Saturday, December 14, 2013

A fresh start for Fed in 2014

It has been over a month since I have done a post.  With a new season getting ready to kick off in just a couple weeks I figured it was time.  Let me be honest - the reason I haven't posted anything for quite a while is because I have been in a bit of a tennis depression the last several months.  The combination of Roger Federer having his worst season in over a decade combined with Rafael Nadal winning so much was a huge downer for me.  In the past several weeks I couldn't bring myself to watch any of the few good matches I kept on my DVR from 2013 because it was just a reminder of what the season had been like.  

But last night suddenly I felt ready and so in the background while I was working I turned on the Federer-Del Potro quarterfinal from Bercy.  Watching this match, plus reading some of the recent quotes from Roger, all of a sudden have dragged me mostly out of my funk and have me feeling excited for 2014.  In that match against Delpo Roger played much like the guy he used to be, not like the one we were unfortunately getting used to in the last year.  He really only had one slight dip with some errors to lose the 2nd set, but other than that he was in control, playing aggressive and with confidence.  This is the man we all want to see in Australia to get his season started in the best possible way.

Some quotes from a recent article I thought were encouraging:  

"I always believe that I have improved over the last 10 years, you know, that I've not gone backwards, and I've been able to win (the Open) 10 years ago, so I always feel as I move forward I am a more complete player, a better player.

''That's why I will always believe that I can win, as long as my body is holding up and mentally I'm really hungry travelling the world and playing matches, and that is the case right now - I'm very healthy and training extremely hard."

''Some success has come back also at the end of last year, which is quite important for me, for my confidence, because I was really in a difficult spot from Wimbledon all the way till Basel, I'd say, with just fighting my confidence and then, particularly, also my back issue. I couldn't really train the way I wanted to for some time, and now it's really picked up again and I think I'm really moving in the right direction.''

And speaking about Australia, ''I really hope to be playing my absolute best (there), which I really think is possible, and then anything is possible for me, I personally believe that. It's just important for me that I play better against the top guys. It's not been bad this year, but I just didn't land enough wins, so that's something I want to improve for this year.''

Of course, we won't know for sure until we see him on the court again.  But hopefully the combination of being injury free and the hard training he has been putting in will bring back the form he had in January before the back issues.  

One more thought before I close.  One of the things that has made me so annoyed the last few months is when people write articles about his decline without even mentioning the fact that he was injured much of the season.  If it had been another unnamed player, that would have been all that would have been talked about.  Instead they choose to ignore that fact which has been the biggest contributing factor to his slide.  Ok, I got that frustration partially out of my system.

My hope is that we still have at least a couple more years of the strong Federer so many around the world have grown to love over these last many years.  He may not win many more majors, but I still think he has a lot left in him and hopefully we will see that at the start of the year to begin to prove his many critics wrong. 

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