Can Roger Federer Bounce Back? Does He Even Want To?

Can Roger Federer Bounce Back? Does He Even Want To?

This year’s Wimbledon final loss of Roger Federer to Rafael Nadal was, in Roger’s words, the most painful loss he’s had in his career so far.

Roger Federer lost the final of Wimbledon 2008
C. Brunskill / Getty Images
And it shows in two ways:

Roger has lost confidence and belief in his sometimes almost supernatural abilities, and thus doesn’t use them, and so fails to blow his opponents off the court; and
His opponents see that he is not as dominant as he used to be, and that they even have a chance of beating him.
The recent results also show this trend. Roger lost in the first round of the Toronto Masters to an almost unknown player called Giles Simon, barely won in 3 sets to Ginepri and eventually lost to Ivo Karlovic in the third round of the Cincinnati tournament.

It’s obvious that Roger is not at his best at the moment. When asked about the #1 ranking now being threatened by Rafael Nadal, Roger said that he does not care about that. He is focused on winning the Olympics and the next Grand Slam, namely the US Open.

So how can Roger bounce back from this slump to his previous domination? Does Roger actually plan to do that?

First, in my opinion, he won’t be as dominant as he used to be, ever. His motivation has changed. Before, he wanted to become #1 in the world, he wanted to win every tournament he played in, and he wanted to prove every time that he is the best player in the world.

His goal has now narrowed down to almost just one thing: beating the Grand Slam record of 14 titles held by Pete Sampras and winning the French Open, the only Grand Slam title he hasn’t won yet.

If Roger really doesn’t care about being #1, he won’t give 100% effort in practice and in matches not played in a Grand Slam.

Roger has won 55 ATP titles, 12 Grand Slams, has been #1 for a record 235 weeks and has accumulated enough money to live comfortably for the rest of his life. Therefore, he has lost some of the obsessive motivation needed to stay the best of the best.

Consider Rafael Nadal’s motivation. He has been overshadowed by Federer both on and off the court (advertising) for the last 4 years, has been #2 continuously, and, although very successful on clay courts, has never won the Australian or US Open or the year ending Masters Championships.

And Nadal clearly says that his main goal at the moment is becoming #1 in the world. This will happen on the 18th of August when the new ATP rankings are announced!


The danger for Federer is this though: the media, players and people will fall into this pattern of repeating the story that Federer is done, that he is not the player he was, and so on.

And Roger must not listen to them because if he starts believing that his abilities have somehow changed, he won’t fight to the end, and he won’t go for his shots when needed – thus he won’t be the supreme player he can continue to be.

But the reality is this. Roger Federer is an exceptional player who is able to beat anyone on any surface when he is on his game. His goals have changed though, and he won’t be able to play at his best with only half of the motivation in non-Grand Slam events.

But that doesn’t mean that he is NOT CAPABLE of winning more Grand Slams. This is what means the most to him. Roger wants to enter the record books as the best player ever, and it’s the Grand Slams that determine that, not another title in Cincinnati or Toronto.

Every player eventually drops from the #1 rankings, but that doesn’t mean that he / she is not capable of winning against anyone or winning more titles.

My prediction is that Roger will stay in the top #3 throughout the next 3 years, will swap the #1 spot with Nadal and possibly Djokovic often, and will eventually overcome Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams.

But he will never dominate the rankings and tournaments in the way that he used to do.

Related posts:

Federer Vs. Sampras Grand Slam Comparison – Who Had a Tougher Job?
5 Reasons Why Nadal Beat Federer in the Wimbledon 2008 Final
Roger Federer On The Verge Of Another Record
Why Djokovic, Soderling And Berdych Can Beat Federer But Not Nadal
How To Improve Your Motivation For Playing Tennis

Essential Tennis Instruction – FREE Video Lessons on How to Improve Your Serve

This entry was posted on Monday, August 4th, 2008 at 10:25 pm and is filed under Roger Federer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Can Roger Federer Bounce Back? Does He Even Want To?”
Alfian Abdul Halin Says:
August 5th, 2008 at 12:14 am
I am a big fan of Roger. And to see him fall in all of the major tournaments is very2 saddening. On the sidelines, i think it’s quite true what u are writing… or maybe it’s another point of view?

Anyway… like all great things… it cannot last forever. Only GOD is forever lasting 🙂 Federer I believe, still has what it takes to win more grand slams. And who knows, regain the world number1 (if he loses it), and definitely break Samprs’ record of 14 GS. But now, its his time to fall.. because he’s been on top for soo long… but he’s falling maybe because he might only be able to hold on to his confidence to a certain limit. And what an impressive limit that is (5 years!)…. now i think he’s dropping a bit in psychology… and hes starting to break under the pressures that he so vehemently put aside for the past 5 years.

But all is not loss, for I know that he will use all of this as a (painful) learning experience 🙁 He will turn all of this into his strength… and when that eventually happens, God willing, his level of tennis will be something that is totally out of this world… and the dominion of Roger Federer will once more prevail… (until the next fall or course… for he is not God 😛 )

Besides, it’s just this 1 year. 2008 is really bad for him. 2009 will insya-Allaah be a new year for him to shine once again! 😀


Venus Neptuna Says:
August 6th, 2008 at 10:54 pm
Yes Federer will bounce back regardless the fall of two major losses. I have the hope in him that he will defend his titile in the US open. He need confident and get rid of the pressure and he will be fine . Federer God is with you so cheer up and let by gone be by gone and focus on future things. He is still Federer express.


Tomaz Says:
August 31st, 2008 at 2:32 pm
Hey Lori,

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your predictions!