Roger Federer, currently ranked at No. 1 in the world, certainly had his run as tennis' greatest player in the world. Though he's ranked as the best right now, it's tough to see it all ending.
No, he's not retiring. He's simply getting old.
In a way, tennis and dogs share some similarities. I'm not saying this to put tennis down whatsoever, I'm simply saying that both dogs and tennis are similar with how age is handled.
For instance, Federer is currently a 31-year old playing tennis at the highest level possible.
That's equivalent to about a 57-year old in tennis years.
He's competing against Novak Djokovic (25 years old), Andy Murray (25 years old) and Rafael Nadal (26 years old), all while they are entering the peaks of their careers. That has to be mentally tiring for Federer to think about.
Sure, those players are getting older, but Federer isn't getting any younger, and it looks like it's finally begun to take it's toll.
He's Simply Not as Good as He Used to Be
There were 10 possible Grand Slams from Wimbledon in 2005 to the U.S. Open in 2007.
Federer won eight of them.
That's a historical type of run in any sport, and it earned Federer the title of the world's greatest tennis player.
Unfortunately, he just isn't what he used to be.
10 Grand Slams have recently taken place, and his 2012 Wimbledon win was his only major victory in that time.
The key to the major drop in titles goes to the major increase in age.
From 2005-2007, he was 23-26 years old. There is no better time in tennis than that age period, so it makes complete sense. It also makes his current age that much more troubling for the future of his career.
Nobody can fault him for being one of the older guys on the tour. Unless somebody has created a new age-reversing formula, then getting older is just a way of life.
Struggling to keep up looks like it goes with getting older too.
How Much Longer is He Going to be Playing?
Becoming the third player since 2000 to get a Grand Slam over the age of 30 is an incredible feat. Federer joins only Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras in that category—pretty select company.
Winning a Grand Slam at that age is great, but people just can't expect him to keep playing much longer.
Livetennisguide.com has reported that Federer won't be playing in the 2012 Mubadala World Tennis Championships. That tournament is being played in December.
Deciding on skipping a tournament that is two months away is probably to rest up for next year, but it's still troubling news.
You would like to see him compete against the best whenever the opportunity presents itself. Not sit at home and watch the tournament that he should be playing in.
It's still too early to retire, but it's not too early to wonder about how much longer until he actually does retire.
It's probably something he has begun to think about himself.