This was the way Federer fans felt today after Roger's very disappointing loss to Tomas Berdych in the semifinal in Dubai. I really thought he was going to win this match. He had played so well in the quarterfinal and it seemed he was back to the great form that had won him six titles last year. It was all looking great in the first set, which Federer took 6-3, even though there were some very tight games. The break came for Berdych in the second set but Federer was able to break back at 5-3 and take it into an eventual tiebreak. The first disappointment came when he had three match points (one on his own serve) and wasn't able to take advantage of any of them. The next disappointment was when he was pretty easily broken again in the 3rd set and never able to take it back.
I wasn't able to fully concentrate on the third set due to some issues going on for me, but I could tell he was struggling anyway, which is difficult to watch. I start getting a feeling of inevitability, which is very frustrating due to my optimism at the start of the match.
Though I am able to shake off his losses easier than I used to, what I've been thinking about on and off all day is that since October there have been five tournaments which he had won the previous year and failed to do so the next time around. Now I realize that we Fed fans got very spoiled over a nine month period of time where he was winning everything. But seeing him not able to win any of these, not winning a title since August, starts to get a bit concerning. I realize, though, that he is taking a bit of a different approach this year with more rest and practice time. Though we haven't seen it pay off yet, I know he is looking at the long term results at this point of his career in order to keep playing longer. Hopefully we will see some positives from this before too long, at least with a couple tournament victories during this year.