Roger – sliced and diced by rampant Djokovic.

8 Jun

Federer practice session The Swiss maestro, Roger Federer – eyes on the ball, executes a slice backhand against Novak Djokovic.

There is a crack appearing in the male tennis fraternity’s famous ATP Big 4. Yes it is true the past 2 years have seen many semi finals fought between ATP #1 Novak Djokovic,  # 2 Raphael Nadal, #3 Roger Federer and #4 Andy Murray. While matches are highly contested and other contenders bob up (Del Potro, Raonic, Ferrer) – the reality has been the big 4 is an exclusive club.

Well not any more. The first to be cast aside was Scotland’s Andy Murray – no slam titles, injuries and a mounting sense of vulnerability – even from his own statements about the strengths of the others. Murray, one feels, was probably always only included as a guest in Big 4 discussions without any real fabric to support the argument. So big 3?

While Rafa and Roger have been swapping the #2 ranking over the past month, reality stared us down last night. Roger Federer is that special type of “generational”athlete. He has always been the exception to many of the basic fundamentals of our sport. Many coaches qualify comments to young players with – “well of course, except for Roger” when chastising a player for an audacious shot selection. He is one out of the box – there is no comparison. He is fluent, graceful, potent, surgical in his execution of his opponents.

Federer is also 30 – and the way he was brushed aside by Novak Djokovic was alarming. The writing has probably been on the wall for sometime, and perhaps many of us have ignored the signs. Roger Federer is proud and he knows Wimbledon will level the playing field. But for now it is the Big 2.


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