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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 →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

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      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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