5 Reasons Federer Fans Need Not Panic
I know I know. Just by saying that we don’t need to panic is bound to strike fear and anxiety into all RF cap wearers, but I truly mean it. Don’t panic. Federer may have lost three awful matches of late, the most recent being his first match on clay to Ernests Gulbis, but this isn’t the time to hit the alarm button. Here’s why:
1. We are between Slams. The French Open is still four weeks away and the Australian Open was months ago. Federer makes no secret that he peaks for Slams and considering that he did a pretty good job of that last time we can only assume he will peak again in Paris.
2. Rome hasn’t exactly being the happy hunting ground of Roger Federer. He lost in the semi finals in 2009 to Djokovic playing one of his worst ever matches and suffered a terrible loss in 2008 to Radek Stepanek. Both times he went on to make the final of the French Open. In 2009 he even won it. Federer just doesn’t put as much physical or mental effort into these early tournaments. Just ask the Monte Carlo organisers.
3. His form isn’t actually that bad. Yes, he’s shanking a few forehands and finding a first serve is more difficult than searching for hens’ teeth, but his backhand is solid and overall game not too bad. His habit of dropping match points and set leads will be fixed by the French Open where he has at least one extra set to find his game.
4. He hasn’t played that much lately. He hadn’t hit a ball in singles competition in a month before yesterday’s loss and he rested before both Indian Wells and Miami with some kind of virus. He may find his game better next week at Estoril where there will be considerably less frightening players. For those of you who think he must have been practising hard in his month off and therefore should be clay court ready think again. Check out this video of a Federer practise session on http://forehandshanker.blogspot.com/2010/04/paris-on-feds-mind.html
5. Indian Wells, Miami, and Rome and not Grand Slams. So really, how much do we actually care?