Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor - Too Soon to Panic?
Home       About Steve Tignor       Contact        RSS        Follow on Twitter Categories       Archive
Too Soon to Panic? 06/14/2010 - 7:22 PM

Rf On Friday I began by quoting from Gordon Forbes’ amateur-era memoir, A Handful of Summers. Since you can't really beat the man’s writing when it comes to tennis anecdotes and humor, I’ll open this post by referencing his second book. No quotes are needed; the title alone should be enough to give us a theme. It was called Too Soon to Panic.

You know where this is going. Is it too soon to panic? This is the question that many fans of Roger Federer are asking, now that he’s lost his 15-match win streak over Lleyton Hewitt, as well as his title in Halle, which seemed to have come with a lifetime guarantee. If my own club is any indication, it might be the Fed fans who are most likely to answer with an emphatic “yes.” This weekend I asked the club’s pro, a diehard Federer-ite, when we should start worrying.

“If he loses to Hewitt today.”

“Well, he lost.”

He lost? I’m worrying.”

A few minutes later I mentioned the upset to another member who has a more neutral view on the subject. His response, which he said out of the side of his mouth as he walked past me, was to the point: “Whatever.” In other words, no need to panic, or worry, or think twice about it. It's Federer, relax.

So what does his loss to Hewitt mean, if anything, for his chances at Wimbledon? Generally, it's harder to predict Federer's Slam form based on his tune-up form than it is Rafael Nadal's. He's not as much of a confidence player as Rafa—with Federer, the confidence is ingrained but the shots can go haywire; with Nadal it's the reverse. Look at 2008: It was clear that Nadal was on a roll when he came to Wimbledon that year, and he did end up winning it. The opposite was true with Federer when he came to the U.S. Open. He'd lost to Gilles Simon and Ivo Karlovic in Toronto and Cincinnati, but he rebounding to win at Flushing Meadows. A similar phenomenon happened in 2009, when Federer had a horrible spring before winning in Madrid and at the French Open, and again this winter, when he lost to Davydenko in Doha, then came back to beat him in Melbourne on the way to winning the tournament.

Federer's most recent performance at a major offers a slightly different possibility for his immediate future. He started the clay season horribly, shanking his way through losses to Gulbis and Montanes and struggling with his forehand, the way he did at times against Hewitt in Halle. In Madrid, though, Federer willed his way through a win over Gulbis and found an acceptable clay-court form in losing to Nadal in the final. It was pretty much the same form that he carried into the quarters in Paris, and which wasn't enough to get him past Soderling for the first time in his career. 

By that think piece of evidence, we can say that draws will become more important to Federer's success than they have been in the past. In Paris, aside from Nadal, Soderling was probably the worst quarterfinal opponent Federer could have played. I’d say Federer is in a similar position going into Wimbledon. The loss to Hewitt, a guy he’s owned, shows that, while Federer will be on his best surface rather than his worst in London, his current form leave him with just a sliver of vulnerability, one that could be discovered and exploited by a big hitter who happens to land in his quarter—a Berdych, a Gulbis (if he plays), a Soderling, an Isner or a Gonzalez. Maybe even Hewitt. This is a reason to worry, naturally; but worry is the natural state of all fans. Is it a reason to panic? Not quite. With the right draw, any vulnerability in the Federer serve or forehand could easily go undetected during the fortnight.

***

OK, let’s change the question slightly, moving from Gordon Forbes to ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption. There they play a game they call “Too Soon?” As in, is it too soon to make a prediction about a player’s future based on one limited and perhaps incidental event.

The two Andy’s, Murray and Roddick, who floundered in Queens, are in trouble coming into Wimbledon

Too soon?

“Trouble” is too strong a word, so it is too soon to use this phrasing. But neither is where they want to be at the moment, for slightly different reasons. Murray, though he’s still ranked No. 4 in the world, hasn’t been a dominating force for most of this year, and he can’t seem to find a way out of his essentially defensive game. He’s been hit off the court this spring by Soderling and Berdych, and beaten twice by Mardy Fish, including once on grass last week at Queens. He was in a funk for most of that match, but he won’t be—he can’t be—next week. The wild card for Murray is the Wimbledon Thing: Last year, he thrived on the excitement early in the event; it counterbalanced his usual moodiness and gave his sometime wayward emotions a focus (sort of like the focus that Marat Safin gained when he played Davis Cup). A boost from the fans and the atmosphere could be just what Murray needs. Otherwise, he looks vulnerable.

While Roddick suffered a rare loss to a significantly lower-ranked player—Dudi Sela—at Queens, his problem isn’t form as much as it is momentum and rhythm. He hasn’t had enough match play to build either since way back at Key Biscayne in April, and Roddick gets antsy when he has to sit around waiting to get out there. This could have an affect on him in the early rounds, if he draws a quality opponent.

***

The Other Americans—as in Fish, Querrey, and Isner—are a legitimate part of the Wimbledon conversation now.

Too soon?

Too soon. All of them have the serve-based games that can work on grass; of the three, I think Isner, with his dominating delivery, is the most likely pull off a tiebreaker-heavy upset of a top seed. Just as important, he's the most outwardly ambitious and grittiest of them; he seems to have willed himself against great odds into the Top 25. Fish also has the strong serve and a shot-making style from the ground, but he got tight at the end of the second set in the Queens final and gave the match away. After a nice week, he ended it on the sidelines with his towel over his head, and some of the wind out of his sails going into Wimbledon. Still, he'll be unseeded, and the definition of a "guy no one wants to face" in the first round.

As for the flavor of the day, Querrey’s win at Queens was impressive for two reasons: (1) The way he cleared his head so quickly and completely by taking a week off—when he left Paris, I wondered if we’d ever see the guy again. He’s a levelheaded and self-aware kid with the strength to be honest with himself and the media. (2) For the way he put himself into position to hit as many forehands as he did in the Queens final. He didn’t need to run around his backhand all that much, but somehow the ball kept coming back to his forehand. Patrick McEnroe has praised Querrey’s “court sense,” that nebulous, know-it-when-I-see-it term that’s the rough equivalent in the NBA to “basketball IQ.” Querrey gets it, but does he get it at the majors? That we haven’t seen. Going back to the NBA (I’m turning into Brad Gilbert here, I know), the Slams are what you might call “playoff basketball,” which means there's more intensity, rougher play, and a cutthroat mentality. Querrey’s even-keel style has worked well in the low-key world of the regular season—he’s won three 250s this year—but hasn’t gotten him deep in the playoffs. But if Sam has shown us anything since the French Open, it was way too soon, for him or his fans, to panic. 


 
95
Comments
 

Posted by Nina 06/14/2010 at 07:33 PM

What about Djokovic? Too soon to panic? He won the doubles trophy at Queens though, so at least he has achieved more than Murray, Roddick, Roger and Rafa.

Posted by BrooklynNY 06/14/2010 at 07:48 PM

Novak is liable to lose to anybody with a little bit of game at any time if his head starts spinning the wrong way. I think he is way too frail nowadays, personally

Its pretty amazing how the last 2 paragraphs of this piece are the logical outlook on the subject of Bodo's new piece. Somehow he managed to come up with an entire piece with his unrealistic outlook.

Posted by rafaholic (@TOtennisfan) 06/14/2010 at 08:00 PM

You might want to fact check next time. Gonzo has already withdrawn, news that was posted on this very website.

Posted by Red 1.7.17.287⁺ = Legacy Solidified 06/14/2010 at 08:05 PM

I'm thinking all around it's too soon to panic. Seems to me this year so many more of the top guys are injured and have decided to take the time necessary to heal rather than return "too soon.'

Posted by VE 06/14/2010 at 09:59 PM

Yup, Steve, so as a Rafaelite, you're panicking...good to know.

Posted by wilson75 06/14/2010 at 10:09 PM

Everybody in the media panicking. But if they didn't they would have nothing to write about.

Posted by Geellis 06/14/2010 at 10:28 PM

PANIC EVERYONE FOR EVERY PLAYER
There's just no player playing so well/consistently to really see how Wimby shakes out. Personally, I think Nadal can handle this loss better than he has in the past. I think he needed some grass court work-out and then needed some rest. It's inconceivable that Fed loses to a Hewitt in 3/5 so his fans can relax some, though he has looked vulnerable for much of this year. All of the other big names have had their respective difficulties. Frankly, I think the whole draw at Wimby is likely to be a toss-up. More than ever, it seems likely to support the adage that "on any given day.........".

Posted by H 06/14/2010 at 11:21 PM

I'm a big Fed fan, but I just can't get too worked up about his losses these days. After all, what is there to panic about? Pete's record? Nah... he's done more than enough (and then some) and it's been an absolute pleasure--it's okay to share the wealth. Loss of skill, speed, focus, or whatever have to be expected at this stage of his game/life. I hope to see Isner & Querrey make good runs and Murray to take it all for all our sakes.

Posted by Andrew 06/14/2010 at 11:29 PM

Start with the 2003 Wimbledon, then count the other GS tournaments through to RG. We've had seven cycles (28 GS tournaments), with the 2009 W-USO-AO-RG cycle just completed.

Federer's GS record, through those seven cycles, is 2, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2.

He didn't look good from IW to Estoril. Better play from Madrid to Halle, but no title. Cause for concern? By his best standards, not a good sequence. Time to panic? Too soon for me.

Posted by Aabye 06/15/2010 at 12:19 AM

Nice post. Now,fans who really need to be panicked are Djokovic fans...although with his recent win in doubles at Queen, I'm curious to see what he's going to bring to the table. Ahh, this is shaping up to be quite an appealing contest on the men's side in particular. We've got Federer fans a little more nervous than usual, but Hey! It's Wimbledon, Roger's stage for his best theater. Rafa's finally got his mojo back and will likely be eager to get back to the scene of arguably his crowning achievement. Djoker has no pressure coming in, which will be good for him, while Murray has enough pressure to produce a diamond, and I hope he'll thrive. The rest of the top ten can pick off the 3rd or 4th seed if they don't step it, and maybe they'll even get a chance to surprise one of the head honchos. And then we have the Americans who always have a loud cohort urging them onward, and this time more than one of them might go quite far. Lastly, all those little floaters around, Fish, Gasquet (not sure where he is right now in the rankings), Ancic are three guys no one wants to play earlier.

Posted by mightywind 06/15/2010 at 01:44 AM

I think "panic" is no longer part of the lexicon when it comes to Roger. It's all icing, gravy (insert your favorite topping) from here on in. I think he will win 3 more slams in his career but it's unlikely that they will be achieved with the lethality he once wielded over the field (except for you-know-who). He will always be in the mix as long as he plays. He is sliding ever so slightly but inexorably out of his prime. You can see it. There used to be entire matches where he simply would not miss a forehand. Now it's about a 60-40 proposition. He is still capable of playing a jaw-dropping set and a half but it's a lot harder to sustain against the firepower he is likely to face in the second week.

Posted by Sofie 06/15/2010 at 01:55 AM

I am not a Federer fan persay, although you have to respect this man completely in every aspect of his game. I think he does need to worry when he's losing on his favorite surface to no disrespect to Hewitt but c'mon.. He isn't injured, there really should be no reason for the loss. Especially after the losses he's had coming into the grass season. Fed isn't talking about why. Which is more of a reason I would def be worried if I was a Fed fan. That ability that he had 2008 & before is gone. He is not the same player anymore. Can he win more majors? probably if the right draw fell into his hands. And only just.

Posted by Prashant Sharma 06/15/2010 at 02:53 AM

Panic? About what? That Federer wont win his 17th Slam? Cmon..I mean the guy has won 16 of them. Reached 23 consecutive slam Semis...I think he has done enough for an era of tennis. So, I dont care now. I hope that he wins one or two more of these slams..maybe equals Pete at wimbledon by winning his 7th...but Panic is not in my dictionary.
Give the guy a break...he was and shall remain for a long long time the greatest ever to lift a tennis racquet.

Posted by reckoner 06/15/2010 at 03:10 AM


this might be the yr federer gets stunned in the 2R by some young gun or tricky veteran journeyman, like the krajicek to feds sampras...

back in late may, had a strong inkling and commented that feds streak of SF appearances would end @ RG this yr... pardon the cliche but federer is starting to come back down to earth perhaps... he can still win majors no doubt, but i truly believe that gone are the days where he bags multiple majors every yr

Posted by evie 06/15/2010 at 03:34 AM

reckoner -- quite the bold prediction: a nearly 29-yr-old tennis player is unlikely to win multiple slams every year.

I'm not panicked, but I am a touch worried and I agree that Federer's draw will be critical. Wimbledon is far and away the most important tournament to him. He's going to be very hard to beat, regardless of other issues. However, as a fan it's unnerving to see him so frequently ahead, only to lose in the end. It's as if he relaxes too much after winning the first set, leaning on the days when his opponents lost their belief if they got behind early. That doesn't happen as much anymore.

Posted by Ryota 06/15/2010 at 04:07 AM

Djokovic - not a time to panic. He doesn't need to start defending points until we get to the 2nd half of the HC season in time for USO and then the indoors circuit where he has Paris to defend.

Murray - when he lost in Miami didn't he say "I shouldn't panic"? Actions seem to speak louder than words. The thing that bugs me about Murray is the way that he has lost his matches. He just seems lost and uninterested. Perhaps that loss in Australia cut and stung deeper than he's letting on. Maybe.

Nadal - any point he gets from Wimbledon is a bonus. Why should he worry? Unless he gets Karlovic or Fish in the first round.

Federer - when I heard he lost to Hewitt in Halle, my initial reaction was "OK, this is interesting". I still maintain that unless he gets bounced out of Wimbledon before the middle Sunday, he'll be fine. Maybe he's just entering a tennis midlife crisis or something.

Roddick - the stars need to align in order for him to win Wimbledon... and my fear is that the stars have out-aligned themselves already when Schiavone won the French.

Draw comes out on Friday. Can't hardly wait is an understatement.

Posted by An Indian fan 06/15/2010 at 04:25 AM

For Fedex the time to panic is long gone. Even Fedex knows it. He will be 29 shortly and has achieved almost everything that is there to achieve on a Tennis Court. With age catching up and very little desire/motivation to win, he is certainly a step slower and his fans and opponents know it. The only people who do not appear to know this simple fact are his critics and Nadal fans. If he gets some good results in the bargain (like Australian Open in the beginning of the year when none wagered on it), it is a bonus. Wimby being his favourite surface and tournament, may be he will find some motivation and speed to do well. My feeling is that this year neither Fedex nor Nadal may win it. May be it is time for a new Wimby champion - some one from the power serving pack!

Posted by TJ Hughes 06/15/2010 at 04:36 AM

Anyone else noticed how Djokovic, at the end of a defeat, always makes cosy with his opponent at the net. Too cosy. Novak seems relieved to lose. The weight of expectation lifted. His body language says, "It's only a game, what do I care?" This makes me think he will never win another Slam, unless a draw opens up for him at the USO or Australia and he doesn't have to beat anyone in the top 10.

Posted by HK 06/15/2010 at 04:54 AM

The French Open this year marked an additional milestone in the decline of Federer other than the 23 consecutive slam semi-final streak that was the focus of all the attention. In this same period, i.e., since Wimbledon 2004, every slam has either been won by Federer or the player who beat Federer at the tournament. Out of the 23 slams played leading up to the French Open, he won 14 and 9 were won by players who beat him (6 by Nadal, one by Safin, one by Del Potro and one by Djokovic). This was a different streak of sorts that was also broken. Simply put, any player who dreamed of winning a slam had his task cut out for him - beat Federer. To put this another way, Federer was the gatekeeper of the most important tournaments in the world. He held the key by default. To win one, you had to some how pick his pocket. Try as the rest of field might, they failed more than half the time.

There are many factors that have contributed to Federer's run, consistency, his hold on the slams etc. including his strokes, versatility, movement, mental toughness etc. However, I believe the key factor is simply how natural a player he is, i.e., how easily the game comes to him. There may be other players who can hit with more power, who are faster on the court etc. although there are very few of these too. However, no one so far has been able to play at the consistently high standard that he does as easily as he does it. There are many analogies to this in every facet of life. There may have been many composers who were able to occasionally match the brilliance of a Mozart or a Mendelssohn. However, they can't keep it up as often. Creativity was simply much more in the DNA of the most brilliant composers. Similarly, tennis is more second nature to Federer than it has been to anyone else over the past few years. To be sure, the realization of this potential still requires enormous amount of work. But, that fact doesn't detract from the importance of the fact that the game is so much a part of him.

Federer has set the bar extremely high over the last few years. Quite a few times, players have managed to clear it. But there was no question that Federer was that bar and more often than not the rest of the field fell far short of it. This might now have changed. It will be interesting to see if Nadal is able to emulate Federer and set the bar just as high over the coming years. If he can, his prize would be a career to rival or surpass Federer's when his career is done. To put Andrew's point above a different way, Federer has won an outrageous 2.3 slams per year over the past six and a half years. Nadal on the other hand has managed 1.33 slams per year over the past four and a half years (excluding 2005, his first year of slam success). To emulate Federer, he now needs to win slams at almost a rate of 1.8 per year for the next five years (keeping in mind their age difference). I think he can do it. But it is nevertheless an enormous challenge. If anyone can come close to this, it probably is Nadal.

Posted by roGER 06/15/2010 at 04:59 AM

Fish was saved by the capracious British weather during the Murry match. At 3 all in the final set, with Murry having win the previous 3 games, Fish (understandably and correctly) took the option of walking off due to bad light, and was able to squeeze through on the tie-break the next day. All credit to Fish - he was playing much better than a couple of years ago.

The only reason Murry lost the first set was mental - he simply wasn't there, and wasn't in the mood. Rest assured he'll be in the mood at Wimbledon, and depending on the draw seems a cert for at least a quarter final berth, maybe further...

Posted by jawad 06/15/2010 at 05:41 AM

I dont understand this use of word "Panic" here.I'm not a Federer fan but let us be honest that he has achieved a lot in his carrer and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is past his best and slowly and gradually he is moving towrds his end of the carrer.Every GS he wins now is a bonus and I certainly can see him winning 3 or 4 more.
He will be 29 this august and this is certainly not the age to win each and every Tourney you enter.
But everbody knows that he is still the best player (I know he is ranked no. 2 now) out there by a huge margin.It will be difficult for anybody to challenge him seriouly on grass if he gets his serve going like it did in last years final against Roddick.
But Steve is right Draw would be key this year for him If he gets 2 or 3 dangerous player in his quarter then anything can happen.

Posted by Geellis 06/15/2010 at 07:04 AM

@jawad
"But everbody knows that he is still the best player (I know he is ranked no. 2 now) out there by a huge margin.It will be difficult for anybody to challenge him seriouly on grass if he gets his serve going like it did in last years final against Roddick."

First, Federer has never been the best player by a huge margin. The margins in tennis just aren't that big. He's been the best player out there by just enough and that margin has clearly declined. Only during these recent days during which the men he's owned are now getting some payback are we seeing the fine ledge upon which Federer's game was balanced. There was little room for error in those beautiful swings. Like an extraordinarily fine Swiss watch his game turned on a level of precision, jeweled movement, none could match. It's clear the mechanisms have gone off a little. And others, who's games are built on more pedestrian stock, now have a chance.

Their games never required that finesse, that precision. The games of Roddick, Hewitt, Soderling, Davydenko are simple. Just hit big shots or fast shots and be somewhat consistent. Reliable, but rarely brilliant. Be very, very good, but not genius.
That genius is now gone. And Federer will now have to win matches the way the other guys do, somewhat rotely, perhaps less beautiful. And most certainly, he'll have to grind out wins. The question for him is, can he win that way? Does a genius have the mental fortitude to play like an automaton? Hmmmmm, this seems to be his new challenge for I fear genius may no longer be his to command (though he may have moments where it returns sporadically).

Posted by Geellis 06/15/2010 at 07:18 AM

@jawad
"But everbody knows that he is still the best player (I know he is ranked no. 2 now) out there by a huge margin.It will be difficult for anybody to challenge him seriouly on grass if he gets his serve going like it did in last years final against Roddick."

And second, his serving display in the Wimby final of last year will never be repeated by him. His average ace count in a 5 set match is probably around 15. He hit 50 in that match last year. His high prior to that was, as Master Ace reminded me, 39 against Tipsarevic in the 2008 AO. So, do not hold your breath waiting for him to do something he's almost never, ever done in his career.

Posted by horst 06/15/2010 at 07:24 AM

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but Memphis - one of the three events Querrey won this year - is a 500 event.

Posted by felizjulianidad 06/15/2010 at 07:45 AM

Steve,

Tsk tsk. Had an "affect" on him?

You're too good for those sorts of mistakes! Hahaha.

Posted by jawad 06/15/2010 at 07:47 AM

@Geellis

I agree with almost all the things u mentioned, my only point is that he is still has the ability and only question is execution.

GS are always different to other tournamnts that they provide 2 or 3 easy matches in the beginning which provide good chance to a player like Federer to get in and find his rhythm on serve and forehand.Federer can certainly win ugly, I have seen him win a lot of tiebrakers in last year or two b/c of his opponents making mistakes or him serving well.

But there is no ooubt that everyone has got a lot closer to him compared to previous years.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 06/15/2010 at 09:25 AM

Of course it's too soon for Roger Federer to panic, Steve. He won two of four majors last year, and has the Australian under his belt this year. He ran into a buzz saw in the French in Robin Soderling. His play may have been a little flat during the spring clay court campaign, and there are clearly more players who can crack his shell when they're playing lights out. But he's still healthy and hungry (he's got Sampras' total weeks at #1 to chase, for example), so there's no reason to think that he won't have his chances over the next couple of years. And he's still got to be the favorite going into both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, where he's a six-time and five-time champion, respectively. If it were anyone BUT Federer we were speaking of, I'm confident that we wouldn't be too concerned about his future.

Posted by CherryNYC 06/15/2010 at 09:25 AM

Dying for the draw on Friday. I'm not worried abiut Fed, but an easy first week would go a long way. If I see Karlovic in the third round, total frazzle.

Posted by Kombo 06/15/2010 at 10:13 AM

Fed had beaten Hewitt 15 times in a row, to finally lose one isn't reason to panic. I play racquetball with some friends of mine and lose about one in ten. You can't win all the time. Could you seriously expect Fed to be as motivated as Hewitt to win that match? To beat him for a 16th straight time, coz 15 isn't enough of a streak?

I understand, as a journo you have to wring every last bit of talk out these tennis happenings, to fill the between major lulls. We'll see what happens at Wimbledon. Fed may not win, but the time for 'panic' has long passed, he's had a great career and is still top tier unlike the other players of his generation.

Posted by Kombo 06/15/2010 at 10:22 AM

As others said upthread, the only one who should be panicking is the one not mentioned in the article: Djokovic.

Posted by Charlie 06/15/2010 at 10:26 AM

Can't see how a Djoko fan wouldn't be panicking already, and have been doing so for a fair old while, in fact be very well acquainted with the condition by now, thinking about settling down together, breeding, etc.

I'd never say he won't be able to surprise us somewhere down the line, but ... I'd be surprised.

Posted by bmars250 06/15/2010 at 10:29 AM

Come on guys lets be reasonable, of course fed is going to lose more from now on becoz of his age, but that's no reason to panic, he has done more than enough already. Even though he is not the same player he used to be, I see no reason why he can't work his way past a tough draw, remember aus open, he is federer and as surprising as it may be, I'm sure that even though TMF may show up in pathes from now on, those patches can still be good enough to win more titles. As vulnerable as Fed is at the moment he still has more game than anyone else and it usually takes an exceptional performance by sm1 to beat him which is usually even tougher for anyone to do it over 5 sets

Posted by Kombo 06/15/2010 at 10:39 AM

and people quickly forget that Hewitt has won Wimbledon before, he's no slouch on this surface. Fed could win one more tournament all year long, and if it's a major, he'll have had a good yr. He's not gonna dominate week in week out, that's the #1's job, and he's only done that clay and the clay season's over.

Posted by muzi 06/15/2010 at 10:44 AM

Federer is done. He can't hold his serve and losing to people he should not have lost. We are seeing the gradual decline of Federer in front of our eyes. He hasn't improved his game for many years now. His game was so much better than anybody else and it carried him for four years. Now, people are overpowering him. Hope that he loses wimbledon so that he will leave his stubborn attitude about his game and take it to a new level for the future. The dividends of his beautiful game are coming to an end and he doesn't realize it. I wish that he didn't win Australian Open because than he would have a wake up call about his game and he would have been better prepared for French and Wimbledon. He will have a reality check when he loses in Wimbledon but I hope he loses to somebody else besides Nadal because if Nadal beats him he will not improve his game but if other players beat him then he will improve his game. I wish the best for Federer.

Posted by calbearo 06/15/2010 at 11:33 AM

Steve, Querrey has won three tournaments this year - a 500 level event and two 250s. Memphis is not as big of a 500 event as say Rotterdam or Dubai, but it is still a 500 level a event. The Queens draw makes it arguably better than any 500 event field in the calendar. Those are both very impressive wins for the big guy. I am still waiting to see a bigger breakthrough at a Slam. He was close at Wimby last year, but I think his best shot will be at the USO where I think he will feel most comfortable. His ability to win two tournaments in Europe is very encouraging for an American man.

Posted by thebigapple 06/15/2010 at 11:44 AM

No panic for Fed. I am hoping for the best but open to accepting to whatever happens. The man is 29 years old, so just hoping, just hanging strong.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 06/15/2010 at 11:53 AM

muzi,

I agree with you to a certain degree. I don't agree that Federer is "done"--that's going too far, IMO. But I do agree that he hasn't added enough to his game since becoming TMF to continue to dominate as he did from 2004 through 2007. His "stubbornness," for lack of a better word, is well known and can be blamed for at least three or four loses to his main rival, Rafael Nadal. There is reason to hope, though. He has finally embraced the drop shot, and he's using his slice backhand more to disrupt the pattern and change the pace and the strike point of his opponent. The things he needs to shore up and make the most of going forward are his first serve, his volley and his break-point opportunities. He must either raise his first serve percentage when facing his toughest competition, or go for more on his first serves. He must get to the net more frequently, and more specifically he must close the gap more quickly to have a stab at more passing shots. And he needs to really focus and man-up (play with courage) on those many break-point opps he earns.

Posted by Me 06/15/2010 at 12:15 PM

Ye. Definitely Tignor's is the best.

Posted by Alice 06/15/2010 at 12:38 PM

I think Gaellis makes a great point that the margins in tennis are not that big. That's what makes it so difficult to stay on top in tennis, and why most players have such a small time window to be at their peak. Top tennis players are among the most finely tuned athletes in the world, and a small drop in their playing level can effect their results. Federer is probably 95 percent as good as he ever was, but that 5 percent drop is hurting him. It means that he might lose that crucial break point he used to win, or the volley that used to hit the line now goes 3 inches out. Since many pro sets are decided by a single service break or a tie breaker these changes hurt. In many pro matches you could change the outcome by giving the loser a handful of points in the right places. This also makes it even more amazing that Federer stayed on top for so long.

Posted by garlicnanchovies 06/15/2010 at 12:46 PM

i think there are 2 factors at work that haven't been discussed in this thread (tho often b4). first, the switch from best 3 of 5 to 2 out of 3 for masters events has hurt fed. used to give him a cushion to pull out close matches or ones where he started poorly. second, the aura of invincibility is gone now. just being TMF gave him a psychological edge over many players. now all see he can be beaten.
i do miss the dominant years but now watching him have to cope with the towering giants will be a new form of fed-ertainment!

Posted by calbearo 06/15/2010 at 12:56 PM

I would second what garlic says about the aura. Fed had won sooo many matches before he even walked onto the court in the past. Last years FO final was a good case in point. The mounting losses to guys like Simon, et al did not have immediate effects, but over time more and more guys go out there believing that they can win if they play well instead of thinking that they have no chance or that they have to play perfectly.

Posted by FoT 06/15/2010 at 01:34 PM

Don't believe that all players have lost that "aura"... At Wimbledon, he still has it:

Sam Querrey, after he won Queens

Quote "I think guys are still going to fear him. He's still the most feared player at Wimbledon even though he lost today to Lleyton. Maybe he's lost a little bit of his game but he's still the greatest player ever and the defending Wimbledon champion and the guy that I'm definitely going to fear more than any player."

Posted by jawad 06/15/2010 at 01:35 PM

One more thing I think it is really good for Tennis that his dominance is approaching its end.It will get more and more unperdicatable and thats what people love more compared to one guy reaching almost every GS final for past 4 or 5 years now.
Remember how people hated Eddie Merckx when he won Tour de France 5 time in a row and won Giro multiple times.
I personally feel sport doesn't need a "face".Sport is bigger than a single player no matter how good he is but media certainly needs one personality who they can use to make news all the time, examples are Tiger Woods for Golf, Schumacher for F1 and Federer for Tennis.

Posted by FoT 06/15/2010 at 01:42 PM

jawad, in American, Roger won over a lot of the 'outside' audience because he WAS so dominant, I think. People who didn't even follow tennis knew/know of Roger Federer. I don't think that 'hurt' tennis. It brought more spotlight into the mix. A dominant player is good for the sport, to me. Tiger did the same thing for Golf. When you have every Tom, Dick, and Harry winning slams - maybe a lot of one-time slammers, it's just the opposite, to me. No one can remember who the heck these guys are! It was great for Italy to have a French Open winner, but I bet if you ask the average person on the streets who won the women's French Open this year they couldn't tell you. But many of these non-fans probably can remember Nadal won in the mens.

My point - dominance isn't entirely 'bad' for a sport. I have read so many people saying Roger's dominance was 'bad' for the sport. Bad how? Everytime he won, he made the headline news on Sportcenter, and other sport shows that normally didn't even mention tennis. So when he won - tennis also won! I don't see how he was remotely 'bad' for the sport at all. And it didn't hurt that he's a 'good guy' as well. Tennis grew and won because Roger won, in my opinion. Those who say he 'hurt' the sport - I want to know from you - how the heck did he 'hurt' it? Just because you may not be a fan of Roger's doesn't mean he 'hurt' the sport by winning a lot. Or give me some specific examples of how you 'think' he hurt the sport? Just wondering because I think he helped it tremendously by his dominance!

Posted by Taco Bell 06/15/2010 at 01:51 PM

I heard the same thing when Fed lost to Nadal at Wimbe that he is done and dusted.
People were planning his farewell when he came back and kicked everyone around.
Now he has lost a few matches and we hear the same click clack again.....come one.

Posted by California Ace 06/15/2010 at 02:05 PM

FoT, I do see your point about a player's dominance bringing the outside attention. However, those people who start paying attention are not true fans. They hear of Federer on the news between baseball highlights and say, "I love that guy," but they don't really no anything about him. They're just taking the easiest path, routing (casually) for the man who wins everything because that's the guaranteed route to satisfaction. For Fed fans who post here, I'm not saying you are like this at all. You are true fans who don't stop routing for him if his name isn't headlining Sports Center. I just think that while parity may not make the Sports Center highlights, it's really best for those who care about the sport and love its intricacies and nuances. The lifelong tennis fan doesn't want dominance.

Fed obviously has nothing to prove anymore except there's one record I bet he still wants: number of weeks ranked #1 for which he is one week short. Based on last years July-November results, it's highly unlikely anyone gets back #1 from Nadal barring injury. Nevertheless, I think Fed has still surpassed Sampras as GOAT even if he never gets back to #1. He lost the top ranking in 2008 not because of poor play, but because Nadal made an unbelievably furious charge to the top (no one has ever done more with his pro resume to earn #1 than Nadal who had five grand slams, about a dozen MS titles, etc.). Sampras never faced such a huge onslaught by one player or else his record might have shrunk a little.

Posted by California Ace 06/15/2010 at 02:08 PM

Slice-n-Dice, I agree in general about Fed using the backhand slice. The one problem, however, is that it doesn't seem to bother Nadal who scoops it cleanly and high over the net with his topspin to bring it down. I think Fed knows this because against Nadal he abandons his more natural backhand return (the slice) for the one that takes him out of his comfort zone (hitting through it). Against everyone else he seems to slice that return. Against Nadal he tries to hit through it but rarely does it come off clean.

Posted by garlicnanchovies 06/15/2010 at 03:20 PM

the good thing about having crossover stars like fed and rafa is it can bring new players to the sport. maybe a few more talented youngsters will choose tennis over football as these visible athletes did. a few more former players will take up the game again.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 06/15/2010 at 03:48 PM

Good observation, California Ace. I agree that that is exactly ythe tactic Federer has determined he must use against Nadal, who has an uncanny ability to get under and inside or outside those low-skidding slices to pull off a lasso forehand. But I still think Federer must expoit it from time to time, in order todraw Nadal (and other big hitters) forwrad into the court, thereby rendering trhe next, deep ball that much tougher to deal with. It also can cause his opponent to "stand in" a bit further as his neutral position, which again can make Federer's deep ball more effective.

Posted by California Ace 06/15/2010 at 03:54 PM

I agree, Slice-n-Dice. It is a valuable maneuver and most don't handle it as well as Nadal. Even against Nadal there are proper times, especially on grass where it's more effective than hard court.

Posted by Slice-n-Dice 06/15/2010 at 04:29 PM

To expound a bit more, against very tall, rangy players (like Del Potro or Berdych or Soderling), as well as against speedy defensive players, the idea is to use the up-and-back directions to your advantage. Of course, if an open court opportunity presents itself against the giants, hit into it. But against the Nadal-type player, the open court can be like a lure--you've got to go behind that player more often tha to the open court, unless you can hit it from close range and very hard.

The slice, when properly used, is just the ball to begin the up-and-back campaign.

Posted by leigh 06/15/2010 at 04:54 PM

My man, Gaston Gaudio, won his match today in Milan. I've been a fan of his since his win at the French in
2004. (Read 'Death Match' in this month's Tennis Magazine about that match)
Every week I check to see if he is playing. He took a couple of years off, now at 31 he is enjoying playing
again. Please think of him this week. He won a Challenger tournament this year; also on clay.
Any other fans out there from that 2004 Final??

Posted by leigh 06/15/2010 at 05:02 PM

So sorry that Del-Po is still having wrist problems. He would be a great addition to the Wimbledon Draw.
Seems like Argentina produces a lot of good players: Nalbandian, Gaudio, Monaco, Acasuso. and Del-Potro.
I think Nalbandian might be back to Wimbledon after hip surgery. He has been in the Final and Quarterfinals.

Posted by Alex 06/15/2010 at 05:15 PM

Does it even matter? Rafa is unbeatable form now, he won't lose a match the rest of the year.

Posted by Roastie 06/15/2010 at 05:19 PM

I'm sure Federer will be fine. I do hope Sod is in his half again though. But I expect he will beat him easily this time round.

I'd like a new champ though - or Rafa again. Roddick would be good - he deserved it last year. Preferably Andy Murray but I have an awful feeling Andy's form will not rebound for Wimbledon. I reckon he may get as far as the fourth round. We'll see.

Posted by Alexis 06/15/2010 at 05:43 PM

I'm a Fed fan and I'm hardly panicking. I stopped worrying so much about Fed as soon as he won the FO and surpassed Pete at Wimbledon. Those were the two goals I wanted to see him accomplish before he retired. I never thought he would do it before his 28 birthday, but he did. The rest is icing.

I also agree that domination for a while is good for any sport. It draws people to a sport when they know 'something special' is happening. However... I also understand how boring domination can get if it goes on too long. When it gets to that point, domination only really appeals to fans of that player/team. Eventually people want to see someone else win.

Posted by Alexis 06/15/2010 at 05:44 PM

Boy Alex... are you in for a rude awakening.

Posted by Pspace 06/15/2010 at 06:18 PM

Put me in the "whatever" camp in regards to Federer. Personally, I don't know how he gets out of bed in the morning. He may be done or not. But, other than a GS final, results are barely worth more than a raised eyebrow.

Bring on the next generation. Wait...who? I guess Nadal is the form player going into Wimbledon.

Posted by Corrie 06/15/2010 at 06:20 PM

I didn't enjoy watching Sampras or Edberg go downhill and I'm not enjoying watching Federer go downhill - which he clearly and inevitably is. I can't understand how the old lions enjoy being mauled by those they used to maul. Why not just retire as soon as your game shows all its vulnerabilities so you don't have to worry about juggling family and tennis?

As for Djokovic and Murray, perhaps they were overrated in the first place and are now showing their true level?

And it's "effect", not "affect".

Posted by TeamNadal 06/15/2010 at 06:33 PM

I don't know if it's time to panic, but there is certainly cause for worry with Fed....where he has always been able to pull off that something extra, he just doesn't seem to do it in key moments....lately it's been a WTF with him.....perhaps he's declining or it's a mental thing....Wimby should be interesting....can't wait for the draw.

Posted by Ethan 06/15/2010 at 06:57 PM

All I care about is seeing Federer squash Soderling's IKEA FACE into the cholorophyll juiced lawns of Wimbeldon.

Posted by Legoboy 06/15/2010 at 06:58 PM

Not your best piece.....I like them better when your personality comes through.

What do YOU think...this is supposed to be an opinion piece, but it just focus' on people who can't really say for sure.....
ultimately, we can all think and say what we like....but any of those "question marks" for this year's tounament can take it out.

I hope it's Roddick, the man deserves a break.....but something tells me Federer will redeem himself, and have of all saying "of course he can"

Posted by Ethan 06/15/2010 at 07:06 PM

If Fed doesn't do it, then Nadal will take Soderling's Swedish massuese ass and spank it hard on Center Court and the crowd will be pointing and laughing at him as the chemicals from the grass sting him forcefully and he goes back to the clubhouse ashamed Nadal grind his SAAB FACE deep and hard into the laws that he almost suffocated on the soil.

Posted by TeamNadal 06/15/2010 at 07:12 PM

LOL Ethan...you freakin kill me!

Posted by Ozone 06/15/2010 at 07:26 PM

Nice writeup by HK @ 4:54 above

Posted by Larry 06/15/2010 at 08:11 PM

Interesting. My two pennies:

1. Murray is an enigma. Obvious but true. His biggest problems are a) moodiness, or self-hate, and b) trying to play cute or show off his game, being the diva in terms of shot selection. He needs to be cheered up and he needs to use his power. While a player like Rafter, Sampras or Edberg could be artistic, it was a byproduct of their prioritized games. Murray has to come in more on grass, and hit bigger.

2. Novak is indeed overrated. The signs of fragility were always there. But I think he could play better than he currently is, and remember, he does usually win his matches, so he's still a great player. My take is that he has too many distractions, a function of all sorts of aspirations and an unwillingness to focus on the tennis enough.

3. I really don't see Isner as the most likely of the three names mentioned to go far. I actually think it will be either Fish or Querrey this year, though Isner might yet do well at Wimby.

4. While I think Fed is getting older and gradually losing his edge, I am nearly continually amused by predictions or assessments of his decline. Ummm, he won in Australia. He barely lost in five to Delpo in New York. Anybody remember how the gangling behemoth played that day? Roger is at least 18 months away, imo, from showing real signs of physical decline, though his mind might go away before then. Trust me, once he walks onto center court, SW19, his mind will be there.

Nonetheless, it's very iffy if he plays Nadal in the Finals. Nadal is simply a monster on court these days. I still have Rog as the favorite, but I think it's 50-50 if they play each other.

Posted by CL/TMF 16 & Counting 06/15/2010 at 09:08 PM

"And second, his serving display in the Wimby final of last year will never be repeated by him"

Geellis - and you know that how? sure, it is highly unlikely...but to rule it out completely? Unless you have an EXTRA special crystal ball, I don't see how you...or anyone else... can know that.

And indian Fan. Fed looked a half step FASTER at the AO. And even at times in Madrid and Halle. Has he lost that step since then? I guess we will see.

I have no idea what is going to happen to who at Wimbledon. I do believe that is why they make them actually play...instead of just handing whoever is the fan's/press's favorite the trophy. I am looking forward to seeing how it all plays out...for ALL the players.

Posted by CL/TMF 16 & Counting 06/15/2010 at 09:10 PM

Corrie - just 'cause you haven't got the stones....

Look away if you can't take it. Find yourself a new favorite. And we will be sure and page you when Fed gets his next slam.

Posted by thooz 06/15/2010 at 09:30 PM

Roger Federer will end up with 20 Majors before he retires. If that is a decline, who cares?
And oh, by the way, he'll surpass the only two records that are still important to him: Sampras' 7 Wimbledon titles and total weeks at #1. After he accomplishes this, what will all you naysayers then proclaim about him?

Posted by AnotherTennisProdigy 06/15/2010 at 10:23 PM

At this stage of Roger's career (maybe a little later) I'm expecting him to get upset in the round of 16 at wimbledon, the same way Fed did to pete. That same player will lose in the next round, but will dominate the next era and inherit Fed's throne. That player will win slams and chase Federer's record of however many slams he will get. Unlikely, but it would be cool. ;)

Posted by David Thompson 06/15/2010 at 10:30 PM

Yes, panic. It's one thing for Federer to lose to young, hungry up and comers like del Potro. It's more alarming when he loses on grass to somebody like Hewitt who has recently had major surgery, is married/kids etc., on the downhill slide and probably even less motivated than Federer. Like all tennis fans, I love watching Federer. But he should retire immediately. Better to burn out than fade away. Go out in a final blaze of glory and give it everything he's got at Wimbledon. And then hang up the cardigan.

Posted by Durbull@hipcap.jaba.com 06/15/2010 at 10:40 PM

If Federer loses his Wimbledon crown this year, then it's time to worry. Wimbledon is Federer's faviote slam. He would rathr win Wimbledon than keep his ranking. Look at how hard he had to play with Nadal (2-times) and Roddick (2009). He will not let this crown go. If he loses, then it's time to panick and it's also time to possibley change his tention and strings on his racket, find a good coach that will talk back to Federer when he doesn't like different plays in his game and have him coach Federer and not Mirka. It will all come down to Wimbledon. If he keeps his crown, then he qualifies for London in Nov. (2-grand slams this year, so far) and the media will get off his back, just like last year prior to the French Open and Wimbledon.

Posted by Geellis 06/15/2010 at 10:58 PM

@CL/TMF 16 & Counting
You just keep counting on the Fed hitting 50 aces again in a match. I guess I know it because of the hundreds and hundreds of matches he's played, he's only hit 50 aces once and the other highest was 39. So no, I do not need a crystal ball. Just common sense, that is apparently not so common.

Posted by espnalanaldo 06/15/2010 at 11:18 PM

Let us see a pattern, if it is time to panic for Roger.

He won AO, ... but mind you Rafa was injured.
Then Roger was beaten by Davydenko in Doha. I will call this FED FLOP I

then, as Garber describes it, FED FLOP II in Indian Wells
FED FLOP III in Miami
FED FLOP IV in Monte Carlo in opening round to Gulbis is it?
FED FLOP V in Estoril - the biggest joke of a 250 clay tour - to Montanez in a group of no name players.
FED FLOP VI in Rome --- you figure out the round he lost
FED FLOP VII in Madrid - Sweet Revenge in the final. Just shows you who is really the best in clay.
FED FLOP IX in the French Open --- lucky FED a hollow title of a career slam since Rafa was injured. Else, it could have been a double bagel, a continuation of 2008 most lopsided final of a N1 vs. N2. Just a complete trashing, so JMac says.

Interestingly, karma is a bi***, the very darling of rogerlings - soderling that they though will take out Nadal, took Fed out and yet the much touted soderling forehand was not match to Nadal's versatility and problem solving in court.

Just sad turn of events as the loss also meant that roger's wish of tying Pete just went pffft.

Meanwhile, Rafa just did the unthinkable and unparalleled in tennis. The Clay Slam, with 18 masters 1000 titles and an Olympic Medal and Davis cup.

That 6 became seven then possibly 14!

Even with only a double digit of Slams Rafa will supplant Roger as the best ever. Reason, he is the only one that has an excellent H2H against his main rival. sorry, but it is just that simple.

Roger, start to panic when Rafa gets a golden Grand Slam. Probably, by then that GOAT figment of imagination in the sky will be just a memory.

Posted by espnalanaldo 06/15/2010 at 11:21 PM

Could FED Flop IX come up at Wimby?

Here's crossing my fingers. Or, rackets.

Posted by Tim (SAVE_TENNIS.FED) 06/16/2010 at 12:31 AM

I cant WAIT til Nadal, titleless for 10 months, gets the same ruthless scrutiny that federer does...that will be a delight to read!

Posted by Durbull@hipcap.jaba.com 06/16/2010 at 12:54 AM

Remember that when the Masters (500) went to best of 5-sets, not 3-sets, Roger was at his highest in Masters-Series events, just behind Aggassi. It only went to best of 3-sets 2-years ago. Why can't you appreciate a player who has won 16-grand slam titles. He also has held the record (no one elso in the history as done this or come close to it) as far as semi-final grand slam consistency events, Years at number 1 (he only needs 1-more week to tie w/Sampras), etc!!!!!!!

Posted by Servus 06/16/2010 at 02:21 AM

espnalanaldo 06/15/2010 at 11:18 PM
Let us see a pattern, if it is time to panic for Roger.

He won AO, ... but mind you Rafa was injured.
Then Roger was beaten by Davydenko in Doha. I will call this FED FLOP I

then, as Garber describes it, FED FLOP II in Indian Wells
FED FLOP III in Miami
FED FLOP IV in Monte Carlo in opening round to Gulbis is it?
FED FLOP V in Estoril - the biggest joke of a 250 clay tour - to Montanez in a group of no name players.
FED FLOP VI in Rome --- you figure out the round he lost
FED FLOP VII in Madrid - Sweet Revenge in the final. Just shows you who is really the best in clay.
FED FLOP IX in the French Open --- lucky FED a hollow title of a career slam since Rafa was injured. Else, it could have been a double bagel, a continuation of 2008 most lopsided final of a N1 vs. N2. Just a complete trashing, so JMac says.

Interestingly, karma is a bi***, the very darling of rogerlings - soderling that they though will take out Nadal, took Fed out and yet the much touted soderling forehand was not match to Nadal's versatility and problem solving in court.

Just sad turn of events as the loss also meant that roger's wish of tying Pete just went pffft.

Meanwhile, Rafa just did the unthinkable and unparalleled in tennis. The Clay Slam, with 18 masters 1000 titles and an Olympic Medal and Davis cup.

That 6 became seven then possibly 14!

Even with only a double digit of Slams Rafa will supplant Roger as the best ever. Reason, he is the only one that has an excellent H2H against his main rival. sorry, but it is just that simple.

Roger, start to panic when Rafa gets a golden Grand Slam. Probably, by then that GOAT figment of imagination in the sky will be just a memory.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The above pearl of wisdom could be Pulitzer Prize-worthy. Go for it, my friend! It is definitely within your reach :-)

Posted by Geellis 06/16/2010 at 04:20 AM

@Tim (SAVE_TENNIS.FED)
The difference between the scrutiny that Nadal receives and that the Fed receives is directly related to the reasons for their performance. We knew that Nadal was returning from injury and, perhaps more importantly, that his style of play requires a certain number of matches. Fed is not suffering from an injury and hasn't typically needed nearly as much match-play to be at his best. Thus, voila, the difference in how their respective bouts of no titles are handled in the press.

Posted by jawad 06/16/2010 at 06:15 AM

@FoT

I can't answer any better than Californian Ace.
Ur point about bringing new fans to sport I don't consider these people fans of sport rather fans of the player/personality and will leave as soon as the player ends his carrer or declines.There will be very few permanent "converts".

Posted by step 06/16/2010 at 08:00 AM

To paraphrase Rafa regarding Roger, "anyone who thinks that Roger is not the best player out there doesn't know anything about tennis....". Thanks Rafa. I respect your opinion. There has never been, nor will there ever be, another player to cosistently match the results of Roger Federer. 23 consecutive grand slams? In the words of Johnny Mac "You cannot be serious!"

Enough said. Rock on Roger!

Posted by Anna 06/16/2010 at 10:11 AM

To start, I will say that I am a Nadal fan.
But in all seriousness, there is no comparison to the achievements of Federer vs Nadal, 16 vs 7 (at least yet). Nadal is the best on clay, Federer is the best overall, even if Nadal can beat him on any surface. Federer has had the amazing consistency that noone else has ever been able to show. Being part of elite sport means having injuries, and the fact that Federer has been at the top for all these years is just unthinkable. Regarding injuries, and what would have happened (if Nadal was healthy at last year's FO, Wimby...)ten years later, nobody is thinking that Sampras should be counted as having one more slam at the 1999 US open because he missed it with a back injury while he was in top form. Only the numbers count for history

Posted by leigh 06/16/2010 at 11:26 AM

I can remember watching the Slams during those years. 2004 - 2007, where Federer was winning 2-3 Slams a year.
It was so boring. I became an instant fan of any player with belief that could go on the court and beat Fed.
Canas, Nalbandian, Nadal, Berdych(loved that he prevented Fed from getting a singles Gold medal-2004)!
There were articles written in Sports Illustrated by R. Reilly (sic) about players beaten by Fed before they
even walked on the court. Now, it has become more difficult for him to close out those matches. The other top guys don't fold anymore. I don't think Fed will win another Slam.

Posted by Tran 06/16/2010 at 12:28 PM

Relax! It's Federer. He was toooooo dominant so his every lost is something for the media to feed on. At the end of his career he will still be way over good players, if not most of active great players too.

Posted by CL/TMF 16 & Counting 06/16/2010 at 12:56 PM

Geellis - I didn't say Fed WOULD...or would even need to hit 50 aces in a match...only that saying flat out he WOULDN'T requires a crystal ball that doesn't exist. Same as if I were to say that Rafa's knee tendonitis definitely WILL come back and knock him out of another season for 6 months or more. Or permanently. It might...or it might not. I don't know for sure and neither does anyone else. Same as Fed and his aces. Or Fed and the arc of his career. None of us know what the future may hold for any of these plays..but flat out stating what will or will not happen to any of them is just silly, IMO. Or more accurately perhaps..just our OPINION of what might happen. Which is sometimes silly.

Posted by Frances 06/16/2010 at 01:35 PM

Too Soon to Panic..

I have high hopes that RAFA will have good results so as Roger.. !!!

godo luck rafa

Posted by wjr 06/16/2010 at 02:25 PM

panic,the guy has 16 slams, 4 year end titles against the top 8 players in the world. he does,nt need to win ever again. and i wish people stop with this crap about fed winning 2009 wimbly,maybe he loses if nadal healthy,thats crazy. maybe nadal does,nt win 2008,wimbely if fed does,nt have mono,and bad back.......... and fed still wins more points,and really should of won that title,hmmmmm if only he was 100 percent....just enjoy the two greatest tennis players ever.in two very different styles............

Posted by Kombo 06/16/2010 at 03:15 PM

Servus - "Meanwhile, Rafa just did the unthinkable and unparalleled in tennis. The Clay Slam"

LoL, keep stroking yourself

Posted by Keith 06/16/2010 at 06:21 PM

Well, if you want something badly and you're not getting it, it might cause panic. And judging by Federer's recent interviews, his goals are to win majors & masters (not 12 tournaments a year), and to remain #1. (BTW, he never said "all's gravy from now on", this is something only his fans use as a solace after another loss.)

He's not reaching these goals at the moment. So, yeah, I reckon he might be slightly panicky.

Also, the list of players beating him for the first time after 10-15 losses just keeps growing and it includes not only young up and comers, but more ominously his own generation. That is no source of tranquility either, I presume.

Posted by spaceace 06/16/2010 at 07:16 PM

Federer lost only 2 grass matches in seven years. Again: 2 matches in 7 years. Panic? No. Is he past the 06/07 peak? Naturally he is. One more thing: He and Hewitt are good pals, from what I read even friends. Federer constantly trashed Hewitt over their both entire careers, Hewitt is the same age as Federer and former no.1. For the last two, three years I thought that one day he will 'give' one to his pal, just to take the edge of their H2H. Or lets say Federer got a bit soft and lackluster going into the match which is in today's tennis enough for an opponent to win.

Posted by leigh 06/16/2010 at 07:27 PM

"Give" one to his pal'. on why Federer lost to Hewitt.
From Spaceace.

Is that why Nadal lost at Queens? Giving one to Feliciano Lopez, the two also good pals

(I don't think so.)

Posted by snowball56 06/16/2010 at 08:18 PM

Good luck to all players life is sooooo out of our control.

Posted by leigh 06/16/2010 at 09:10 PM

Amen

Posted by kyukee 06/17/2010 at 07:47 AM

if rafa bows out earlier than fed, he sure will win,that's his achilles heel.

if they meet in the finals then it's time to panic

Posted by The Fan Child 06/17/2010 at 07:48 PM

Thoughts: I think Roger's late-career success has a lot to do with his desire. I don't think his desire was off the charts in Paris (he got the win in '09) but I do think his desire to win here might be the highest it is going to be all year. I'm no mindreader, but my feeling is that this is the one that Federer wants more than anything right now, and his play will reflect that desire.

Will it get him the title? Too soon to say.

Thoughts (part two): Huge sigh of relief from the ATP field after Dr. Ivo withdrew.

Thoughts (part three): I like your focus theory on Murray. I think he'll play well, and his success will make for a better fortnight.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Leave a Comment



<<  Playing Ball: Sounds of the Weekend Warrior Savoring the Season  >>




A Little Less Life and Death
Playing Ball: Good Luck to a Partner
Playing Ball: Losing Them All
Keeping Tabs: August 8
Quick-Change Artists
Hard Landing
Part of the Action
This blog has 1484 entries and 99625 comments.
More
More Video
Daily Spin