Roland Garros Semi: Transit of Genius
Up a break in the first set, goes on to lose the first set.
Up a double break in the second set, loses both, gains another break advantage, loses the next 4 games to concede the set.
Some things have to be written down to be believed.
In many ways, all of us expected this. There has been something just slightly off with Federer’s game ever since the start of the tournament. It’s hard to put a finger on it, especially as Federer continues to insist that he is physically well again after some minor niggles post-Madrid.
But even McFudd has to concede that he has been struggling inexplicably all tournament to find “riddum”.
In the French part of his press conference after the semis, Federer speculated that his hip issue in Madrid and Rome might have left him mentally a little unsure about his own body during Roland Garros.
Q. You said that your season on clay had its ups and downs due to physical injuries. Would you say that this is what you paid here at Roland Garros, all these physical difficulties?
ROGER FEDERER: No, physically I feel good. What I said before is that today was my best day physically speaking if I look at the past months.
When I practiced the week after Madrid I was okay, then I hurt myself a little, and then for three or four weeks I knew I’d feel this physically. But then the pain vanished after Rome. I was happy on this side.
I played this side as well, so mentally afterwards you don’t want to hit too strongly. Who knows? You know, I tried to find other solutions in my game, but it was a good season on clay.
I would have liked to do better here at Roland Garros. I’m supported so much, and I won in 2009, also. So I wanted to reexperience this. Unfortunately, it was not possible at all during these two weeks.
For my part, I think the biggest different between Federer at Roland Garros and at tournaments earlier in the season has been his questionable decision-making on court. Throughout Roland Garros, Federer has looked at times panicked and in two minds about what he wants to do in the middle of a point, resulting in alternating spurts of genius and WTFuckery.
Compared to my normal hysteria over Roger’s slam losses, Roland Garros 2012 has left me relatively muted and unfazed. Federer has had a strong year, and one bad tournament (in which he still made the semis and gave himself plenty of chances to pull ahead) does not annul any of the good tennis he has played in 2012. Nor does it really affect his upcoming chances on grass.
So to all those vultures eager to bring back talks of retirement after just one less than optimal result, I have 2 words for you:
There is no question that Federer has been transiting to the latter stages of his career, no one is delusional enough to deny the cold hard figures of age. But let’s look at the bigger 2012 picture here: Federer has –
1) repeatedly declared his love for tennis and his intention to keep
torturing me playing,
2) played tremendously so far, winning 4 titles (2 of which are Masters), and reaching No 2 again, and
3) put himself in a good position for the rest of the Northern Hemisphere summer to move up in the rankings.
Not too shabby for a old gramps with a bad hip, eh?