent in those matches.) Witness the last two points of their 36th career meeting, which marked the first time that Federer has topped the Spaniard in three consecutive matches:
On the heels of the Fedal affair, fans missed out on the treat that wasn't this week: a Federer–Nick Kyrgios encounter. That fizzled out after the Aussie found himself felled by food poisoning or a related illness.
Can we have a Robert Federer - Roger Federer exhibition match instead? pic.twitter.com/GRSYS0drgi— Chris de Waard (@TheTennisPurist) March 17, 2017
Next the GOAT took out Jack Sock, the American upstart with a forehand potentially as formidable as Federer's own at its peak back in the 2000s.
The 35-year-old Swiss statesman will take on his compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the final (who dispatched surprise semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta).
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