Q. You have a very solid outlook, but are you puzzled, annoyed, or amused by people who say that the Federer era is over, he’s down to 3 and sinking?
I still think I’ve had a great six months. I feel like I’m playing really good tennis, and right now Novak is just a bit better than the rest. And that’s okay.
I’ve gone through phases like this on multiple occasions with Rafa, with Murray, with even Agassi and Hewitt and Roddick and so forth. It’s just something that’s part of the game.
There is so much hype around the Federer downfall of late that I just wanted to post this to put things in perspective. With Roger losing three straight times to Djokovic and falling to number three in the rankings many people are writing him off. Let them do it. We know the media is all about extremes. When Djokovic dominates for a while he is the next GOAT and when the real GOAT is dropping just one spot in the rankings he is over and done with. But life isn’t that extreme. Of course Roger is getting older and he is past his peak, but does that mean he is a no good has been? No. The last match I saw him play was against the hottest player on tour and it was a pretty close affair. If Roger was just slightly more confident and held serve at 2-2 and 40-15 in the third he might have ended up winning that match.
As always tennis is a mental game, and right now Djokovic has the mental edge over the rest of the field. More accurately, tennis is a confidence game. Djokovic has all the momentum and confidence right now. He is like a tsunami wave that is just gonna crush everything in his path. But even tsunami waves come to an end. It takes one telling loss to stop that momentum. Remember at the beginning of 2009 when Roger just lost to Nadal in the Oz Open finals and Nadal was crushing everyone in his path? Ring a bell? Roger got one telling win over him in Madrid that year and it was all down hill from there for Nadal. Roger got a shot in the arm and took over dominance from Nadal. Roger and Nadal have both been through this kind of momentum swing with each other a couple of times.
This is however the first time Djokovic have dominated the tour like this. Is he mature enough to handle it? We will see how he fares after he suffers his first telling loss. These hot streaks never lasts forever. It is bound to come to an end and then we will see how Djokovic deals with the loss of momentum. He will probably start losing somewhere in the clay court season and then Roger will get his chance to take back the number two spot. He may even lose in Miami given all the tennis he has played of late. The momentum will come to an end at some point. Just a few months ago Roger was the one with the momentum and it finally came to an end at the Oz Open. This is just the way it goes when you have three strong players at the top. Roger has seen it all before and he is not gonna let the critics bury him before his time.
He will patiently wait for the tide to turn and take his opportunity. There is a lot of tennis to be played on the clay and grass and a lot of ranking points for Roger to gain. It would be a critical error for Roger to believe he can’t still take back the number one ranking and prove everyone(including Navratilova) wrong. But of course he is too experienced for that. He has seen this all before. The important thing is that he is playing well. He is just lacking that edge he had during the indoor season and in Doha this year. He will keep pushing however and working hard until he finds his best form. He isn’t far off. The main thing is that his attitude is good as always. I’m hoping for a breakthrough in Miami, but if that doesn’t happen there is always the clay and grass court seasons. If Roger stays with his current form and keeps knocking he is bound to break through.
Update: Another article that emphasizes my blog post nicely. It’s about all the negativity going on in America after Roger’s loss to Djokovic, while Roger’s game is actually in fine shape.
“I know that people always judge you on your recent results. As they forget what you have achieved over the last 10 years, that can happen, but you shouldn’t also be forgetting what I’ve done the last six months. It seems that it is never good enough.”
“That’s why I don’t understand if there is some negativity. I’ve been able to avoid first-round losses and losing against the No 80 in the world and all those things. ”
“The whole thing motivates me. It’s about trying to return to world No 1, winning grand slams, trying to win the Olympics, staying healthy. I want to stay around for as long as possible.”
I don’t understand why people get negative so easily either. It kind of boggles the mind. Nadal has struggled since winning the US Open. Why is the negativity not focused on him? He is the world number one, and since the beginning of the year he has lost to Davydenko, Ferrer, and Djokovic. It’s as if the people are looking for reasons to bury Roger and I don’t know why. If anything he has proven in the last few years that it is a very dangerous business writing him off. He never seems to prove himself enough. It never ends. But in a way I like it because I love it as a fan when he proves the critics wrong. Over the last six months Roger has been extremely consistent and has beaten Djokovic as much as he has lost to him. I guess these people will never ‘get’ Roger Federer. While the critics are begging for Roger’s downfall, Roger’s sights is set on the number one ranking, grand slam titles, and the Olympics gold.
And why not?