Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Pondering the losses

I admit I've been having a hard time being inspired to write a blog post after watching an uninspiring quarterfinal performance by Roger Federer, in which he lost in straight sets to Jo Wilfred Tsonga.  I can assure you that you won't be reading any articles from me in any way implying that Federer is done or that he should retire or that he will soon be dropping out of the top 10.  However, I really have been rather perplexed in the last several months to figure out what is going on with some of these losses.

Unfortunately Roger has been unable to defend any titles so far in 2013, and until Rome last month, where he lost terribly to Rafael Nadal, he hadn't even been to a final.  In his match against Tsonga at Roland Garros he started out well, going up an early break, and was up 40-15 to consolidate the break.  That's when all the unforced errors started, following him through the rest of the match.  Not that he didn't have any great play mixed in too, but the errors really ruled, mixed in with a high level from Tsonga, who sensed his opportunity.

So is he having problems with motivation, problems with concentration, a physical issue he's keeping under wraps?  Or is it too hard to play match after match at a high level at the age of 31?  Or are the responsibilities of having a family travel with him, along with all his other endorsement and press commitments getting to be too much for him?  Maybe the short grass season will answer some of these questions since he has such love for this surface, and surely great motivation to try to defend his title at Wimbledon.  It sure would give him some confidence if he could land his first title of the year at Halle, where he lost last year to Tommy Haas in the final.

Hopefully in the few days before his first match next week in Halle he and his team will have been able to find some answers to some of the questions he also must be asking.  I firmly believe his game is fully still there to win tournaments, grand slams included.  There just seems to be a piece missing at this point and he need to figure out a way to add it back into the puzzle.

In the meantime who will make the final at RG?  I would love to see Djokovic beat Nadal and Tsonga beat Ferrer in the semis.  Would make for a pretty exciting final I think.  Unfortunately they often don't turn out the way I hope.  In any event, should be some pretty high quality semifinal matches.

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