As the spring hard-court tennis season draws to a close, it's clear that everything is going perfectly according to plan for Roger Federer.
In the past two tournaments, Federer has lost matches to Marcos Baghdatis and Tomas Berdych, two players Federer has owned over the past few years.
Federer had been 6-0 against Baghdatis before their recent match at Indian Wells, Calif. After one set, it appeared that Federer would be forced to play yet another round of tennis.
Fortunately for Federer, he found a way to get it done, although he nearly came apart, almost winning three different match points.
This week, Berdych was able to break an eight-match losing streak against Federer, sending the 16-time Grand Slam champion off to Dubai to "practice" before the upcoming clay court season.
Federer's losing streak has conveniently accomplished three important things that will allow him to further his legacy.
1. Federer will get a chance to relax his body before a gruelling clay court season that culminates with the French Open.
2. The mainstream media has once again taken the mickey, and is speculating upon the decline of Federer, which is the only thing aside from the Rafael Nadal rivalry that's made tennis at all exciting over the past few years.
Tennis analysts such as Steve Tignor and former player John McEnroe will predict a new grand slam champion. And as we know, whoever Tignor picks to win the men's slam will ultimately lose.
Tignor, of course, won't be the only one to buy into the story of Federer's demise. The British press will believe it as well, which will once again put the pressure on Andy Murray. Pressure that we know can lead only to bad things.
3. Federer's losses seem to have energized his greatest nemesis, Nadal, into working extra hard in an attempt to gain back valuable rankings points.
In this attempt, Nadal will be running more miles before the French Open than David Nalbandian has run in his entire life.
Yet despite concerns about Nadal's ability to grind through this packed part of the season, somehow Federer even managed to convince Nadal to add doubles tennis to his schedule.
All of this leads to one thing: Federer will make his resurgence again just in time for the French Open.
By the time the French Open rolls around, Nadal will be all tuckered out, leaving the trophy there for the taking.
Murray will of course buckle under the increased pressure, and although Novak Djokovic may put up a bit of a fight, Federer will tell Djokovic's parents to "be quiet," and Djokovic will be forced to retire due to a yet-to-be-disclosed ailment.
If you see Federer wiping sweat off his face with a towel in Rome or Monte Carlo, he might just be doing it to hide a wide smirk of satisfaction.
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