I don’t want to jump on the Federer is not going to win another slam bandwagon, but there is something about him lately that is very, very mortal and I don’t like it. Going in to the Halle final he had a H2H stats of winning the last 15 encounters against Leyton Hewitt and he did play like it in the first set, 6-3. Both players played well in a tight second that ended with Hewitt winning the tie-breaker 7-6. But then something came horribly undone in Federer’s game, he could hardly put a forehand right. I guess these things happen to everybody, but it is tough to believe it could happen to Federer too.
Now it seems like all the top four players played below their level in the Wimbledon warm-up. Nadal, Djokovic and Murray all went out early and Federer lost a pretty tight Halle final (Halle is a much weaker tournament than Queens) and maybe it is because they still have too much clays stuck to their shoes and brains. I am sure we are still going to see solid performances from all four of them come Wimbledon (although for some reason, I don’t think Djokovic is going to do that well).
Federer seemed pretty disappointed to have lost in Halle. I think he wants to carry a tradition of invincibility over to Wimbledon and I don’t think he expected to lose in the warm-up tournament. Tennis is so much a confidence sport and if losing gets in your head, then you won’t do very well. Federer thrives on feeling unbeatable, being number one, and now that he is number two again and hasn’t won a title since Australian Open in January, he must be feeling pretty human.
Watching him shank forehand after forehand is not good for a Fedophile and it is even worse for Federer himself. You even start to wonder if that is actually Federer you are watching out there, missing breakpoint opportunities by slicing returns into the net. I almost hope it is a stunt double and that the real Federer will come out for Wimbledon and win his 17th slam and make everything alright again.