Federer Express Delivering No More

Roger Federer is possibly the classiest champions in the history of sports

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Roger Federer is done. Turn out the lights because the party is over.

16 grand slams, a previous streak of 237 consecutive weeks as ATP number one ranked player, and arguably the best tennis player of all-time. Quite an impressive resume for a 28-year-old but right now all of that doesn’t matter.

Currently, Federer is attempting to win his 17th grand slam at this year’s Australian Open. His train was almost derailed just shortly after leaving the track as he grinded out a 5 set match versus Gilles Simon in the second round yesterday.

In the prime of his career Federer rarely played 5 setters in a tournament, much less even drop a set. He was that dominant.

Roger Federer is facing the inevitable downfall that all elite athletes are confronted with. He is not the same player on the court and that is something that has been evident for the last couple of years.

There was a point in time when it seemed like he might not even get that elusive 15th major, but Federer was able to battle through some of his less fine moments to capture two more majors.

Can he do it again? Don’t think so.

Roger Federer’s game is not devoid of anything, in fact, his repertoire has expanded with age. However, he does not make the higher degree of difficulty shots that he used to make at such an unbelievably consistent rate. He still glides like a graceful gazelle around the court but no longer is there the reliability in him where you felt that he could never miss.

The tougher times that have come upon him have led to the fist-pumping and animal-like instinctual cries of joy that were not a part of his personality in his younger years.

The amount of emotion he shows during matches is the barometer by which we can measure how well he is playing and how comfortable he feels about his game. There was no fist-pumping in the olden days simply because there was no discomfort.

He let out a massive “sigh” of relief following his gruelling match versus Simon to put it as lightly as possible.

Although, it should be pointed out that Federer had lost his 2 previous matches to Simon, it is still too frequent in recent major tournaments that Federer has been forced to go deep into matches against supposedly lesser opponents.

Never a good sign.

It isn’t the same anymore with him and there is no indication of things improving anytime soon. Not even the magic to pull the rabbit out of a hat for one major tournament. I’m not seeing it.

Robin Soderling is seeded 4th in this year's Australian Open

However, his game is not the only issue that stands in way of an even greater legacy. The competition on the tour at this point in time is arguably as good as it has ever been in the history of tennis.

I guess I was wrong to speculate that Rafael’s Nadal win at Wimbledon in July was possibly his last chance at another major. Nadal has continued to dominate the tour since then and is looking to complete the “Tiger Slam” by winning all four majors consecutively but not in the same calendar year. He is healthy, in his prime years, and has overcome the US Open. Is there anyone that is going to be able to take down Nadal?

Then you add to the mix Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Robin Soderling, suddenly you are looking at a very formidable top 5 group of players. All 3 of those guys do have the ability to win in any given tournament and take down a top player on any given day.

With that being said, I don’t believe that any of those guys have the mental make up to win multiple majors but that still doesn’t mean that they are not a threat whenever they hit the court in a tournament.

Roger Federer is possibly the best player that ever played the game and if not for Rafael Nadal this would not even be a discussion.

The thing is, with professional sports it’s all about what have you done for me lately. At this moment, Roger Federer has not done much lately and that is not going to change.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I am now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favor.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

17 Responses to Federer Express Delivering No More

  1. The News Of Sports says:

    Great post here. Personally, I think that Federer will win one or two more slams, but the 5 setter, and describing his win as “lucky” certainly isn’t very encouraging.

  2. Hello Chris, I think you’ve got to remember that Federer has a 0-2 record against Gilles Simon prior to this match. So perhaps Federer was tight or afraid of Simon? Also, last year Simon was ranked as high as number six in the world so he is a good player.

  3. I don’t think the match against Simon is particularly indicative, given that Simon is a really good, really streaky player. Kind of like Soderling used to be. Now if it happens again against Malisse (another streaky guy, but who’s definitely on the downhill side of his career), then maybe.

    I personally don’t think he’s going to quit winning. I think it’s going to be a lot harder, and that he isn’t going to win nearly so much. However, he probably still has a couple of Slams left in him, especially if Nadal’s knees act up.

    And this is coming from someone who was cheering as loudly as can be for Simon to land the upset. I think Federer is a fine player, and I respect him, but he’s not my player. Baghdatis. Tipsarevic. Monfils. Tsonga. Ferrero. Olivier Rochus. These are my guys (oh…and Nadal. :))

  4. Def like the blog, thanks for reading and commenting at tenniscrackwhore. I do however disagree about Roger, I think he will win a few more Slams and stick around a few more years. People wrote Federer off in 2008, and then he came back in 2009 to win RG, Wimby, and almost US Open. He also seems to be enjoying himself more, and I think that will help his game.

    It will be interesting to see how that next tier of guys compete. Call me crazy, but my pre-tourney prediction was Djokovic over Soderling. Not to make excuses for the prediction since it just may happen, but I was worried about the flu for Nadal and Simon for Federer. Going 5 sets with Simon is nothing to cause worry. Roger is certainly not the dominant player of five years ago or so, but he’s still a contender.

  5. Bheise says:

    I agree that Federer is probably past his prime as an elitie tennis player. I don’t think he’s done winning major titles though. I think he has a few more left in him but they won’t be the result of dominating performances. It’ll be a case of the stars alligning so to speak and getting the right matchups and other top competition getting upset along the way. Federer could definitely cruise his way into a final and if it’s him versus random cinderella tennis player X… I’m taking Federer.

  6. tophatal says:

    Chris

    Better for Federer to go through an early grilling of a five setter in earlier rounds than being drummed out of the Aussie Open in the latter rounds . That being said he makes it to the semis then anything can happen. And if you recall he took care in winning the season ending championship of 2010 ? Along the way Nadal was overwhelmed by him in the ATP Tour Finals .. So at this juncture I think you’re counting your chickens before they’re hatched . He’s been on the ATP Tour now for a decade and his resume’ is unsurpassed so anything he’s now achieving is simply gravy for him when measured by the lackluster performances of the US male players in the tournament at present you’ve simply got to laugh at their efforts !

    tophatal

  7. chappy81 says:

    Fed is past his prime, but he’s still an elite player on the court. The five setter yesterday was against a guy he’s already lost twice to, so I wouldn’t read too much into that one match.

    Now, he’s got to find a way to channel his inner Andre Aggasi to find new ways to compete and change his game up so he can dominate again. I see him lasting for four more years, and winning four more grand slams.

  8. Helen Parish says:

    Hi Chris, thanks a lot for the comment on my post! So here I am, returning the favour…really interesting post from you. It’s plain to see that Federer isn’t the same player as he used to be- inevitably any competitor cannot maintain such a high level of performance forever. However, I disagree that he is “done”. I feel that Federer can beat a lot of players just by “being Federer”- his reputation and aura, and the fact that you can never count out a spectacular performance from his end of the court, are enough to put a seed of doubt into even the most accomplished opponents’ minds which makes him a far tougher opponent than perhaps his level of play and form alone suggest.
    He was quite impressive at the ATP end-of-year Championships- the desire to win and enjoyment of the game is evidently still there, so whilst he may not be the force that he once was I can definitely see him making a few finals and even winning a couple more Grand Slams. Nadal is the man to beat at the moment but if he steps on the court and doesn’t bring his A-Game against Federer then I’d still say he might have some problems.
    Finally, from a tennis player’s view, we’re always taught that it’s important for players not to peak too soon in a tournament- especially one as long as a Grand Slam. For example, when I play in international events I don’t want or need to be playing at my best in qualifying or round one. A player such as Federer doesn’t want to be playing exceptionally in the first two or three rounds- he will want to save his best tennis for the latter stages where it really matters. It’s all about just getting through matches, playing yourself in, testing things out and building on form from the previous round. Of course it’s best not to take it to the stage where you’re on the verge of losing from a great lead such as in Federer’s match against Simon, but credit to Simon- he is a good player in his own right.
    Ok, I’ll stop now. I’ve gone on far too long!
    BLOG: http://www.helenparish.co.uk
    TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/helen_parish

  9. megiddo says:

    Great post here.

    I also think that Fed Ex is not as strong as he used to be but I think its still too early to say that he is done. He is still capable of winning another Grand Slam or two. But, his performance with Simon really makes you think twice.

  10. tophatal says:

    Chris


    If as you say Federer is on the decline then how’d you explain the fact of the last 24 consecutive Grand Slam semis he’s been part of all of them ? And other than he and Nadal only two other players have won a Grand Slam event that hasn’t had either of the two ranked players in the world have had their names etched on those trophies .

    tophatal ………

    • Chris Ross says:

      I say it because he hasn’t done it in the dominant fashion that he has in the past. His dominance has slowly been fading and even though he is better than most to get to the finals but he is not good enough to beat Nadal for one thing. He then is having more trouble against lesser guys and even more trouble against guys like Murray, who will probably overcome the major obstacle at some point in their careers.

      • tophatal says:

        Chris


        Other than Feder and Nadal who are the only other players to have won Grand Slam Finals over the last six years ? Who doesn’t have trouble and less you forget it’s also about durability and avoiding injuries and nowhere in your piece do you actually mention that . And speaking of dominance who other than Federer has the sort of Grand Slam record amongst the men ? Murray hasn’t done anything of significance in the men’s game , he’ll never win a Slam because he hasn’t the temperament .

        Click on the following and let me know what you think ……… one piece on the NBA and the other tennis .

        All Star ? Is This American Idol ?

        Have Balls Will Travel ……. Anyone For Tennis ?

        tophatal ……

  11. FedererFan07 says:

    Great blog Chris. I like your edgy look on tennis and Federer. It seems to put a challenge for him even after all he has achieved. I’m following you on Twitter from @federerfan07 (twitter.com/federerfan07). Thanks for visiting my site and for more check out FedererFan07 on Facebook, YouTube, and Vimeo. Those links are on my site in the sidebar. Any other comments, questions or thoughts – just leave a message in the Meebo chat widget on my site or email to federerfan07@gmail.com.

    Thanks!

  12. megiddo says:

    looks like you made the right call in saying Fed Ex is not delivering anymore… he just lost today to Novak. but I still think it’s too early to count him out. He is an unbelievable player and I still think he can win another Grand Slam this year. if not this year, maybe in the coming years.

  13. tophatal says:


    Chris

    Well both Federer and Nadal have lost so by way of dominance it now becomes a mute point ! Both players got upended by peers ranked lower than they are in the rankings . Feder by Djokovic and Nadal by fellow Spaniard David Ferrer .

    tophatal ………………… ;)

  14. janeyquiel says:

    I agree with your assumption.

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