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07/04/2013

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Bettyjane

Fatherhood

Murph

Rank dropping.

M

Needs different racquet strings.

(Look what they've done so far this tournament for Fernando Verdasco (apparently he's using a Babolat now)).

And no, he wouldn't have to desert Wilson. No, he wouldn't even have to change the actual racquet.

But if you're not getting the outcomes in a certain situation that you want, and there are certain things you cannot change -- the (possible) shifts in stamina and reaction time, the body parts (we all have them) that are vulnerable to certain injuries -- then you look to the things that are tweakable.

Bettyjane

I agree with this. So since it's only the strings, you don't really think there'd be a significant adjustment? M you live in NY like me. Do you remember the NY Times piece on the comparison of the top three players rackets and how Fed had the one that was by far the most difficult to play with.

Leon

LOL, Bettyjane. You cannot be serious. Too hastened, no?
Joking apart, you might be right, but I think it's beyond discussion. Otherwise, going along these lines, we should...oh, I don't even want to continue! We'd better leave (")poor(") girls alone.
And many have kids and still preserve that "white burning" stuff TP likes to mention so much.
Real root? I wish I/he/TP/anybody knew. It's obvious that he doesn't work properly during his more extended and more frequent breaks. Is he becoming lazier, or physically weaker (I doubt it's the main reason), or...who knows.

M

"you don't really think there'd be a significant adjustment?"

I do indeed think it would be a significant adjustment. However, I also have complete faith it's an adjustment that Roger could handle (and if he moves quickly, that he could have time to make).

More than that, if it didn't work as quickly as he & his team thought it should, he'd then also have time to try something else. And then, even, something else, if necessary ... until he & his team find something that works around the inflexibility of certain other variables.

People who watch his game closely have observed the adjustments Rafa makes -- to his game in general since he can't just run after every ball like he could when he was 17 (who can do that, really?) as well as in the middle of a match in order to overcome a player who has taken him by surprise. I've often thought it was one of the greatest gifts he brings to his game. Well, two, really -- the ability to adapt, and the willingness to do it, which is something else. (And which, as it's been hinted at in conversation before here, might well be relevant to this discussion.)

"Do you remember the NY Times piece on the comparison of the top three players rackets and how Fed had the one that was by far the most difficult to play with."

I didn't see it, Bettyjane -- was it online? Is there a link? -- but if that was the conclusion, I'd say that would make an even more compelling case for him to at least experiment and see if it might be worth it to just try an adjustment.

Because if it doesn't work? He can change back. Or try something else. That's the whole point.

Roger's talked and talked in interviews about how much he loves the life. I hope he loves it enough to at least consider doing a few things differently.

Kitty

His legacy and the fact that guys older than him are doing better which doesn't help him to use the 'age' trump card

Bettyjane

Hi Leon,
Actually this post was partially in jest. I dearly love those twins.

Leon

Had no doubts, Bettyjane.

Bettyjane

Here's the link M. He does mention that "maybe down the road he'll change it again".


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/sports/tennis/20iht-SRWIRACKET20.html?smid=pl-share

chipnputt

Great article -- thanks Bettyjane.

M

Thank you so much for finding this, Bettyjane! Really informative.

"He does mention that "maybe down the road he'll change it again"."

It does sound like he's asked them to tweak it a little but there's room in their R&D for improvement yet. Step it up, Wilson! :-)

chipnputt

The obvious answer is age. The counter-examples of Serena and Haas are exceptions. Clearly, Roger has slowed and become more inconsistent and that is largely due to age. But, of course, TP will have something else in mind, so here goes; Last year, Roger earned 40 million from endorsements and 14 million from the 6 exhos he played in S. America. He earned "only" 6.5 on the court. So, he realizes that his earnings are much less dependent on winning tournaments matches but more on just playing tennis well and protecting his brand, he's lost the extra motivation, and hence mental edge, to win.

Dude

Wimby No.7, World No.1 and surpassing Sampras at weeks as No.1 were too good to be true. But these achievements came with a price...INJURY. Or else Fed would have taken out Del potro easily at the Olympics SF, which marred his prospects in the final.

With a nagging back and no immediate goals its normal for MOTIVATION to dip.

Its also very likely( IMO),that Fed & team might be taking this opportunity as a 'pit stop'. Having already decided not to 'push' himself beyond a limit he might be hoping to get back to shape by '14.

Contrary to popular arguments about him slowing down plus peers & juniors performing better, I feel its poor conditioning( due to injury) thats losing him matches at crunch situations. There is no other way to explain his decline from the blazing form displayed at Wimby'12.

nick

Return of Serve.

Ricke

Well since all the brilliant answers are taken already, I'll throw this out there: Mirka and Roger have been trying for a "Baby Brother Fed." The poor guy is exhausted!

alex

He is losing his curls.

chipnputt

The threat to his GOAT-ness from Nadal has gone.

M

\o/ \o/ \o/

*tears of laughter*

sperry

Chip shoots... scores!!!

Veglia

It became OK for him to loose matches, he's not the sorest looser in the history of the world any more. The edge is gone.

Antoine

NADAL, NADAL. NADAL... Wimbledon just does not seem to be the same thing without the prospect of beating Nadal...

imaginaryband

As the stats have pointed out that his return game has significantly dropped over the last year or so, maybe his eyesight is going.

Taking that idea further, Nike haven't developed a pair of prescription glasses that he likes the look of yet, and he's refusing to wear what they offer him because he doesn't want to look like that French guy he found so annoying when he first met him on court (but is now friends with).

Serran

I'll play Devil's advocate here:

It's no coincidence that the las couple of Federer's returns to form happened precisely at times when Nadal was weakened by injuries. For example, 2009 Roland Garros-Wimbledon combo, 2010 Australian Open and 2012 Wimbledon. In all of those Nadal was either sidelined with an injury or he was abnormally eliminated early after showing clear signs of weakness, possibly pointing to injury.

This triggered a reaction in Federer that allowed him to unleash his full potential: "My biggest rival is temporarily out, it's NOW or NEVER, I absolutely need to win this before he comes back stronger and my chance is gone".

Now, that trigger has been rendered useless by two factors: Even after successfully returning from injury, this time around Nadal's game is far from what it was on surfaces other than clay, AND Djokovic has Nadal's number (while being a tough rival to beat himself), therefore eliminating the sense of unique opportunity from Federer's mind.

With Nadal's impossible challenge seemingly gone forever, the trigger is also gone. He no longer feels the sense of urgency and opportunity that allows him to tap into the intangible. Without it, that superior form remains out of Federer's reach, maybe forever.

Jenny

lol Ricke and Imaginaryb...

Serran

Just to be clear, what I mean is that the root of the trigger was the belief that Nadal's absence was TEMPORARY, therefore the sense of urgency. Now that he's back after such a long stretch out, we have to assume he is 100% healthy, or as healthy as he's going to be from now on. His showing at Wimbledon indicates that his current form is not a threat (outside of clay), and the temporary aspect of the equation is blown.

chipnputt

I think IB has the right answer, but until TP verifies that, here's devil's my advocate to Serran's devil's advocate:

The primary issue is GOAT-ness, Nadal is secondary. In 2009, he was behind in the calculations -- he didn't have a career slam and he was behind Sampras in the slam count. Come the FO, Nadal loses and he takes advantage to win the FO, get the career slam and shut up people like Bodo and Collins. Still, he's tied with Sampras with 14 slams -- Wimbledon is the perfect stage to take it 15 and be the greatest winner of slams. That gets done. What's left? Weeks at No. 1 and as a secondary issue, Sampras' seven Wimbledons. Come 2012, if he wins Wimbledon, both get accomplished. Gets the game in order and gets it done. What's left now on GOAT-ness? Nothing, he has everything that matters, except Nadal is a threat on the number of slams. Once he realizes that Nadal is no longer a threat on the slam front, that it's unlikely he'll win anything outside of clay, he loses his edge to win and that's that.

Jenny

To reach the final of the French and beat Rafa on clay.

imaginaryband

I agreed - this (de)motivation is definitely possible!
Fatherhood vs legacy!

Lobbo

Life-altering tragedy triggered Federer's rise to greatness. It's not something anyone would wish upon him nor would it be likely to have the same effect upon him at this time in his career.

Antoine

Wawrinka moving over to Nadal's side??? There are pics posted of Wawrinka vacationing with Nadal...

jett09

The end of Fedal rivalry.

Hubby

The Monster he's created has abandoned him...for good.

Tennis Planet

WINNER: CHIPNPUTT.

Was looking for near-total absence of the possibility of Nadal overtaking No. 17, but will grant it to Chipnputt.

Bettyjane

Well done to Chipnputt. Congrats to you.

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