OK, M250s are a slow time for me so...
Let me start by saying all this depends on Federer’s continued good health.
If Federer stays healthy do you feel he would rather have a 19th GS (consensus would say Wimbledon) or be the oldest man to reach the Number 1 ranking in the open era? I have a feeling that he would greatly enjoy the latter (assuming they are not necessarily mutually exclusive). He obviously cares about his legacy and becoming the oldest man to be number one I think would be a fabulous feather in his cap.
If he has a successful Dubai (W) and Indian Wells (SF or better) I think all the Fed fans will be speculating.
And if not then threads go someplace to die right?
After the AO I would imagine he feels his record of 18 slams is much safer than his 17 was before given the age of Nadal (and injury history) and Djokovic (and his larger six slam gap). I think how many M1000s Federer plays between Indian Wells and RG will show what he is thinking. He has already committed to Miami, although that does not mean he will play as the past has shown us. If he plays only one M1000 I feel he is truly focusing on Wimbledon. If he plays three he is going for YE. Two M1000s would be ambiguous. I think we will see him in MC and Rome.
As a Fed fan I feel with his great start (combined with Murray/Djokovic’s bad start – for them) and hoped for sustained health I can get my hopes up. Yes I know it is a long season and we have only started but a man can dream right?
Only four men have any chance of finishing YE#1…and many people here would say only two, Murray and Djokovic. I think Federer, always a bit confident, may like his chances in a year where I feel the final point total for YE#1 will be much lower than in recent past.
Concerning Murray….well after his first YE#1 he proceeded to lose to Novak (whom many folks still feel is the real “#1”) in their first match. He then got bushwhacked by a low ranked serve and volleyer in what was meant to be his AO coming out party. What happens to him mentally if he either losses early in Dubai or, as I think, losses to Federer in the final? Then comes IW where his results the past 5-6 years have not been that good. If his first four tournaments are negative where is he mentally? I also think that despite his greatness as a tennis player he is not dominating as the other Big 3 have been at times in their careers and also Federer does not “fear” him the same way as Novak/Rafa.
Novak….who knows where he is mentally right now. He could come back and take the rest of the season by storm, but I don’t get that feeling. Also, how is his shoulder? Novak only became a truly great player when his first and second serve improved. If he has shoulder issues that will put much more pressure on his defensive skills…..and he is getting older for chasing down every single shot. By the end of Miami he is normally 1000s of points ahead of everyone….not the case this year.
Rafa….well is he back? He looked good at the AO. I feel if he is healthy he can still dominate the clay season, especially if Novak is not inform. However with Murray, Djokovic and Stan (assuming he gets back healthy) around I feel that domination is more like 4000 clay points versus the 5000 of years past. As always for YE#1 with Rafa it depends on his after RG form. His recent years and injury history make me feel he can’t quite compete for YE#1 right now. However, AO was a great start.