Glenn Cullen examines whether or not the Swiss maestro has another Grand Slam victory left in him.
He has a men’s record 16 grand slam titles, enjoyed a record of 237 weeks as world No.1 and is generally regarded as the greatest tennis player of all time. But should Roger Federer be contemplating retirement while he’s still near the top?
The Swiss maestro has just turned 30 and one has to wonder where his next slam is coming from. With the ever-present Rafael Nadal and the rise of Novak Djokovic in the first half of 2011, No.17 is looking a long way away.
Federer has not won a slam in his last six attempts – his longest stretch since snaring his first major crown at Wimbledon eight years ago. The US Open starting August 30 (AEST) is his last shot in 2011.
The good news for Fed fans is while he’ll forever be linked to the All England club at Wimbledon his record at Flushing Meadows is nothing to sneeze at. Five consecutive wins between 2004 and 2008 and a finals and semi-finals appearance over the last two years.
Will Roger have an Indian summer and capture titles after turning 30 like Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras did? Or will he fade away just like his gold man bag and the Sergeant Peppers jacket he sported at Wimbledon two years ago? Will Nadal, Djokovic and perhaps even our own Bernard Tomic become grand slam linchpins?
And what of the Williams sisters – are they too a fading force? Serena may be larger than life in some of her skin tight suits but has spent a big chunk of the last 12 months out injured. She never would have lost to Marion Bartoli in her pomp – as she did in the Wimbledon fourth round this year – but her stunning victory last month at Stanford suggests there’s some fight in the fashionista yet. At 31 and three years without a slam, things may not be as rosy for big sister Venus though. And then there’s Aussie Sam Stosur. Has the major window closed on our great hope? Who do you see as the main contenders for the US Open?