Federer Suffers Depressing Loss Against Berdych in Dubai

Hi guys. I didn’t even feel like making a post now but maybe if I do it will make me feel better. Roger did it. He lost 6-3, 6-7(8), 4-6 to Berdych. I said in my last post what a crucial match this was, especially after what happened in Dubai against Benneteau. That match was so unlike Roger 3.0 that I chose to believe he had a back issue. It is now pretty clear to me that he did not and that we are seeing the return of Roger 2.0. I gave him the benefit of the doubt after the Benneteau loss but after seeing him waste 3 match points, one of which was on his serve in the tie break, I can only conclude that Roger 2.0 is back. I know it is a depressing thought guys. You get a feeling for these things when you follow tennis for a long time. It was important for two reasons: The fact that he lost to Berdych at the US Open and that he was becoming a problem opponent for him, and the fact that he lost to Benneteau in Dubai.

He needed to set the record straight. If he then lost to Djokovic it wouldn’t have mattered. It would just have been a great opportunity because he would not have been the favorite. The courts and conditions suited him as well. But it turned out to be the nightmare that we all feared. The point that lost him the match was at 6-4 in the tie break when he served for the match. He was a break down in the tie break and broke back. He then broke again to take a 5-4 lead and held his first service point with an ace. He turned it around and it was his chance to go out there and take it. I am getting mad even as I write this. He then made a lame unforced error to hand the break right back to Berdych. Roger 2.o personified. The passion gone. The killer instinct gone. This is deeply concerning as some of my readers have already pointed out.

It’s the kind of loss that cuts deep and really hurts. We went through a lot of pain and suffering to see the end of Roger 2.0 and the arrival of Roger 3.0, and now the prior is back. It is just too much to bare. I am not trying to depress you or send negativity your way. I am just being completely honest about how I feel and putting my emotions out there. I don’t even know what to say. Roger played so well in Melbourne and I was so optimistic about 2013 and now this. It’s as if he just basically quit. No I don’t believe Melbourne burned him out and no I don’t believe it’s wise to just focus on slams or if that is even his thinking at this point. If his passion is gone he may as well retire. Are you game for another run of Roger 2.0? Do you remember what it was like to follow Roger 2.0? One heartbreaking loss after the other, always leaving a bitter taste in the mouth.

It’s not worth it. Yes a loyal fan must stick with their man but at their own expense? Besides, how do you want to remember Roger? As a dominant player who was at the top until the day he retired or as someone who painfully faded away in the twilight of his career? I go for the the first option. I read an interview with Roger recently where he says that his family is very important to him. Maybe his priorities have now shifted and he just doesn’t care about tennis as much as he used to. Yet he said in the same interview that he wants to play for many more years and play the 2016 Olympics. I don’t see how he wants to do that playing at 2.0 level. It is just not worth  the daily grind if you suffer heartbreaking losses like he did today. It would be better to spend more time with his family and take on other business ventures as well as work on his charities.

As far as I’m concerned the passion and killer instinct must be there or it’s not worth it. Roger 3.0 or no Roger at all. All or nothing. As soon as his heart isn’t in it 100% it is time to retire. You do something all the way or you don’t do it at all. No need to put his fans through the pain of Roger 2.0 again and no need to leave the sport with a bitter aftertaste in the mouth. Retire now or get your shit together. Simple as that.

Highlights:

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29 Comments

  1. Tough loss but I would sum it up with too many off-court distractions. We can’t be too harsh on him after all he didn’t actually practice much of late with his trip to South Africa. Its just tough luck he can’t close out the match- well shit happens. He will be taking a long break after IW, hopefully he will regroup and come back strong for Wimbledon.

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  2. Hey Ru-an!

    I understand completely how you feel! I have felt the same way ever since Roger lost at the US Open 2012 to Berdych.

    He’s really slowing down! Two pleasant surprises came though – the final at the ATP World Tour Finals 2012 as well as the AO 2013.

    The signs were there to see though. Roger 3.0 would have taken the first set against Djokovic and definitely taken the second.

    He lost in close two sets. At the time I wanted to contribute the loss to physical and mental fatigue.

    But the fact that Roger even struggled to beat Tsonga was also telling.

    Roger should be winning against Berdych, Del Potro and Tsonga in straights and maybe 4 sets and then struggle against the Murrats, the Djokoviches and the Nadals.

    Instead he is trading wins and losses to the first three and that’s a sign of regress.

    In 2010 a similar thing happened and Roger appointed Paul Annacone.

    He was still 29 at the time though and age was not a factor.

    Now we have something similar with Roger aging and approaching 32 very fast.

    The motivation is clearly not there for the leases events.

    The only glimmer of hope and that is only hypothetical:

    Roger hasn’t had time to practice (unless you count the off-season)

    So, after IW I think it will be very important to reset and try couple if new things, work on the game and see what happens.

    If the Grand Slam QF streak gets broken Roger might as well hang the racquet.

    The next several months will be key. I knew the let down was coming.

    At the same time we shouldn’t be too pessimistic. The results are not the same as before but then again the competition us so much higher now.

    We have Djokovic and Murray in their prime. Tsonga, Berdych and Delpo are also in their prime.

    Then we have Nadal on the come back and looking strong. And then we have the young guns in Dimitrov, Raonic and Tomic.

    It all makes things very very difficult for Roger.

    Can he squeeze another great GS performance?!

    Yes, if the stars align. But things will be less consistent.

    We’ll have to get used to Roger losing in QFs and SFs.

    And maybe, if something happens, he may breakthrough again.

    But if the trend continues, I can definitely see Roger retiring this year.

    Especially if he doesn’t win a title. I am not proclaiming dead yet. There’s still hope! The King may Return!!!

    Let’s just try to weather the storm with him!

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  3. Ru-an, what makes you think Roger should retire? How do you know that his heart hasn’t been in it the last two tournaments? Yes, the last two losses have been bad but he is just lacking confidence. I never really bought into this “Roger 2.0” and “Roger 3.0” as you always refer it. In 2011 he had a string of bad losses after the great French Open run and then turned it around. He has turned it around many times in the last 5 years since he came down from his 2003-2007 level. He recovers and responds to losses better than anybody. Yeah, he is struggling now but that doesn’t mean he will struggle all year or that he is done contending against the best. He was one point away from being in the final … just four months ago he beat Murray and pushed Djokovic hard at the WTF … and at the AO he took Murray to the limit while not playing near his best.
    I think now he just needs a break and that will of course come after Indian Wells. He’s definitely gearing up for the Roland Garros to US Open stretch.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I don’t know Kyle the numbers don’t lie. Since the USO 2011 he was clearly a different player. Something changed after that USO after he took time off for introspection. His results were impeccable for a year after that, ending with the loss against Berdych at the USO. I attributed that to burnout because lets face it 2012 was a very draining season. He did however do well to claw his way back and played a good WTF. Then he came back at the AO continuing in the same vain. That is a long time where he didn’t have any bad losses expect the one to Berdych at the USO which I already explained the reason for. But there were no good excuses for the last two losses. It just wasn’t like the Roger we have gotten used to since the 2011 USO, which I refer to as Roger 3.0. If you don’t buy into that it’s fine but like I said the results are there to prove it. It was a much more consistent Roger. A Roger that won the close matches. A Roger that was hungry and passionate. A Roger that never lost a match he should have won unless there was a very good reason. That is Roger 3.0

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  4. I dunno, I just don’t like writing him off yet. I feel like he just needs that one win that will get him back on track and get his confidence up. Last year that was the win against Davydenko. Maybe beating Berdych would have been that kind of win. But it was only two tournaments ago that Fed was showing that fire and passion in his matches with Tsonga and Murray at the AO, and nothing has changed since then.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    How do you know nothing has changed?

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    Kyle Reply:

    He’s been struggling but I highly doubt he has lost all motivation in the span of a month. Maybe he’s not been 100% physically and I’m sure he hasn’t had the practice time he would like with travelling to South Africa after Rotterdam.
    I think Indian Wells-Wimbledon will be much more indicative of his form than these two losses though. If he continues to have these bad losses in that stretch (esp at IW, Madrid, RG, and Wimby, then it will be a sign to me that things have permanently changed.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Fair enough. Good comment. I heard he didn’t train much before Rotterdam either. Guess he is really serious about playing less. I just hope it doesn’t mean a permanent return to Roger 2.0.

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  5. The one thing I find strange is that he says he needs more practice and that’s one thing he lacked in 2012 because of the busy schedule, yet he hasn’t really been getting that much practice, or it looks that way. The SA tour was very busy and surely Fed didn’t get the kind of practice he would have liked and then he went to South Africa. But that is why I think he will do better after IW, including the second half of the year. He will have plenty of time to practice after IW and then again after Wimbledon (with no Olympics this year).

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    Fedfan Reply:

    Agree Kyle, I think break is much needed after Indian Wells to regroup. Also now he gets to leave early before Novak and go to the US where he will rejoin Annacone, sit down and talk about what he needs to do this year to stay focused. Lapses in concentration is what cost Roger Rotterdam and now Dubai. However, I also believe his daughters might be taking up more time than they have before and as they get older, they will be his priority before tennis.

    I honestly have a gut feeling telling me that Roger is going to make a streak after Wimbledon. Most of his fans won’t even care about this half of the year if he wins Wimbledon/US Open later this year. And I think Roger only cares about the slams now too.

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  6. Ru-an, I truly respect that you always give your honest opinion about Roger’s matches, but don’t you think you’re writing him off a little too soon in the season? He had a great run at the AO, and yes, it is disappointing that he couldn’t lighten his fans’ spirits by winning in Rotterdam, a title we all thought Roger should have had no problem defending, but he lost here in Dubai to Berdych, a player that he has been having trouble with for some time now.

    Let’s look back to the 2011 USO because it was a very similar scenario to what happened today. It was a heartbreaking loss, and it was a match that Roger definitely should have won. After losing to Djokovic in that SF, Roger couldn’t beat Djokovic because he kept thinking about the USO SF. He didn’t beat him until the 2012 Wimbledon SF, nearly a year after losing to him in the 2011 USO SF.

    I think that’s what’s happening when he plays against Berdych. He lost a very important USO QF to Berdych just months ago, and maybe Roger is still thinking about that loss. It probably replayed in his mind when he had those match points today, and he just needs to get his confidence back before he can win against him again. Now that he’s lost to him a few times in some big matches, he will get himself together.

    (The same thing also happened with Tsonga when he beat Roger in 2011 at Wimby… then again in Roger’s Cup, but Roger got himself together and figured out how to beat Tsonga again in Paris, WTF, etc… I just think at this point, Roger needs to think about what he needs to do to beat Berdych, and it will come…)

    I can’t really give a prediction on IW because I haven’t seen the draw yet, but that’s also another factor. Djokovic has had a free ride to the finals in both the AO and here in Dubai. Nobody is there to test him until the finals whereas Roger has to defeat many threatening players before reaching the finals. Sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, but you can’t write Roger off for that. I think it’s a bit much to say Roger should retire just because he didn’t come through today, and I don’t think Roger has lost any motivation, especially based off of the articles and interviews I’ve been reading about it. Roger has even said it’s possible for him to return to number 1, and obviously it doesn’t looking promising at the moment, but did it when he said it at the beginning of 2012 last year, when he was way behind Djokovic as far as points go and Nadal was still in the picture? No, but he proved many people wrong on that.

    I really think we have to wait at least until after IW (and maybe Miami if he decides to play, which I think he will if he doesn’t win IW) to make a better assumption on how Roger’s 2013 season is going to go. Even with the tough losses this season, I still think Roger is very much in this, you just have to believe it and keep supporting it.

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  7. You can make me eat my words if the season does turn out to be as crappy as you see it, but Roger has always turned a heavy loss into spectacular wins. A tough 2008 but ended the season by winning the USO, followed by a great 2009 with wins at RG and Wimby… and a tough 2011 and tough USO SF loss followed by a string of wins in the indoor season, followed by a great 2012… Just don’t let these losses in ATP 500 events discourage yourself. He is going to make it up to us in a place you never even thought he would, I’m sure…

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  8. These losses are depressing. I just don’t think it’s up to his fans to say when he should retire. He has earned to right to do as he pleases with his tennis life. I do think he’s struggling a bit with his back, lack of practice and off court distractions. His family is more important to him than tennis.
    I’m off to Indian Wells next week to see him play….maybe for the last time.

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  9. I agree it was depressing, but the nature of sports, and certainly Roger’s career, is cyclical. Two tough losses. Ok, it sucks. But it will make the important victory (of which there will be more) even sweeter. After all he went from Roger 2.0 to 3.0 once. He can do it again. Don’t lose heart. He’s still right up there physically with almost all of these guys (the suspiciously superman-like Djokovic and now Murray are exceptions). Anyway, I think he always learns from his defeats. It was tough, but it’s Dubai. Big deal. I do think some of his fire went out with the Wimbledon win. He sort of proved he could do it again (it had been more than two years) and then I think the motivation slipped away. I think this match and the other loss might give him one last push for a return of Roger 3.0 and then he can retire. He will try to fix his problems and I think he will do so, at least for a time. There could be some tough losses, but I think there will be a rebound too, even if its short-lived.

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  10. Ruan.I respect your view.But i still dont think its the final nail in the coffin. Roger still has tennis left in him and if you have noticed ,its not only roger ,but djokovic also struggled to close out matches this week.we have to accept the fact that berdych played well and its not as if roger handed out the win,berdych definitely earned it and deserved to win.yes,roger wasted match points and one was on his serve but berdych was returning very well and for a big man was moving pretty well yesterday.he didnt get bossed around the base line by roger, so Roger was not able to move him like he wanted to and the credit again goes to berdych who defended very well. at 5-4 in the 2nd set tb roger served an ace and we must have thought that roger 3.0 is still there but the next point he loses and suddenly roger is not clutch?this is not fair to roger .
    Yes this is a painful loss after having match points but this has happened before and i believe what he needs now is rest and practice which he will get a plenty after IW. Sure he is losing to the 2nd tier players more often than before but just last year he was beating them and i am sure that he will be geared up after IW.
    I just dont think that his passion must have changed in these last two tournament because the AO run was very promising.He just needs some spark to fire him up for the rest of the year and i hope and believe that it comes at IW where a successful defense is definitely not impossible.Anyways it will be interseting to see how berdych plays against the Djoker, whether its the usual berdych that always plays well aginst roger only to get smoked by djokovic or whether he is making a move to challenge the top 4 on a consistent basis.
    Guys,trust me,the fairy tale is not yet over for Roger and I BELIEVE the king will be back.
    ALLEZ
    V

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  11. I don’t think I’ve said this in a long time, but today’s loss was extremely depressing. I think the fact it was birdshot, was probably the reason I was ticked. Gosh this stings.

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  12. I enjoyed watching the match, which could have gone both ways. Some untypical double faults and shaky hits, some drama, some luck and misfortune, and in the end a deserved win for Berdych. Federer played one really weak game in the second set, but broke back and forced the tiebreak. Unfortunately he could not win that one.
    I can understand that you feel disappointed, but asking for him to retire because of not winning matches and tournaments? That sounds similar to what all these other journalists have been writing for years, and whose articles I stopped reading long time ago. The decline is part of any career, and it is only normal that at some point you start losing more than before. It’s up to each one of us to decide how we are going to deal with it. In my case, I would be very disappointed if some day I learnt that Federer was doping, but don’t expect it. And I would be very disappointed if Roger became a sour grape during his decline, starting to insult players and blame organizers and in the process lose his face and not be remembered as a class act. As long as this does not happen, I enjoy watching his matches and follow his life as a fan. I don’t ask for more records, for more titles and glory. I’m just happy to see him on tour still, because once he is gone, tennis will be a less beautiful sport

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    Josafina Reply:

    Incredibly well said. Especially the last two sentences.

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    Dolores Reply:

    I applaud your comment, Chris, well said. I join you in your thoughts about the tennis player Roger is to us all. A vote of confidence for his future in the coming year is my wish.
    Kindly,
    Dolores

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    Ru-an Reply:

    I can’t say that I enjoyed watching the match Chris. It left a bitter taste in the mouth. But judging from all the thumbs up you got people feel the same as you. I just don’t like this kind of loss at all.

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  13. Wow this one hurts, not because Roger lost with three match points (yes that is pretty big) but because it was to berdych, the most irritating player on tour and now he will go on to LOSE to Djokovic. However, unlike some of Fed’s “fans” and even you Ruan who I know is now doubting Roger, should know as one of his most dedicated fans that Roger is getting older now and he is going to have more of these painful losses as time catches up with him, he says he likes to play because he loves it? Now that tells me that the motivation is definitely still there and when that’s there, Roger 3.0 is definitely lingering around the corner somewhere. This match wasn’t about that, this match was a confidence issue and Berdych is that one player that zones Fed in and makes him doubt himself.

    Roger knows this is a painful loss and he will leave Dubai with regrets but if there’s anything I’ve learnt about Roger it’s that he gets right back up again and gives it another shot. I’m sorry Ruan but I do not think you can make a statement about retirement just because he failed to defend two tournaments, losing in the semis to a top 10 player? If that’s how your going to look at it and automatically after TWO tournaments put Fed down then that’s very sad for the Fed…nearly 98% of his “fans” do the same but I WILL stay optimistic for Indian Wells and the clay season and the rest of the year because Roger is the only one that has the skill and love for the game that will see Roger 3.0 arise when he needs it and although you said it’s not about winning slams, I disagree with you. For Roger it is all about winning slams now and that’s where you will see Roger 3.0, guarantee it. And tbh I would rather see Roger’s best being played at the slams than anywhere else. Please don’t doubt Ruan, you are one of the last few true Federer fans, don’t write him off just yet.

    Also it’s been made apparent in the last few years that Roger either plays a great first half of the year or a great second half of the year. So far it’s playing out like 2011. This is following most of our predictions that Roger is going to make a streak at the Us Open and then the indoor season and possibly starts from Wimbledon? If that’s what’s to come then this really will be a season to remember. Whatever happens, remember EVERYTHING Federer has given to us and just let him play, there is nothing more beautiful, just believe in Roger guys, I know things are going to get better soon!!

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  14. Its good to have hope, its good to back your player through the tough times, but end was nearing…now i surely think the dead end is nearing….you can see it from his play…u can see it from his press conference….whn even the >5 ranked players keep beating you so consistently its time to agree that the end is near…
    Sure Roger has the talent to be in the QF and SF but then remember he is a CHAMPION, you dont what him in QFs and SFs you want him to in the finals and fighting to win trophies

    If he thinks his best chance is only at Wimby then its time to retire for sure… a -ve minded passive Fed is the last thing we need

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  15. Ruan, do you think if Roger wins Wimbledon or US Open this year he should retire right after like Sampras so he can leave on a good note rather than fade away? Because that’s what some people on twitter are suggesting he should do…

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  16. Federer lost to Berdych again after his painful loss at US Open QF and it is really sad. But this is not the first time that he has such losses and he has rebounded after heavy losses many times. This fact is illustrated superbly by many here.I have some comments on his heavy losses and rebounces as well. When Federer failed to win AO 2009 with Nadal who was dead tired after playing a marathon SF against Verdasco people had doubt that Federer could have as many GS as Sampras let alone the career slam. Then he completed both by the end of Wimbledon 2009. When Federer went without any GS in 2011 nobody except very optimistic few thought that the 286 weeks at number one and the 7th Wimbledon records of Sampras were never going to be equalled or surpassed by Federer and we know what happened by the final win by Federer at Wimbledon 2012. People were writing Federer off almost after Wimbledon 2008 and we know what has transpired since then.People were suggesting him to retire long time back. Then Djokovic might very well be a calendar slam winner by the end of 2011.Even now if Djokovic knows that Federer will retire he may just get extra energy to accomplish a few things that even Federer failed to do. Besides, Berdych has given trouble to Federer on fast courts .Federer lost to him in Cincinnati, Wimbledon and now in Dubai.Last year he played great at Madrid masters final. So I am less surprised at Federer’s loss now than at WTF final 2012 in indoor court and to Benneteau at Rotterdam 2013. The last thing I like from Federer is to retire from tennis and let his opponents off hook. I very much like him to play beyond 2016 Olympics even if he is No 20. After all who cares that Sampras continued playing when he slipped below 10 in the ranking. In the long term you talk of the records set by a player and that will be the most important thing.

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  17. I’ve said this before, my own theory is that Roger get much of his energy and mental strength from this relation with Mirka. She is very important to his game. When I see that she isn’t happy, I fear that Rogers mind is unfocused. Mirka looked very unhappy this quarter final. Lets face it, what does she get from this. Lot of travelling. I believe, if they don’t come to some arrangement regarding what role she is to play on his team, Roger will continue to play at 2.0-level.

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    V Reply:

    Good point.Yes mirka’s mindset is very important for roger to play his best.He always says that before he met her,he didnt win any slam but now see what has happened after they got together.That aspect is very very important to any player who has some relation travelling along with them and more so for roger at this stage of his career when his daughters are growing up fast.But i honestly believe that roger will get the necessary spark in IW and i look forward to the summer ahead with Nadal returning and i do sincerely expect Roger to win one of Wimby or the USO.

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  18. The match was both frustrating and encouraging at the same time. There was a lot of tactical play from Federer, he tried a lot of different things to keep the points short and avoid being blown off the court. He was really racking his brains to figure out a way past Berdych, which means he is fully committed to winning. But he could not seem to find a set of tactics that consistently worked.

    Berdych is playing well, he was one point away from winning the title in Marseilles. The fast courts suit Federer, but they suit Berdych’s game, too. It was going to be a tight match even for God-mode Federer, let alone a Federer playing his B game.

    In the last set, it was obvious Federer could no longer serve consistently enough to win and it was painful to watch him struggle just to force Berdych to serve it out, but because Federer never gives up, I followed him to the bitter end.

    None of the other top players at age 31 will look as good in defeat, believe me. If a 31-year-old Nadal/Djokovic/Murray were to match their B game against a top-ten player four years their junior, they would be comprehensively slaughtered instead of being one point from victory. Their vanity will never permit us to see that spectacle, though–those guys will retire long before that happens. Only Federer has the courage to tough it out and push himself to compete at a still higher level despite so much success.

    As he ages, you can’t expect him to be absolutely dominant in every tournament. He will have spells where he is consistently losing in the semis and quarters, with maybe the occasional early upset. Just because he is lacking 5% in his game at the moment, doesn’t mean he won’t have a good year.

    If he can get a little momentum going during the late spring and summer, he can ride it to another long winning streak as he did last year. He might even dominate the clay season. I know that very few believe that Federer can defeat Nadal in Roland Garros, but I do–and more importantly, so does he. At some point someone will beat Nadal there again, and Federer wants to be that someone.

    Last year he had a great spring hard-court run, but as a result of expending so much energy he was almost burned out after the Olympics. After Cinicinnati he had little left, but he still did well to fight his way to a couple of indoor finals.

    Last year his goal was to be in top shape for the Olympics, so he had to rearrange his whole schedule around that event. He needed to build momentum in the spring hard court season so he could be sure of doing well during the Olympics. Fortunately he was able to do this, but it cost him later in the year. This year he can afford to devote more attention and energy to the clay season and the summer hard-court run, and the indoor season in addition to the grass season.

    I don’t necessarily buy the division between Federer 2.0 and 3.0. Life is a process and it’s not so neatly divided into stages. There are ups and there are downs. There are no magical transformations into a totally new person. Federer’s game is complex and high-risk, predicated on precise, aggressive play and intricate shotmaking, so there will be times when it goes awry, sometimes for long parts of the season. There’s not always a simple explanation for why it happens.

    When he was younger these blips were indiscernible because his margin of superiority was so overwhelming that he could still demolish everyone (Nadal excepted) even with his B game. Now that margin is smaller and he will suffer more close, tough losses when he cannot summon up that extra little bit of wizardry to get past a troublesome opponent.

    Peaks and valleys are a normal part of life, and the healthy mentality is to accept them with equanimity and always work hard to deal with them. If Federer were to allow this loss to demoralize him, he would be damaging his cause needlessly. He will take time off after IW to digest this disappointment and refresh his spirit, and then he will go back to work.

    I’m just glad he’s still so dedicated to the game and still trying to create new things in tennis.

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  19. That’s a heavy loss! No doubt about that and in my opinion Roger lost it mentally (all the advantages to close it out in 2 were with him), and sadly you could see how the pressure was mounting on him, and – yes – it took a toll on his game in the third set.

    His confidence as a player has really suffered and has been exposing some kind of vulnerability since the last third of 2012, which undermines his ability to stay focus and produce some clutch tennis at crunch times. (Especially in the ATP World Masters final for instance, and it has been hurting Fed since!) For a while now Roger’s nerves & concentration no longer made of steel, unfortunately!

    This ought to be a wakeup call for Federer because he’s in danger to squander his intimidation factor and sending the wrong signal to ALL (not just the other big three) other players.

    Something must be changed!!Even so he’s still able to play some magical shots or to dominate at times his inconsistency has created a big question mark over the mental state of this game.

    More often it’s rather painful to watch how prone to simple unforced errors he has become. To many easy gifts for his opponents. As soon as the rally starts you know the longer it will last the bigger the chance for his rival to capitalize on that. For months now he isn’t capable of consistently serving well enough or great when necessary in long matches (the only reason why he lost the fifth set to Murray IMO, USO 2012).

    Then he seems to me a bit slower than usual, why? So, what does change physically? Is it his back and logical then his overall shape? Sorry, but I couldn’t find any real confirmation, neither in his interviews nor in his press publication.

    If so, what can be done??!! Should he require a change in his team? Other treatments? Something isn’t working! Perhaps, a different approach to increase his fitness’ level? Right now, most important seems to bring back a more reliable serve, his old foot work & clutch mentality means confidence?!

    Does he have a problem with devotion and/or commitment, currently? Some private issues may go on behind his private facade, who knows?!

    Obviously, his mental determination has been lacking from some sort of insecurities in recent months. Sure is now HE NEEDS some big wins to gain confidence to restore old levels. And to do so – I really think he must answer some hard question, because if he moves on like this it might get out of his hands, quite literally.

    Remember Sampras, before he got his glorious finish, there were two long years of utter misery. Let’s hope Fed will have a good firm look at himself in the mirror.

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  20. I penned down my take on Federer’s loss above and the comments by Steve had further cemented my gut feeling.As soon as I started reading his comments I thought that it was him and I was right. After reading Ashino Wolf’s comments I felt keen on writing. To me the reason for Federer to not playing in the level of his dominant years are his mature age, other players catching up to him and a decade of him playing at such a high level and perhaps called mileage on his old (in tennis terms) body.

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