Roger Federer's early exit from the 2013 U.S. Open makes it abundantly clear he will never win another Grand Slam tournament.
A matchup between Federer and Nadal was highly anticipated at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2013 for obvious reasons, including the fact that it had never happened before.
But Federer didn't live up to his end of the bargain like Nadal did, and now we'll have to wait another year for their first match in New York to take place—if it ever does.
Federer dropped his fourth-round match with Spaniard Tommy Robredo in straight sets after having won their previous 10 matches. That fact in and of itself is quite troubling for whatever is left of Federer's career.
Federer committed 43 unforced errors and won just two of 16 break points. Simply by playing a cleaner version of tennis, Robredo was able to beat Federer—and with relative ease.
No matter how badly things were going for the 32-year-old Federer, he simply couldn't overcome his struggles. It seemed Federer was reserved to sticking with what wasn't working, and that stubborn approach helped hand Robredo the win.
What's more alarming about his loss is how disinterested Federer looked throughout. There seemed to be no sense of urgency for the legend, and that's a huge problem.
When someone plays the game as long as Federer has and has accomplished as much as he has, it can become difficult to maintain that same fire and drive to win. Complacency can help end careers. So can the loss of physical edge that is caused when Father Time steps in.
It isn't clear which factor is playing a bigger role in Federer's demise, but, regardless, Federer's edge over his opponents is long gone.
With guys like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray dominating the sport right now, Federer doesn't stand a chance to topple his younger and more talented counterparts. Federer will be hard-pressed to reach a Grand Slam final. And once he gets there, the chance that he has enough left in the tank is slim to none.
This isn't to disparage Federer in any way. He will forever be one of the greatest to ever grab a racket, and he has earned that distinction with his illustrious career.
But like all greats before him, Federer is succumbing to age and has seen his last Grand Slam win.
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