Isn’t it amazing how time flies? You just wonder where the days and months have gone. Here we are in 2012 and already two full months are behind us. It sort of amazed me that the Showdown at Madison Square Garden is...
Isn’t it amazing how time flies? You just wonder where the days and months have gone. Here we are in 2012 and already two full months are behind us. It sort of amazed me that the Showdown at Madison Square Garden is now five years old (where has the time gone, geez?) and the only player to have participated in the first one of these events (2008) and the most recent is Roger Federer. Even he is a bit taken aback that it’s now five years. “Playing Pete (Sampras) was obviously a great moment for me especially,” he recalled about the first Showdown. “It was something Pete really wanted to get done and I think…there was a buzz in town that we were back (in New York) at a different time of the year really. It’s been a successful event since, and I can’t believe it’s been five years already.” This time Federer is against one of his longest running rivals, Andy Roddick who the crowds in New York just love. You got to wonder how Roddick could not have been born in New York; he’s got the hallmarks of a New Yorker – quick with responses, sharp tongued, cocky. It makes for what should be “a wonderful night for tennis and for New York” This is the first time I will be attending the event and I certainly am looking forward to the Roddick-Federer clash as well as the Caroline Wozniacki-Maria Sharapova match up. And they’re playing in the only Grand Slam city where all four have either won or been in the finals. The overall head-to-head between Federer and Roddick is 21-2 to Federer, their first official match was in Basel 2001, and while this match at the Garden will not count towards that record it will nevertheless provide the massive crowd with plenty of fun and excitement. “It’s a really one-sided rivalry in terms of head-to-head, but every time when I play him, I don’t feel I have that winning record against him for some reason just because he competes so well, and he really is an amazing player,” Federer said. “He’s got one of the greatest serves of all-time in the game, and has a great personality for the game, and I really enjoy his matches. “I see him as a really difficult match. I’ve never played him in an exhibition so it’s going to be different. In New York, as you can imagine, it’ll be really exciting for him to play against me. So I’m really looking forward to it.” The Showdown is a great opportunity for tennis fans and especially for kids who would never have had the opportunity to see many of the greatest players play at Madison Square Garden when the world’s greatest sports arena hosted major tennis. It’s a rare chance and that’s not lost on Federer. “It’s a great opportunity, I really enjoy playing exhibitions because of that fact,” Federer said. “It throws in something different. It’s not the usual tournament, the atmosphere is different, there’s always a different crowd as well. There’s people who otherwise don’t get a chance (other than the US Open). This way, it gives people another chance to come be with tennis. “Maybe some come to the women’s, some come to Roddick, some come for me, I think it’s really a nice opportunity and hopefully many kids get to come and watch They know we’re in the area and it kicks off state to state, and we continue on. I think it’s a good time to play a match like this and keep the buzz going throughout New York. It’s a good thing. Kids and families usually enjoy it. I couldn’t believe the buzz five years ago when I played Sampras, when the city created the buzz around us.” Hey Rog, that’s why they call it the “city that never sleeps”.