Roger Federer is one of the best ever tennis players, no questions about that. As the ever faithful statistics clearly show that his sustained domination over a 3 year period was quite unlike in the history of Tennis. His stay at the top, grand slam wins, semi-finals, quarter finals streak all will take decades to top if ever it happens.
If you care to see the celebrations of each and every player after they beat Federer you will see as they celebrate as if they have conquered the world and go ecstatic. And do not seem at all to be upset when beaten by him. They still fear him as the best in the business. One of the most revered champion in the history of tennis. Every sport has its invincible champions. Tiger Woods, Tendulkar, Schumacher, Jordan and Federer are all in the same league.
Federer is playing just as well but has lost the little extra bit confidence or grit to clinch crunch points time and again consistently against top quality players just as he shows in his recent defeats this year.
This quality is what separates a top 10 player from a number 1 player. Once he loses momentum in a match, Federer is not the best comeback man right now. Nadal is showing it winning matches somehow even though not playing his best. Del Potro and Djokovic also have that ability.
Well being an avid follower of tennis and a diehard Federer fan I follow him to the wildest and am seriously concerned with him not performing. He has always been extraordinary with his game. You would have hardly seen him struggling if you have followed this maestro in recent years of his prime. He never seemed to sweat. He just created new shots. And sometimes these shots do not pay off, that’s all I guess.
Rafa is his only nemesis as he seems to retrieve the ball from Spain if it is hit from Wimbledon. Taking nothing away from Rafa, I am not sure how long Rafa will stay fit and how long is he going to be around.
And talking of Murrays, Tsongas, Berdychs, they are just one time wonders I feel (or rather, the lucky bunch) and comparing them to Federer. Guys, it’s high time we understand the difference between art and victory. Art is forever and victory is just momentary.
But for Federer I wish that gets his issues straight and comes back all guns blazing in the upcoming tours. And please drops that attitude of complacency and do stretch out to return the ball to the opponents court. Else he will end up as the MJ of tennis molesting the kids( lowly ranked players) and ending up like Pete Sampras.
I remember reading George Burns somewhere:
‘Everything that goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that’s down can come up.’