Roger Federer isn't enjoying himself as of late. Can't blame him. It's kind of hard to enjoy yourself when you are the world No. 1 and you are losing almost half the matches you are playing.
Federer is doing a good job of hiding his disappointment, however, deflecting questions from reporters and experts trying to pry into his game, all the while the smooth-talking Swiss insists it isn't unravelling.
That game: a hodgepodge of shaky pressure-points, unforced errors, and severe lack of confidence by the looks of it, is maybe getting alarming though, and the world No. 1 is starting to show signs that it is affecting him.
So why is Roger Federer losing?
There is a simple answer to that question...he is out of form, has not gotten enough matches under his belt due to his recent lung infection following the Australian Open, and as experts insist he simply does not care about any tournament if it doesn't involve adding to that record total of 16.
I admit I'm not too worried about Federer's recent struggles. At least not yet.
But I would like to entertain a diagnosis of Federer's recent tennis ailments.
Along with the lack of confidence, uncharacteristically wild spraying of forehands, and sloppy volleys, Federer made a remark following his exit in the Semifinals from the Estoril Open Saturday that should have sent alarm bells reverberating off his faithful followers.
When talking about his movement, Federer said he is surprised it's not there because he has put in a lot of hard work over the last few weeks.
He seemed almost befuddled at how things weren't going as planned, and that his training and preparation weren't producing the results he is used to.
If this is truly the case, then Federer should be worried. A lack of confidence in movement explains a lot of what we're seeing from Federer recently.
But if he is maintaining his same training and preparation that has gotten him this far in his career, how come the movement just isn't there all of a sudden?
The answer could be plain and simple that Federer is just getting old, and his physical abilities are declining. After all, he is 28, and not young by any means in the tennis world.
I dislike doubting Federer as much as the next tennis fanatic. But the offhand comment seemed rather revealing to me.
If Federer suddenly can't keep up, we could be seeing the end of his reign over the tour relatively sooner than expected.
I, for one, hope that isn't the case.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!