After having high hopes for a great U.S. Open result from 5 time champion Roger Federer, especially after a disappointing summer in so many ways, we are once again having to sort through another unanswerable loss, this time in the Round of 16 to Tommy Robredo, someone who had never beaten him in 10 prior tries.
After a day full of rain delays Federer's match ended up being moved to Louis Armstrong stadium at the last minute. He seemed out of sorts from the start, getting broken immediately in his first service game. Though he was eventually able to get the break back - both then and one other time during the set, he still ended up losing it in a tiebreak. Over the next two sets in this straight set loss he was able to create break point opportunities but, as so often happens when he is struggling, he couldn't convert. Though Tommy certainly was able to come up with some great play when needed, particularly passing shots, Roger's performance was nothing less than disappointing.
He certainly wasn't happy with his performance either, looking very disappointed and saying things like he self destructed, his rhythm was off, he beat himself, missed too many opportunities.
Yes it is disappointing to see him losing early in so many tournaments this year. But great champions don't just go away. He has said over and over again that he plans to play for many year to come. This means he is going to do everything in his power to figure it out. And I truly believe he will. There is no way to know if he will win another major, but I'm confident he will at least win many more titles. He loves the feeling of winning too much. In many of these losses he is just a few converted break points away from winning. He needs to figure out again, just like he has in the past in low times, what little shift in mentality needs to change. A little time off, a little time to think it through, and he will certainly come back hungry to find a way to win these matches that are currently eluding him. So buck up Fed fans - good days still to come.