Even if one does not read too much into the scoreline,the turn of events in the match can be very well understood from the aforementioned numbers.Those who are still clueless,must know that this is how Roger Federer (RF), former world No. 1, currently ranked 3rd,ended up losing the match against Tsonga last night.
Not taking anything away from Tsonga,one cannot help but notice that a maestro who has had a record stay of 237 consecutive weeks on the top of ATP world rankings was found wanting yesterday against a lesser opponent,I daresay.
Although I am not a stickler for numbers,Federer’s vulnerability in “Big” matches over the last year and half have been unbecoming of the champ that he is.A case in point would be the recently concluded French Open,where RF ended up on the losing side against Rafael Nadal,after losing a set point in the first set !
Such defeats,after showing glimpses of sheer brilliance compel one to ask the question, Is RF facing nerves ?
Being human,it is all too natural that he does.But,being a champion it is baffling that he is not able to get the better of them.
I agree with the fact that he is not getting any younger, but he seems to be in the best shape of his life and those forehands still smack the same punch.So the issue is not physical fitness.
The technique of a 16 time Grand Slam winner cannot be doubted.That leaves us with the possibility of fatigue and mental exhaustion.
|Facing the heat !|
Among lesser pedigreed opponents,RF has looked like a pale shadow of his previous imperious self,in recent times.
Arguably the best tennis player of the Open era,RF needs to take stock of his situation and maybe take some rest.
Whether he is past his prime or not will take a few more losses or wins to say,but one thing one can say for sure that he will always be a pleasure to watch,when on song.
In the meantime,ardent RF fans like yours truly can only hope that RF sorts out the issues in his head and comes back to what he does best- WIN !