At the moment, Wawrinek and Lüthi have no choice but to look up. What happens on the concrete rectangle is no longer routine. Ace. Roger Federer wins the match in four strokes.
Ten meters away, he waits on a bench carefully lined with towels so that each change of sides is as comfortable as possible and nothing disturbs his tennis symphony. Luthi, his coach, smiles with a grimace of pleasure as he looks at the scoreboard. Roger’s wife Mirka is delighted.
Robert Federer, not knowing what his son is doing, shouts encouragement and claps his hands. Federer sends the ball over the net to his opponent. To Juan Monaco. The Argentine doesn’t use towels to cover his chair and has everything he needs in a rocket bag. The evening brought slap after slap to Monaco, who only smiled when Federer led 6:1 and 5:2.
It was quarter to one in the night when he finally managed to snatch a point from his relentless opponent with a drop shot and a forehand. Just barely. Dressed all in black, even with a headband, it was clear that the Swiss wanted to bury any hope the Argentine had in this match that ended after an hour on the morning of September 6, 2011.
The 6:1, 6:2, 6:0 final left no doubt. After the match and before the interview with Brad Gilbert, Federer wears a brand-sponsored watch on his left wrist. He’s in control. “I’m fortunate to be able to say that I played against two of the greatest players in history at their best.
Two matches where I was surprised by the level difference, and he didn’t even play bad. A few years have passed since those two strokes, and Monaco – a great friend of Nadal – sees the positive side. Even with four aces in a row, Federer has done it. “What do you want me to do? Nothing, I took it gracefully, I had fun. The guy does it so perfectly, what can you do? I can only congratulate him. “I played against Federer with this talent, this perfect tennis, this serve and this net, this slice……. Things that Rafael doesn’t have. And I played against the other extreme, against Rafa, the player where you feel it’s impossible to win a point, who has this tenacity, this euphoria, this gri…… “They both reach the same goal in different ways. They are too big with the virtues they have, they use them one hundred percent and combine them with work. And that’s how they achieve something spectacular”.