What’s wrong with Federer?
So, another tournament, another early exit for Federer. Although I was glad to see an American (James Blake) win, it is always difficult to watch the slow decline of a great champion. They say the fall from the top is always the hardest. Some have speculated that Rodger’s timing has eroded with age and that some of his errant shots could be alleviated by switching to a mid-plus racquet. There may be some truth to that assertion, but it’s hard to see Rodger switching from the K 6.1 any time soon.
Anyway, I suspect that some of the physical issues stem from not completely recovering from mono earlier in the year. The biggest problems for him appear to be mental. He no longer projects an image of invincibility on the court. Even the slightest hint of vulnerability in a highly competitive field can be a huge liability. Then, there is basic concentration. Jimmy Connors once said that he was unable to break into the top ten in the world regardless of his physical level of play until he made a dramatic reduction in the number of mental errors and concentration lapses per match.
I hope Rodger turns it around, especially at the US Open. I believe he has a lot of great tennis left in him and I would also like to see the Federer-Nadal rivalry continue and at a high level of play.