Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Making sense of the last week for Federer fans

There are a lot of random thoughts rolling around in my brain related to Roger Federer and tennis in the last week, so I thought it was time to get some of it in writing and maybe make a little more sense of it all.

First of all, re: the Australian Open semis, I once again let myself get my hopes up for a win in a major against the dominating Novak Djokovic.  I tell myself over and over again not to do it, build myself up only to be crushed to the ground when he loses these matches that I so desperately want him to win.  His fans around the globe are hoping so badly for that elusive #18.  And really, I still do believe it will happen.  But let's face it - the Australian Open is the perfect scenario for Djokovic.  The court surface seems to suit him to a T, plus the fact that they play the semis and the final in the evening when conditions are slower just plays into his hands.  AO is to Novak as Wimbledon was to Roger in his prime.  For anyone to beat Djoker there when he's on a roll such as he is would be virtually impossible.  Sure it's discouraging, but best to face the facts and accept it for the time being.

That being said, that doesn't mean it's going to stay that way forever.  Let's look at reality as it's been in the last several generations.  Winning majors past the age of 30 is a difficult task.  Doesn't mean it can't happen obviously, but the rate of success seems to drop by quite a large margin.  I see some saying that Djokovic will catch and surpass Federer's tally of major titles and weeks at #1, plus claim the GOAT distinction.  Obviously that's a possibility.  However, Novak will be 29 in May, a number that has seemed to be a bit of a slowing down for many.  I realize that he started his run of majors a little later than, say, Federer and Nadal.  All I'm saying, though, is that although it seems like he will be in this form stretching on and on because we don't currently see someone to stop him, history shows this is not the case.  At some point he will have a slight drop in form and someone else will step up to the plate.  Maybe that's when Roger will get his chance for the draw to open up and win #18.  Time will tell.

Now to the latest news - Roger surprised everyone (not to mentioned freaked everyone out a bit) when he announced he had undergone a surprise arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his knee.  He said he had injured it the day after his semifinal, which is certainly rather puzzling.  My best guess is that he didn't really feel the injury until he woke up the next morning.  From what I have read related to this type of surgery, it's minimally invasive, pretty much an out-patient procedure, and relatively quick to heal.  He for sure will be missing two tournaments he had planned on playing, Rotterdam and Dubai.  My sincere hope is that he will be ready for Indian Wells, a tournament I have attended the past five year, volunteering both last year and this year.  It would be a huge disappointment if he weren't there.  I'm not going to worry too much about it at this point, but will try to think positively that he will be ready to play at that point in time.  No reason to borrow trouble (though sometimes easier said than done).

To end on a positive note, one big plus from the Australian Open is that the Federer boys were finally in public, along with their sisters, at the AO Kids Day.  It was so fun to see all four Federer kids together, hopefully something we will see much more of in the future.


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