What is going on? This must be the question in the head of all Federer's fans. Many have thought that a W in Estoril is a sure thing once Federer got himself in the semi, after all, the man rarely loses after reaching this far, especially in a semi-small tournament. But, long and behold, Federe lost, and in only 2 sets, to a player no one will think twice about on a regular basis. Where does he go from here?
Is the problem technical, mental, physical? Or is Federer just getting older? While modern sports science/techonologies are helping athletes to prolong their career, in the contrary, technological advancements in the game of tennis seems to shorten the careers of most pros. The imporved equipments augment the importance of physicla fitness and exposes the problems with aging (28 to 30 is relatively old in the game of tennis). Balls are being striked harder, your reaction seems a fraction slower, the court is THAT MUCH bigger, and you feel that extra bit of tireness the morning after a long battle.
Only Federer will know what is going on in his head, or in his body. And while re-grouping is definitely in order, should he keep playing or take some time off? After all he's the defending champion at Roland Garros and given that Nadal is in the field this year, I'm sure Federer is looking for a strong showing. But unless something clicks, we might be expecting a quarter-final lost. An early exit from the clay grand slam might be better, since he can call it a fluke, but if he loses around the round of 16, it means he's losing to quality, not great, but quality players, which would spell trouble. Federer had been in slumps before and bounced back, and he has set the standard SO high, it'll be interesting to see if he can climb back to the top of Mount Federer again.