What’s the more interesting storyline here?
The second SF is rich, very rich. Sure, the first entails Federer’s continued 2017 epilogue, which is nothing short of spectacular, but that’s a known quantity, a known quality, if you will. We don’t want to discourage any hype surrounding the Federer v Robin Haase SF.
But, folks: you know where we come-out on this. Before any of this Montreal business-end genius even hatched, behold our nod to the tour’s youth in pre-Montreal fashion which has given-way to
fucking big bird!
Two big birds.
Zverev v Shapovalov
I’m so geeked for this match. To be clear, I missed the Shapovalov v Mannarino QF, but will catch it later tonight. I know one thing having not even watched a second of the match. It’s brilliant. We needed this. Badly. He’s the youngest Masters semi-finalist ever, I’m willing to bet. 😉
Either way, the youth has risen. Let this truly be the harbinger of a new era. New characters, new legacies.
You know what this really boils down to, right?
The one-hander vs the two-hander. And you know who I like in this match, right?
A primary point of Federer’s dominance is his style, which we’ll define as that which encompasses all of his skill, talent, etc. He is a handful for most if not all of his opponents, which seems a fairly obvious observation. Are you with me? But the point here about his style concerns his sustainability, his longevity, his relevance.
He isn’t playing very well this week, though he is starting to find some rhythm, consistency, and urgency (the business-end necessity). But he can still win despite this kind of drop in form. Nadal, on the other hand, though he had a tougher draw perhaps, has to play at absolute peak to win (on non-clay). His “vamos” style is based-on a massive sense of momentum, which he masterfully finds and manipulates. I might say that Djokovic is similar in this regard. He has to be teeing-off on his opponent, rampant to a certain extent.
Federer has been able to reach SFs and Fs throughout his career, in winning form or perhaps not so much. He has so much game, so many weapons, such a fluency of the language – that’s his genius.
Part of this is his OHBH.
I am partial to the one-hander and even tend to think many of these players who use it have a bit of an advantage (bias perpetuates deception 😉 ). Sure there are many other factors in players’ success, but the one-hander is such a marvelous element of style.
Let us observe this great debate in tomorrow’s second SF. Among other things.
Here’s to two brilliant matches to set-up a North American hard court Masters final.