The Federer Slide Continues on the Slippery Clay
by Sean Randall | May 11th, 2007, 3:20 pm

The warning signs have been there for the last few months and the way Roger Federer lost to Filippo Volandri in Rome yesterday confirms the Swiss is in his first slump as a No. 1.

The match was arguably Federer’s worst and his most lopsided loss since taking over the top ranking in February of 2004. And the straight set loss is already his third of the season after incurring just one the last two years, and that being an arguable “tank” against Andy Murray at Cincinnati last summer.
What’s amazing is Fed was simply never in the match against Volandri. And Fed knows it.

“I don’t know if I could say I played shocking, I just didn’t feel like I was in the match at all today. It was over in no time, and I was always the wall against the back. ” – Federer after loss to Volandri

At least against Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo he hung around for the first few games, and against Guillermo Canas on the American hardcourts he was in the mix, but yesterday it was like Fed never showed up. Give full credit to the speedy Volandri, a true dirtballer who’s minus any huge weapons – he’s almost a poor man’s Guillermo Canas, from what I’ve seen of him (discloser: I did not watch the match yest) – but was still able to slam the door shut of Fed when the oppurtunity came.

But Federer should not be losing to Volandri if he really thinks he can make a real run at the French. And while Fed will get over the defeat in time, especially if he plays Hamburg which has a surface much to his liking, his competition will not.

The loss to Volandri, a tier two claycourter at best in my opinion, gives even more hope and confidence to Fed’s future opponents on clay, making his French attempt that much tougher.

So if you are Fed is it time to panic? Not quite. Is his legacy at the top over? No way. The clay season as we all know figured to give Fed the most trouble. And it has. Of course it comes on the heels of two losses to Canas on hardcourts so many people will argue that we’ve seen the best from Fed. And it’s a fair argument and one I’ll listen to because the indications and evidence are there, but I’ll hold off on that for now.

Regardless of what happens to Fed this clay season, if there is any slippage in his game we’ll see it at Wimbledon or during the U.S. summer hardcourts. But Fed’s chances at Paris clearly don’t look good after this latest loss. And for Fed that’s been the real goal this year.

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54 Comments for The Federer Slide Continues on the Slippery Clay

Joseph O'Brien Says:

I think its a real shame lost so a player like Volandri WHOM IS INDEED A 2ND Tier claycourter. I saw the entire match and it was unbearable to watch at points. Volandri, arguabbly, played the match of his life. He was consistent and did play alot of very good shots, but nothing that SHOULD have really bothered Federer. I think its possible that he has overtrained. He has been in Rome training for 8 days before the tournament and I for one fancied his chances of getting at Nadal in the Final. I do think Federer will get back to form and will certainly win Wimbledon and hopefully Hamburg which he has won before. Federer has the right attitude and I am glad he admitted there was something wring in his post match interview. Hopefully it will be sorted very soon. I expect it will be.

John Says:

One of the Tennis Channel “Rome” commentators said something like “mental toughness goes before physical toughness”.

My guess is that this is what’s happening to Fed. He seems to be losing the “mental” game. When I was watching his last encounter with Nadal, I thought that Fed was frequently choking, especially on the important points.

In contrast, Nadal has more confidence than ever. Nadal is beating the best players with ease. To stay even with Nadal takes a series of spectacular shots. One of the best points that I’ve ever seen was Nadal (#74 5/10/2007) vs Youzhny. The point was one spectacular shot after another by both players. I think Nadal won the point.

claycourtrafa Says:

well i dont think he has a chance at he french, but i wudnt write him off just yet for the rest of the year, i mean remeber who ur talkling bout

Agassi Fan Says:

I must say Fed’s chances at the French seem bleak now. Seems like 2006 was his peak. His 8000+ ranking points days are over. Now he will hover around 6000. I think Sampras’s best was about 5100, right? I still like Fed’s chances at Wimbledon and the US though.

Best of 5 helps him (fed) though, since it gives him more chances to get back, and he is certainly one of the fittest guys around.

So lets see what he is made of, at the French. I truly think he needs to “fight” a bit more.

no slumping Says:

So Federer loses four matches and it’s a slump? LOL.
Federer’s not in a slump, he just LOST. He got BEAT.
That’s all.
crybaby fanboys lolz…

FoT Says:

It’ amazing that people are so quick to write off Roger. Uhm…I remember even last year around this time so many people were saying Roger’s finished; Nadal will take over as the new #1, etc. But we know what happened after the French, don’t we! I say let’s wait until the clay season is over before you ‘officially’ say Roger’s on the down swing of his career. Personally, I don’t think he is and all this will be just a brief memory after he wins Wimbledon and the US Open again this year! lol!

samps Says:

Fed was rubbish but its clearly a slump and not because he lost four matches. Its because what he says. He says he was perfectly prepared and was practicing a lot (maybe he shouldn’t) so its worrying for him.
Rafa on the other hand has been fabulous. For all those nadal haters, its time to compare this season and the last. He’s been far more dominant(no set lost yet or even a tie breaker) and his game has changed a lot. Far more variation and often some stunning tennis(though his principle weapons remain the same). Of course the season is not over yet and everything comes down if he gets beaten. Though after the match with Djoko, it seems unlikely.

samps Says:

And FoT, a slump is not writing someone off. A slump is often temporary. I ll take a leaf out of Agassi Fan’s (rather poor) book and suggest the dictionary. He’s not great enough not to experience one. So it Might be just one. Of course he could beat Nadal at RG and make us look foolish.
It just seems unlikely.

Joanne Says:

Remember Nadal was off his game for 6 months and look at him now.Same for Roger,he’ll come back.I believe that Roger taking more time off over xmas,changed his rythm and he had more down time than previous years.He kept saying I need more time to relax,and he took a longer vacation but now can’t back into his rythm.I think he let down mentally to have some fun and can’t get his edge back.He said he couldn’t relax during the game.Roger plays with a relaxed ferocity when he’s on.Its instinctual and seems like something that works through him;he allows it.Its sort of Zen-like.I think he’s thinking too hard,not enjoying himself,and straining to achieve.Its not his style;it has to just come from within for him.
He needs to;
1.Forget winning the French.
2.Spend a lot of fun time with Mirka outdoors away from people.
3.Cut down on outside distractions.
4.Consider whether Tony is helping him right now or perhaps he needs time to reconnect with his own game his own style.
5.Stop trying so hard and just enjoy his game.
6.Don’t talk to or read the press.
He may end up winning the French but having this as a goal is too stressful.Good luck Roger.

Agassi Fan Says:

ha ha, my “rather poor” book, and Samps can’t help following it, ha ha!!

BTW, to put things in perspective, during his peak years, Sampras used to lose 14-15 matches per year. Maybe Fed is headed for “sampras like” peak years now. A step down for him though.

Nadal Says:

What’s with everyone touting Djokovich? I really see nothing special in his game. He’s just hot right now. The “excellent balance” and “steady” play off both sides just makes him a solid baseliner…nothing more. Also, if you’re going to use the extreme grip he uses on his forehand, you better back it up with some insane topspin. Otherwise, that grip is just a major liability in the long run. He constantly hits the ball short off his forehand due to it, and has a lot of trouble going down the line consistently.

SuperTennisFan Says:

Nobody stays at the very top of his game forever. When looking at the very best of all sports: Wilt Chamberlain did not average 50 ppg more than once. Joe Montana’s peak play (his 1989 form) lasted about 2 seasons. Tiger had a slump a few years ago.

It makes things more interesting, that is for sure. Let’s see how Federer reacts to some adversity.

Heidi Says:

A slump? this is more than a slump. He will continue to decline, he may come back but I don’t believe he’ll return to the (amazing)level he has held for the last few years. doubt he can be “just” a Top10 player for xmonths either.

Tee Says:

I certainly don’t believe that the word ‘slump’ or ‘slide’ is relevant for Federer. He is the undisputed champion who, like all of us, is human after all. All the great sportsman, including Tiger Woods do experience such losses at times and it does not matter whether they occur four in a row, or its four for the whole season. I believe the unexpected rest has definitely given Federer his best chances ever to play the French Open in full strength and moreso for the rest of the season. Last year he came to the French Open after an exhausting US hardcourt season and two claycout events that included an epic 5 and half hour final in Rome. The level of fatigue was clearly evident when he played the French final. Unfortunately those who are premauturely celebrating his slump could still have up to 3 more years before they realise their dreams. King Roger rules!!!!

samps Says:

Actually when Tiger Woods had a rubbish period in the middle he Was on a slump. He came back and regained his crown. So i would think the word ‘slump’ is fairly relevant. Federer might or might not be in a slump Now but the word would be relevant to him if he had a patch of extended poor performances. Not relevant to him? Its amazing the level of eulogising you fanboys/girls go off to.

And Fed lost the last year’s RG because of fatigue!!! Haha thats the best spin i ve seen to that. Hell, Nadal lost last year’s wimbledon to fatigue surely. Not because Fed was better.

What about this year Tee? Did he lose due to fatigue? Was it evident again? Oh wait he’s been practising so much he fatigued himself i expect.

Robert Says:

Ok, folks, let’s stop the over-analyis. FED is in a slump? Yes. Probably won’t win the French. But it’s much too early to say his career is in decline unless/until he doesn’t win Wimbledon.

As for Djovokic, he is already #5 in the world at age 19. He may not be Federer or Nadal but he has more game than Davydenko. He’s certain to get #4 soon.

Agassi Fan Says:

Losing in 4 tournaments in a row is certainly a slight slump for a top player. Fed didn’t have that kind of slump during 2004-06 at all, which is quite amazing, when you consider that Sampras had such a “slump” at least twice a year even during his peak years.

BTW, Davydenko almost beat nadal, what a pity, 3 hour 38 minute match, just 3 sets. Hope THAT makes nadal a little winded for tomorrow!

claycourtrafa Says:

the score for nadal davydenko 7-6(3)6-7(8)6-4, his first lost set in the clay courts this year. lets see wat happens.

grendel Says:

claycourtrafa has defended Fed twice now – that’s a pretty clear sign of what sort of trouble he’s in, isn’t it? To “no slumping”, getting beaten is one thing – Davydenko just got beaten by Nadal and played superbly – but to get beaten as badly as Fed has been, with all the scarcely credible unforced errors, etc, is telling you something, don’t you think ? Of course, you do have to think a bit, not something “no slumping” is too familiar with, one feels

Decue Says:

As was mentioned, not anyone can maintain the high level of play that Fed has exhibited in the past year. He definitely is not playing confidently. Since he switched rackets, his shot feel has not been the same and this may be why he is not as confident with his strokes. This is one reason why Sampras never switched rackets during his career.
It is not looking good for the French so I think Fedex should re-tool and mentally prepare for Wimbledon.

samps Says:

I dont think its the racket. I think he’s attempting to alter his game for clay and thats complicating matters. He’s got Tony Roche to focus on clay this time but at the cost of his natural game? Perhaps he realizes that his natural game isnt enough for Nadal on clay. But its hard to tell(obviously) till RG is over. While its clear that he’s not saving it for RG(likey just on a mini-slump), it wouldnt be a surprise if he reaches the final of RG. Though Hamburg should give us an idea.
And the match with Davydenko was nervy(though excellent) and he was superb undoubtedly. But I thought Nadal was slightly off pace at times(compared to his normal self).

no slumping Says:

does tennis-x plan on reporting on players other than federer? nadal only happens to be breaking some records in the process of his amazing run.
maybe tennis-x should change their name to seanrandallfanboysforfederer-x?

grendel Says:

So, Roche has gone. Is this good, bad, makes no difference? What’s the feeling? (a sacking presumably,btw, one feels a bit sorry for old Roche – but it’s a darwinian world). Oh, here we are, talking about Federer again – sorry, “no slumping” – why on earth do we do it? Perhaps just to annoy “no slumping”, who seems easily riled, to the point where he has to make things up. sean Randall, for instance, is clearly a nadal fan, and reasonably dispassionate, even cool, about fed. But mere facts never bother exhibitionists.

Agassi Fan Says:

I am glad Fed fired Roche. Roche was not really helping his game much. He’s too old to matter in today’s tennis, he’s never played “today’s” tennis, which is very different from when he was a pro.

Fed should retain Lendl. Solid one-handed backhanded, solid grit and determination, solid clay record, an absolutely astounding player, and someone who would understand the demands of modern tennis.

Look for Fed to rebound now. Roche was just messing with his head and game. Fed just needs to play his own natural game.

samps Says:

Huh i saw the news after seeing your comments! Anyway, he ll at least be at the final now. And if nadal turns up a little tired his chances are surely increased. Nadal winning straight sets in every match is cool but games like with nikolai might make it hard for him if they happen at hamburg. And oh, he’s not even played gonzo yet and that could be a tricky match. Cant wait to see what Fed does at hamburg though. Turning off the french mania just a notch might might work well for him, i expect.

samps Says:

And Agassi Fan, your book IS poor haha! Too old?
In football(soccer, whatever), Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United coach is 65 but clearly one of the best coaches around even today.
I just think its a case of Fed trying too hard and too many things and worse someone else also telling him to try them. The boy just needs to cool it and be himself.
And Fed was messing with his own head. And then he got Tony along to do it more!! So its twice his fault, haha.

samps Says:

Huh! I just found this : -

“Many have drawn parallels with Roche’s coaching charge of two decades ago, Ivan Lendl, who was as obsessed with mastering English grass and winning Wimbledon as Federer clearly is with Paris.

Roche tried to instill a greater need to attack the net into Lendl’s game and augment a forceful and accurate serve with a sharp volley. Other aspects of the solid baseline approach became compromised, resulting in failure and confusion. ”

So much for “Old” Agassi Fan! Deja-vu thats all.
Anyway im off for the weekend.

Keith Pratt Says:

Re: The Federer Slide Continues on the Slippery Clay

I’ve been saying for months now that Fed is overextending himself, not on the tennis court, but in his various extracurricular activities. Not day goes by that I don’t see him posing for photos in various fashion magazines or for charity events, the latter being admirable, course, and the former rather superfluous.

This brings back shades of the Williams sisters and their lack of focus due to overextending themselves. I don’t question Fed’s dedication to practice and preparation, but I do have my doubts about the possibility that he can continue to excel at the same level he’s exhibited the past few years. I even noticed the last time I saw him play that he was carrying a little extra weight around the middle.

Keith Pratt

Agassi Fan Says:


You do like following my leaf book, don’t you! What a follower!!

Soccer and tennis are very different sports. For one, soccer is a team sport Samps, in case you didn’t notice.

And don’t comapre Fed with the Williams sisters. they said it themeselves, they are entertainers, not sportwomen.

realist Says:

one of the main reasons federer has been so dominant is the mental side. he believes he is invincible and that translates to confidence to execute in tense moments and on the flip side, the opponents choking.

not to mention being no.1 gives him the easiest draws of anyone which not only means you play lesser players more often, but also that by the time you’ve made it to the business end, you’re less fatigued on average, a huge advantage.

technically he isn’t so far ahead of everyone like people make out. proof? he has countless matches that are very close, with players that are often quite low ranked, the difference comes down to belief.

consider federer before he broke through – same weapons, but mentally fragile and thus very beatable. hewitt used to spank him silly, then suddenly a switch flipped mentally and hewitt never got close again

hopefully now federer’s confidence is taking a pounding tennis might be a lot more interesting.

Deuce Says:

Federer does not need a coach. He did well before he hired Tony Roche and he can do it again. He needs to get back to what made him a great player by playing his style of game and not get confused as to how he should finish points.

Agree with Keith that Fed may be overextending himself which has taken away from his game.

Disagree with realist that having Fed become more fragile makes the game more interesting. Dominant players like Federer and Woods draws interest and that is whether you love them or hate them.

Actually it would be interesting to see if he can rebound and capture his earlier days which may even draw more interest.

Agassi Fan Says:

Again, put it in perspective. Sampras would have such “slumps” at least twice a year even during his peak years.

samps Says:

And some more perspective, Roche coached Lendl in wimbledon and screwed him up. So he’s not bad because he’s old is he?

Oh BTW, Rafa won Rome. But in all fairness, Gonzo was utterly rubbish.

Moya! Says:

Yes ,I didn’t see all of it but I saw that Gonzo was getting better at the end however I think that Nadal is going to be impossible to beat on clay for quite a few years unless he gets injured.

grendel Says:

Why does Agassifan think that Lendl would be interested in coaching Federer – or anyone else? He’s enormously rich, and seemed to have had a bellyful of tennis. Or has that changed of late? Also, is a great player necessarily a great coach; what fed in particular needs is someone who absolutely believes in him, since confidence is a huge problem at the moment, and likely to remain so. From what I recall of Lendl, he was a firm believer in Lendl – which was partly what made him so effective. Has he had a character change or something?

claycourtrafa Says:

yes rafa won 6-2 6-2, gonzo made 31 unforced errors as nadal won in 84min. he is looking quite ominous rite now and the clear RG fave. but im interested to see how fed plays in hamburg. perhaps now that he is without a coach he will play more relaxed and less obsessed i dunno i hope he does play a little better tho at least get to the semis.

Agassi Fan Says:

I never said Lendl might be interested – just said that Fed needs someone like Lendl.

Roche used to play with wooden racquets, mostly on grass, against a handful of not so superfit players. Very different from today.

Connors has been able to help Roddick, hasn’t he?

Maybe Fed just needs to watch tapes of Lendl and Guga playing on clay. Both would have been tough for Nadal to beat.

Andrew Miller Says:

Joanne – loved your comment! I dug up one of the newspaper articles that reported on Federer’s reaction to Nadal training following an exhibition match they had in Korea at the end of 2006:,20867,21059564-2722,00.html

“Federer was staggered when Nadal casually told him, after the pair had played their last exhibition match of the year in Seoul at the end of last year, that he was planning to resume training in just four days. Federer was looking forward to spending two weeks in the Maldives.

“I lay on the beach, slept a lot, watched movies, took treatment, didn’t do anything at all,” Federer said. “His (Nadal’s) reason was he was injured this time last year so he couldn’t practise. I can understand that but I was so tired at that moment I couldn’t believe he was going to practise again so quickly.”

Joanne Says:

“Remember Nadal was off his game for 6 months and look at him now.Same for Roger,he’ll come back.I believe that Roger taking more time off over xmas,changed his rythm and he had more down time than previous years.He kept saying I need more time to relax,and he took a longer vacation but now can’t back into his rythm.I think he let down mentally to have some fun and can’t get his edge back.”

Agassi Fan Says:

Fed played 97 matches last year, more than anyone else. Its got to have been tiring.

Good that he got rid of Tony.

johnnhoj Says:

Fed needs to feel inspired again. Four straight Masters Series losses is surely a real downer, and not just in ranking points. Maybe he should keep his late coach Peter Carter in mind. I Don’t think Fed’s been feeling particularly motivated as of late. He was outplayed by two guys he could have surely beaten quite easily: Canas and Volandri. Nadal is another story, one that’s gonna require a bit more work for him, but that’s fine, so be it (Nadal is a great player too, and his achievements should be recognized as well). Federer needs to play at his relentless best again, like he usually does on hard and grass, where everybody is in trouble.
If you need a reason, Roger, do it for Peter C. Just shed all your unnecessary baggage and do it.

Seth Says:

Not sure what exactly is responsible for Fed’s slide of late, but he certainly seems less than inspired against guys like Canas and Volandri, guys that, let’s admit, Fed should drill off the court. Seems his mental toughness is fading. Even against Rafa, which I would think would be incredibly motivating (the guy’s beaten him every time on clay), Fed has seemed listless and his play has been half-hearted. I guess someone should grab him by the shoulders and gently shake him while saying firmly, “Roger, wake up! You have a shot at absolute legendhood! You’re the most talented human being to ever pick up a tennis racket! Now get some fire back in the belly and go out there and drill these pretenders to the throne off the court! Roland Garros could be yours for the taking!”

FloridaMan Says:

There may be other factors in Fed’s slump as well. Several times in the past, an athlete will go through a slump, and not say what caused it until a good while later. Right now though, I think that this is just a short slump, and Fed will get out of it soon. Whether he can do well at the French this year remains to be seen, but he’ll come back in the grass and hard court season.

samps Says:

Talking about Joanne’s comment, I think its wrong to compare Fed’s present form to Nadal’s when he was losing like crazy before Indian Wells. Nadal hasnt set a standard on other surfaces yet so there wasnt much expectation as such. The expectation came about because of his Wimbledon final, and i would still consider him a relative novice on other courts, esp. grass, though he’s getting into a reasonable amount of net play even on this clay season(and a second serve ace yesterday!!) Anyway, im just saying its not a slump technically.

Fed on the other hand has been rather worse off than last year. Hence the slump. It might be the start of his decline though its hard to say this early in the season.

Also, regarding Nadal’s game, those who watched him last season and this one would, I am sure see the considerable number of changes he has incorporated in his game. And thats the key to his success even on clay. He’s not just ‘returning everything’. The crazy number of(successful) drop shots, net play and improved serve are a possible portent for the future and a fair indication. And his willingness to play doubles which he recently acknowledged is to improve his net game and volleying shows his intention.

Agassi Fan Says:

From another article – makes a lot of sense:

” “

Agassi Fan Says:

From another article – makes a lot of sense:

“At the 2006 French Open, Paul-Henri Mathieu pushed Nadal by playing backboard type tennis. Davydenko nearly beat Nadal in Rome doing the same thing. This tells me that trying to attack Nadal on clay is nearly impossible. To beat Nadal on clay it seems as though a player has to enter the trenches and try to be more consistent than Nadal. This sounds crazy I know, but maybe Nadal has an impatient day and makes a lot of errors. Nadal’s speed and power allow him to hit passing shots on clay even if someone attacks behind quality stuff. My guess is Davydenko represents the player with the best chance to beat Nadal because Davydenko will get into the trenches. Federer and Djokovic would be ill advised to abandon attacking because grinding is not their style, but top fifty baseliners should not be afraid to engage Nadal in long rallies.”

Attacking tennis just doesn’t pay on clay. Why else would Sampras have been so miserable on clay? You HAVE to grind it out. That’s the challenge Fed must face – he’s been avoiding it so far.

grendel Says:

Agassi Fan posts an article which he says makes a lot of sense, and which says Fed “would be ill advised to abandon attacking because grinding is not (his) style.” But Agassi Fan says “you HAVE o grind it out. That’s the challenge Fed must face”. Forgive me if I am confused. But perhaps there is a lesson here. Perhaps a judicious mixing of grinding and attacking (something which actually Nadal himself does very well) is what is needed. Getting that particular mixture right obviously takes huge talent – but also confidence, which is what is lacking at the moment.

realist Says:

davydenko came the closest to beating nadal of anyone this year, proving the way to beat him has to be to attack him with penetrating groundstrokes (and have a great backhand capable of handling the kick forehand).

putting him under pressure stops him from setting up with the forehand and killing you. yeah, you have to hit like 3 winners to get it by him, but you’ll never get it by him otherwise. without pressure a player like nadal won’t just make mistakes – hits with too much clearance.

of course to hit like davydenko did is very difficult, but trying to out grind nadal is silly, the kid is an animal, and let’s remember still only 20, a lot younger(more natural stamina) than most of the top players.

if davs hadn’t had a bunch of long matches coming in he probably could have maintained his precision a bit longer, maybe taken the match.

i’d give a fit nalbandian a very good chance against nadal.

Sean Randall Says:

Would have to agree with realist 100%. To have any chance at beating Nadal on clay you have to have a rock solid backhand. Nikolay Davydenko, who nearly pulled the upset Saturday, has that backhand. What I didn’t think he had was a way to hit winners by Nadal, because you simply cannot out grind the Spaniard on clay unless he’s having an off day. But watch Davydenko, he does something few other claycourters do, and that is hug the baseline taking time away from his opponents. He plays much like Agassi just without the power, but he makes up for that lack of power by taking the ball very early and against Nadal, who stands so far back, it created problems.

As for trying to grind out Rafa, I think it’s already been proven that “getting in the trenches” is simply not the way to beat Nadal on clay, unless as I said he’s not on his game that day. You have to attack him. His two near losses during this streak have come at Rome against Federer and Davydenko, both of whom attacked Nadal on the faster clay in Italy.

Moya! Says:

Realist: I wouldn’t say Nalbandian is up to beating Nadal anymore, especially with Nadal on such form but if you look at Phillip Kohlschreiber and Paul Henri Mathuei they could give him real trouble also when Gasquet and Djokovic are on form they’re players to beat.

zarlee Says:

I’m not suprised to see that so many people think federer’s losses lately indicates that his career is slumping.

He has dominanted the sport for several years such dominance could make anyone seem untouchable, perfect and inhuman. I think his losses to Canas were simlpy a reminder that he is indeed human, imperfect and that he can be beaten.

One should not forget however that Federer did reach to the Fianls of the Masters Series Tournament in Monte Carlo where he lost to Rafa (lets not get started on his clay court dominance!)

Yes he lost to Volandri and played very poorly in Rome, which he admitted, well he was having a bad day…we all have them. I still can’t say that because Federer “missed three Finals” (we just expect him to end up in all you see) and lost in one that his career is slumping. Its a mere coincidence. However if Federer plays poorly and crashes out of Wimbledon in the early rounds Then! I’ll probarly have to rethink the whole situation.

But there’s still another Master Series Tounament on clay and I hope Federer can regroup and have much greater results this week (ok ok i want him to win lol)

zola Says:

do you guys have something against Rafa? It is so strange to see this silence here anytime Rafa wins something. Is it very ordinary to win 77 matches and be the first one to win Rome 3 years back to back?

Instead tennis-x will find stories from anywhere in the world just not to mention anything about rafa. This is becoming very obvious and is not right. the same goes for funk and trunk column. When Rafa loses, he will be there for weeks. when he wins, the column stays empty and then a fan ( like me0 write something, his name comes up for a couple of days and then disappears if someone in Mars has done something….Nah…not right at all….

tbarile Says:

I love Agassi Fan’s comment about Lendl. The only problem would be Federer would become a golfer.

But, thanks to this performance slide by Federer, WE HAVE A REAL TENNIS SEASON! Time to subscribe to Star Sports, ESPN and the Tennis Channel!!! YES!

The viewer numbers will be up this season.

jack in the box Says:

hoo hoo I sure am loving this! buh bye Roger nice knowing ya…

realist Says:

moya!: yeah nalbandian is slumping big time with injuries and no condfidence, but consider an in form nalbandian last year who was inched out in a 3rd set tiebreak by federer in rome and was beating him in the french semis before his injury flared up.

nalbandian takes the ball early like davs, great control from the baseline, one of the best backhands, plus he has better volleys than the russian. his crap serve doesn’t matter as much on clay.

the davydenko game showed you have to have an outstanding return game to compete with nadal coz you’re gonna get broken. davs broke him 7 times i think(and still lost!). if there’s one thing nalbandian has, it’s a return game.

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