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Federer Ready For The US Open – SportsUntapped.com
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Added August 23rd, 2010 by Jonas

Federer Ready For The US Open
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Belief wavers like a flag in the wind. True fans remain, but the experts, the pundits, the writers and the regular Joe think this, then that, then this, than that again. It is the fascinating and sometimes frustrating nature of sports. Roger Federer is a good case in point.

In 2007 Federer was about to become the greatest of all time, everybody looked up to him, the tennis world was his. Then came the mono-ridden 2008 where Federer still managed to reach the semi-final in Australian Open, but came flat-footed against a hot Djokovic. Djoko-fans and his family chanted that “the king was dead, long live the king” which was a naive way of praising (and at the same time bashing Federer) the then very promising Djokovic who went on to win his first and so far only Slam.

Federer then managed to get to the final in the French Open, but was obliterated by a Nadal in furious form who besides winning Roland Garros also was closing in on the number one spot in the rankings. People were starting to talk about the end of Federer. Still Federer played a great Wimbledon, only to lose arguably the best final ever played against Nadal and as a consequence also the first place in the ranking list.

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Federer was suddenly a has-been, despite reaching one semi-final and two finals in three Slams which is an outstanding result by anyone’s measure (except for Federer it seems). Many were waiting for an “inevitable” decline of the great king of tennis.

It didn’t happen. Federer won the US Open to get his 13th Slam. Then he lost a final in the Australian Open to Nadal (always this Nadal), but came back strongly to win both Roland Garros (for the first time) and Wimbledon (for the sixth time) to regain the title as number one in the world. The critics were silenced. Temporarily.

He didn’t win US Open that year, a young Argentine by the name of Del Potro beat him in the final, but he did win Australian Open a couple of months later, adding up to his 16th slam. Surely, it would take something special to have people disbelieving him again?

Not really. After a pretty dismal Spring that only resulted in a quarterfinal in Roland Garros (lost to Soderling) and another quarterfinal in Wimbledon (lost to Berdych) the talk was on again. The old Federer was gone, make way for the new generation, bla bla bla.

Enough talk (thought perhaps Federer). What both Master Series tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati has shown is that Federer is still very much here and hungry to prove so. This Federer chips and charges frequently (new “coach” Paul Annacone might have something to do with that) and seems to “believe” and thoroughly enjoy his game again.

This bodes well for the Federer fans going into the US Open. It would be wise to hold Federer as favorite tightly followed by Nadal and Murray. Throw in Djokovic (but can he get past the semis in Slams these days?) and Roddick and we have the usual 4-5 players fighting for the title. Maybe Berdych, Soderling or Isner can stir it up a bit, but outside these players it is hard to see anyone breaking into the semi-finals.

Nadal then? How is he? Are the knees holding up? Is he saving up energy for the US Open by playing at 80-90 percent in the Masters tournaments?

Who knows? Although it feels strange to predict Rafa not playing at a 100%. It seems like that is simply not in his system. But something can be ailing him besides the demanding hard courts, that’s for sure. Only time can tell, because when the tournament that eludes him from the Career Slam rolls around, I am pretty sure he is going to do all he can to get in Federer’s way.

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