Roger Federer Is Not on Australian Open Upset Alert Against Milos Raonic

Mike HoagCorrespondent IIJanuary 21, 2013

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 13:  Roger Federer of Switzerland is congratulated by Milos Raonic of Canada after their match during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 13, 2012 in Indian Wells, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Is Roger Federer on upset alert against 22-year-old Milos Raonic in the fourth round of the 2013 Australian Open?

For a while now, the downfall of Federer has been a popular topic to speculate on with analysts and pundits alike.

Is he too old? Is this the year there will be a changing of the guard atop of the male tennis player rankings?

Raonic, Federer’s fourth-round opponent, has gotten close to upsetting him in two previous matches. He was right there in all three of their 2012 encounters, winning the first set each time, but ultimately failing in the end.

Unfortunately, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

That’s a sad reality for the confident and young Raonic.

"I just know how to deal with it. I think I have a higher tolerance within myself and a higher belief within myself stepping up against Roger,” Raonic said, according to Greg Stutchbury of Reuters.

Confidence is one thing, but blind confidence is quite another.

While he may be an up-and-coming player on the world stage, Raonic must prove that he is capable of winning the big matches that will propel him to the next level.

Federer is just 31 years old, a far cry from the old man many portray him as.

The facts are that he is still one of, if not the very best in the world. That isn’t going to change and shouldn’t be in question until we start seeing reduced effectiveness from him on the court.

That is certainly not the case, as he is rested and at the top of his game as this fourth-round match approaches.

Rest is the key, as the veteran Federer is playing as if in his prime despite being on the wrong side of 30.

His ability to keep his opponents moving with a dynamic arsenal of shots and counters helps him wear them down throughout and finish them off at the end.

Sometimes it’s a question of endurance, fitness and sheer determination and will to win.

FedEx wins that battle nine times out of nine.

We’ll see what the youngster’s got, but until Federer falls, he will remain on top.