Thursday, July 24, 2008

Federer is Human

Believe it or not Roger Federer is human and he proved it when he was knocked out of the Rogers Cup with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 loss to France's Gilles Simon in a second-round match Wednesday night. That’s right. Roger Federer lost in his first match since losing to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

When asked about what happened on the court Federer had this to say, "As the match went on I struggled a little bit to put the forehands away," Federer said. "He's a good baseliner. We saw that today. He moves well. He's deceiving because he's kind of thin and tall but moves really well for his height, you know. He flicks a lot of balls with his backhand as well, so when you come in you can't see where he plays."

Federer looked firmly in control after winning the first set 6-2 but just couldn’t get his game together as he committed numerous unforced errors. Actually in the very last game of the match Federer was serving and lost 4 straight points by committing unforced errors.

Federer won this tournament in 2004 and 2006 and finished 2nd last year to Serbia's Novak Djokovic but yesterday became the first top seed to lose in his first match here since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

This loss coupled with Federer’s losses to Nadal at the French Open and Wimbledon are starting to make the Swiss phenom look less invincible. If Nadal wins this tournament he may become the new #1 seed and break Federer’s streak of over 231 weeks of being the top guy.

While people may be saying that Roger has lost it and is no longer the great player he once was it seems that these statements may be made with little knowledge of Roger’s year at all. Currently in 2008 he is 43-9 and has already won 2 singles titles. If not for losing to Nadal in two Major finals then he would be 45-7 with 4 titles 2 of them being majors. He has come into a bit of bad luck in the fact that he has had to play Nadal so many times who is playing the best tennis of his life.

So while many say Federer isn’t the best anymore I feel that it is far too early to be making statements like that as there is still plenty of tennis left to be played this year. It must also be noted that in his best year to date Nadal has already lost 7 matches as well. I don’t feel that it is right to immediately get all over someone’s case just because they don’t win every single tournament.

Possible reasons for Roger’s losing of late may be that he is distracted from tennis by things such as his clothing line and his incredibly hot girlfriend. Roger may simply just have a case of celebrity and he is starting to believe his own hype. I’m not trying to make excuses for the guy but I find it troubling how quickly people forget that his pure dominance of tennis for the last 4 years.

Finally I will point out that the man who beat Roger Federer yesterday wasn’t some bum. He was the 22nd ranked player in the world so let’s not go overboard with the Roger bashing.

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