I think the issue is lack of clear intent on Fed's prep more than anything. The bottomline is that he played Montreal on a whim hoping he could bullshit his way to a MS title without proper preparation and planning and get #1 by Cincy. That cost him both the #1, USO and most probably YE#1.
Would Fed fans really be complaining/grieving if Fed had picked up an injury after Cincy? Nope, we would've taken it in our stride and cursed dull's luck even more. We would've felt sorry for Fed. Anyway let bygones be bygones but the reason why it hurts (which I find baffling many Fed fans still don't get) is that this may have been Fed's last best chance to win US Open with DJ missing.
Next year, DJ will be back, dull maybe irrelevant but I'm sure knowing Fed's luck, DJ will be playing at 200% just for USO even if he flunked the whole year. Kinda like Wim 14, where he was shit the entire tournament but peaked out of nowhere in that final.
You may be right, but you are probably not right.
I would be highly surprised if Federer went AWOL on his fitness and court-time until just a week before a masters.
typically, 'taking it easy' still means gym work for all players, just 1-2 less court session per day or taking the odd court session day off.
Sure, factor in Federer is a married man with family and 35+, who does go on vacation with his family, so its possible.
But if at this age, i.e., 35+, with his history of back problems, if he is dumb enough to 'BS his way and get fit during a tourney', well then, chalk it up to a chink in his armour and why he deserves criticism for being an idiot.