Standing in his way are the two brightest faces of tennis and the top two ranked professional tennis players in the world, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Federer has been unable to defeat either of his foes while attempting to capture his 17th Grand Slam title. Now the question is, what does Federer have left?
Most pro tennis stars see their careers take a nosedive after turning the big 3-0, but Federer appears to be a different breed of athlete. He conditions himself extremely well and knows his limitations. He does not participate in quite the number of tournaments he used to, but that can also be attributed to more family time and needed rest.
And while he has only one major win since the commencement of this decade, he has made it to the quarterfinals or beyond in each of his last 29 Grand Slam events, including the past two seasons.
Statistics aside, Federer might be the greatest tennis player of all time purely from watching some of his signature between-the-legs returns or his smooth backhands. His finesse yet confident, strong style became a world-class feat from the time he won his first Grand Slam tournament, the 2003 Wimbledon championship.
Whether Federer can muster up enough amazing shots to win the 2011 U.S. Open will be one of the event’s more intriguing story lines. From watching Federer play at Wimbledon last month, he seems to have the talent to bring home a few more trophies. However, he will need to do it with a combination of physical ability, and focus and strategy.
Feder is at a point in his career where he must out-think Djokovic and Nadal to beat them, especially Nadal, against whom Federer has had his fair share of troubles. The man who has won five consecutive U.S. Opens can find a way to win, if he plays to his strengths.
What does the future hold for the most recognized tennis player in the world? Roger Federer is probably not ready to give up his racket, nor should tennis fans be deprived of this master athlete so soon. He represents a new age of tennis and gives the sport a quality image, while continuing to be a fan favorite.
But for Roger Federer, as for all of us, age brings changes and he will need to adapt his game along the way, until he decides that there is a commentator’s chair with his name on it.