Roger Federer’s shocking 6-2, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 5-7, 10-12 loss, after two sets and a match-point up, to Kevin Anderson in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, has been much analyzed and dissected by the tennis fraternity. John McEnroe, always eager to pronounce verdicts, has already predicted an imminent end to Roger Federer’s domination. Here, however, is our take on it.
Roger Federer was quite dominant in his matches at Wimbledon.
Federer was 4-0 against Kevin Anderson. He had also not dropped a set until the Wimbledon quarters. Roger dominated the first set with his serve and ground-shots. He had a good read on Kevin’s serves and was managing his just fine. Federer should have won the second too in straight, but he righted the ship by dominating the breaker and raced past Kevin for a 2-0 lead.
In the third Roger enjoyed a match point but could not convert it to his advantage and went on to lose that and the next two sets.
Roger Federer was mentally spent after the loss of the third set.
The depth and pace were missing in Roger Federer’s shots, from the fourth set on, and he pushed the ball on many occasions when there was an opportunity to play aggressive and finish the point. Time and again, it seemed Federer was waiting for Kevin to make an error and Kevin Anderson refused to oblige. Roger was unable to collect himself mentally to close the match, after failing to capitalize on the match-point in the third and was depending on Kevin to help him with it.
Roger Federer appeared mentally spent after the loss of the third set. At nearly 37 and against an unrelenting opponent, who refused to go away, he felt listless and unable to finish the last mile. Roger lost a match he could and should have won. And that’s tennis; and, if not on PEDs, it could happen a few times a year, even to the GOAT.
Is it the end of the road for Roger Federer?
Is it time to worry about Roger’s pro-career? Is it the end of the road for Roger Federer? By conventional wisdom, Roger’s domination should have ended in 2014, when he turned 33. We do not expect Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to be around, except as spectators or commentators, after they turn 33. There’s, however, nothing conventional and almost everything timeless about Roger Federer’s tennis, and he will continue to play at the very highest level for at least a couple more years and win a few more slams in the process. For the Maestro who reinvented his backhand in 2017 this was only a minor mental lapse and will soon be forgotten.
Roger Federer is alive and kicking.
There would be some reasons for concern had Roger Federer lost comprehensively to Kevin Anderson. Roger, instead, won 195 total points as compared to 190 by Kevin and created five more break-point opportunities. He, however, converted only 3 of his 12 break-points as compared to 4 of 7 by Kevin Anderson. Roger Federer won 28 of the 39 points at the net, 79% of first, and 59% of second serves as compared to 15 of 31 net points, 76% of first and 52% of second serves won by Kevin Anderson.
In conclusion, we believe, Roger Federer is alive and kicking, and the rumors about his demise as the dominant force in tennis are not only untimely but also highly exaggerated.