Thursday, 31 July 2008

Fed on borrowed time

It seems like a long time ago that Rafa was suggesting Djoko would over take him in rankings. After his shock defeat in Rome he said:

"The logical thing is that he goes past me here in Hamburg, or at Roland Garros or Wimbledon."

But since then he's racked up a 29 match winning streak on 3 different surfaces.

Meanwhile Federer is still shaking off the lingering Wimbledon hang-over, struggling to get past Ginepri and (as we speak) Karlovic. And as everyone knows Rafa will unseat Roger if he wins Cincy and Fed fails to make the semis.

And no matter what happens over this weekend an imminent change at the top looks almost inevitable. Roger's likely to be a victim of his own success.

He usually rules throughout the summer hard court and end of season events. But of course this means victory in Cincy or New York, or the Masters, will effectively be tredding water in the rankings contest, whilst Rafa can eat into his lead by surpassing his comparatively poor performance in the second half of the year.

I know this sounds a bit defeatist - and true champions like Federer simply don't think this way - but I don't think it is necessarily so bad for Federer.

It will hurt his pride - and perhaps his confidence - to slip to number two, but also gives him a chance to take it a bit easier in the second half of the year, flush out any last effects of the mono, and come back re-charged in 09.

Or maybe Nadal will go out in the first round of the Olympics or the US and Roger will march on! After all, its been a mixed up kinda year...

1 comment:

freakyfrites said...

Hey Steve,

I tried posting this last night - perhaps I had one too many margaritas and didn't press send.

Just wanted to say that I really liked the reminder of where Rafa was earlier this season. Shows how quickly things can change on the tour - and how amazing Rafa's run has been!