Saturday, 15 November 2008

What Now For Roger?

And so the great man's season finally came to an end yesterday with a defeat at the hands of Andy Murray, in what was one of the best matches of the year.

It was perhaps befitting that
Federer should go out with a bang, and to one of best performers of the year: can you imagine his last match of the year being a defeat to Gilles Simon or worse still Radek Stepanek!?

So what now for Roger? Can he get back to the top again? Or is he now on a rather ominous slippery slope. Well
neither actually.

There is no doubt that the Golden Age of 3 out of 4 Slams a year is well and truly over. We all have our views about whether that was made possible by a lack of competition or not, but its plain too see that there's now a whole swath of young players who (perhaps legitimately) feel they have a chance at toppling the big man at least once in a while. And that's before we even consider the more potent threat posed by
Nadal, Djokovic and Murray. Federer too this year, has seemed less confident, nervy and more prone to the forehand errors we thought were just a blip last year when he lost to Canas in back to back events at Indian Wells and Miami.

But does that really indicate the beginning of the end? Have we become so accustomed to seeing him perform so outrageously well that we can't conceive of a middle road?

My point is this: Yes he'll lose occasionally to those other three but there's no reason he can't remain one of a very formidable group of four players ruling the roost. He may even reclaim the number one ranking from time to time - although is likely to hold on to it for considerably less than 237 consecutive weeks! Oh and I fully expect him to bag at least two more Slams before calling it time, thereby surpassing
Sampras and ensuring his place in history.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the last 4 years were almost an anomaly: depending on the view you take, either a once in a lifetime showcase of elegance and unprecedented skill, or a freakish demonstration of what's possible in the face of lesser competition.
Consider the remainder of his career a return to normality: the career of a more conventional high performer.

Here's a prediction for you:
Federer will have a great clay court season next year, maybe even winning a Masters title. It pains me to say this but Nadal's ailing knee has to have an effect on his performance and if he wants to perform well at Roland Garros, may not risk injury at the other events. He may in particular, not attend Monte Carlo which won't from next year be a mandatory Masters event, even though it will have the same number of ranking points on offer.

Federer image by James Marvin Phelps

blog comments powered by Disqus


All images on this site have been found in the public domain.
Credit has been given wherever possible.
If you feel your copyright is being infringed upon by any particular image, please contact me and I'll have it taken it down.

You Said...

Powered by Disqus

Receive Updates by Email...

Enter your email address:

  © Free Blogger Templates Spain by 2008

Back to TOP