I would be lying if I said I was surprised by this result, as I was expecting something like this could happen. Federer just didn’t convince me in the match against Petszchner, and Hewitt was always going to be a dangerous opponent. That doesn’t excuse the fact that Federer can’t put away opponents these days. Not since the Australian Open anyway. In the second set at 4-4 Federer had three break points, but could not break. The old Federer would have broken there and won the match 6-3, 6-4, but the recent Federer allowed Hewitt to hang around long enough to win the match 3-6, 7-6(4), 6-4. Since this loss I have read several comments by fans about Roger not being what he used to be(like that is something new) and even that he should think of retirement. Let me just make something clear. Fans who say Roger should retire were never fans in the first place.
They have a name for those kind of people – glory hunters. They are not fans of Roger himself, they are fans of his winning. At the moment they find themselves in a precarious position, because although Roger is but a shadow of what he used to be in the best of three set format, he won a grand slam just a few months ago. But not surprisingly the glory hunters are getting tired of being in this position, because this has been going on for more than two years now. But they also want to be there for his grand slam success, so they are conflicted. The fact that Roger lost before the semi-finals of a slam for the first time in 24 appearances at the French Open makes it even harder for them. As they did at the beginning of 2009, they are calling for Roger to retire to spare them more heartache.
They don’t want to miss out on his major success but at the same time they don’t want the heartache that comes with Roger losing in the smaller events, so they are begging for retirement. This kind of person does not care at all for the person they support. It’s all about the winning. As soon as their favorite starts losing, the past is forgotten and they hate their favorite. It’s even more difficult for them now because even though Roger lost in the quarter finals of a slam, it’s not like he played bad. Would the old Federer have won that match against Soderling? Who knows. What we do know is that Federer did not play badly, it was his worst surface, and Soderling played exceedingly well. So as far as I’m concerned he is still a different animal in the slams. I already said one should wait at least until the end of the year to asses Roger’s form.
If he wins Wimbledon or the US Open, he has had another great year, and if he wins both, all of a sudden he has had an amazing year. The fact that Roger lost to Hewitt in the final of Halle is not ideal, but he lost in the semi-finals of Doha before the Australian Open as well, and went on to dominate the major. He lost to Davydenko in that semi-final, and went on to beat him in the four sets in the major. If he faces Hewitt at Wimbledon I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar happens. It would have been nice if Roger could go into Wimby with another title under his belt, but he goes there as the favorite nonetheless. Roddick, Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic all lost earlier and to worse opponents than he did at Queens. Despite this loss, I think Roger will feel happy with his preparation and bring his best form for the big one.
May the Fedforce be with you.
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