Australian Open Tennis: 10 Reasons Why Roger Federer Will Bounce Back in 2011
Lucas Dawson/Getty Images
In tennis, it is, and always will be, about the player of the moment.
Right now Rafael Nadal is that man. Nadal currently holds three of the four slam titles, and is on a mission to capture his fourth in a row.
If Nadal is able to win the 2011 Australian Open, he will accomplish something that no other men's player has done since Rod Laver himself won the true "Calendar Year Grand Slam" in 1969.
Roger Federer has twice captured three Grand Slams in a year, but on both occasions he was defeated at the French Open.
Last year was considered by many to be an unsuccessful year for the Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer. He was only able to capture one Slam title. When talking about Roger Federer he is held to a different standard then most players, and one Slam title for him is considered a down year.
Here are the Top Ten reasons we will see Roger bounce back in 2011.
The Family Legacy
The Federer Twins are now a bit older, and less likely to distract Dad.
Roger Federer's life has changed dramatically since the birth of his twin girls.
In 2011, life will be much easier as the girls become older, and more manageable.
He will have fewer late nights and early mornings on the road.
We cannot take for granted how much Federer wants to remain at a high level, so that the girls will be able to enjoy his play.
He is a genuine person who understands how important it is to keep his family near. His family travels with him to nearly every tournament.
The girls growing up will only have a positive impact on his mental state.
He looks fresh in 2011.
Paul Annacone has one job, get Roger Federer to 20.
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Roger Federer has a deep passion for the sport of tennis.
He understands exactly where he sits among the game's greatest players, and he understands that there is a debate about his seat.
His main focus for the remainder of his career, and the leading reason for his decision to hire Paul Annacone, is to win more slams.
His need to separate himself from Nadal is the single most important motivator left.
Every slam Roger Federer wins, is a slam that Nadal does not.
Paul Annacone will hammer that point into Roger's head.
Rafael Nadal's Impact on the Game
Friends off the court, and rivals on the court.
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal is slowly chipping away at Roger Federer's legacy, and at the same time he is carving out his own.
If anyone needs a reminder of how much Roger Federer realizes that fact, please refer to the 2009 Australian Open.
Rafael Nadal has developed the all court game, and he poses a serious threat to match Federer's Grand Slam mark.
It is still a long ways away to match Federer, but it doesn't seem that far either.
Federer has taken the right steps in his preparation to 2011, to make sure his game is built to beat the best.
On a side note, he also realizes that the best right now, is Rafael Nadal.
Something that does not sit easy with Federer.
Will Success in 2011 Lead to Gold in 2012?
Roger Federer's second home - Wimbledon
Julian Finney/Getty Images
The hallowed grounds at Wimbledon became a second home to Roger Federer. He owns six Wimbledon Championships, and will forever be engraved in the sport's Grand Cathedral.
In 2012, the Summer Olympic games are coming to London.
The tennis will be played at Wimbledon. If there was ever a time where Federer has the chance to win the elusive gold medal, this would be that time.
Roger Federer knows that the key to success is always built on success.
A successful 2011, will only give him confidence in 2012, where his main focus will be on the Olympic games.
The Rivalry Continued...
Rafael Nadal looks to impose his will over Roger Federer again in 2011
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
The sport of Tennis has always been built on rivalry.
Although there are some smaller rivalries being built between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, none can compare to the current state of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The two champions have given life to a sport at a time when it needed it most.
With Nadal entering his prime, and Federer coming out of his; Federer understands he must challenge himself even more to remain at center stage.
The sport needs it, and Roger needs it.
As a true ambassador of the sport, Roger Federer will continue to put himself in position to improve the head to head numbers between himself and Nadal.
How? at this point it still doesn't seem like anyone else is up to the challenge.
It will again be Roger vs Rafa in 2011.
Number One Is the Only Number That Matters
Roger Federer is one week shy of the all time mark for weeks spent at number one.
Andrew Wong/Getty Images
Roger Federer held the No. 1 ranking for 237 consecutive weeks, and is currently one week shy of matching the all time mark of 286 weeks spent at No. 1.
Roger Federer is driven by the record, and he acknowledges the top ranking is the only one that matters.
There is No. 1, and then everyone else.
In 2011, he has a legitimate chance to regain the top ranking, because of his earlier then normal exits at the French Open and Wimbledon Championships, he can make up ground if Nadal stumbles.
Nadal has a large number of points to defend, and Roger has less then in previous years.
However, a big hurdle is the Australian Open where Federer is defending 2000 points from his win in 2010.
Even if Federer wins in Australia, he will gain no ground, and might even lose some if Nadal makes the finals.
However, he is fit, and ready to challenge Nadal at the top; knowing he is only one week shy of the all time mark.
5, 5, 5...
Roger Federer chases his 5th Australian Open Title.
If Roger Federer can defend his title in Australia, he will have won five times at three of the four majors.
Federer has won six times at Wimbledon and five times at the US Open. He currently has four titles at the Australian Open.
Federer also has won five times at the ATP World Tour Finals, which is widely considered the fifth major.
Having the chance to win his fifth Australian Open and put more of a gap between him and Nadal is certainly one of the story lines that will develop as the tournament progresses.
The Calender Slam Saga
Rod Laver was the last man to win a calender year Grand Slam
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Rod Laver came out and made it very clear that even if Rafael Nadal wins the Australian Open, it cannot be considered a Grand Slam. The true Grand Slam is won in the calender year.
Roger Federer has won three slams in a year twice.
However, he cannot make a run at the Grand Slam without winning in Australia.
Either way, he will be looking to both start his quest for the Grand Slam for the fifth time, or at the very least looking to stop Rafael Nadal's quest for his own.
The loss at the 2009 Australian Open to Rafael Nadal forever left a mark in Federer's mind.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
The 2009 Australian Open final left a deep wound in Roger Federer's resume. Not only did it begin all the talk of his slow and steady decline, but it was Nadal's break through on the Federer's last sanctuary, the Hard Court.
Despite what is being said in public, it would be revenge of the sweetest kind, if he could defend his title against Rafael Nadal.
This is the chance to solidify his place in the history books, while putting a stop to his greatest rival.
If you think Roger doesn't remember the loss in 2009, we are all dreaming.
He recently said that you always remember the losses more than the wins.
The 2009 Australian Open final showed us how much he cares about this sport, and also how much he cares about winning.
Which Roger will we see in 2011?
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Roger Federer has a uncanny ability to prove his doubters wrong.
He loves the challenge.
Everyone loves a comeback.
Will 2011 be the year Federer puts his stamp on the history books?