Federer Express Delivering No More
January 19, 2011 16 Comments
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.
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.
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