Roger Federer is in Shanghai, and the world expects him to put Rafael Nadal, the genie, back in the bottle. However, the genie is out and cannot be contained by Roger, or anyone else, until the genie’s next extended injury timeout.
Is Roger motivated enough to beat Rafa?
Roger isn’t even trying to contain the Rafa genie or usurp his number one ranking because his only concern is to enter the next slam in good health. Moreover, Roger is so far away from the form and competitive edge needed to beat Rafa in his current unbeatable avatar that it is nothing short of a silly psychedelic pipe dream to even contemplate Rafa losing to Roger in Shanghai.
Is Federer injury free and fully fit to take on the Nadal challenge?
Assuming Roger’s back is fully repaired he still is not match prepared for a competitive outing with Rafa, and if he is silly enough to push himself for a real battle, he runs the risk of injuring himself. Realistically, the only thing working for Roger, at this juncture, is his god given talent and that may not suffice in containing Rafa who is in his best grinding mode ever.
The age and inclination are both on Rafael Nadal’s corner
At 36, a lot has to go well for Roger to beat a running machine like Rafa. If Roger meets Rafa in Shanghai, not only will he need to take more risk but also be prepared to do some exceptional retrieving, which Roger, may do to a point. However, Rogers’s priority is the slams, and he may lack the motivation to push himself to the very limit required to beat someone like Rafa in here.
It’d be quite surprising to even see Roger in the finals. However, Rafa wouldn’t be here if he was not serious about winning the whole thing and, if given the opportunity, exact revenge for the beatings that he has received from the old man this year.