On the heels of a Federer early-round loss there ‘s always talk about when he’s going to retire, whether he’s lost his appetite for the competitive aspect of the sport and the possibility of the surprising defeat being the start of his downfall.
Yesterday the mighty Fed Express lost against up-and-coming Kei Nishikori in a rollercoaster match that ended 4-6 6-1 2-6 (Fed’s numbers first). You could see in Fed’s play that he was rusty. He looked slow on returns and was missing some shots that I bet he would make if he had played an event prior to this. But Federer’s scheduling is the way it is and possibly come French Open, he will be in great shape.
Regarding this being Federer’s first sign of a descent, my reaction is NO! We’ve heard the talk before and last year he looked hungrier than ever and reclaimed the number one position. What’s obvious is that an armada of young talents are knocking on his and the other top players doors and they don’t seem very afraid.
So what about Federer’s future? How long will the great champ play the game competitively?
My guess is at least to 2016. Then after the Olympics I think he might put the racquet on the shelf – but you never know, Tommy Haas is 35 and possibly playing the tennis of his life. So he might continue longer than that if he limits himself on the number of tournaments he plays and stays fit. Looking at Haas, this is definitely possible.
Regarding wanting to win and being able to fight for it, I think this is ability that will never leave the mighty Fed’s body. He’s here to fight for titles and no matter how many he wins, I think he’d still like another win. After all, he has a few more records to chase…