Analysis of Fed's strategic tanking
Two examples of matches which, in my opinion, he has deliberately tanked this year. Both with the same idea behind them.
1 vs Djokovic at Rome.
2 vs Tsonga at Montreal.
Both matches Federer was clearly looking the better player and then started playing absurdly poor tennis.
Both times he tanked one round ahead of the player he wanted to avoid facing. On clay this was clearly Nadal. Strategic tank, let Nadal burn himself out against Djokovic. Then Federer turned up all guns blazing at Madrid against a tired Nadal and got the win. The aim was to give himself the momentum going into the French Open. He can't have anticipated Nadal losing before the final - the aim was that by the time he got there, he would be tired and would have some slight question marks in his head after Madrid.
At Montreal he did exactly the same thing. He didn't want to try and win two Masters tournaments and the US Open all in one go - too risky and too tiring, especially now he's getting a bit older. This time, the threat was Murray. Deliberately tanks in the round before he meets Murray and lets Murray burn himself out. Then - just as he did in Madrid versus Nadal - he turns up all guns blazing against a tiring Murray at the pre-Slam MS - and takes him to school. And, just as he did at the French Open, he is going into the US Open with all the momentum. Let's see if the trick works this time...