July 1, 2011
Invincible no more
Los Angeles Times
Roger Federer won't win another major title.
There is always going to be a Jo-Wilfried Tsonga now, someone younger, who is a bigger hitter and fearless.
Federer will have to be content with his 16 major titles and six Wimbledon championships. Pete Sampras will get to keep that record of seven Wimbledon wins. Federer, who turns 30 next month, is the tiniest step slower in reaching the net, a second tardy in arriving to hit a volley and, as was obvious Wednesday when Tsonga wasn't intimidated being down two sets to Federer, who is not invincible any more.
Federer still is good, but not the best. And in men's tennis there are a lot of good guys.
Best days behind
Tennis needs more players and more human beings like Roger Federer. Unfortunately, his best days on the court are behind him. Federer could win another Grand Slam, but after watching his quarterfinal loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the soon-to-be 30-year-old could retire with the 16 major trophies already in his case.
Federer wasn't sharp in blowing a two-set lead to Tsonga, but it was more than that. The champion seemed slow-footed and his shots lacked crispness. Instead of finishing off Tsonga, Federer appeared to wear down. Perhaps it was just the highlight of Tsonga's career. Perhaps the U.S. Open later this summer will prove that Federer just had a bad day. I hope so. I just don't think so.
Don't count him out
Why in this Internet age of instant sports journalism are we all in a rush to write off superstars as soon as they encounter a few bumps in the road, or grass and clay?
Roger Federer was cruising to his seventh Wimbledon title when he ran into a wonderfully gifted, yet underachieving Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Sure, Federer turns 30 before the U.S. Open and yes, he's lost his aura of invincibility, but lest we forget that while compiling his record 16 Slams, he has reached the quarters or deeper in the last 29 majors?
It does seem to be Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's time, but if household names Petr Korda and Andres Gomez could win Slams past 30, why not the artful Roger?
Youth will be served
He's had one of the great runs in tennis history, dominating the sport for the last decade. But Roger Federer's days as a Grand Slam champion are probably over.
Federer will be 30 next month and he's clearly lost a smidge of foot speed.
And Federer will be facing nothing but waves of younger, quicker opponents as he moves forward. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is in his prime at age 25 and will always be standing in Federer's path. When Nadal falters, 24-year-old Novak Djokovic — the next No. 1 player in the world — represents another obstacle.
So his record of 16 major titles will stand, at least until Nadal makes a run at the mark. Either way, Federer has left his imprint on the sport.
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