Andy Roddick expresses the correct and accurate emotional response to playing Roger Federer at full strength in the Australian Open. Roddick played beautiful tennis. Against perfect, beautiful goes nowhere and gets you a 6-2 7-5 7-5 textbook whipping, and has you making faces like this in response to the frustration of playing brilliantly and still losing.
Body language gave away the flow of the match early on. (I mean, just look at that picture and tell me Roddick wasn't doomed, doomed, doomed.) Roddick scrambled to keep up with obvious effort, every shot a matter of sweaty exertion. Federer, meanwhile, glided in between shots, his face the embodiment of calm. Roddick grunted and swatted a forehand; Federer casually returned and called his estate attorney to see how his real estate holdings in Switzerland were doing. Roddick ran full-speed across the baseline to return a shot; Federer swatted one-handed at the ball, stretched, and then drank a refreshing glass of lemonade while chatting with the fans in the front row.
Federer, who to his credit did visibly sweat during the match, will face either Fernando Verdasco or Rafa Nadal in the final. (Verdasco and Nadal play tomorrow.) Both hope to do well enough to make Federer play without carrying on an conversation on his cell phone at the same time, or to at least make him put in the bluetooth and make him use both hands in attempting to equal Pete Sampras' 14 Grand Slam titles.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.