Losing faith in Federer

#1
Having followed Federer's progress during the first few months of 2014 it has been fairly disheartening. When compared with 2013 there has been a marked improvement, and he already has the Dubai 500, bettering last year's haul of the Halle 250. However, it seems like 2014 Federer puts in hard work for match after match only to fall at the final hurdle.

Brisbane: comes through tough match vs Chardy, fights back from a set down vs Hewitt in final only to deflate in the deciding set

AO: Stellar play vs Murray and Tsonga only to lose the Semis to Nadal in straights

Indian Wells: Storms through the draw and takes the first set vs Djoker in final, breaks back to force a 3rd set tiebreak only to fizzle out again

Miami: Looking good all the way, makes Gasquet look average, then manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory vs Nishikori

Monte Carlo: great tournament again up until the end. Rallies to beat Tsonga and some clutch play to straight-set Djoker. Wins first set vs Stan in final then plays a less than clutch tiebreak and disappears.

Don't get me wrong, this early into 2014 and that Federer already has a 500 win, a slam semi, 2 masters finals, final of a 250 and 6 wins over top 10 players is brilliant for a 32 year old. It just seems like he has put in so much work for no return in terms of titles, which makes it difficult to watch as a fan. One fears that should he storm into the finals of wimbledon and race into a 1 or 2 set to love lead, even then we can't trust him to close it out. I am very happy for Stan and Djoker (and I for one hope that the wrist recovers asap) but it seems that when they get chances, they grab them with both hands, rather than let them go begging as Roger does.

My case and point:
Djokovic 2014: 2 titles from 2 finals
Wawrinka 2014: 3 titles from 3 finals
Federer 2014: 1 title from 4 finals
 
#3
2013 underlined how mortal Fed really is. I dont expect him to win everything. It is disappointing though when he shows signs of his former greatness only to stop just short of achieving something big every time.
 
#5
I agree with you, Fed's been having big and mysterious meltdowns. Maybe his game needs an injection of more pace and weight to his shots.

There have been a number of times when he's set it all up, and then lost the match. Most frequently, it happens against the Djoker. Rafa's always been a bogeyman, but the number of other players that Fed's vulnerable to is increasing, therefore increasing the odds of winning tournaments.
 
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#7
He was pushing for large parts of the Wawrinka match. He did the same thing last year on clay and was getting bullied by Simon because of it.

He won the only final he played on a fast surface. Slow hard court and clay don't work for him any more. His style is high risk low reward due to his declined abilities.

He's still gaining confidence and ranking points and will hopefully peak for Wimbledon and the American HC season.
 
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#8
One would think that the new racquet combined with Edberg would have constituted that extra little push to get him over the line, but it doesnt seem to have worked at the business end of things. He very nearly messed up Dubai as well, he was very lucky to win that one.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
#13
Fed's lost a lot of his firepower. His forehand isn't even %50 of what it used to be. Anytime you got anywhere near his forehand the point would be over. Now his forehand is mainly a rally shot unless he gets a weak ball he can attack. He doesn't use his opponents pace as well as he used to and really focuses on putting spin on the ball as opposed to power. You can really see the difference if you watch back to back some highlights from 2014 then something from 2004-2005. The last thing you want as you get older is to lose your power because that's all you have. His footwork and stamina are only going to get worse as he ages.
 
#14
Fed's lost a lot of his firepower. His forehand isn't even %50 of what it used to be. Anytime you got anywhere near his forehand the point would be over. Now his forehand is mainly a rally shot unless he gets a weak ball he can attack. He doesn't use his opponents pace as well as he used to and really focuses on putting spin on the ball as opposed to power. You can really see the difference if you watch back to back some highlights from 2014 then something from 2004-2005. The last thing you want as you get older is to lose your power because that's all you have. His footwork and stamina are only going to get worse as he ages.
exactly.
anyone who thinks Fed is somewhat the same player, is totally delusional.
i'm honestly less excited seeing his game these days.
his strokes got loopier, no firepower. his GOAT game is a fading shadow.. :cry:
 
#15
The problem is his groundstrokes are too weak and feeble now relative to the others. He doesn't pull the trigger from the baseline like he used to. The only time he goes for outright winners is when he gets a short ball or is desperate on the run. He still is the same stubborn Federer who only wants to win with a set game plan and cannot improvise and just hit completely flat winners like Dolgo or Stan go for on almost any ball. Sure you may miss them but with misses your brain can adjust the next one as you hone your timing.
 

Tenez101

Hall of Fame
#18
Oh man, some Fed fans are kind of pathetic.

Your guy is 32. He should be basically done in tennis terms, yet he is still no. 4. He just does not have the mental drive and focus to perform as well under pressure anymore. It is an unavoidable part of athletic decline. Aren't Fed's achievements already enough? Shouldn't you already be happy he's still playing?
 
#19
He cant win every single tournament he enters, he cant win forever. When people would understand that he is mortal .....
This looks like rationalization but there is some truth in it. It's a matter of perspective. People look too much into Federer's losses (just like Nadal's for that matter). He has won so much you think every match is in his hands and a loss is absurd. What's absurd is actually the fact that he really, actually has won so much and is still in the mix.

Reminding people of his age, and perhaps more importantly his mileage, is really more pointing out a reality than making a excuse. It's a young man's game, even more so today. As Federer continues to play, he will lose more than he wins. As a fan I find this very easy to accept.

Also remember that this part of the season is not exactly his high time. Since a long time now Federer tends to play better and win titles at faster courts (which are not in abundance). But he's still playing very good and giving himself chances. He might still end up not winning anything else; even then I don't think "losing faith" in him makes sense, but at the very least this is definitely the wrong time to do so.
 

Devilito

Hall of Fame
#20
He still is the same stubborn Federer who only wants to win with a set game plan and cannot improvise
I would say that's Fed's biggest weakness. He has no "plan B". He never has. He's been so talented and dominant in the past he's never needed it. And to develop it at 33 years of age is impossible. You can tell his lack of ability to adjust when he makes the same stupid errors in a match time and time again (not unforced errors, but errors in gameplay and strategy)
 
#22
He didn't fizzle out versus Djokovic in Indian Wells

I'm completely fine (and actually elated) with his results this year, especially compared to last year. He's actually a better player than he was last year, which is a great improvement.

1. He's getting consistent wins versus top 10 players this year
2. He's consistently making semi-finals and finals in the tournaments he plays
3. He's finding his way out of matches he could lose. Especially being a set down (set and a break sometimes)
4. He's having less meltdowns than he used to.

It's still a joy watching his game. Sure he lost firepower on the forehand but he's still cranking it.

Enjoy his game and be happy with these results of his. Honestly he might be able to get into top 2 or dare I say #1 in the world this year if this keeps up.
 
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#24
Just happy to see him play and happy to see matches where his greatness still can show up.

Fed cannot and has not performed at that level day in/out for several years now so I don't EXPECT any titles from him.

Everything he wins from here on out is just bonus.
 
#25
He's great for his age and can still win any single match against anyone. But what gets worse as you age is the ability to recover quickly and play at a high level for several matches/days in a row. So he's able to make it deep into tourneys, even get past some top foes, but then run out of gas at some point. So enjoy watching him play and don't expect too many miracles from a 32 yr old - he's already won plenty in his career! There's also the question of maintaining focus/motivation - hard to do day in and day out after you've won so much + there's a new baby on the way...
 
#26
Name one 33 years old with that ratio or even better name one 33 years old with that manny finals
You can't look at things that way bro. You can't compare him with anybody else's results, that's the same as saying "(2019)Oh Federer is ranked #299 ? Don't tell him to retire cause name me another 38 year old in the Top 300."
 

Talker

Hall of Fame
#29
Fed will be fine, he's making progress steadily.
Just making it far in tournaments is good enough for now, I think he has another level still.
 

Sarzy

Professional
#33
Oh man, some Fed fans are kind of pathetic.

Your guy is 32. He should be basically done in tennis terms, yet he is still no. 4. He just does not have the mental drive and focus to perform as well under pressure anymore. It is an unavoidable part of athletic decline. Aren't Fed's achievements already enough? Shouldn't you already be happy he's still playing?
Exactly! Oy vey.
It's lucky he's still playing, and he wont be for much longer so just enjoy him while he's still around in these tournaments.
 
#34
The bottomline is every player as he ages loses endurance and the ability to close. You get tired more easily while your younger opponent can continue to run and swing at full speed. The fact that he is able to win the first set is a testament to his ability. That he cannot maintain it for the entire match is a testament that he is human and ages as all humans do. I think this (i.e., getting to big semi's and finals, winning the first set, only to lose the match in the end) will be what ultimately forces him to retire. The day he realizes that despite having the skills, he no longer has the endurance. I'm just hoping that in the Slams he is able to get Lady Luck on his side. Only problem is if he is losing deciding sets to younger players in a best-of-3-sets format, chances are even slimmer that he will win if pushed to a 4th or 5th set in a best-of-5-sets format (Slams).
 
#35
He didn't fizzle out versus Djokovic in Indian Wells

I'm completely fine (and actually elated) with his results this year, especially compared to last year. He's actually a better player than he was last year, which is a great improvement.

1. He's getting consistent wins versus top 10 players this year
2. He's consistently making semi-finals and finals in the tournaments he plays
3. He's finding his way out of matches he could lose. Especially being a set down (set and a break sometimes)
4. He's having less meltdowns than he used to.

It's still a joy watching his game. Sure he lost firepower on the forehand but he's still cranking it.

Enjoy his game and be happy with these results of his. Honestly he might be able to get into top 2 or dare I say #1 in the world this year if this keeps up.
Pretty much this. Doubt that he'll get back to the top-2 though, but I don't mind. As long as he's in the mix and produces a bit of brilliance here and there, I can't ask for more.
Sure, he may have won a final or two more this year. But he could also have lost before the final in most of those tournaments, so it goes both ways.

And to be fair, Djokovic' - who's your model of excellence - is not exactly the master of taking his opportunities, when they present themselves these days. May I remind you that he lost two close slam matches to Nadal last year, one close quarterfinal to Wawrinka this year and was completely out of sorts vs. Murray at Wimbledon?
 
#37
federer`s problems is the lack of firepower.

his shot even with the new racket look weak.

this is a problems because he can`t desequilibrate his rival and short the point more faster and he is obligated to play more long rallys.

the federer of his best times , hitted winner of all the positions
 
#38
federer`s problems is the lack of firepower.

his shot even with the new racket look weak.

this is a problems because he can`t desequilibrate his rival and short the point more faster and he is obligated to play more long rallys.

the federer of his best times , hitted winner of all the positions
"Desequilibrate"- I'm loving that word!:) But I wouldn't have a clue how to pronounce it lol.
 
#39
"Desequilibrate"- I'm loving that word!:) But I wouldn't have a clue how to pronounce it lol.
That's because the word is "Disequilibrate".

In fairness he's never won Monte Carlo, and that's as close as he's ever been to winning it, so I'd say he's alright. I will be very critical of how he performs in Madrid, with the added altitude and his past success there it'll be a real indicator of where he is at. He really should expect a final (if he's not in Nadal's half) considering his recent form. It'll also give a better indication of how well he can penetrate when the conditions allow.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
#40
Fed's lost a lot of his firepower. His forehand isn't even %50 of what it used to be. Anytime you got anywhere near his forehand the point would be over. Now his forehand is mainly a rally shot unless he gets a weak ball he can attack. He doesn't use his opponents pace as well as he used to and really focuses on putting spin on the ball as opposed to power. You can really see the difference if you watch back to back some highlights from 2014 then something from 2004-2005. The last thing you want as you get older is to lose your power because that's all you have. His footwork and stamina are only going to get worse as he ages.
This whole post is completely spot on. Just thought I'd say.
 
#43
And again, he's lost firepower but his forehand is still ridiculously effective.

He almost seems more accurate and deliberate in his placement than years before!
He's constantly wrong-footing his opponents.
 
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#44
He's still pretty darned consistent against the field. Look at how consistently deep he's gone in tournaments this year, and here he is playing deep into tournaments that have slow courts with "no firepower." Why are people fretting about this? He's done well. He'll do better when we get to faster courts. I don't think he's done, but he clearly needs a special day to beat Djokovic, Nadal, Wawrinka on slower courts.
 
#45
Oh man, some Fed fans are kind of pathetic.

Your guy is 32. He should be basically done in tennis terms, yet he is still no. 4. He just does not have the mental drive and focus to perform as well under pressure anymore. It is an unavoidable part of athletic decline. Aren't Fed's achievements already enough? Shouldn't you already be happy he's still playing?
This post is excellent! We as Federer fans should be more realistic re Federer's performances; he is almost 33 now. As one gets older the chances of success diminishes. This is natural and Federer fans must accept this. But that doesn't mean we should lose faith or stop supporting him anymore because of this, :)
 
#46
He was pushing for large parts of the Wawrinka match. He did the same thing last year on clay and was getting bullied by Simon because of it.

He won the only final he played on a fast surface. Slow hard court and clay don't work for him any more. His style is high risk low reward due to his declined abilities.

He's still gaining confidence and ranking points and will hopefully peak for Wimbledon and the American HC season.
Slow hardcourt is fine for him. Hardcourt in general is where his game is at its best.

This racket just isn't very good on clay. It has helped his volleying and passing shots by giving him a little bit bigger of a target range, but it has reduced his spin and power.
 
#47
OP, considering how poorly Fed did in 2013, I don't think you have any reasons to complain.

Besides 1-4 in finals is still better than 0-0 in finals.

Besides there is some luck too. A few points in the tie-break and Wawrinka loses in straight sets and people would praise Fed how he is the goat.

Fed is doing better than Nole and Rafa on clay.
I will repeat this, so you can hear how amazing this is.
Fed is doing better than Rafa and Nole on CLAY.
 
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#49
He is almost 33 years old. He gets really tired when reaching a final nowadays and that's normal... that's why he lost to Djokovic and Wawrinka. Get use to to it, age doesn't come alone.
 
#50
I don't think he was tired against Djokovic at Indian Wells. He came back 2 games and almost took the title. Unforced errors aren't unavoidable.

If the match summary is correct, it sounds like Fed saved maybe 6-8 break points, including 2 set points. And fought his way back from a break in the second. Not to mention Wawrinka "found his range, hit deeper and with more power" later on in the match.

Was he mentally weak/tired against Wawrinka because he didn't finish the match off in the tiebreak? Or did Wawrinka step up his game and Fed had a hard time adjusting?


Either way, we could point the fingers at Djokovic in the semi finals. He had 2 set points against Fed and blew them. Is Djokovic mentally weak or tired? Or did Fed just step up?
 
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