Is time up at the top for Roger Federer? Arguably the greatest tennis player ever to play the game will miss the Olympics, the US Open and the rest of the season due to knee and body injury issues. Another blow in a year he would rather forget, he has not even won a title. An early knee injury after the Australian Open set him back and in his couple of appearances during the clay court season he didn’t look himself, was nowhere near his usual high standards and he ultimately missed the French Open in its entirety due to a back injury to allow himself to make sure he was right for the grass court season and an assault on Wimbledon. Improvements were noted despite two semi-final defeats in Stuttgart and Halle then at SW19 he progressed serenely, without dropping a set in the opening four rounds, though he did have a ‘gimme’ draw but his performance in coming from two sets down to beat Marin Cilic in the quarter finals gave a lot of his fans (and himself) hope that he could win an 8th title, especially as Novak Djokovic had been knocked out early in the tournament. However Milos Raonic ended the dream in yet another tournament semi-final defeat this year, during the final set of that match he had treatment on his knee and struggled throughout the final stages. Now his season is over and the chances of him now winning the one major singles honour that has eluded him, the Olympic title, are virtually nil, as he would be in his 39th year come the next one in 2020.
LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL?
The plan for the Swiss legend now will be to get back to full fitness for next season. There have been signs throughout the year that he is more than capable of being the mercurial Fed we are used to seeing but this has occurred far too sporadically, consistency has not been his forte through 2016. Maybe its the injuries that have taken their toll which is something new to him as he has not had the setbacks some of his other peers in the game have had through their careers, Rafa Nadal being a great example. He will go into the 2017 season, yes with a lack of match play and having to overcome the clear benchmarks of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as well as a host of up and comers such as Milos Raonic, but he will be fresh and raring to go hoping to give himself another couple of years at the top table of Tennis. He will lose ranking points from the end of this year, which will more than likely make him a dangerous lower seed than normal to play, but it also means that whilst his last 12 months will not have been great (actually poor for a man of his stature and capability with a tennis racket in his hand), he will not have that many points to defend throughout next year. He knows himself sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards and maybe this time next year he may well have added to his total of 17 Grand Slams titles – something that is foremost in his mind as his last one of Wimbledon 2012 is a long long long time ago, too long if you ask him.
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