Monday, June 18, 2012

Federer's form a worry ahead of Wimbledon

Roger Federer has been struggling to recover his form

Roger Federer’s defeat at the hands of Tommy Haas in the final of Gerry Weber open should be a cause of concern for his supporters. Over the past few months, the great man seems to be succumbing to the pressures of the professional tour and has developed a penchant for squandering key points in crucial matches.

Physically Roger is in fine form and his movements are fluid and agile, however his performances have been restricted by mental uncertainty and a lack of confidence that has enveloped his game over the past 6 months. No longer an omnipotent force, Federer has been eclipsed by younger counterparts Nadal and Djokovic and is struggling to come to terms with his new found position as a challenger.

He now enters Wimbledon as an outright underdog and is expected to progress no further than the semi-finals. In his recent meetings with Djokovic and Nadal, Federer has appeared a shadow of his former self. The 16 time grand slam champion seems to lost his creative edge and has resorted to low percentage tactics that are typical of more inferior opponents. In his meeting with Djokovic at the French Open, he attempted to blast the Serb of the court but his strokes resulted in a flood of unforced errors and were the sole cause of his defeat.

Federer appeared a shadow of his former self in his match against Novak Djokovic in the French Open.

Renowned for his unflappable temperament Federer remains dominant against lower ranked players, however against Nadal and Djokovic his attitude seems to waiver and he seems to slip into a strange inferiority complex. In press conferences he has maintained a flaccid attitude, rebuffing any claims that he has lost the ability to compete at the highest level. In terms of talent and ability, Federer reigns supreme and possesses an arsenal that could devastate any player, mentally he has been out of sorts and needs to confront his shortcomings. Federer should acknowledge that against Djokovic and Nadal he has a tendency to consciously or subconsciously veer away from his normal game and resorts to a submissive style that plays into the hands of his adversaries.

I like all Federer fans will be hoping that he arrives at Wimbledon a rejuvenated man, a man ready to confront opponents who in the recent past have had his measure. For inspiration he should look no further than Andre Agassi. Prior to 1998 Agassi had slipped to his lowest ever rank and was widely regarded as a spent force however between 1999 and 2003 (age 29- 33), Agassi enjoyed his best years on the tour and was able to tailor his game to combat younger, more aggressive, more agile opponents. Hopefully Federer’s career can experience a similar revival and he could once again return to the pinnacle of the game as the 2012 Wimbledon champion.

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