Roger Federer All Too Human at 28

Bruce AcreeCorrespondent ISeptember 14, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 14:  (L-R) USTA president Lucy S. Garvin, Roger Federer of Switzerland and Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina pose with the trophies after the Men's Singles final on day fifteen of the 2009 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 14, 2009 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Del Potro defeated Federer 3-6, 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
My thoughts on Federer

I played tennis in high school and college(non scholarship). I was absolutely in love with the game. It is a wonderful game. The styles of play and contrasts of emotions are great to watch and even better to be a part of.

And it is very much a young mans game.
You're starting to see that with Roger who is now 28. That is the age that a player who relies on service power, volleying, and the speed and quickness to play the serve/volley game, starts to slow down significantly enough to make a differrence. 29 is even worse as that loss of speed, quickness and power is almost doubled. There is no way that Roddick takes him to 5 sets at age 25. No way he loses today at 24.....or even loses to Nadel at wimbledon like he did a year ago.

I think Roger is one of the greatest of ALL time. There is just no question about it. I like him. He is a very friendly and a classy guy.
He also came along at a very fortuitous time in tennis history and was able to pile up a plethora of grand slam titles at a time when Sampras and Agassi were in their 30's. At a time when the biggest threats to him were guys like Mark(The Bachelor)Philippoussis, Marat(I stay at the playboy mansion)Safin and a really good at one point but never great Lleyton Hewitt. Other 'threats' came from the invincible Tommy Haas and.....umm, Tommy Blake. By the time Roger burst onto the scene, even guys like Patrick Rafter were starting to hang it up.

When you think about other eras like the early to mid nineties, you had Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Becker, Chang, Rafter, Ivanisevic, Muster, Todd Martin, Sergio Bruguera(2 straight french opens). You also had declining players such as Lendl, Edberg and Mcenroe. And, believe it or not, Jimmy Connors.

In the 80's we had Mcenroe, Connors, Lendl, Borg(80-82 and in his prime retiring at 26), Wilander, Becker, Edberg, Pat Cash.

Do I even have to go into the 70's or 60's?

Now, is this Rogers fault? Of course not. He can't help it that tennis died in the US and Austalia. But let's be honest, how many other great players have their been during his 7 or 8 year reign? One. Nadal. And Roger has only had to deal with him for 3 years. And he is darn lucky that he got hurt or there is NO way he wins the french open this year. This would have been like Sampras getting hurt for Wimbledon and Agassi having to face a....Derrick Rostagno in the final.
Agassi was 35 years old when Roger beat him in the finals of the US open four years ago. And Agassi gave him a scare.

Now, imagine if he had to run into a twenty something Agassi in every well as a couple of the other great ones from that era like Courier and Becker. For his ENTIRE carreer. And then run into the 'next sampras' at the tail end of his carreer.

This is what Sampras had to do. What Borg and connors had to do. What Mcenroe had to do. What the truly greatest, Laver, had to do. It's not only draining physically as well as the fact that your just going to drop some of those matches. But also draining, mentally. This is why guys like Courier and Wheaton got burned out. Why Becker got burned out at 26.

Roger has had it quite easy. It reminds me of when Martina Hingis came along at the perfect time and won a bunch of grand slams real quick......untill the rest of the great ones from that generation came along.

Only one came along for Roger however.