• The 2010 season – what lies ahead for Roger Federer

    12/21/09 3:35 PM | Cheryl Murray
    The 2010 season – what lies ahead for Roger Federer With the 2010 season imminent, the tennis world sets its sights on the world No. 1 and his prospects for the New Year.

    Nobody could deny that Roger Federer had a banner year in 2009. He completed the career Grand Slam, he surpassed Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams and made the finals of the 2 slams he did not win.

    Still, there is also the undeniable fact that Federer did not play his best tennis outside of the Slams. First-time losses to Stanislas Wawrinka, Nikolay Davydenko and Julien Benneteau were interspersed with a seemingly-increasing susceptibility to the top 5. In fact, Federer did not have a single win over a top 5 player until he beat Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals of Madrid in May.

    Does that mean that 2010 will be “the year”? Is Federer going to finally start faltering at the Slams? Have the “young guns” caught up at last? Did the US Open mark the end of a golden era? Well…not necessarily.

    Defeating a healthy Roger Federer in a best of 5 tennis match is no easy feat. Even if he is not playing at the level he enjoyed in 2006, he is still as tough as nails over the long haul. That very feature is a component of his game that gets lost among those who wax poetically about his forehand and his movement and his shot selection.

    Tommy Haas played better than Federer for nearly three sets at the French Open. Nearly. The problem is that “nearly” just doesn’t work against Roger Federer. The days of winning 3 of the 4 slams might be over, but the Swiss is still going to be one of the favorites.

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missyRF , 12/21/09 6:41 PM

I don't really expect him to win a GS this year.
As I said some weeks ago, to me, Federer (as we all know him) is over.

Emiliano55 , 12/21/09 8:27 PM

Although I'd love to be surprised, I have lowered expectations for the Fed this coming year. I only think it's realistic when you see so many players improving. I think del Potro will make a move up the rankings and should take one or both of the hard court slams. Then if the Djoker ever wakes up he'll certainly have his chances. I don't know how the Fed will do at FO this year but Wimbledon should be his best chance as usual. It would be a phenomenal feat if Fed could end 2010 at #1.

chr18 , 12/21/09 8:28 PM

Roland Garros is, I think, always going to be difficult for Roger. I don't anticipate a repeat of the title in 2010.

The Australian Open ought to be an interesting test to see where Roger (and Rafa) stand compared to the other hard court guys.

cherylmurray , 12/21/09 8:45 PM

I agree with Cheryl about AO being the test of where Roger and Rafa stand. But I think 2010 will be one of the hardest years to hold the #1 spot with so many upcoming talent aiming to win a GS for the first time. But I will never count out Fed at his best form. I'm more concerned about Rafa's longevity and style of play as I think many players are beginning to figure his game out.

jngannex , 12/22/09 2:25 AM

I'm not worried about players figuring out Rafa's game. We had said that many times when the likes of Blake, Berdych, even Tsonga started to beat Rafa on the hard courts and Rafa had always improved on his games to deal with them. The next waves of Del Potro, Cilic, Soderling etc would be Rafa's new challenge. Looking at how Rafa was playing at the AO 09, we could tell that he had improved yet again. If his body is not giving him any problem, I think Rafa will continue to twitch his hard court game - eg to continue to flatten his forehand, to improve his court position, to improve his serve and its placement, etc - and I'm confident that with his talent, mental toughness and his passion, he will handle the competition well.

luckystar , 12/22/09 6:54 AM

In an interview with Nadal on CNN in Paris Rafa said that Federer pushed him to be a better player because he saw how Federer kept improving from year to year they both bring out the best in each other they both pushed each other to the limits, so, I don?t think "players figuring out Rafa" is a problem to him because a good players is a never stop improving players so he will always have something to add and he ofcourse has the most effective defensive game but his attacking game can use a great deal of improvement (that what we saw in AO 09) which can be always an element of surprise that shouldn?t be denied, I don?t think TMC is a real indication of Rafa's performance of next year, he is much better than that and am sure his opponents know that better than anybody even the ones whom bet him in straights, there will be different beast in the next slams waiting.
Back to the great man, Federer, the record he has in slams is scary and doesn?t feel human, the Federer we saw against Djockovic in USO and Del Potro in AO that wasn?t human, naturally someday that will be interrupted but his record there will last a life time like Rod laver's in career slams record, no one is even a bit close to that record and that what legends is all about, so whether this year will carry on the Federer pattern of slams or not that record is quite untouchable.
AO is not an indication for anything look how it started for both RF and RN and look how it shaped up nothing in tennis is guaranteed and that is the beauty of it.

tennislover , 12/22/09 9:03 AM

Well,i think any player who was written off by any number of so-called tennis experts,should be applauded for the immense talent that he is - roger federer- came back, 2009 was his redemption year.After reading so many articles about roger this year, can you imagine what it must be like to have reached ALL FOUR grand slam finals. Yes,that's right. ALL FOUR. what that must do to the body? The mental aptitude,will,physical and emotional strength and then to go on and still reach the semi finals of the ATP year end finals in London-Federer did the fans proud. Emiliano,you are not a federer fan, so your predictions are not surprising.

Cheryl murray: 'Still, there is also the undeniable fact that Federer did not play his best tennis outside of the Slams'. That doesnt surprise me.He made a pledge and in his statement on,he said very clearly that is what his focus would be.

The slams are the focus of any tennis tournament.Let's look at this another way.If fed's focus was purely on the slams,then he met his objective.It shouldnt be underestimated in any way.To have achieved his 16th masters trophy, (in addition to everything else he achieved this year),one behind agassi, and to have surpassed all the rest,fed has had a great year.
2010 should be no different.The slams will be where fed brings his best. He may have to fight more,but that is more his trademark now,interspersed with the most amazing,incredible tennis ever.

maxi , 12/22/09 10:18 AM

well said maxi!
he makes us so proud to be his fans,long live the king

tennislover , 12/22/09 10:26 AM

The way Emiliano said that Fed is over, simply out of jealously! And it is well understood the jealousness in him is owing to some of his favorite players dwindling form.
Well talking like him, it can safely be said, that is someone's days when it comes to winning GS, then it's just Nadal's, and no one else. I predict, in 2010 he is fairly going to be pushed back to the clay courts for the most part and would find it hard competing with the likes of Feds,Delpo,Soderling. And forget seeing him in the last 8 stage of big W. He might even find it hard to win his happy hunting ground of FO.

As for Fed, I don't understand why he might find it hard winning another couple of GS in 2010. If even anyone fits to win that much GS, looking at the current crop of players, he is the most suitable. Then comes DELPO. And it seems to me that, all the 4 slams of 2010 might be shared by these two. Apart from these two, Djokovic has some chance to get to it.

solitudine , 12/22/09 11:45 AM

Don't count Rafa out of any slams. Some people make the same mistakes about Rafa as they do to Fed. Rafa is changing the way he plays the game, not chasing after every ball, and he is capable of good volleying. From the DC final match he played against Berdych, we know that he had not lost his power and he still can hit those forehand down-the-line passing shots right to the corner of his opponent's court, its a matter of him practicing hard and regaining his confidence so that he can hit those shots consistently. I will see him as the favourite for both FO & Wimbledon, those surfaces suits him as he moves well and beautifully on those surfaces. The hard court slams will be keenly contested and I see every one of the top five being favourites, throw in some hot streak players - maybe Davy, Cilic, Soderling, Roddick and even Verdasco - and we will see very competitive AO & USO.

luckystar , 12/22/09 1:12 PM

Hey, Im a fan of tennis. Thats all
I like Roger... even more than Nadal (believe ir or not). But seriously, 2009 was a good year for Roger involving GS and records, but let's be serious, his game was really off almost all the year.

I don't think this year he will be as lucky as he was in 2009 (Acasuso, Haas and Delpo choking at RG, Roddick choking at Wimby, Soderling in the final of RG, etc)... that's why i really think the Roger we all knew is finally over. I would be really surprised if he gets just one GS in 2010.

As for the others, Nadal is a question mark. But I think he will make a strong return, but not for a long perdiod becouse of his body/knees.

Delpo, Djoko and Murray (in that order) are, at least in my book, the ones to watch this year.


Emiliano55 , 12/22/09 2:41 PM

Greetings Emiliano,
I read your earlier post and wasnt sure whether to respond to it,but it sounded so dismissive,that I just had to.
Dont worry,no offence taken at all.I really dont think you can say that tennis players "choke" in front of federer. I think as a federer fan, roger has lost some of that aura he once had, though it is there a little. You could look at it the other way Emi,you could say, amazing stuff from federer that he has had the mental strength to come back out of a hole at some points in matches this year. But honestly, overall, Federer has played some brilliant matches this year so I do have to disagree with you again Emi. It is just that he is not as consistent.We know that. That doesnt mean though that he doesnt provide us fans with some amazing tennis. He does. Frequently.Just not all the time. When you say "we all knew is finally over". Dont include me, in the "we", please. I completely disagree with you. We have been spoilt for so long and I look forward to roger coming back stronger than before and continuing to break records. There is no reason,provided he keeps fit and healthy, that he cannot remain at the top of his game for a long time. It is true that the others are catching up, but Emi, what does that say about Roger?
It means he has been brilliant for so long, put himself out there playing amazing tennis for so long and consistently, that now is the time for the others to make their mark. Respect to all players. I have been impressed with novak this year (very much), and also was pleased for rafa that he won his beloved davis cup, though am sure that all players will take a well earned break and come back better than ever. 2010 is going to be a great year for Roger and for his competitors. There is no reason to think otherwise.
I checked out a training video of fed's camp a few days ago, now that he is back in training. Awesome.Fed is still the one to beat. You say that you like Roger? You could have fooled me!

maxi , 12/22/09 6:35 PM

Yeah, I really like Roger. But, I'm not a hard fan of him... that's why i think i can see some things about his game 'objectively'.

About my phrase, I didn't mean "we all knew he is finally over". I meant "the roger we all knew, is finally over". My mistake.

I don't want to discuss about his rivals choking at RG/final of Wimbly, we won't agree because we, evidently, have different points of view.

Anyways, if you want to think he still got the game to compete and win more GS, well, good for you mate. I don't expect him to win another GS, at least not this year.


Emiliano55 , 12/23/09 12:16 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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