Roger Federer's big win a family affair
What do you do when you're Roger Federer's father and you've just watched an entire stadium cheer your son through an impressive 7-6 (5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5) semifinal victory over Novak Djokovic at the French Open?
"Please, let me have my beer," said Robert Federer, smiling from ear to ear as any proud papa would.
It's no secret that Roger Federer, 29, had lost a bit of his luster of late. A 16-time Grand Slam champion, Federer had dropped back to world No. 3, behind Rafael Nadal and Djokovic. He hasn't won a Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open.
Federer's father said before his son took the court Friday that Roger was very intent on reaching the French Open final for a fifth time. The added benefit would be putting an end to Djokovic's impressive 41-0 winning streak for the year.
"He was really hoping for it," Robert said. "He was very relaxed this morning. The crowd was fantastic, and the French are always rooting for Roger. But it's very nice for me when I travel to tournaments. When Roger walks onto the court, the warm reception he always gets is what I really love."
Federer's mother, Lynette, said she was very emotional watching the match and seeing how the fans rooted for her son.
"The atmosphere was unbelievable, and I think it was unbelievable how the French, and everybody, was really behind him," said Lynette, who also was sipping on a beer. "It was overwhelming for us. It was very special today because we knew that Novak was on such a great run. I think it's amazing what Roger proved, that he can still compete with them, and that's great."
Federer will now face Nadal in a French Open final, the fourth such career meeting for the two. Nadal has won five of the past six French Opens -- his 2009 fourth-round loss opened the door for Federer to win his lone French Open title.
If you do the math, the combined age of the French Open women's finalists works out to 60 years, 79 days old: defending champion Francesca Schiavone is 30 years, 346 days old, Li Na is 29 years, 98 days old.
That ranks this year's French Open women's final as the fifth-oldest women's Grand Slam final in the Open era. The most recent previous oldest women's Grand Slam final was at Wimbledon in 1998: Jana Novotna (29) defeated Nathalie Tauziat (30) 6-4, 7-6 (2). The oldest women's final at Roland Garros was the 1986 French Open final, when Chris Evert (31) beat Martina Navratilova (29) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Li, playing her second consecutive Grand Slam final this year, takes exception to being given senior citizen status. "I'm not old," she said. "Why do you think I'm old? I feel I'm still young."
Schiavone believes that their success as tour oldies sends an important message to the other players.
"I think it's good, not just for tennis but also for the younger players [who] are coming," Schiavone said. "They can understand that the career is not just this moment, or one, two, three years, but is long, so they have to control and to improve every day."
Room for a trophy
Andrea Hlavackova knows what it's like to get a present you can't use and have to store away.
"I got from my friends one year a shelf written, 'This is for Grand Slam trophies,'" said the 24-year-old Czech. "I just put it under my bed, like, what a silly joke."
It's a joke no more. Hlavackova teamed with countrywoman Lucie Hradecka to win the French Open women's doubles title, 6-4, 6-3, over Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina on Friday. It's their fifth career title together.
"I realized that I'll have actually something to put on [it]," Hlavackova said of that gift shelf. "It's a great feeling. It's something everybody will remember, and I will remember, and I wouldn't exchange it for anything."