After Federer’s fourth round loss in this year’s US open, the daggers have been drawn. The great Roger Federer is under an ugly media scanner. They are talking all sorts of things, since Tommy Robredo handed him a straight sets defeat at Flushing Meadow, early this month. From the moment Federer made an assessment of his performance in the match with Robredo in his post-match conference, the media clamor refuses to die down. Federer had said, “I kind of feel like I beat myself, without taking any credit away from Tommy, I kind of self-destructed… It was a frustrating performance today.” Well this was one bad day for the great Swiss who converted just two of the16 break points and made 43 unforced errors in the match. In lunging for Federer’s throat, the press guys are drawing from his even more miserable performance at this year’s Wimbledon, where he lost in the second round to an unknown Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky, the world number 116.
Without wanting to consider two easy grand slam losses as stray events, the media is out to prove that Federer is over the hill. They have conveniently forgotten that in 2012, Federer found his touch to regain the No. 1 ranking, won his 17th Grand Slam title and recorded 71 match victories in different tournaments during the year with the highest winning percentage (86%). The media men have also forgotten that Roger Federer has won 5 US open titles. Only this year’s loss was too much for them.
He has had a fantastic 2012 at age 31 but they think Federer has lost everything in just one year. Writing in USA Today, columnist Chris Chase wants Roger Federer to stop playing because his athleticism is on the wane. Chris Chase assumes that 32 is an age, where a tennis player can be called old. Someone should tell him that a much less accomplished Tommy Haas is 35 and he is still close to the top-10. Just because Federer couldn’t reach a grand slam final in 2013, Chase thinks time is up for him.
You can’t write off guys like Roger Federer based on a couple of performances. Admittedly, he had a bad season in 2013, but he is still playing great tennis. At 32, Federer has a better game than many players in their prime. Federer himself has dismissed talks of his retirement and says he needs some work to do to come back stronger. Until about a year back, the men’s circuit had only three big names, Federer Nadal and Djokovic. These three have now been joined by Andy Murray, who has begun to play marvelous tennis, of late. Now does it mean people should suddenly stop counting Federer since he lost one or two matches? Who are the others in the same class?
Well, Roger Federer is gifted with a class of his own. As of this time, he could be hitting out wide, on more occasions than any time in the past, but it doesn’t mean he cannot control those shots with some efforts and a pep-talk by his coach. He can still dish out a booming serve, which leaves many of his opponents rooted to the ground. Ask those who have faced Federer on a tennis court.
You can’t find a guy like Federer, who has enthralled tennis fans with his impeccable on and off-court mannerisms. Everyone has to retire one day but that time has yet to come for Federer. Anyone, who is on the side of greatness, would not want to see him go just yet. Let the critics keep beating their hollow trumpets!