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Rediff.com  » Sports » Down but not out, declares Federer

Down but not out, declares Federer

June 27, 2013 20:13 IST

Down but not out, declares Federer

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Roger Federer's astonishing defeat to a Ukrainian journeyman in the second round at Wimbledon marked the arrival of a new world order in tennis but for the Swiss master this was definitely not the end of an era.

When the new ATP standings are released on July 8, they will show that the holder of a record 17 grand slam titles has slipped to fifth in the world after he failed to defend the 2000 points he amassed by hoisting the Challenge Cup last July.

It will be his lowest ranking since June 2003.


Image: Roger Federer takes a break during his match against Sergiy Stakhovsky
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

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'You don't panic at this point'

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While fans and pundits alike were busy speculating if this was the beginning of the end for the greatest man to have ever wielded a tennis racket, Federer pooh-poohed the notion.

"You don't panic at this point, that's clear. Just go back to work and come back stronger really," said Federer after he failed to reach the second week of Wimbledon for the first time since 2002 following his four-set defeat by Sergiy Stakhovsky.

"It's normal that after all of a sudden losing early after being in the quarters 36 times (in a row), people feel it's different," he added.

"(But) I have more options now than I did have one year ago when I was running around trying to chase down every possible tournament and every point to get back to world No. 1.

"Maybe that, and the Olympics last year, took its toll. But overall I think I've been playing actually not so bad."

 


Image: Federer congratulates Sergiy Stakhovsky
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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12 months ago Federer won a record-equalling seventh title

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The problem is that for Federer, who said himself a few years ago that he had 'created a monster' by winning so much, a second-round defeat on a court he has ruled for a decade is not only bad, it is off the Richter scale.

After all, this is the man who has won 67 times at Wimbledon, 122 matches on grass, 257 at the four majors and 905 matches in his career.

Twelve months ago he was the toast of southwest London after winning a record-equalling seventh title and climbing back to the top of the world rankings.

Nowhere is he loved more than at Wimbledon, where he epitomises everything the club represents - grace, elegance and charm.

So much so that a new book 'Wimbledon - The Official History' has dedicated 75 of its hefty 552 pages to waxing lyrical about the great man's records and achievements.

 


Image: A dejected Federer wonders what went wrong against Stakhovsky
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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'I still have plans to play for many more years to come'

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Image: Roger Federer
Photographs: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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