Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Pillars of Roger’s Career: Mercury is Marat – or is it Roger? 6

Posted on February 10, 2010 by Claudia Celestial Girl

The 2005 Australian Open semifinal between Maraf Safin and Roger Federer was a classic.

The 2005 Australian Open semifinal between Marat Safin and Roger Federer was a classic.

This is part of a series of articles that outline the stand-out matches of Roger Federer’s career.  The impetus of this series was a discussion of the Greatest Matches of the Decade – in which Roger was not mentioned very often.  We thought that perhaps it was time to review some of the stand-outs.

Mercury is a very smooth element – gleaming silver and round, when positioned still on a tabletop, like an old-fashioned doorknob.

Coming into the AO in 2005, Roger Federer was smooth.  Possessor of the most complete game in the sport, the deceptive forehand, and the greatest amount of topspin in the game, Roger had won every Slam but the French, where he fell to clay-court specialist Gustavo Kuerten in straight sets.

Otherwise Roger owned the field.  2004 was one of his signature years, with lopsided wins over Marat Safin at the Aussie Open, Roddick at Wimbledon, and Lleyton Hewitt at the USO.  He would lose only 6 times (one of them to Kuerten at the French, and another in Miami to a 17-year old Spaniard from Mallorca.)

Starting the 2005 tennis year, would it be the same steam-roll?  Or would Roger and is opponent create one of the greatest matches is Aussie Open history?

Mercurial was the word most often used to describe Marat Safin.  Power was another word associated with Safin (more so than with Roger in those days). In 2000, he’d rocked Pete Sampras at the USO, and out-powered him with the forehand 4-3-3, to win his first major.  Safin ranked somewhere in the top five in all aspects of the game, but his temperament saw him often demonstrate a tendency for the erratic. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
      January 29, 2022 | 4:43 pm
      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Follow Us Online

  • Current Poll

    Which Rookie MLB Player Do You Think Will Have the Best Career?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top