Roger Federer is currently the world number 8 and in danger of not qualifying for the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London. Yes, that’s right the world number 8.
For anybody that has followed tennis over the last ten years, it is a thing that is odd to watch. Players are coming up against Federer and seeing it as a scalp that is very doable, this wouldn’t have happened a while ago. He is getting behind in matches and failing to turn on his magic to turn the tide.
Doesn’t it feel like a while ago that the master was stood on Centre Court as Wimbledon champion? Since then Andy Murray has picked up two slams and Rafael Nadal has recovered and sensationally returned from injury.
Age isn’t on his side, the 32 year-old is mostly up against younger counterparts for the big titles. Martina Navratilova became the oldest-ever Grand Slam tournament champion when she triumphed in the US. Open mixed doubles 2006 final, she was nearly 50 years of age. Is that cause for hope?
The slump in form by the Swiss number 2 (NUMBER 2, behind Wawrinka!) is making me wonder whether he can return to his best or win another major title. It would require a massive surge to win another major but it’s possible. A lot of people wrote off Nadal after his long lay-off last year. On the other hand, the standard just continues to be raised and the gap between the top three and Federer is widening every time the ATP releases its new rankings.
Considering all of that, you have to say the odds are completely stacked against him. Should this mean he should retire? If defeats like his recent ones continue to flood in then it could tarnish his legacy as, I believe, the greatest ever to grace a court – Nadal cannot change that. Nobody, absolutely nobody, could play with the grace, dexterity and often seeming lack of breaking a sweat as that man – even if Rafa overtakes him as the Grand Slam record holder. The Spaniard is four behind leveling Roger’s record.
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– Nathan Morley