To put Federer's 2012 and his prospects for next years in perspective :
Federer won Wimbledon 2012 at nearly 31 years old (short by one month).
That's the same age which Laver, Sampras, Connors had when they won their final slam. All of them together only played one more slam final
: Connors next year was crushed in Wimbledon final by McEnroe.
The only ones in the open era who won slams at an older age are Arthur Ashe (32 years old) in Wimbledon 1975, Agassi at 32 years and 9 months, Gimeno in a French open without most top-players at 34 years and 10 months old, and the one the only freaking ... Ken Rosewall, who was already 33 years old when the open era started and still won 4 slams and played 4 other finals, his last win at 37 years old, his last final at nearly 40 years old
Sampras was far from number 1 when he won that last slam, Connors was near from it and had got it a few weeks before, Laver was undoubtedly the best player then as he won the calendar grand slam. But none of them got the number 1 again.
It mostly leaves Agassi as the one example of a guy who still managed at an older age to win one slam and lose two finals, and get to number 1 in a quite weak era.
Then you see why my main goal now for Fed is just to stay in the top-4 ... as Connors and Agassi still managed to do until 34, that means until 2015 : see where the Rio 2016 perspective comes from ?
I don't think it's really the Olympics which are the real reason of that "project 2016". 35 years old just looks like a reasonable age to retire still being among top-players even though being able to win one slam and even to reach one final from now to 35 would still look like a big big performance. But well Connors and Agassi still played many semifinals
for those interested, I just made a thread with the oldest grand slam finalists of the open era ( http://www.menstennisforums.com/show...7#post12597277
). I also realized that 27 years old already looked quite old to reach a slam final : Borg, Mcenroe, Wilander didn't reach a slam final from that age, and even Stefan Edberg reached his last slam final precisely at 27 years old, nomore final for him from them. And why is 27 years old also interesting ? because it will be the age Nadal will be during Roland-Garros this year
I just say all that to put things in perspective, especially because some think not to understand that Federer is indeed ageing and that what he did in 2012 was a very big performance (not only winning Wimbledon : 3 Masters 1000 and a WTF Final for God's sake ! H2Hs equal -or nearly for Djokovic- with all of his young great opponents-) which will probably not happen again (well of course I would love him still to win one slam in his carreer and 18 sounds better than 17 imo