Roger’s a man’s man, he al­ways finds the right spot

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

OKAY. I’ll ad­mit it. I have a huge man crush on Roger Fed­erer. He’s right up there near the top of the list, maybe even in the top three. Top five for sure. I think it has to do with the way he moves around the ten­nis court, how he dom­i­nates the base­line, his ball con­trol, that pleas­ing serve, the sig­na­ture back­hand, a pow­er­ful fore­hand. He knows when to strike and when to play it cool. Rafa Nadal al­ways seems to be so fran­tic, No­vak Djokovic too smug and Andy Mur­ray is a Scots­man when he loses and an English­man when he wins.

Not the Swiss mae­stro. He looks to be a man’s man. He al­ways seems to find the right spot. It’s al­most or­gas­mic. Ev­ery­time I talk about him, I think I gush, wax lyri­cal and might even blush a bit while vig­or­ously fist-pump­ing the air. I cel­e­brate his vic­to­ries and lament his de­feats as if they were my own.

Sure, age is catch­ing up with him and ev­ery so of­ten he comes up short. It doesn’t change my ad­mi­ra­tion for him – he is still the best ten­nis player there ever was.

Back in a more re­bel­lious youth, Hunter Kennedy of Fokof­polisiekar en­joyed the sta­tus as my top man crush. He still might. Kennedy had the sin­gu­lar abil­ity to string Afrikaans words to­gether that spoke to the soul, that de­fined feel­ing, re­vealed a com­mon­al­ity in spirit and cre­at­ing new aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing. His re­al­ity, ex­pressed in his lyrics – mod­ern day po­etry – shaped a gen­er­a­tion’s world-view.

Spring­bok and Li­ons cap­tain War­ren White­ley is also up there on my list.

I sus­pect he has re­placed an­other Spring­bok and Li­ons leg­end, flanker Wikus van Heer­den, who helped the Boks to the 2007 World Cup cham­pi­onship, won Su­per Rugby with the Bulls and the Cur­rie Cup with the Li­ons.

A best mate of mine has a sim­i­lar af­fec­tion but for Pa­trick Lam­bie. He swears by the Spring­bok fly­half, proudly declar­ing if he could put a poster up of the pivot on his bed­room wall, he would. It’s at times like those his soon-to-be wife raises a fear­ful brow, then nods her head as if to ap­prove. I sus­pect she silently ques­tions her choices. I kind of get his love for the Sharks man, al­though I pre­fer Bulls No 10 Han­dré Pol­lard.

The same goes for that beast of a foot­baller Diego Costa, who barges and bul­lies his way around the pitch for Chelsea in the Premier League.

Blokes like Fed­erer, White­ley, Van Heer­den, Lam­bie and Kennedy look like they are the type of dudes you can en­joy a beer with or have a pas­siveag­gres­sive mo­ment be­tween mates at a braai to de­cide who’s go­ing to flip the meat in an al­pha-male show­down. Not so much Costa. Me­thinks he takes what he wants, whether you smaak it or not. But if there was a chap who could pacify him, it would be Fed­erer – the lesser flus­tered and al­ways calm and col­lected cham­pion of 17 Grand Slam ti­tles. Come Sun­day after­noon, hope­fully, it will be 18 af­ter he reached the fi­nal of the Aus­tralia Open by beat­ing com­pa­triot Stan Wawrinka yes­ter­day.

If that hap­pens, and fin­gers-crossed it does, I sus­pect the whole world will gush, wax, blush and fist­pump with me.

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