I know what you’re thinking, “a tennis post? really?” Well sorry fans, that’s exactly what you’re getting, especially since it could be a significant day for the sport. Roger Federer, arguably the best of all-time, lost today in the Wimbledon Quarterfinals to Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Federer won the first two sets before collapsing and losing in five, and looking lackadaisical while doing so.
The discussion has been out there for the last few years, but this could be the right time to really kick the tires after a bad loss on his best surface: the grass at The All England. He has not won a Grand Slam since the 2010 Aussie Open and only reached one final since then, this year’s French where he was summarily dismissed by Rafa Nadal in 4 sets. Fed has lost in the Quarters in three of the last eight Slams. Between 2004 and the 2010 Aussie Open, he was eliminated before the Semifinals in any Slam only ONCE (losing in the 3rd Round of the ’04 French to former champion Gustavo Kuerten). That is absolutely sick domination. But now, his struggles are becoming more apparent. Although he’s 29 (turning 30 before this year’s US Open), he’s stayed healthy…which means he’s played A LOT of tennis on those legs. It’d be understandable if he’s starting to get a little bored, a little burned out. For God’s sake, the guy has won 81% of his matches in his career, amassing a record of 781-182 and over $63M in career winnings…insane.
Arguably (because what else do opinions elicit), tennis is an all-time low in regards to interest. American men’s tennis is a joke (don’t get me started on Andy Roddick). Gone are those halcyon days of Agassi-Sampras, McEnroe-Connors and outside the top 4 in the world, nobody has heard of any men’s tennis player alive, actually more like outside of Federer and Nadal. Unlike golf, there aren’t many up and comers. Nadal has been playing for years and who knows how much more tennis his legs can take. Novak Djokovic (probably playing the best tennis in the world right now) and Andy Murray (never won a major) sit in the top four, can they carry the torch? Let’s hope so, because we need guys like Federer around. Winning and repetition can get boring and people get sick of the same old, same old. Tell that to the PGA Tour and fans of golf, dying for the return of “The Old Tiger.” Or maybe that’s just a personal desire. Nothing makes me happier than seeing guys like Tiger or Jordan winning and ripping the hearts out of fools on the field of play. Let’s get back to that in tennis because it’s a great sport. Here’s hoping a prodigy like Rory McIlroy gets his ass in gear and take the tennis world by storm. Also…I hope he’s an American. U-S-A! U-S-A!