He might be struggling in other majors, but when it`s the Wimbledon, Roger Federer is altogether a different athlete. They say the true greatness of a tennis player is measured at the All England Club. And the Swiss needs no reason why he is a legend, considering he has won seven of those championships.
There was a time when he along with Rafael Nadal dominated almost a decade at the All England club by playing in all 10 Wimbledon finals from 2003-12. It was only the rise of Novak Djokovic and the slump in Federer’s form which hindered the proceedings for the legendary duo.
They say, Federer is too old to win a major now. But that’s what they said when he was up against Andy Murray in 2012. Federer, then 30, defeated the local Briton in four sets. Even Murray, fighting tears in front of thousands of spectators, praised Federer by saying, “I was getting asked the other day after I won my semi-final, I was like…this is your best chance. Roger is 30 now. He is not bad for a 30-year-old. He played a great tournament, had some struggles early on with his back and showed what fight he still has left in himself.”
And while everybody thought it was a golden opportunity for Federer to draw curtains to his fabulous career, Federer had different plans. Much to the delight of his fans, he continued to play, however the spark was missing and he was ousted by several unseeded players in different Grand Slams. It included a second round defeat at the hands of Sergiy Stakhovsky (World No. 116 then) in a huge upset.
But it has been a very impressive show by the Swiss maestro in Wimbledon 2014. He looked in total control in most of the matches and even though his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka took a one-set lead in their quarter-final outing, Federer bounced back and won the next three sets to send him packing. The experts too believe that Federer is playing some of the best tennis we have seen from him over the years, and this year`s championship is his best chance to add another glittering trophy to his overcrowded cabinet.
Federer is now up against Milos Raonic, who has created history by becoming the first Canadian in more than a century to reach the men`s semi-finals at Wimbledon. Even though Raonic is known for his big serves, he is yet to win a match against Federer who has defeated him in all four meetings in the past. And in case if we don`t witness any more upsets, Wimbledon is all set for another high-octane clash between Federer and Novak Djokovic in the final.
There is tremendous pressure on Federer to end his career on a high. He is running out of time and his ardent fans, who want him to play forever, too want him to end his career with a Grand Slam. Federer too, would now want to spend maximum time with his family, which recently turned bigger.
Thus, to meet all these expectations, he will have to play his best tennis, for two more matches, on a ground where the crowd loves him like nobody else. Will he retire if he wins Wimbledon 2014? Well, you can`t predict that with Roger Federer.