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Roger Federer Must Conquer Long Odds to Capture Wimbledon

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 02:  Roger Federer of Switzerland wipes his face in his Men's Singles match against Gilles Simon of France during day eight of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 2, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJune 22, 2013

History may be on Roger Federer's side this year at Wimbledon, but it's also against him.

The Swiss great has won a record-tying seven Wimbledon singles titles throughout his career, and his win in 2012 amid rumors of his decline proved that he's dangerous at the All England Club, no matter how old he is.

But Father Time appears to finally be catching up to Federer for real, and history suggests the odds aren't in his favor at Wimbledon 2013.

Only one man in the past 40 years—Arthur Ashe—has won Wimbledon at a more advanced age than Federer, per the Daily Mail. Only two men—Ashe and Andre Agassi—have won a Grand Slam at a more advanced age.

Federer is 26-7 with one singles titles this year. For many professional tennis players, that would be a mark they would be proud of. 

But this is Roger Federer we're talking about, the man who holds the record for most Grand Slam men's singles titles in history (17). What he has done up to this point is a notable decline from previous years. Heck, just last year, Federer went 71-12 with six singles titles.

Federer has long been able to ward off Father Time because his serve keeps him from as many rallies as, say, Rafael Nadal. He's also so graceful on the court that he hardly ever appears to be exerting himself too much.

But this year is the first time we've seen him noticeably different. He's not only lost twice to Nadal and once to Andy Murray, but he's also lost to Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Kei Nishikori and Julien Benneteau.

It's extremely difficult to play at an elite level once you hit your 30s as a tennis player. For perhaps the first time in his career, Federer is feeling this, whether he says so or not. 

For years, it would have been laughable to suggest anyone other than Federer would win Wimbledon. But this isn't just any year. It's the year that we will look back on as the beginning of the end for the Swiss great.

Federer better win Wimbledon this year because he's running out of time. History suggests his decline is inevitable, and that includes at the All England Club.


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