Federer cannot entirely let his head down.
After all, he reached the finals of three clay court tournaments. He won one of them, at Hamburg by beating the king of clay – Nadal. Although the win lost the pop, since Nadal was clearly tired, nevertheless it was the first time he had achieved that on clay.
He was able to get rid of Roche. Although still without the FO title, that decision and change, seemed to invigorate and energise him for the remainder of the season.
He surely grew up in a hurry in the last four months. He has to take it as a learning experience, and use it as a building block to place the rest of his career on.
He will be 26 in two months. That is like starting a whole new career from the ground up. Only one player has won 6 majors after that age – Lendl. So it can be fruitful and gratifying, but more importantly possible.
You think Lendl retooled his arsenal and the whole game plan including his physical regimen to stay in the mix? You bet.
Now that the whole ordeal is over, Federer needs to step back and spend some alone time in his office, with a pencil and a note pad. Even Mirka has to be out – shopping?
He needs to reflect and make notes, with all the stats in front of him, to accurately and strategically plan his move for the second part of his career. He had a brilliant first half despite the last few months. No one can take away anything from that incredible ’out of the world’ run. He and his fans should be immensely proud.
Limiting any activity that does not involve being on the practice court, or at the drawing board in the office, would be a great start. We all know, great players of the past had talent, but what got them that ‘great’ label, was because they worked harder than everybody else, on and off the court.
Sampras, Lendl and Agassi are perfect examples. They all went through the peaks and valleys in their career. But invariably hard work and laser focus, to the exclusion of practically everything else in the world, got them back on track.
There is no other way. When you are going down, more often than not, it means that you are being out worked. The other guy is working harder and with lot more focus.
There is no short cut. As they say ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how bad you want it’.
Roger, we all know and admire the mountain of talent that you are. Many people around the whole world have been moved by your unbelievable abilities, both on and off the court. I know, for sure, you have provided many people a reason to live and live a positve life.
You have set the bar so high that people from across the board have crossed every conceivable boundary – religion, nationality, culture, language, you name it – to gravitate and admire you, more as a human being than as a tennis player. A rare feat in today’s world.
We stand together to salute you for the flood of positive energy you have generated across the world.
We love you and anxiously await your return to the mountain top. We dearly miss you there.