Tennis

Roger Federer Loses His Head in Loss to Novak Djokovic

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - APRIL 03:  Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Novak Djokovic of Serbia after their men's semifinal during the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on April 3, 2009 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Dudu JamesContributor IApril 3, 2009

I was just watching the Federer-Djokovic semifinals matchup at the Masters tournament in Miami, Fla.

To those who don't know already, the Swiss Maestro lost 3-6, 6-2, 6-3. It's OK to lose, and even though about a year and a half ago it seemed as Federer losing only happened on clay courts; however it's now normal to see Federer lose to players not called Rafael Nadal.

But it wasn't just the defeat. Federer really lost it this time. It's probably being uploaded on YouTube and other similar Web sites. Federer, after another forehand shot of his went into the net, he lost his head and control.

Federer smashed the racket on the hard surface, and to the sound of jeers from the crowd went to his seat and let a bottle fly a distance.

Although it's always enjoyable to watch tantrums like this as long as no one gets hurt, I felt sorry for the guy. 18 months ago he was called the greatest of all time, and after last year’s US Open it seemed he would be coming back to his pre-2008 form.

However, that wasn't the case, and his defeat to Nadal in the Australian Open Final and defeat to Andy Murray a couple of weeks ago in Indian Wells shook his mental state even more.

We have gotten used to see him cry, but to throw a tantrum like this? Federer is just not dealing with his aging and his slowly descending ability.

He had four years of total domination, and the uber expectations of himself and from the crowd who always seem to take his corner of late just seem to backfire again and again in big games.

What's next?

Clay season is coming up, and then that unclimable mountain that is the Roland Garros Grand Slam. I really fear Roger will replay his performance of last year's Paris final, but at an earlier stage.

Maybe he can pick the pieces up. It's too soon to say he'll never win another Grand Slam but he is in dire need of some change. I don't know what and/or will be that change, but he needs to get his confidence and groove back.

He should do this for his sake and for tennis in general, because when he is good, when his head is in the right place, and when he ever gets rid of that fear of Nadal, he's the best tennis player of all time.

The question is, will we see him like that again?

I hope we will, but I feel we won't.

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