Is Roger Federer nearing the end of his career?
Roger Federer might be running out of gas. And who can blame him, when gas is an exorbitant $4.50 a gallon here in the States? Gas is expensive whether you're worth $150 million, like Federer is, or nothing, like me. Federer needs to prove to those of us stateside that he still has gas in the tank, to restore faith in crude oil mongers the world over.
But seriously, I miss my Federer highlights on SportsCenter from obscure ATP tournaments 95 percent of tennis fans don't give a flying squirrel about. It makes tennis fun, and trust me, tennis needs the audience.
That said, let's be serious for a moment (I promise, I'll only be serious a few more times until the last slide). We are witnessing the end of an era. Federer doesn't realize it, because he doesn't exactly live for the competition.
Federer, like Sampras before him, lives to perfect his craft. It's a way of transcending competition that is inwardly focused and highly contingent upon accurate self-evaluations. No one can know what Federer is capable of except Roger Federer, and for a while, that was the reason for his success. But is Federer losing that faculty of self-evaluation? Has he been so steeped in trying to perfect his own game that he is in denial of the wear and tear on his own body?
Federer's evaluation of his opponents is in a league all his own. He could teach a seminar on how to use one's own strengths in a way that plays to an opponent's weaknesses. However, if Federer's ego is getting in the way of these evaluations and he continues to make bewildering admissions to the public that he will "definitely be happy to take two, three, four days off" prior to Roland Garros, this could spell the end.
When Federer says he needs a couple extra days off to prepare, he better show on the court that he can still be 90 percent of the Federer he once was and make his mark in this tournament, or his fans (and the tennis community at large) will lose faith in his viability as a contender...for good.