Roger Federer isn't ready to ride off into the sunset just yet.
Though the legendary tennis star has struggled thus far in 2013, he's far from finished as a major force in men's tennis.
To this point in the season, the 17-time Grand Slam champion has yet to win a tournament, and his singles record is 13-4. For most competitors, this wouldn't prompt an investigation into his or her competence, but Federer isn't most competitors.
Like Tiger Woods on the PGA Tour or Peyton Manning in the NFL, anything less than greatness from Federer leads to speculation about whether or not he's losing his edge.
Fans of the superstar need not fear—Federer will win at least one Grand Slam this season, and you can be sure he'll be a force to be reckoned with in all three of the remaining prestigious events.
The biggest obstacle standing in Federer's way at this point is his health. He tweaked his back in a match against Xavier Malisse last July at Wimbledon, and there's no doubt the injury has lingered longer than he'd like (even if he won't admit it).
No doubt, Federer's health is one of the primary reasons he made the decision to sit out for two months between Indian Wells and the Mutua Madrid Open. He spoke about his extended hiatus, via BBC.co.uk:
I can't play a year like I did last year every single season. That isn't the point I'm at in my career. I'm not 22 where I have to play 25-30 tournaments a year. Plus, I believe I'll be really ready for the tournaments I've entered.
This is a sound strategy, as Federer is still a dominant player on the men's tour when he's rested and healthy.
It's not like Federer forgot how to play. He's still capable of dominating opponents with his world-class serve, still has enough speed and agility to make plays all over the court and still owns one of the best backhands on the ATP Tour.
And the best part is that FedEx hasn't lost any of his knowledge or vast championship experience.
After he returns from his two-month absence on tour, Federer will re-emerge as one of the most dangerous players on the men's tour.
Wimbledon will likely be Federer's best chance to win a Grand Slam this year. He won the event in 2012, defeating local hero Andy Murray in the final, and nobody should be surprised to see Federer standing alone as the champion in England once again in 2013.
Federer isn't a young gun any more, but he's hardly an old man. At the age of 31, he still has plenty of championship tennis left in his bones, and he'll prove it by winning a Grand Slam this season.
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