Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless, had a little bit of trouble with his racket.
The Swiss had a racket problem, and that problem is probably the reason that he lost in the finals of the US Open and then the Australian Open.
At his peak, Federer would have been capable of beating the best men’s players in the sport, but he’s not anymore. Instead he is a shadow of his former self, and the reason for this is a lack of talent and consistency that’s been plaguing him since he was 22.
What Federer does have is power. He can strike deep into the ball and strike it with great precision. But he often fails to maintain that power in rallies, which makes it tough for him to win in big matches against the top players.
After Federer’s first retirement match in 2009, ESPN commentator Jeff Borzello told the world, “I’ve never seen a player have a match like this.”
It’s true. The game of tennis became a spectacle, and Federer’s matches were a nightmare. When he lost, he wasn’t losing in a fashion like he had lost before. The ball would often leave his racquet and fly wildly into the stands or bounce directly off his foot as he was in the process of taking a hit on serve.
Federer would hit the ball so hard that he would seem to be hitting for real, and he would hit it so low that it looked like he was hitting for real. He would hit it so deep that it looked like he was hitting for real.
It seemed like every shot he took seemed to be a winner. And it looked like every win was a win. He lost in the semis and he won the title in straight sets. Yet there was obviously something wrong with Federer.
He had a racquet problem.