rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Below par Federer risks missing out on trip to London

Below par Federer risks missing out on trip to London

October 17, 2013 12:27 IST

Below par Federer risks missing out on trip to London

     Next

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

Going by current form and placement, Bikash Mohapatra says it won’t come as a surprise if the Swiss maestro fails to qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour finals.

Rafael Nadal is through. So is defending champion Novak Djokovic. Former finalists David Ferrer (2007) and Juan Martin del Potro (2009) have also made the cut.

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has announced his withdrawal following a back surgery. And Roger Federer is struggling to qualify.

The race for a spot in the season-ending ATP World Tour finals is on, with four spots up for grabs, and Federer, a six-time champion at the event, is yet to make the cut.

Going by current form and placement, it won’t come across as a surprise if the Swiss maestro fails to qualify – for the first time since 2001. Should it happen it will be a shame, considering he has dominated the event in the last decade – winning it six times in eight final appearances and compiling a 42-9 match record.

However, at the moment, it seems a distinct possibility.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

     Next

A forgettable year

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

Federer has had a forgettable year, by his standards (for that matter any standards), compiling a 36-13 match record thus far, his lone title having come in a nondescript 250 series event at Halle. Not since 2002 – his initial years – has he had to endure such a terrible year in terms of results.

Save a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open, the Swiss was also way below his best in the year’s other three majors, his second round exit at the All England Club being a personal low at an event he dominated in recent years.

The indifferent form saw Federer drop down in the rankings and, currently, he stands eighth in the race to London, one spot behind compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

Though Murray has pulled out, the race for the remaining four spots in the blue ribbon event at O2 Arena is going down to the wire.

With the in-form Tomas Berdych and Wawrinka ahead, and the likes of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Milos Raonic breathing down his neck, the Swiss is facing the heat.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Prev     Next

To say that Federer is way past his best would be an understatement

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Bikash Mohapatra

Since his title triumph at Halle in June, Federer has failed to reach another final. In his first tournament appearance since his shock early exit at the US Open, he couldn’t get past the second round, and a certain Gael Monfils – a player he would otherwise have beaten comfortably, in the Shanghai Masters.

The disappointing results have prompted the Swiss player to part ways with his coach, Paul Annacone. However, that can be construed as nothing but pre-empted action.

To say that Federer is way past his best would be an understatement. In fact, his career has witnessed a steady decline in the past three-four years.


Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Prev     Next

Rethinking about the future

Prev     More
Prev

More
Bikash Mohapatra

It was to his credit that he won at least one big title in each of these years – Australian Open (2010), ATP World Tour finals (2011) and Wimbledon (2012).

Though Federer has two more events – the 500 series tournament at Basel and the Paris Masters – to seal a spot in London, current form suggests it is going to be an uphill task, especially considering the fact that both Tsonga (in Vienna) and Gasquet (in Moscow) are playing this week.

Even Raonic has accepted a wild card at the Stockholm 250 series in his bid to qualify.

If Federer manages to make it to the season-ender it will offer him an opportunity to end an otherwise forgettable year on a high.

However, if the Swiss maestro fails to qualify for London it will reiterate the fact that he is now become a shadow of his own self and needs to do some serious rethinking about his future.


Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Joern Pollex/Getty Images

Prev     More