interesting article CD, and since you call us doubters about Roger, how about this article
Why do we continue to question the world No. 1?
By Matt Wilansky, ESPN.com
We've had a little more than a week to digest and dissect Roger Federer's latest Grand Slam title. So what, if anything, did we learn from Slam No. 16?
First and foremost, it's time to stop doubting Fed. He has made a mockery of us, the so-called pundits, who continue to question his level, motivation, resolve, tenacity, yada, yada, yada.
And here we were, calling for the changing-of-the-guard paradigm in men's tennis -- again. What fools.
At the geriatric age of 28, Federer continues to strengthen his already-untouchable legacy and add to his immense trophy collection.
Sure, long gone are the years of his utter dominance, circa 2004 to 2007, when the rest of the field was so far south you needed motorized transportation to get there. The new Federer, the occasionally pedestrian one, has been challenged -- and even beaten -- most notably by Rafael Nadal, who usurped the regal Swiss' top ranking in 2008. (Federer, of course, clawed his way back to the top.) And let's not forget that other young, rising talents -- including Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro -- have upended Federer on numerous occasions.
Federer's 2009 Slam season was bookended by foreboding five-set losses, which at the time painted an ominous picture and raised questions as to the longevity of his stranglehold on the game. Not to be forgotten, there was also the infamous racket-bashing incident in Miami and the meltdown in Montreal.
But it's that great paradox of evolving as a player despite those numerous setbacks that goes widely unnoticed. Skeptics used to criticize Federer's lack of grappling and tussling on the court. Mind you, it wasn't necessary.
Today's Federer, though, might lose a set, maybe two, in a given match. Case in point: The Australian Open, where he faced an arduous battle in the opening round versus Igor Andreev. And then again in the quarterfinals versus a scalding Nikolay Davydenko, before the mighty Swiss came back from a set and a break down to win.
Federer, Version II, is a grinder when necessary, a player whose will to win is even more transparent than ever before. This while we question how he can stay focused with a résumé so extensive that it will likely be generations before anyone comes close to threatening his copious records.
Here we stand, deep into an unparalleled era of dominance, witnessing the growth of a player who, ironically, has made subtle (if any) changes to his game. And while the gap is closing -- Federer concedes as much -- he continues to thrive.
The Australian Open certainly wasn't the best Federer we've seen (although he was pretty dang good). Who knows what would have happened if an unrestrained Murray had showed up in the final, or if Davydenko had become intoxicated with that mind-altering "clear vodka-Red Bull" concoction he's so fond of, and never woke up to realize the identity of his opponent?
We can only wonder, but quite frankly, it doesn't really matter.
That's because the common denominator between the Federer of yore and today's version is … the big W.
So perhaps, just perhaps, the Aussie Open shed a moment of clarity for all of us nonbelievers. The world No. 1 isn't going away anytime soon.