Federer Crashes Out In Gstaad, Slump Deepens, Questions Mount
by Sean Randall | July 25th, 2013, 2:28 pm
  • 78 Comments

It’s going from bad to worse for Roger Federer this summer, and not even playing in his backyard helped. The Swiss today was stunned in his opening match by German Daniel Brands routinely 6-3, 6-4 in the Gstaad Swiss Open.

I didn’t see any of the match but there are reports that the back was again an issue. If you are a Federer fan, that’s your saving grace at this point because if he was 100% and he’s losing like this – his third bad loss in as many events – then it’s almost time to start panicking.

Brands, though, is a decent player and has a very powerful game. He pushed Rafael Nadal on the French clay in May and took a set of Roger last week, but really for Federer this is his event and when he’s healthy he should be able to handle a guy like him, as he did a week ago in Hamburg. Yet today he couldn’t even manage a set?

“For sure the altitude has helped me,” Brands said. “I served well and put pressure on him from the very beginning. It helped that I already played him in Hamburg last week. Of course you are very impressed when you face him on the court for the first time. It’s completely different from what you see when you watch him on TV once you see him on the other side of the court.”

Federer is of course using a larger frame racquet and his aim of playing this mini-clay swing this summer was to test it out. Well, so far so bad I’d have to say. It’s been a failure.

So it’s questionable if he’ll continue to use the new racquet here in the U.S. Or does he go back to the old racquet?

And really, this summer clay series has been a flop overall for a guy looking to gain confidence heading into the hardcourts. Is he in better mental shape now than he was after the Wimbledon loss? I’d say he’s got to worse now.

Stakhovsky, Delbonis and now Brands? Not exactly murderer’s row there! (Hey, at least the guy who beats is higher ranked each week!)

But a lot does hinge on the state of his back. If it’s that bad then he has something to mitigate the pain. Then again, if it was even an issue in Hamburg why even play Gstaad?

Federer quotes below:
“I got a few chances but finally couldn’t take advantage of them… I wasn’t consistent enough in the end. He was serving well and I couldn’t do enough with my return.”

“I decided after today’s warm-up whether I would play or not… I’m happy that I was able to play because I’ve had problems for some time now, already in Hamburg. But it didn’t get worse during today’s match. I’m positive and I felt that it was getting better during the last few days.

“I’m still happy that I came to Gstaad this week. It was great being back here and the crowd gave me a fantastic welcome.”


Also Check Out:
Let’s Watch Stan Wawrinka Jump Out Of An Airplane In Gstaad [Video]
Roger Federer Says He’s Not In A Slump; Admits Back, Racquet Are Issues Right Now
Watch Roger Federer Get Another Cow In Gstaad [Video]
Roger Federer Will Play On Clay In Gstaad Later This Month
Rafael Nadal Could Skip Cincinnati, Roger Federer Might Miss Montreal

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78 Comments for Federer Crashes Out In Gstaad, Slump Deepens, Questions Mount

pitchaboy Says:

He is done. I have said here countless times no racquet will make up for footwork and timing. It can help with power to some extent. He has lost speed and timing and whether it is age or bad back or a combo, the fat lady has identified the key to start her song.


hawkeye Says:

#Federer: “J’ai bien réfléchi avant de décider. Après-midi encore. Je pensais avoir une chance de passer au moins un tour.” #gstaad Expand I thought about it a lot before deciding, afternoon still. I thought I had a chance to win at least one round. And another…

Grégory Beaud ‏@GregBeaud20min 1m

#Federer: “J’ai pris beaucoup d’antii-inflammatoires la semaine dernière. Pas cette semaine. C’est un spasme musculaire au niveau du dos.” I took a lot of anti inflammatories last week. Not this week. It’s a muscular spasm in the back.
#Federer: “Certains dans l’équipe pensaient que je ne devais pas jouer. Je suis soulagé d’avoir joué + ou – correctement. Sans aggraver.”
Some members of the team thought I shoudln’t play. I’m relieved I played more or less correctly without making it worse.


James Says:

Roger may not be my no.1 favorite player (he’s no.2 after Rafa) but this is very sad. Daniel Brands is a tricky player for sure but Roger should have survived this round. Ditch this new racquet, Roger. Get back to using the one that won you multiple slams.
One good thing from this is that he’ll now have more time off tennis and just practice with his team. I believe when your confidence is down, it’s better to stop things for a while. Even a one week off would help.
I know he’s had a rough year so far, but I wouldn’t give up on the guy yet. I would never give up on him until he does.


Brando Says:

Came home finally and thought I’ll check the Gstaad results. Knew he was playing Brands- a tricky customer for sure- and thought maybe Fed could be in trouble in this one. See the result and it’s a straight set loss. Reaction? Honestly I was not surprised. No shock, no sense of confusion as to how this happened but one of: expecation of such news. Feds clearly in freefalling state regarding his tennis: R2 at Wimby, SF at Hamburg and first round at Gstaad: a 250 tourny. It’s not looking good at all. IF results stay like this until the end of year then there is no way Fed can be enjoying early exits in a dismissive fashion. IF it stays like this until then: he should pack it in. Nothing to prove or gain by playing on.


TennisZod Says:

So are they going take back the cow from Roger?

#1stRoundLoss


madmax Says:

Brando,

My heart wants to say, let’s see, but sadly…

I just hope that whatever happens from now on, that he will be guided sensibly by his team.

Throughout all of this, where is the advice of Annacone? or Luthri?

Really, I have no idea whether her will stick with this racquet? Surely it will take much more time to accustom himself with a 98inch, will he revert to the 90 again and instantly, click back into what he has always known?

Will that affect his mindset even more?

Would be interested for some intelligent conversation here.

Hawkeye,#

No disrespect intended. A lot of monikers over here now, and I wasn’t sure whether you were one of the trouble makers over at the now defunct TT. If I am wrong, I apologise. If I am not, please don’t spoil this site.


joe Says:

Everybody panic!

He’s injured AND playing with a different racquet, give me a break.

In American he will show up healthy and with his old racquet on hard courts and probably win Montreal.


the DA Says:

Sorry to change the subject (momentarily) but I just saw some startling news on twitter: “Viktor Troicki will be banned for 18 months because of refusing a blood test in Monte Carlo”. Kind of shocking actually.


jatin Says:

At Press Conference : “Some members of the team thought I shouldn’t
play. I’m relieved I played more or less correctly without making it
worse.”

“I thought about it a lot before deciding, afternoon still. I thought I had a chance to win at least one round.”

“Not certain I’ll play Montreal. I have a week before me. It’s a lot and little at the same time.”

This is the first time Roger speaks openly about his back problem. “For the future, we will see in 4-5 days.”

“I’ve thought before deciding(to play or not) still in the afternoon.I thought I had a chance to win today”

“I took a lot of painkillers last week. Not this week.The problem is a muscle spasm in the back”

“I’m just happy to have played.”


jatin Says:

Not to take the credit away from Brands, he played great tennis. But i am now more convinced than ever that his movement this year has been hampered by his sore back. I don’t think he is going to play Montreal now. With him now turning 32, the recuperation takes a lot more time than what it took say 5 years ago. That’s why it’s now difficult for him to win back to back 5 setters. I just get the feeling that those 2 5 consecutive 5 setters in Australia took a lot out of him. Remember 2012 for Nole? He still felt the after effects of that marathon in Australia against Nadal. The manner in which he lost in Paris only made my conviction stronger. I think this is going to continue till the end of the year. I just get the feeling he is already looking forward to the next year and make a fresh beginning.


madmax Says:

God! DA!

That’s shocking!

joe Says:
Everybody panic!

He’s injured AND playing with a different racquet, give me a break.

In American he will show up healthy and with his old racquet on hard courts and probably win Montreal.

July 25th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

You think so Joe?


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Another bit of tennis news former British number 1 Anne Keothavong is retiring too.


the DA Says:

Actually, reading the statement it looks more like a miscommunication than a drug offense but we’ll see soon enough.


SheepleBuster Says:

I am a Fed fan but I don’t know what people expected. Not everyone has a gradual, slow fall. Some great champs fall quickly. The smallest changes make the biggest difference. The bad back, age, new racquet, lack of confidence, it’s not like Roger has a lot going for him at the moment


RZ Says:

I don’t think we can judge how much the bigger racquet has been helping/hurting, since clearly Fed’s back has gotten in the way.

He really should have sat out Gstaad but didn’t, probably because it’s in Switzerland.


josh Says:

sad to see this. I hope that Roger heals and is ready to go for the US Open. I’m pretty sure he’s just hanging around to try and win at least one more slam and retire like Sampras did. It’s one thing to age and still be somewhat competitive, but another to lose the way he has been.


NK Says:

Am I the only one who is perplexed that not one headline refer’s to Federer’s ailing back? Not one reporter has the decency to put this loss in context, that his back has been troubling him, that he took pain killing injections, that his team did not want him to play the last match.

Instead, every story is about Federer’s slump, about why perhaps the time has come to pack his bags, and so on. And of course, the anti-Fed trolls are having a field day perpetrating such nonsense.

It is sad that reporters are quick to preface any Nadal match these days, even before he steps on court to play, with injury references in case he should lose.

Here, you have Federer clearly not serving well and not moving well in the matches he has played since he picked up the new raquet, and yet there is no reference whatsoever to a back that is clearly bothering him.


Brando Says:

@the DA:

Great to see you posting again.

Yep, that is a shocker. Sad for him and the game.


RZ Says:

Hippy Chic, I’m sad to see Annie K. go. I’d hoped to get to see her play. I lived in Hackney for a while, where she is from, so I was always rooting for her.


Brando Says:

@Madmax:

Hi Max.

I think the wait and see approach is wise. It’s not looking pretty right now for Fed to be honest: but man does not know what time has in store for him.

Things could turn for the better and all of this be a blip.

Who knows.

I think he should definitely take a decision at the year end: the perfect time for a 32 year old pro to take stock of his situation: what has unfolded in the year past and what can possibly be achieved going forward.

Right now it would be far too early- even in my opinion- for Fed to call it a day.

It would be a kneejerk reaction to poor results as opposed to it being a wise, measured decision.

Going forward for the USO swing:

1- It’s clear Fed’s back is an issue. When a player say’s that they feel unwell- I believe them. And Fed has voiced his concerns regarding this issue.

A back issue is a pretty bad one, and having no medical expertise whatsoever to speak off I must say still that I think Fed should skip Montreal.

Give time to heal his back, rest/ recuperate and have a good think for this USO in terms of strategy.

2- Go back to his old racquet: Clearly it takes time to settle into using a new racquet. Time to get comfortable with it, to command it well etc.

Yet, right now he simply has not adjusted well to it. And the upcoming USO swing is vitally important one for him right now.

With that in mind: he should go back to his old racquet. At the least he feels comfortable with it and right now comfort is a prized feeling Fed needs on court.

I believe that Cincy is Fed’s best outdoor event on tour right now. His game suits that event perfectly.

Hence, he should take time off to heal his back, have a bit of practise and use his old racquet.

A good showing at Cincy- which i think is still possible- can do him a world of good.

My 2 cents on this matter anyhow: keep faith Max and hopefully results/ performance shall improve for Fed.


Colin Says:

Well, at least he’s got another cow. He could always become a milkman.

Seriously, he’s in a bind. The way to cure his back is to take a fairly long rest, but he also needs to work on his game. He can’t do both.
The racquet change is itself a problem, because it encourages him (and some fans) to think it alone is the reason for the slump. It is a slump, and I don’t like to think he’s in denial about that fact. Tiger Woods was the same. These great sportsman don’t like it when we judge them by standards they, themselves, have set.


Pitchaboy Says:

This is not a slump, it is the end. The deterioration has been subacute.


NK Says:

“It did get better from day to day this week. Only after the warm-up did I decide if I would play,” Roger said to the problems he is currently experiencing with his back.

Pitchaboy et al, yes, he might be in a slump, but it’s maddening to see you all talking as if it was a perfectly hale and healtrh Federer losing yet again today.

C’mon guys…he made it to the QF of the first two grand slams this year, yet you want us to believe the slump came on suddenly without warning in the last two months? Give me a break.

The sad thing is that, it is all about perception. The Nadal camp PR machine appears to have the whole world convinced that the word “injury” will forver be attached to any Nadal loss, and the media happily goes along with it.

Federer on the other hand rarely talks about any injury. The quote above is one of the few times he has acknowledged having back problems. Remember the fifth set in the final at the AO where he lost to Nadal 6-2? You honestly think Federer’s back had nothing to do with how his serve had lost its zing in that final set?

I am convinced that the combination of a bad back and a new raquet has been his undoing in the last two losses. To Brando/Colin’s points above, he should take care of his back first. A healthy Federer without the ailing back would have won the last two matches despite any adjustment problems with the new raquet.


Anna Says:

Fed has said he wants to play another 3-4 years. If that’s the case why not play Cinci and USO and then stop for the rest of the year to give his back a chance to heal. Even little niggling back problems will reagrivate if not given enough time to fully heal. Like Rafa, he may slip a few more spots in the ranking, but if he’s healthy he could make that up fairly quickly. I don’t see why it has to be all doomsday. He’s still one of the big 4 in my book.


Pitchaboy Says:

Nadal bounces back because of clay. A 80 pct. Nadal on clay is better than anyone around. Federer is not the No. 1 player on any surface. Bad backs after 30 in athletes are huge problems. He needs a miracle to be a slam winner.


Pitchaboy Says:

There is no big 4 any more. Big 2: Andy and Novak
Rafa is third due to clay. He is not in big league on other courts.


James Says:

Great Post @Brando at 5:25 pm

skipping Montreal wouldn’t be a bad idea. Re-join the tour at Cincy followed by the USO. Maybe his next tournaments could be Basel and London (assuming he makes it there).


James Says:

^after USO


Humble Rafa Says:

Fed has said he wants to play another 3-4 years.

He can use his GOATness to get a few wild cards and then play qualifying. So it is possible to play for 3-4 years.


Colin Says:

NK, you are amazed that we think the back problem could have developed out of the blue. Well, I for one (having had a dodgy back for many years), am amazed you think it COULDN’T have!

What the man says himself is of little importance, medically. Still, if he’s happy to go against the advice of some of his team, OK it’s his back, but it would be pretty damn silly to wreck it at his age. Remember Tiger Woods, playing with a fractured leg? These guys start to believe their own myths, and behave as if they really were superhuman. I’d have thought Federer had more sense. Time will tell. Let’s see how he is by the end of the year. If he’s fine, that’s great, but he won’t deserve it!


roy Says:

funny how injuries actually effect your results. how just because you ”step on the court” it doesn’t mean you can perform properly.
federer fans have had a tough time understanding that over the years given as far as players go he’s had the luckiest injury-free run of anybody.
fans of every other player tend to grasp this basic principle however.


Anna Says:

I think you may be in for a surprise Pitchboy. I forsee Rafa and Juan-Martin right in the mix with Andy and Novak next month. Rafa has 6 ms1000 wins in the Americas, the last one being this last March. So why not another Roger’s Cup for Rafa. A big 4 is way more interesting than a big 2.


sheila Says:

i have back problems & it can be painful and i’m not an athlete so i can imagine what he must be feeling. hoping he recovers & gets back in the mix. i agree w/opinions insofar as the media always using injury excuses for nadal when he loses, but federer is in decline. i understand he’s 32 but if his back problem is severe it will obviously affect his game as nadal’s knees affect his game.


Humble Rafa Says:

Using injuries to justify a loss is insane. What kind of person would do that?


Steve 27 Says:

Hahhaha, Humble Rafa you are the best!


Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger reached the finals of Rome, Quarters in FO, won Halle. Till that point it did not appear he is in a big decline. But suddenly in 2 months, it’s a big decline and Roger needs to retire soon.

What has he lost? Wimbledon, yeah that’s huge. Outside of that, he was a semi finalist in Hamburd (a 500 tournament, he clearly underplayed) and Gstaad ( he should not have played). So what’s the real crisis.

I have repeated this many times before. As a fan, I would give this entire year a pass for Roger. When I looked at the schedule he released for this year, it was obvious that he was trying to protect his ranking and not to stress himself too much this year.

I would be concerned if he is in this position next year at this time.


skeezer Says:

“luckiest injury-free”. Roy’s hate mail continues.
Oh yeah, and Feds career was luck also, what a piece of sh!t comment but expected from a Fed hater.
Eat this;
17. Was it luck? Doesn’t matter, record stands in GOATness.

@stevie27
HR the best? Pahleassse. When Rafa turns 32……hehe.


Humble Rafa Says:

When Rafa turns 32

Let me complete the sentence for you.

When Humble Highness turns 32, he will have 12 French Opens.


Steve 27 Says:

Touche, skeezer.


skeezer Says:

“When Humble Highness turns 32, he will have 12 French Opens.”

How many times have you watched Forrest Gump?
Apparently too many times.

#mustbestillunemployed
#doh


Michael Says:

What a fantastic year Roger had in 2012 and all that has been undone in 2013 ? There has been a sea change in his attitude and fortunes just in a matter of few months. Ofcourse advanced age has played its destined role, but still Roger being a legend, such losses do not favourably enhance his status as a sporting icon. What has set alarming bells ringing is Roger losing to qualifiers. This was not the case earlier when Roger used to lose only to the top three. To give credit to Roger, he is trying everything in his control – using hitech racquets, crafty scheduling of tournaments, practising hard etc., but those efforts are not translating to results on ground zero. I think Roger should just see how the rest of the year goes by and if this disturbing trend continues, he has to definitely take a call on his retirement. Roger is not a journeyman that he continue the game for pleasure. He is a legend and he has a duty to protect his legacy. I am sure he knows it.


vidzy Says:

Federer will not retire untill he is 36-37 even if he doesn’t win even a 250 tournament . Reason ? He is earning 70 million dolldars an year from sponsers and their contracts will be cancelled the day he retires. Federer is the 2nd most earning sportsman in the world after Woods. He has another 3-4 years to make a fortune and why would he want to leave that amount of money ? Who would ? I wouldn’t either.


rafaeli Says:

Pitchaboy Says:
“There is no big 4 any more. Big 2: Andy and Novak
Rafa is third due to clay. He is not in big league on other courts.”

Except that Rafa beat Delpo, who had beaten Murray and Nole on his way to the final,to win IW.


scineram Says:

Which means he was exhausted in the final.


holdserve Says:

Everyone gets exhausted except Rafa


James Says:

I don’t care what fans think. I know if Rafa is playing the HC season, he will do well regardless of who is across the net. I expect a few HC titles this season for Rafa.


James Says:

When Rafa turns 32……
_____________________

@skeezer, do tell what will happen when Rafa turns 32?
A lot of things can happen in 5 years, you know. Like winning more titles, more slams.


madmax Says:

vidzy Says:
Federer will not retire untill he is 36-37 even if he doesn’t win even a 250 tournament . Reason ? He is earning 70 million dolldars an year from sponsers and their contracts will be cancelled the day he retires. Federer is the 2nd most earning sportsman in the world after Woods. He has another 3-4 years to make a fortune and why would he want to leave that amount of money ? Who would ? I wouldn’t either.

July 26th, 2013 at 3:31 am

vidzy,

You miss one thing.

He doesn’t need the money and he has said repeatedly,he will play forthe love of the game. Now, if Roger can play for the love of the game and not worry about the wins, then I would agree with his statement. Yet, the two go hand in hand. How can someone continue to love the game, if they start to lose on a consistent basis. By process alone, to continue to lose, will reduce confidence, will make him less unsure of his shots, will make him more defensive and less of an attacking player.

Roger has a lot of thinking to do over the next few weeks.

Brando,

I agree with everything you have said. You have posted with insight here and I like that.


skeezer Says:

James,

Maybe, maybe not. However, Do you really think he is going to win Slams past 30?


madmax Says:

Simon Reed has been following tennis for over 30 years, has regularly commented on Federer’s style of play and now had this to say.

It has not been a great season so far for Roger Federer, that’s for sure.

Winning Wimbledon last year was big for him because he just was not looking the force he once was, until he pulled off another Grand Slam.

Now, he’s in that position again. Worse, even.

He has been beaten this year, time and time again, by players far beneath him in the rankings, and very disappointingly so. These men obviously play out of their boots when they go up against a top opponent, but even so they are huge blows for Fed to take.

It’s almost cliché now to say that you should never want to write Federer off, but except for when Rafael Nadal is on a clay court, it is looking increasingly as if the two great players of the 2000s are making way for the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and a host of potential future Grand Slam winners.

It seems as if Roger understands this, and it’s why he is going for the new racquet. And yes, trying to get used to the new equipment no doubt had a role in his defeats in Hamburg and now in Gstaad – he is still very much experimenting with the new racquet – but only a small role.

At the end of the day, Federer was being picked off by Sergiy Stakhovsky, Federico Delbonis and Daniel Brands, regardless of which racquet.

While this is not hugely significant – all three, especially Brands, are good players – what is significant is that Federer is trying out the new racquet in an attempt to hopefully bridge the gap between he and Murray/Djokovic, even if it means a few upsets along the way.

But can he do it?

Unfortunately, I do not think so.

In fact, the real achievement for Federer going forward will be to retain his spot in the top five.

And I absolutely hate saying it, but it’s looking more and more to be a likely scenario. Wimbledon 2012 looks set to be remembered as Roger Federer’s ‘Indian summer’.

At one point, I suspected Fed would retain the title this year and that would be his last hurrah. Obviously, even that isn’t the case now.

Maybe I will be proven wrong. I hope so. Perhaps he will settle with the new racquet in time to wipe the floor with everyone at Flushing Meadows, and win the US Open.

Basically, he has to give us a reason to believe that there’s one more moment of Federer magic left. At present, there is no indication of this happening.

It remains possible, of course, and as long as it does remain possible there will always be hope. Not much belief, but at least some hope.

Andre Agassi did it, after all. So did Pete Sampras. Federer isn’t even 32 yet.

Things are different today, though. The ATP Tour has an unbelievable wealth of talent, and I doubt even Agassi or Sampras would be able to enjoy a late-career run of glory against the likes of Murray, Djokovic and a fit Nadal.

We are in a very special era for men’s tennis, and let’s not forget that it was Federer himself who ushered that era in. He raised the bar to levels never before seen.

His rivals had to become absolute physical freaks to stand a chance of beating Federer. But, they did. And they are. Now he is being lost in the shuffle.

Federer remains the most naturally talented tennis player in the world, but physically he is falling behind. Not because of age, but because of the supreme standards at the top now.

I definitely don’t believe it’s a mental issue. Though Roger has every right to settle with his world-class legacy intact forever, simply enjoying his tennis until he enjoys it no longer and retires, I really believe he remains driven to succeed.

The problem is that his indisputable talents are no longer enough to keep him above the rest of the pack in gruelling, physical match-play.

As said before, I really hope Federer finds a way to keep up the pace for a few more years. I think we all do.

But we may just be witnessing the end of the line for one of the greatest-ever sportsmen.


Ben Pronin Says:

This loss sucks. It’s not huge because it’s a small event, but it really makes you think.

And think I did. My conclusion: I’d rather Federer play poorly and lose frequently than not play at all. I don’t want to think about a world where Federer isn’t playing pro tennis.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

“end of the line for one of the greatest ever sportsmen”

a beautiful tribute, but let’s hope premature.

This was a humiliating loss. We can hold out hope- that he played bad back and all to please his home town crowd, etc. But the losses have piled up now. They are impossible to ignore. When has he ever lost three matches in a row to such low ranked players, and that following on so many losses to 2nd tier players like Tsonga and Berdych. And if they have all been caused by back problems, then Fed’s age has caught up with him through his back as well as his feet, hands and head. It is not necessarily a positive idea.

Still, I hope.


hawkeye Says:

Cambers is only partially right.

Back problems (which Cambers conveniently omits because it doesn’t support his story) come with wear and tear and… age. It takes longer to recover.

He is, of course, right about the higher level of competition however.


hawkeye Says:

^^^sorry, Reed.


hawkeye Says:

Hanescu just took out Brands in straights 3 and 4.

skeezer, you really think Nadal won’t be one of the French Open favourites at 30 if he is still playing?

You must be one of those that think he’s not a very good grass or hard court players, lol.

#TwoWayStreet


NK Says:

Madmax et al: Guys, the ONLY reaason Federer lost the last two matches was due to his bad back. Without the bad back, he would have won easily, no question, new raquet woes notwithstanding.

The question is, will be be healthy and ready to go by US Open?


Tennis Vagabond Says:

NK, why ‘no question’? Was Federer’s performance at Wimbledon so dominant that you cannot even imagine him falling to a player outside the top fifty? That is a very strange assertion, given that he just lost to a player outside the top 100 before these tournaments.


Andrea Says:

Whether its the back, racquet or mental ( most likely a combo), definitely not a good stretch for roger. It is miraculous that he has remained relatively injury free for so long. Hopefully he doesn’t have to leave the game due to a bad back. Feds game style was never grinding and with the new men’s game of brutally long,physical matches, his age won’t let him compete like that.


Sean Randall Says:

Anna, I agree. Job #1 is to get the back better. If that means taking off the fall season then so be it.

No point in adding events in which you are too injured to play or to give 100%.


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa will win 10 Roland Garros and I hope he can surpass Sampras. Will be very difficult but I think he has a chance.


SG1 Says:

Yup. Fed’s definitely hurting. Time to chill out for a week or two and see if things improve. Brands and DelBonis are good players but their not in Fed’s league (even at 32 years old).


josh Says:

Steve, I agree with you. I like Rafa’s chances of at least equaling Sampras. I just hope his knees hold up over the upcoming years. If healthy, I do feel that Rafa can get close to Federer’s 17, but it’s a long shot.


Steve 27 Says:

josh, Nadal had to overcome the Swiss, he would have won 3 majors in 2009 and 2011, it was not and it makes no sense to speculate beyond. Good health, motivation and mental strength intact until at least 2016 to continue fighting for important things.


skeezer Says:

“skeezer, you really think Nadal won’t be one of the French Open favourites at 30 if he is still playing?”

That’s the real question isn’t it? …..if he is still playing?”

That is my point.


James Says:

skeezer Says:

James,

Maybe, maybe not. However, Do you really think he is going to win Slams past 30?

———

Will depend on his fitness, no? If he’s fit at 30+, why not? While winning 5 more slams looks very difficult for Rafa, I think he can win at least 3 more.


James Says:

Steve, apart from the FO, Rafa needs to win a couple of non clay slams more to challenge Roger’s tall imo. He should fight for the US Open this year, AO in Jan ’14. The next 2-3 years his best chance. It’s gonna get very difficult once he hits 30+


Steve 27 Says:

Rafa will retire around Roland Garros 2017 ala Sampras


Giles Says:

@James. Don’t worry, our boy will give it his all as he usually does.
#VamosKing
#StayHealthy


hawkeye Says:

So skeezer, if that is the case then when you say “Do you really think he is going to win Slams past 30?”

you are really saying “Do you really think he is going to be playing past 30?”

Sure, that’s not such a stretch the way you’ve implied that it is.

#ToBeExpected


James Says:

He should @Giles. Should fight for each Slam like his life depends on it. Would be be awesome to see him win a non clay slam again.


Steve 27 Says:

Nadal will win one major in his 30s equalling Rosewall and Sampras as the only grand slam winners in his teens, 20s and 30s. Vamos!


Steve 27 Says:

great interview with Roger Federer.
In spanish: http://www.marca.com/2013/07/26/tenis/1374796307.html


Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Its quite possible he could win a GS in his 30s,after all its Rafa,after all not many thought he would win a GS after what happened in 2009 or last year,many thought after that he was probably done me included,if someone had told me he would win 3 GS in a single calendar year,or break the record of 1 GS for 9 consecutive years after all that happened,i wouldve had to look down to see who was pulling which leg,so nothing is out of the realms of possibility IMO.


Anna Says:

Roger really hasn’t said a lot about what’s ailing his back, but I know it was a problem at IW this year. Then he took a long rest before Madrid hoping to get things right, but I don’t think he actually recovered and has simply been masking the problem with PT, shots and what have you, much like Rafa and his knee, except with the back your talking about the core of your body and if it’s out of whack everything in your game is affected. He’s got to get his back right.


WTF Says:

That Federer has resorted to playing small tournaments he doesn’t normally enter, like Gstaad and Hamburg, even at age 31 signals that he’s hit rock bottom.

Changing his racket head this late in his career is also a big gamble, and a concession he’s no longer competitive.

I actually thought he’d make the Wimbledon final, beating Murray along the way. What should have been the toughest quarter of the draw ended up being the most open.

I’ve been denying it till now, but Fed is finished.


madmax Says:

WTF,

I am glad I have had a good night’s sleep because I am going to see this in a positive life.

1. Fed is not finished.
2. He played the smaller events for two reasons, (actually three as I am writing this). a) he loves the game, b) he could gain points c) perfect opportunity to test out a new racquet. Would be too late come USA swing.

Ben,

This loss sucks. It’s not huge because it’s a small event, but it really makes you think.

And think I did. My conclusion: I’d rather Federer play poorly and lose frequently than not play at all. I don’t want to think about a world where Federer isn’t playing pro tennis.

July 26th, 2013 at 10:11 am

Ben,

You made me ‘feel’ this morning. It’s like feeling how someone else is feeling through the pain of watching the GOAT come to some kind of ephiphany.

There is still time. I don’t know who said it, Brando? But I believe he will revert to his old racquet, and go for broke in the USA. Nothing to lose now.

And for those that think that’s it for fed, overall, yes, that’s it for the ‘old fed’, but the new, reinvented fed, can still make changes, can still win matches, it’s just harder and we have to accept that he is not the player of yesteryear. I really hope though that the coaches will sit with him, talk to him and come up with a plan for the rest of the year.

Go Fed!


WTF Says:

madmax

“1. Fed is not finished.”

OK. It might be premature to say he’s finished, but this is the worst season he’s had since 2000 or so. We’ll see how the rest of the season ends. So far he has one title, a 250. Past seasons he wins at least 1 slam and some 1000s along the way. If he finishes with only 1 title, I think we can write him off from being a serious threat.

“2. He played the smaller events for two reasons, (actually three as I am writing this). a) he loves the game, ”

So he didn’t love the game for the last 15 years? Clearly something else had to have changed if he only now plays out of love for the game? Is he not getting enough Tennis this year because he’s been losing more than he’s used to? If so, that’s a big problem.

“b) he could gain points ”

Didn’t need to previously, again signalling a decline.

“c) perfect opportunity to test out a new racquet. Would be too late come USA swing.”

This is something I’m not sure he should have done. Or at least he shouldn’t have left it this late. He’s basically admitting he no longer has it in him to win the way he is now. And like Sean said, I don’t know if the extra matches have hurt his confidence more than it’s helped him.

Top story: Toronto Draw Preview: Djokovic Gets Murray In His Quarter, Federer's In The Trees
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