Some of you Federer fans really do take that Foster Wallace piece literally apparently and it is a religious experience for you.
Federer can have a dip in form and still be in his prime. But more importantly, players like Karlovic, Blake, Fish and Roddick SHOULD have occasionally beaten Federer. The odd thing would be that they NEVER beat him, not that they beat him once or twice.
The only one having a religious experience is you: somehow surmising that Federer is either an immortal or buddies with Ponce De Leon and found the fountain of youth, all in a hollow attempt to boost Djokovic's resume which is entirely unnecessary. Yes, those players should occasionally beat Federer but they never
did. Now, suddenly, in 2008, all
of them defeat him, and some of them rather easily -- stick your head in the sand if you like but this is very clear evidence Federer's level most certainly
What IS hard to follow is that a man is 26 yet somehow out of his tennis prime such that his loss to Nadal in the FO open where he was obliterated had nothing to do with an unreal performance from Nadal but rather it's all about with a premature decline from one of the sport's fittest players at 26.
There is probably no evidence that will impact the mindset that produces the idea that Federer at 26, in the middle of winning slams etc, was not in his prime.
Soph has posted player after player who's career went on a downslide at 26, many of them champions. Sometimes it's about age, sometimes it's about mileage, sometimes it's about pyschology but the facts and precedence are there plain as day -- just because you don't like it, or don't want to believe it, doesn't make it any less true.