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rogerfederer26
06-08-2009, 07:30 PM
Now that he finally won the French Open and his 14th Grand Slam, Is Roger Federer truly back? Will he be number one and dominate men's tennis once again?
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Sweetness And Light
by Frank Deford

Roger Federer: A Champion Faces A Challenge

Roger Federer celebrates his defeat of Rafael Nadal at the Madrid Open on May 17. AP

Morning Edition, May 20, 2009 The most painful thing for a champion is to realize that someone else has passed you by.

The most difficult thing for a champion is to try to change your game. After all, you became the best playing this way. Change what works? No, the hubris of having become the best almost demands that you stay the course. Or you quit.

And so we have ... Roger Federer.

It was hardly but a year or so ago when the only question was whether he was the greatest tennis player of all time. And there was no argument whatsoever that his game was the loveliest, ever. But now — now it seems that he might not even be the best of his own era.

How quickly it has happened. How bizarre. Federer is, after all, still ranked second in the world. It was only this past September that he won his 13th Grand Slam tournament. He's been in 14 of the last 15 major finals. That's unworldly. No, he's not a tragic figure. Away from the court, he appears level, attractive — and happy — a newlywed, with a baby on the way. He's rich and healthy. Even, it seems, rather quite a normal human being.

And yet, now he is demonized. Federer could not beat Rafael Nadal on clay in the French. Then, at Wimbledon last summer, Nadal beat Federer on grass. And at the Australian this winter, Nadal overpowered him on hard court. And suddenly, Federer didn't own a court anymore, anywhere. Who had ever seen a champion lose his world so visibly, so sorrowfully, as he did in Melbourne. The tears flowed, as Nadal tried to console him. "God, it's killing me," Federer moaned, turning away from the microphone.

Looking back, it's almost eerily the same as what happened to Bjorn Borg. Borg dominated the game as much in the late 1970s as Federer did these past few years. Only, just as Federer cannot win the French on clay, Borg could not win the U.S. on hard court.

And when John McEnroe took Centre Court at Wimbledon away from Borg and then beat him once again in New York, Borg had to walk away from the game, only 26 years old. He was still great, but someone had solved him. And, well, that was killing him.

Everybody has advice for Federer. Get a coach, Roger. Use a larger racket. Whatever. Change. Do something new, Roger. Do something different. But maybe it's hardest for him to adjust because he knows what everyone tells him, that he is the most beautiful tennis player who ever lived.

And then, Sunday, in Madrid, in the last tuneup for the French Open, Federer beat Nadal. On clay, straight sets. Now granted, Nadal's right knee is injured, and he was worn down from a grueling semifinal. Is it possible, though, that this one victory in one minor tournament can restore Federer's confidence?

Power, you see, rules almost every sport today. It is all that is stylish. Nadal is power. Beauty is now but a bagatelle. How do you get prettier when you are already the fairest of them all, and that doesn't anymore seem to be enough?

raiden031
06-08-2009, 07:35 PM
No. I'm finally convinced now that Federer only prepares to play his best tennis for the slams. He is no longer interested in dominating in every tournament, probably because he knows it will burn him out both mentally and physically, and its not worth it in the long run, because slams are really what matters most. I think he uses his performance in smaller tournaments as a litmus test to see where he's at, but thats all it will be.

I remember reading his book Quest for Perfection, where people were quoted as saying that Federer never really tried his best to win during practice matches, but boy did he turn it on when it mattered. I see the same kind of thing in his current career regarding large vs. small tournaments.

DarthFed
06-08-2009, 07:39 PM
this article is old...

Claudius
06-08-2009, 07:45 PM
He's not playing like this:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjW-0K6X8jc&feature=related , but he's playing well.

malakas
06-08-2009, 08:00 PM
Can we report the original poster for trolling??

rogerfederer26
06-08-2009, 08:12 PM
Can we report the original poster for trolling??

How is my post above trolling? The one who is NOW trolling is YOU. Maybe we should report you.

malakas
06-08-2009, 08:14 PM
How is my post above trolling? The one who is NOW trolling is YOU. Maybe we should report you.

you posted an article written before RG,only to flare up arguments and fights.You post 100000 new threads,everyday to burry Federer,while you have him in your username.

rogerfederer26
06-08-2009, 09:47 PM
you posted an article written before RG,only to flare up arguments and fights.You post 100000 new threads,everyday to burry Federer,while you have him in your username.

I'm a huge fan of Federer so before calling someone a troll, try thinking beforehand instead of following extreme blind fanboyism.

Perhaps the one calling someone a troll is the ACTUAL TROLL.

Joseph L. Barrow
06-08-2009, 10:26 PM
If by "truly back," you mean "back to his peak form," then no. In fact, this was probably his worst French Open in the last five years in terms of his overall round-by-round level of play; the difference lay in his poor luck the last four years (running into Nadal) as contrasted with his great luck this year (favorable draw, repeated narrow escapes, inexperienced opponent against whom he was 9-0 in the final). In case anyone takes offense to what I just said, let me state that I am not trying to "discredit" Federer's French Open accomplishment- although I think in any fair assessment one must admit that Federer was aided by great luck in winning this year's French Open, it ultimately stands as only a sort of karmic balance with his terrible luck in previous seasons, and given everything he had done over those last four years, Federer absolutely deserved to have at least one French Open title to his name.

That said, once again, Federer's general level of play was far from stellar (by his historical standards) over the course of this year's tournament, and we have not seen the "peak" Federer since, well, Federer's peak, which was clearly over by the start of 2008. Nevertheless, if Federer can regain some of his aura and confidence from this result, and if Nadal's injury problems are as severe as some say, then it would appear Federer has a serious chance to regain the #1 ranking.

Cyan
06-09-2009, 02:51 PM
Yeah he is back and for a long time. He will retire with 20 slams.

Badger
06-09-2009, 03:03 PM
Nearly. Playing nearly as well. Another slam this year or even the Australian early next year and he should be back to his full best that saw him dominate the last six years.

InvisibleSoul
06-09-2009, 03:21 PM
No, he will never dominate like he did between 2004-2007. But he will still be a legitimate threat and one of the favorites to win any given tournament for years to come.

Blinkism
06-09-2009, 03:26 PM
I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but I didn't think Fed's run to the French title was really dominating. It was kind of a struggle. I don't think 2004 or 2006 Fed would have struggled against Mathieu, Acasuso, Haas, and Del Potro in the same tournament.

He's not back to being the old dominant Fed, but he is definitely still the best in the business along with the others in the Top 4.

icedevil0289
06-09-2009, 03:29 PM
I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but I didn't think Fed's run to the French title was really dominating. It was kind of a struggle. I don't think 2004 or 2006 Fed would have struggled against Mathieu, Acasuso, Haas, and Del Potro in the same tournament.

He's not back to being the old dominant Fed, but he is definitely still the best in the business along with the others in the Top 4.

Omg, another pathetic fed hater! :) No, but I agree with you. It was a struggle and I think it made the win that much sweeter. I don't think he'll ever be back to the old dominant fed. He's older and slower. No one should expect the fed of 2004-2007 to show up on a consistent basis, but I expect fed to still be a force in the slams.

Blinkism
06-09-2009, 03:34 PM
Omg, another pathetic fed hater! :) No, but I agree with you. It was a struggle and I think it made the win that much sweeter. I don't think he'll ever be back to the old dominant fed. He's older and slower. No one should expect the fed of 2004-2007 to show up on a consistent basis, but I expect fed to still be a force in the slams.

Yet another pathetic trolling post from a hypocritical fool!
I agree with what you said and just want to add, even though Federer's still one of the best in the business he's lost that position in tennis of being the prohibitive favorite.

By that I mean, in the past if Fed lost in a grand slam to anyone but Nadal (Kuerten 2004 FO, Safin 2005 AO, Djokovic 2008 AO), it was a shock. I think this is no longer true and that, instead, Nadal is more so in that position.

But I still think Fed's in his prime. Reaching a slam final and winning one, and the year's half over. Yeah, Fed's still in his prime.

Jchurch
06-09-2009, 03:37 PM
He won't dominate like he use to, but he will still be a force at the slams

Joseph L. Barrow
06-09-2009, 03:52 PM
I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but I didn't think Fed's run to the French title was really dominating. It was kind of a struggle. I don't think 2004 or 2006 Fed would have struggled against Mathieu, Acasuso, Haas, and Del Potro in the same tournament.

He's not back to being the old dominant Fed, but he is definitely still the best in the business along with the others in the Top 4.
Precisely. Had Nadal suffered a similar upset, Federer would quite likely have won the French Open any of the last four years- the fact that he won it this year does not, in my opinion, suggest any resurgence in form, as his level of play was, in fact, generally far worse than it had been in previous French Opens- the variable factor here is not Federer's form but the absence of Nadal from the final (again, this is not to say that Federer doesn't deserve his French Open or somesuch- if you play well enough to reach and compete in the finals of the tournament four years in a row, then circumstances are bound to eventually come out in your favor eventually, because of your hard work and consistency).

I think a simple comparison should bear this out:
In 2005, Federer had not lost a set prior to his semifinal loss to Nadal, and had beaten strong clay-courters such as Moya, Gonzalez and Almagro in dominant fashion along the way.
In 2006, Federer had lost two sets prior to the final against Nadal, those being a tiebreak to Massu (who he otherwise beat soundly) and the first set to Nalbandian (who was a difficult opponent for Federer).
In 2007, Federer had lost only one set going into his final with Nadal, that being the second set against Robredo, who he proxceeded to polish off in dominating fashion, as well as straight-setting skilled clay-courter Davydenko.
In 2008, a year in which he was obviously slipping, Federer lost three sets prior to the final, but was still never taken five or in serious danger of losing.

In other words, all of the last four seasons, Federer had had pretty smooth roads to the business end of the tournament before running into Nadal, and had not once been pushed to five in any of his victories. Now, in 2008, Federer lost six sets prior to the final, was pushed to five twice, one of them to the very brink of defeat, with Haas leading 2-0 and holding a break point to serve for the match, and just barely gutted his way to the final by the skin of his teeth. Federer lost as many sets prior to the final in 2009 as he had in pre-final matches over the last three years combined. What allowed Federer to finally claim the French Open in spite of his far inferior form was the fact that this time, Nadal was not waiting for him in the final. Again, this is not to poo-poo Federer, as he had done more than enough in his career to deserve a French Open title to his name, and it was only fair that the stars should eventually line up for him if he maintained a potential championship level of play for five consecutive seasons. Nevertheless, he was clearly not at or near his historic best at this tournament, and I do not believe we will ever see such a level of play from Federer (and perhaps anyone) again.

Agassifan
06-09-2009, 04:16 PM
He obviously won't be as good as he was in 2005, but he will be better than he was in 2008.

I think he'll end up with a total ranging between 16-20 slams and his window will be open till the end of 2011. After that, he'll have to sneak out one like pete did (and if he does so, he should retire right there)

timnz
06-09-2009, 05:45 PM
The serve is why he lost the Australian Open this year. Amazing that he took Nadal to five sets when at times he was averaging in the 40's %.

But in the Roland Garros final he was getting something like 75% in the second set.

My theory is that Federer's issues were:

Early 2008 - Mononucleous - I had this disease myself last year and I can tell you it really kills any energy you have for months. Those who make light of it and say it is just a manufactured 'excuse' for Federer have not had the illness.

By Middle of 2008 - starting to get form back - pushes peak Nadal very close at Wimbledon.

Later on in 2008 - getting back towards peak form at US open - wins US Open.

Very late 2008 - injury to back.

Early 2009 - takes him time to realise that the back injury is playing havoc with this serve.

12-15 months of not playing best due to illness or injury - impacted his confidence. All players work off confidence. If they are feeling confident they go for their shots.

Then, Federer takes time to re-habititate back. Then a few tournament semi's to get back into full form.

Then Madrid - finally getting everything back working again.

Roland Garros - still some rust but good enough to pull through. In the final everything on song again.

That's my take on Federer

cork_screw
06-09-2009, 05:57 PM
I wouldn't say Federer has been out of it. He's always a potential threat to take grandslams away from the other top 3. But do you mean, does he play with the same aggressive vigor as few years back; no. If soderling hadn't beaten nadal, the finals would have been a much more competitive match, and I would say it would be a toss-up with slight advantage to Nadal. Federer beat an exhausted nadal during the madrid 09 tournament. But since they are on good terms with each other nadal didn't really mention it in the presser probably because he didn't want to take anything away from Roger, especially with what happened at the aussie open and how emotional it was for Roger. That's nadal just being a good guy. But secretly, I believe nadal knows he can beat federer and doesn't fear him. So, this probably won't change Roger's physical playing style, but it is a tremendous confidence booster and it will likely lift pressure off his shoulders where he doesn't have to hear "greatest of all time" b.s. anymore or "what about the french?" I feel that roger will get maybe 4 more grandslams before his career is up and maybe hit 20 if he gets some easy draws. He might even win another french, but I will say this. Nadal will win a US Open and will one up federer for being the most current player to wrap up a career grandslam capture.

After watching him play the olympics in Beijing (which has the same court speed as the US Open) I have no doubt he'll do it. And I'm not even a Nadal fan. I just see things objectively.

charliefedererer
06-09-2009, 06:11 PM
The serve is why he lost the Australian Open this year. Amazing that he took Nadal to five sets when at times he was averaging in the 40's %.

But in the Roland Garros final he was getting something like 75% in the second set.

My theory is that Federer's issues were:

Early 2008 - Mononucleous - I had this disease myself last year and I can tell you it really kills any energy you have for months. Those who make light of it and say it is just a manufactured 'excuse' for Federer have not had the illness.

By Middle of 2008 - starting to get form back - pushes peak Nadal very close at Wimbledon.

Later on in 2008 - getting back towards peak form at US open - wins US Open.

Very late 2008 - injury to back.

Early 2009 - takes him time to realise that the back injury is playing havoc with this serve.

12-15 months of not playing best due to illness or injury - impacted his confidence. All players work off confidence. If they are feeling confident they go for their shots.

Then, Federer takes time to re-habititate back. Then a few tournament semi's to get back into full form.

Then Madrid - finally getting everything back working again.

Roland Garros - still some rust but good enough to pull through. In the final everything on song again.

That's my take on Federer

Good analysis.

mental midget
06-09-2009, 07:30 PM
Good analysis.

if you take roger's word concerning the issues he's had, and i do, then, agreed.

if all that stuff is truly behind him, and he plays loose and relatively pressure-free from here on out, he's going to be putting that major semi's streak even further out of reach.

The Ripper
06-09-2009, 08:02 PM
Originally Posted by timnz http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=3542077#post3542077)
The serve is why he lost the Australian Open this year. Amazing that he took Nadal to five sets when at times he was averaging in the 40's %.

But in the Roland Garros final he was getting something like 75% in the second set.

My theory is that Federer's issues were:

Early 2008 - Mononucleous - I had this disease myself last year and I can tell you it really kills any energy you have for months. Those who make light of it and say it is just a manufactured 'excuse' for Federer have not had the illness.

By Middle of 2008 - starting to get form back - pushes peak Nadal very close at Wimbledon.

Later on in 2008 - getting back towards peak form at US open - wins US Open.

Very late 2008 - injury to back.

Early 2009 - takes him time to realise that the back injury is playing havoc with this serve.

12-15 months of not playing best due to illness or injury - impacted his confidence. All players work off confidence. If they are feeling confident they go for their shots.

Then, Federer takes time to re-habititate back. Then a few tournament semi's to get back into full form.

Then Madrid - finally getting everything back working again.

Roland Garros - still some rust but good enough to pull through. In the final everything on song again.

That's my take on Federer
Good analysis. Hey Timnz, great analysis. I felt the same as 2008 progressed but wasn't able to quite put it all together. I could see how unwell Fed was at the Australian and knew he was having trouble. I'm of course thrilled that he won the French and, I think he may have Nadal figured now from his win over Nadal in Madrid. Rafa was tired, but I believe Roger finally started doing what everyone had been telling him to do (well, except for getting a bigger racket!): he used drop shots, he came in more, he didn't try to out strike Nadal from the baseline, i.e., he relinquished his insistence on being Borg and came forward. I so hope Fed will continue with some more S&V. If he does, I believe he has a good chance at Wimbledon and US Open. Go Roger!