It’s just not getting any easier for Roger Federer. The 17-time Slam winner capped a summer filled with awfulness losing last night to Tommy Robredo in straight sets. Fed has never lost to Tommy in 10 previous meetings, but was unable to handle what the Spaniard offered, which amounted to not much.
Robredo played well, kept the ball in play and waited for the 32-year-old Federer to implode. And Roger did just that, again.
Federer ends his 2013 Grand Slam season without a final and really without much in the way of positivity. He did beat JW Tsonga in Australia before losing in the semifinals to Andy Murray, but since then it’s been one disappointment after another. Tsonga avenged that loss in the quarters at the French, then the shock loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky in the Wimbledon second round followed by last night’s error-strewn performance.
I thought Roger would lose to a Spaniard this week, I just didn’t think it would be Robredo.
So where does Roger go from here?
Well, he still has the Final 8 in London if he needs the motivation. And he’ll do better indoors, I would thing. Otherwise it’s a long four months until Australia where he’ll be likely fighting to stay in the Top 10. And based on what I’ve seen this summer – big racquet or small – I can’t see how he can win there or at any other Major.
Pete Sampras pulled one out of the hat at the US Open 11 years ago, much in part to scheduling, a great draw and that ever-present weapon in that dominant serve. At that time Pete really had just one rival, a rival who he could beat in Andre Agassi. For Federer, he doesn’t have one rival but almost a half dozen with Nadal, Murray, Djokovic, Del Potro and even Berdych and Tsonga who all would now be favored over the Swiss the next time they meet, especially in a best-of-5 situation.
That’s the harsh reality.
A half step slower, a failing back and now failing game. It’s already getting tough to watch. Seventeen is going to hold.
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