Will Federer miss out on a major in 2011?

April 25, 2011 - 0:0

Although it is wrong to deduce that Roger Federer is on the decline, it is clearly evident that the chasing pack has caught up in many respects with the Swiss ace. But can the unthinkable and unimaginable happen in 2011? Could Federer leave all the majors empty handed? It is a real possibility.

A testament to the gladiator of a man he is, Federer is still as hungry for major success despite already winning enough Grand Slam events to span three or four illustrious careers – never mind one.
Consequently, perhaps Federer’s drive has enhanced even more due to the hot competition which he currently faces in 2011, by far the best he has come across since he turned pro, inclusive of an ageing Pete Sampras.
Although rival Rafael Nadal has largely always held sway over the Swiss on clay, proven by the Spaniard’s stranglehold on the French Open, he now assumes the favourites tag in almost every event – including Wimbledon following his exceptional performances over Federer to claim two titles.
One questions how well Federer can continue to perform with the underdog tag around his neck – having trounced the rest of the ATP tour so effortlessly year after year when labelled as a constant favourite.
The sixteen times Grand Slam winner has to step up to the plate again. He will once more rank as an outsider when the French Open comes around in late May and the public’s expectation of him in that event will probably be at its least for a considerable period of time.
At his very best, he still holds all the right tools to win Wimbledon as he is the best natural grass court player on the circuit. That gap has only at times been bridged or accounted for by the grit, hard work and determination of players such as Nadal and of course Andy Roddick.
Anything but a runner-up showing at Roland Garros will disappoint Federer however and potentially leave him on the back foot for the rest of the season as the prospect of not winning a major event becomes a growing possibility.
The simple fact is that someone is likely to miss out. Djokovic already has his name on the score sheet having triumphed at the Australian Open earlier this year and on current form, it is going to take a super human effort to deny Nadal a sixth French Open title.
Whilst Federer is far from written off in the race for majors, he will have to produce and maintain his best form as an underdog and not a favourite, if he is to obtain more success.
(Source: 10balls)