Another article I found today talks about Roger determined to hold on to his title. I like the analogy of Roger as Alec Guinness in the film, "The Nan in the White Suit. I don't know if anyone has seen this film but it is one of my favourites:
Federer determined to stretch his run as younger lions sense a way through Steve Bierley The Guardian, Monday June 23, 2008 Article history
In the climax to the Ealing comedy The Man in the White Suit Alec Guinness runs through the streets with his glowing white jacket and trousers falling apart as the chemical structure of the dirt-repelling fibres disintegrate. The mob rips pieces off his suit in triumph, until he is left standing in his underwear. Could it be that Roger Federer is, metaphorically, about to suffer the same indignity at the All England club sometime during the next fortnight?
His white jacket and long trousers, the prelude to his matches for the last couple of years, have seemed to enforce the world No1's invulnerability as he collected his fourth and fifth Wimbledon singles titles, the last two against Spain's Rafael Nadal. Mr Smooth. Mr Unbeatable. But this year is different, despite the fact that by winning the title at Halle in Germany recently Federer extended his unbeaten run on grass to 59 matches, his last defeat being in the first round at Wimbledon six years ago.
Federer is vulnerable. The tennis world shifted on its axis at the Australian Open this January when he lost in the semi-finals against the young Serb Novak Djokovic. There followed defeats by Andy Murray (Dubai), Mardy Fish (Indian Wells) Andy Roddick (Key Biscayne) and Radek Stepanek (Rome), all incongruous in their own ways.
He revealed in California that he had been suffering from a mild attack of glandular fever which since, at least in part, has been offered as a reason for his patchy form. However, the 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 thrashing by Nadal in the French Open final could be seen as no more than an extension, or culmination, of a decidedly average five months.
Federer tends to bridle a little at any such suggestion. "I'm still pretty proud about reaching my third French Open final but for some I guess that's still not good enough," he said yesterday, which was as near to sarcasm as he gets. "Anyway this is now the important time for me to see what I can do: Wimbledon, the US Open and the Olympics. This is what it's going to come down to."
Whether Federer wins another grand slam title or not, he is already assured of his place as one of the tennis greats. Not only that, his wonderfully languid style, together with his equable temperament, have also assured him of an affection that by no means all champions engender. The majority would love to see him win here again, go on to beat Sampras's record of 14 grand slam wins and also win the French Open one day to join the famous five - Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson and Andre Agassi - who have taken all four majors.
It is Sampras's record that everybody felt might be in his grasp this year, until that defeat by Djokovic, who is in Federer's half of the draw again here. The majority of the pre-tournament talk has been about whether Nadal, winner of the Artois championship, his first grass-court title, can beat Federer in the final, having come so close last year, and in this respect Djokovic's chances of the title have been somewhat overlooked.
The 21-year-old Serb, ranked No3 behind Federer and Nadal, has been the most successful player this year and was within a point of taking what might have been a decisive 4-0 lead over the Spaniard in the first set of the Artois final. John McEnroe rates Djokovic's serve as one of the most improved and best on the circuit. He reached the semi-finals here last year, although rather tamely pulled out of his match against Nadal. However, winning the Australian Open has filled him to the brim with confidence and he now struts around the courts, the essence of a champion.
Federer knows that Djokovic believes he can beat him on any surface, which has added to the pressure of getting ever closer to Sampras's record. Only three men have won six or more consecutive titles at one slam event - Richard Sears (seven) at the US Open and William Renshaw (six) at Wimbledon, both in the 19th century, and Bill Tilden, also at the US Open, from 1920-25. Renshaw and Sampras both won seven Wimbledon titles in total.
"Novak and Rafa are obviously the guys who are the biggest challengers and they have had a good beginning to the year," said Federer. "Otherwise it's pretty much the same guys - Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis and David Nalbandian. There hasn't been much of a change
But of course there has. Whereas all these players would have been half-beaten before they set foot on court against him at this time last year, they now believe, after Djokovic's win in Melbourne, that they have a chance - that the aura of invulnerability, white suit or no suit, is no longer present.
"What other people say I cannot control. You'll always hear good and bad throughout your career. It's maybe a time where some people talk a little bit too much," said Federer. If this sounded a little like a threat then perhaps it was. Federer is a wounded animal. Should he lose his title here, on his best surface, then the pack, not just Nadal and Djokovic, will be at him. He must win here. He knows that.