Australian Open 2012: 10 Reasons Roger Federer Will Advance to Finals

Nick Nemeroff@NNemeroffCorrespondent IIJanuary 16, 2012

Australian Open 2012: 10 Reasons Roger Federer Will Advance to Finals

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    Roger Federer is arguably the greatest player of all time. Sixteen Grand Slams and counting, possibly...

    And this is a big possibly. Federer has not won a grand slam in two years since winning the 2010 Australian Open where he defeated Andy Murray in the final.  

    In fact, Federer has only reached one other final that being the 2011 French Open where he narrowly lost to Rafael Nadal.

    The question now is whether or not Federer can carry himself through a vigorous and enduring two weeks of tennis to hoist the trophy down under.

    In this article, I am going to argue why Federer will reach the 2012 finals and set himself up for a great chance to take down the first grand slam of 2012. 

    Please feel free to comment and agree/disagree with any of my assertions. 

1. Forehand

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    Roger Federer has one of the best forehands of all time—no debates necessary.  

    A beautiful combination of precision, power, and accuracy, Federer's forehand has caused his opponents havoc over the last 10 years. Federer's forehand is a weapon that holds potency on all surfaces.  

    Whether it be clay, hard, or grass, Federer's ability to dictate from the center of the court with his forehand can be seen as one of the biggest reasons for continued success throughout his illustrious career.

    Down Under, look for the Swiss to take the initiative off the forehand side and prevent his opponents from taking an offensive-minded stance.  

    If Federer's forehand is on target throughout the fortnight as it was in the 2011 World Tour Finals, watch out.

2. Serve

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    Roger Federer's serve is not of the fastest. And its certainly not one of the most overbearing.  

    But in terms of effectiveness, Federer's serve reigns supreme. 

    Federer is able to place his serve on virtually every location in the box. Whether it be a spinner out wide on the deuce side or a blast down the T on the ad side, Federer's placement of serve is impeccable.   

    While Federer is not throwing in 135 mph heaters every point like a Karlovic or Roddick, he does have the potential to crank up his serve to around 130 mph given the appropriate occasion.  

    These variations of speed prevent his opponent from settling in on the return game and allows Federer to keep his opponents on constant guard.

    The most redeeming quality of Federer's serve is the effort put into it. Guys like Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro reap the benefits of rocket serves by obtaining an abundance of free points. But they also place a ton of energy and effort into pulling off these dynamo serves.

    In contrast, Federer's fluid and free flowing serve requires very little effort.  Thus, the he expends very little energy on his serve and can use these stored up reserves on his return games.

3. Fitness

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    Federer's incredible fitness and longevity can be attributed to several factors.  

    One, Federer plays the game with such little effort. He puts minimal force and impact into his shots which is fostered by his technically sound strokes.  

    In addition, Federer manages his schedule and allows himself to be fully prepared physically and mentally for each match he plays.

    Finally, Federer puts a ton of time in the gym and really has emphasized that he uses the offseason to hone his conditioning. 

4. Momentum from 2011

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    Even though this was the first season since 2003 in which Roger Federer failed to win the Grand Slam, the Swiss ended the year on an extremely positive note.

    Federer won 17 consecutive matches and three titles following his devastating loss to Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open. 

    Federer won his home tournament in Basel, dropping only one set before demolishing rising star Kei Nishikori in the finals.

    After winning the Paris Masters 1000 event in Bercy for the first time in his career, Federer won the World Tour Finals. On his path to the title in London, Federer placed an absolute beat down on Nadal, giving up only three games.   

    Since Federer withdrew from Qatar against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Federer has not won an ATP regulated match since September.  

    This surge at the end of 2011 should provide the Swiss with tons of leverage coming into the 2012 Australian Open.

5. Backhand

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    Federer's backhand is a versatile weapon. With the ability to take it early and vary up pace, spin and direction, Federer's backhand is a brute force.

    Since the Australian Open courts will yield bounces that don't creep up too high, Federer will be able to be aggressive with his backhand. This is in opposition to higher-bouncing court in which the backhand could be more of a liability especially against Nadal.

    Look for Federer to provide a lot of variety of the backhand side and use it as a weapon rather than a neutralizer. 

6. Belief

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    Roger Federer holds the record for Grand Slams at 16. Coming into each and every tournament, the Swiss will undoubtedly have the confidence necessary to carry him through a two week grind.

    Knowing that if he plays at his absolute highest level that he can beat anyone in the world should allow Federer to come into the tournament with a positive presence of mind.

    If anyone can overcome adversity and naysayers or a two-sets-to-love deficit, it has to be Federer.

7. State of Mind

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    Combining a long history of repeated success, an effortless game and an unwavering mental stature all lead to Federer having a positive, clear state of mind within the heat of a match.

    Federer never appears to become disinterested or disengaged. Nor does Federer display a negative attitude in the midst of unsettling conditions.  

    Federer leaves the outcome of the match to what he does with his racket and body and doesn't let negative mental hiccups determine the outcome of matches.

    Look for Federer to remain as a mental giant throughout the fortnight.

8. Crowd

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    Roger Federer is a fan favorite, no questions asked. He is a true genetlemen and the beauty with which he plays the game is admired all around the world.

    Whether he is playing Nadal, Djokovic, or the home favorite, Federer will always find a strong backing regardless of the venue.  

    Look for the 2012 Australian Open to be no different.  

    The Aussie crowd will assuredly have the back of the four-time Australian Open champion.

9. Past Successes

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    Federer has won the Australian Open four times, most recently in 2010. As an aside, last time I checked, no one in the tournament this year has won the Australian Open as many times as Federer.

    Federer knows how to win Down Under and there is no reason not to believe that it is a possibility in 2011.

    Its just like anything else in life: Once you do and succeed at the same thing over and over—like Federer has at the Australian Open—you will maintain the belief in your ability to do it again and again and again.

10. Legacy

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    Federer holds record beyond record. The list is endless. And at the rate Federer is going, he appears bound to break many more.

    With all of these records, one might ask whether or not the Swiss has lost any motivation. While this is a valid question, it can be answered with ease.

    The desire never stops and it never will. The day when Federer hangs up his rackets is the day when he will stop desiring to achieve every conceivable record.

    Knowing the competitive nature of Federer, it can be safely assumed that Federer wants to ensure that he not only breaks as many record as possible but that he breaks them by a significant margin.  

    By doing this, Federer can safeguard against guys such as Djokovic and Nadal.