Thanks to a long time reader of mine who haven’t posted a comment here before, I have realized the trap of negativity I have fallen in. As people we tend to project our flaws upon those around us, and I think that is what I have done with Roger. I have gone through a rough time in my own life and I have lost hope for a better life. It seems this blog is more personal to me then I had thought. I have written Roger off to a certain extent because that is what I have tended to do to myself of late. I didn’t do this is the past. I have always been pretty positive about Roger’s aging process as a tennis player. It is just that this had been a tough start to the year for me(and Roger) and it has started to affect my view of Roger’s career. After his latest loss I lost hope because of the way in which he lost. There was no self belief.
It is as if he lost that match before he stepped on court. And it wasn’t the first time that has happened. But thanks to some faithful Fedfans I have seen that this is all just my projection, and it has nothing to do with Roger’s tennis. It doesn’t appear to be obvious, because there is a lot of evidence that Roger may indeed be in a lot of trouble. But at closer inspection it is not all that doom and gloom. There is still a lot to play for. Roger is still just 29 and he is not done quite yet. I have always had the number 18 in my head when it comes to slam wins for Roger, and why can that not be possible? Sampras was written off when he was on 13 slams and he won the US Open in dominant fashion after that. Roger has already won 2 more slams then Sampras. Why can’t he add two more slams in the latter part of his career?
Sure Djokovic is on an amazing run, but that has got to come to an end. Nadal have been injury prone in the past. It would be a big mistake for Roger to give up now, just because he has had some bad losses to his main rivals. You have to take into account that those losses were all on slow hard court and the best of three sets. Roger is still better in the five set format, especially on the faster courts of Wimbledon and the US Open. And besides, if Sampras could regain his dominant form of the past in a slam, then Roger can do the same. Sampras was in the zone during that US Open and played what was according to him the best match of his career in the final against Agassi. Roger could have slams in him left where he plays at his peak and dominates whoever is in front of him. It is not out of the question.
It happened for instance at the 2010 Oz Open. It happened at the Masters Cup last year as well. We as fans will just have to be more patient. Roger won’t have those kind of performances day in and day out anymore, but it will come as long as he believes and puts in the hard yards. Like a reader of mine said, an athlete knows their body and they will know when to call it a day. It is something instinctive. And until that day comes for Roger, which doesn’t seem like it will be any time soon, we will just have to stand by him and support him the best we can. It is an adjustment for us because of his dominance in the past, but if you think about it, he is still doing better than 99% of the tour. I think from here on we will have to get used to Roger losing on a fairly regular basis to some of his main rivals, but it will be worth waiting for that special occasion when he dominates the opposition like in his heyday.
To sum up, I think Roger can add one more slam in the next two years and then one more after he turns 31. That will get him to that magic number of 18, which will likely also put him out of the reach of Nadal. I know now I will fully support Roger until he wins 18 slams. This was nothing but a small hiccup