It was the year 2012 and I was in USA for a work-related visit to the corporate headquarters. Wimbledon 2012 was going on. When Federer beat Djokovic in the Semi-Finals, it was obvious that he would be the firm favorite in the Finals, against Andy Murray. Though Federer would go on to lose the first set, it proved to be just a blip on the way to Grand Slam No: 17. Considering the (relatively tough) 2011 and considering that on top of the already existing great rival Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic also entered the fray as a major obstacle in Federer’s path to more Grand Slams, I wrote this blog:
The next 4 years (2013-2016) did nothing to dispel the above thought from my mind, as a Federer fan, although the gradual decline (not a rapid fall-off, as Federer was still competing in the later stages of Grand Slams and he was (in general) losing to only people like Nadal, Djokovic Etc.) was very impressive, one could not escape the fact that Federer is 5 years (!!!) older than Nadal/Djokovic/Murray.
One major point I missed was the “way Federer plays”. He is very smooth on the court and glides like a ballet dancer. I.e. Less strain on the joints and body, in general. Barring the freak knee injury and the back strain of 2016, he has been quite healthy over his career. Please note that Federer is right up there in terms of consecutive Grand Slam appearances (65!), which means for 16 years Federer did not miss one Grand Slam. How is that for staying fit and healthy? And when he did make an appearance in a Grand Slam, he was not exactly twiddling his thumbs … 20 Grand Slam titles, 30 Grand Slam Finals, 43 Semi-Finals, 52 Quarter-Finals Etc.
At a time when his great rivals Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and Wawrinka are struggling with various injuries (Mainly due to their grinding and unforgiving style of play), Federer, at the grand “old” age of 36, is merrily chugging along …
A tribute from http://www.atpworldtour.com:
Nowadays, it seems like Federer is on a “Farewell Tour”, where the crowds (anywhere in the World) adores him and every match seems like a home-court match. How long will we get to enjoy his peerless tennis?