By Rock Mayock 10:45 p.m. | The FOOTBALLPHDS’s Mt. Rushmore of man crushes is reserved for only the most deserved of the deserving. Norm “The Guru” Chow, Matt “Heisman Mattie” Leinart and Carson “Heisman” Palmer have each earned their way in this pinnacle through incredible feats of athleticism and overall hunkiness. Last Sunday we were privileged to bear witness to one of the greatest athletes of our generation, Roger Federer, earn his place onto the FOOTBALLPHDS’ Mount Man Crush.
In case you missed Sunday’s Wimbledon men’s championship final, Federer defeated Andy Murray in four sets 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. The 2012 Wimbledon championship represented Federer’s seventh (7th) Wimbledon title and seventeenth (17th) overall Grand Slam title. BOING! The win against Murray also returned Federer to his rightful place as the #1 ranked player in the world. BOING! BOING!
When evaluating the career and hunkiness of Federer it is important to place his accomplishments in context. His success throughout the appropriately titled “Federer Era” is truly mind boggling. Since capturing his first Grand Slam title in 2003 (Wimbledon), Federer went on an 8 year reign of unprecedented dominance. During this time frame he appeared in 24 Grand Slam tournament finals (BOING!) which included a run of 10 in a row, appeared in 18 of 19 finals between 2005 Wimbledon and 2010 Australian Open (BOING!), reached a Glam Slam record 32 semi finals, spent all 8 years ranked in the top 2 including a record setting 237 consecutive weeks as the World #1 (BOING! BOING! BOING!). Keep in mind these numbers are during an 8 year window.
There are several factors that set Federer apart from his contemporaries. Those factors are stature, footwork, possession of a “complete” game and mental fortitude.
Physically Federer is gifted with a 6’1” 187lb frame that is perfectly suited for the game of tennis. Federer’s dedication to off season training has forged his body into a deceptively powerful and agile weapon. His physical gifts enable Roger to get on top of most balls to create a combination of incredible top spin and angles with his ground strokes. His agility enables Roger to transition from base line to net play with ease. Making all of this possible are Roger’s feet.
Federer’s footwork is a spectacle to behold. His lateral movement creates the sensation that he effortlessly “glides” across the court which in turn creates opportunities for proper ball striking. Because he is able to get into a good striking position Federer has developed a truly “complete” game. He can beat you from the baseline, he can beat you with serve and volley, his net skills are unmatched and his service game is impeccable. He doesn’t do just one thing well, he does everything great.
Binding all of Federer’s physical gifts together is his indomitable will to to win. Federer’s ability to maintain composure on the big stage is what makes him a champion. His 32 Grand Slam semi finals appearances, 24 Grand Slam championship match appearances, and his 17 Grand Slam wins (71.1% win rate) quantifies his ability to elevate his game at critical moments. Let’s place this in perspective.
Federer’s record is the equivalent of the Steelers making the AFC Championship Game 8 times in 10 years, the Super Bowl 6 times in 10 years and winning the Super Bowl 5 times in 10 years. Truly remarkable and worthy of a man crush.
If you doubt Federer’s hunkiness, look at this photo gallery and try to contain your BOING!