US Open Tennis 2013: Roger Federer Has Nothing Left to Prove Despite Upset Loss
Roger Federer doesn’t have anything left to prove, to you or himself, even after a disappointing exit in the Round of 16 at the 2013 U.S. Open.
After his shocking straight-set defeat at the hands of Tommy Robredo, Federer will still climb to the sixth spot in the ATP Rankings thanks to Juan Martin del Potro's early defeat.
You heard the statistics all summer leading up to Flushing Meadows: Federer was a fading giant. And there will be even more firsts to add to the list of his "shortcomings" on the court after his Open loss.
ESPN Stats and Information pointed one stunning factoid that might surprise you:
This is the first year since 2002 that Roger Federer has failed to appear in at least one Grand Slam final— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 3, 2013
The five-time Open champion also hadn’t lost that early in the action there in over a decade. Then there’s his second-straight failure to reach the quarterfinals of a major—you guessed it, another first. Surely, something is wrong with the aging star.
But who says something has to be wrong with Federer if he’s not winning every tournament in dominant fashion? The competition catches up to everyone eventually; it’s inevitable. Expecting eternal perfection isn’t a realistic outlook for anyone to carry.
The fact is his recent struggles will never marginalize what he was able to accomplish on the courts, no matter how far he slides. For the better part of a decade, Federer ruled the sport as king. His record 17 Grand Slam titles might never be broken. And his record 237 consecutive weeks as the world No. 1 probably won’t either.
In case you’re wondering, that’s four-and-a-half years straight that Federer was ranked as the best men’s tennis player in the world.
To be that utterly dominant, for that amount of time, is truly a testament to his acumen with a racket. He completed a career Grand Slam, winning each of the four majors at least once to demonstrate his prowess on all surfaces.
How will history remember Roger Federer?
So, what should he do? Should he retire? That’s debatable. On one hand, he’s not the same imposing striker he used to be. But on the other, he’s not exactly rolling over and accepting his decline. Federer’s still delivering respectable showings and showing glimpses of his former self.
Who’s to say he can’t recuperate, lessen his schedule next season and come back and win another Grand Slam in Pete Sampras-esque fashion?
Whatever ends up happening in the final chapter of Federer’s story, the history books will smile on him. He truly has nothing left to prove to anyone.
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