I don't see any lost aura until: either he loses in AO/Wimby/USO/YEC. While he continues to defend those titles, the aura remains. Sure, it'd be nice if he wons 4 MS instead of 2, but we know he was half-arsing it this year after the Sampras meeting.
Sure, and I'm a big fan of that Sampras credo, but he is *definitely* losing some aura. He did not want to lose to Canas the second time around, and he definitely did not want to lose to Nole leading up the USO. And, believe me, he would have rathered not be down all those set points in the USO final. Two losses to Nalbandian at the end of the year confirm that he's about 4/5 of what he was last year.
Still incredible...and you're right, as long as he continues to put the slams on the board, you can't fault him, but he is not the player he was last year. Form-wise, he's being *touched* by several players now. Whether they can put it together consistently enough to actually affect his numbers, I don't know, but he didn't have these losses in '06. He's lost a little something for sure. I can't wait to see '08.
No Federer has looked average in almost all tournies outside slams. And before anyone says I KNOW the slams far outweigh any tournie, but the question is of a comparison between Fed 06 and 07, Fed 06 was far more dominant overall.
In 07 has relied on his reputation to win him some matches rather than his good play (i.e Wimbledon final, USO final).