Missing French Open not a bad idea for Federer

Roger Federer decided to give French Open a miss this year. Not only did he missed the Open, he missed the entire clay season in order to concentrate on Wimbledon.

Federer earlier this year won the Australian Open, his first Grand Slam in five years and to do it by beating Nadal in the finals was phenomenal. Federer is a great champion and the current record holder with most Grand Slam singles title in men’s tennis.

Federer is currently 35 years old and possibly has a year or two left at the top level, so it is prudent that he decided to pick his battles.

This is not something new in professional sports. In cricket there are players who during the back end of their careers decided to skip one format over the other to prolong their careers.

There is nothing wrong with that. Sportsmen have very uncertain and short careers and them wanting to make most of their time is something which needs to be respected.

Federer won the French Open in 2009 on clay, a surface where is he not very comfortable playing. It is harder to play on clay when you get older.

Unlike grass courts and hard courts, clay isn’t a quick surface. Players need to have lots of stamina and the ability to engage in long baseline exchanges. Also unlike on synthetic and grass courts, you don’t get too many free points on clay.

Competing against young players on clay can be very taxing and can take a lot out of you. I am not saying that Federer would not have won the title – he may well have – but again that’s the chance he has taken.

It can be really hard for someone who has been struggling with injuries over the past year or so to ignore the fact that he isn’t young anymore.

Federer is arguably the greatest tennis player in history of the game and he has practically achieved everything a professional tennis player could achieve in the game.

He has also said that he is not aiming for number one ranking anymore which means that he need not play all the tournaments for points either.

Grass courts have always been Federer’s best surface and he has seven Wimbledon titles. He wants to be fit and ready for the championship and that’s something which is a personal decision. Only the player knows his body and what he can or cannot do at a particular time in his career.

Federer’s decision needs to be respected and there is no reason to question it. He is a great player and I am really looking forward to couple more Grand Slam titles from him before he calls it a day.

Wimbledon and the US Open gives him the best chance of adding to his 18 titles than the French open does. So Federer deciding to miss the clay season may not have been a bad idea and as Andy Roddick put it, it was smart from the champion.

My article published on The Roar

Federer back to his dominating best

Federer with his Australian open trophy

Things returned to normal as Roger Federer won yet another grand slam title this Sunday to start the year 2010 on a high note. He defeated Andy Murray in straight sets to claim the title. It was yet another defeat for the Brit against Roger and he would be really disappointed with the result.

For Federer though this victory would be sweet and he extended his grand slam record to 16 wins. It’s amazing that people say that the champ is on a decline as he has won 3 slams in the past year. If this is called a decline then most current players would want to be on one.

In the last couple of years Federer has seemed to have lost the aura of invincibility and the command on the court with which he had dismantled the best with clinical precision. When Federer was left crying after his loss to Nadal in the 2009 Australian open lots of experts were quick to jump on the “Federer has lost it” bandwagon. Even though for the entire 2009, Federer seemed to have been struggling with his game the fighter in him came to the fore.

The elusive French open title followed by the Wimbledon last year indeed made the year unforgettable for the champion. During the course of which Roger upstaged another great Champion Pete Sampras when he overtook the latter’s tally of 14 titles during his Wimbledon victory. The brilliant year though ended with a disappointing loss in the US Open to Del Potro in an epic five setter.

In spite of that heart breaking loss I would say that Federer achieved his dream of winning the French open which remained elusive to Pete throughout his career. The 2010 though seems to have begun in the right earnest for the champion. He seems to have gotten back his form and confidence as he was largely untroubled on his way to the title. Seems like good times are back for the Federer’s fans and I hope that he goes on to win more titles this year and continues to scale more peaks.

Somdev and Sania advance

It was a fantastic day for Indian tennis fans as two Indians advanced to the second round of a Grand Slam. Somdev and Sania both reached the second round in singles at the Flushing Meadows yesterday.

Somdev beat Frederico Gil of portugal 6-3,6-4,6-3 to advance to the second round of Men’s singles. Sania Mirza though struggled but held pn to beat Olga Govortsova 6-2,3-6,6-3 to advance to the second round of the US open.

I guess this is the first time we have seen two Indians reach the second round of a major Grand Slam tournament in singles. Congrats to both of them and I hope that they carry on and win more games.

US Open begins today – Federer looks for his 6th title

Federer hot favorite to claim his 6th US open title

Federer hot favorite to claim his 6th US open title

US Open begins today and unlike last year, Federer is the overwhelming favorite to win his 6th title. Nadal is back after missing French and Wimbledon and will also be a strong contender for the title. For Roger though this will be another record equaling win if he manages to win the title this year. I am sure he is not the one to chase records but this will surely be on his mind.

Andy Roddick and Andy Murray will also be in the race for the title as both of them have beaten Fed this year. In the women’s section, it’s difficult to look past the Williams sisters as they have been so dominant. Even though there is Sharapova, Demetiava and Safina in the mix, it will take a lot from them to defeat the sisters.

For Indians it will be a great championship as Somdev Devvarman has made it to the main draw this year. Hopefully he can win some rounds and make our country proud. Ever since Leander reached the third round in Australian open about a decade back, there has been no significant achievement in singles by an Indian in Grand Slam. Let’s see how far Somdev can go this year. He will be playing later today.

But this year’s championship again belongs to arguably the greatest player in tennis. He just broke Pete Sampras’s record for most titles and won French and Wimbledon back to back and now he is chasing his 6th US open title. He is the most popular champion in tennis and it’s hard to find anyone who hates him. I wish him all the best for the championship and also congratulate him on becoming a father. Go FedEx!

Federer not the focus this time

Roger Federer not the overwhelming favorite for US Open

Roger Federer not the overwhelming favorite for US Open

US Open is nearing its completion and for the first time in 5 years Federer is not the favorite to win this championship. Federer has lost to Nadal in two grand slam finals this year which included his shock defeat in Wimbledon. Federer who has won US Open 4 times before this and is the defending champion this year finds himself not in the headlines for the first time. Djokovic defeating him in the Australian and Nadal defeating him French and Wimbledon has given the others the confidence that they can also beat him.

This might actually work to Federer’s advantage as the focus this time is shifted to Nadal and he is the number one player this tournament. Federer this time has less pressure as people have realised that he can be beaten. Even though the champion himself would want to shrug off the bad performances this year in the Grand slam finals to win his 13th.

I am an ardent fan of Roger Federer and I am sure that he will make a grand comeback. The great champion that he is will surely want to end this year on a high note. This will be first year since he won the wimbledon in 2003 that he will end with out a major title if he doesnt win US open. I am sure that Federer will continue to win more slams and break Sampras’s record and once again become the number one player in the world.

Good luck to Federer as he will be playing his quarterfinals match against G.Muller later today.