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As we all know, Federer's performances this season have been quite sub-par. A few glimpses of brilliance but overall he has been quite average. A lot people put that down to age but I respectfully disagree. Federer is still moving extremely well and he is still one of the fittest tennis players. I don't think him missing easy standard groundstrokes and returns is anything to do with age. I think it's down to him playing a limited schedule which brings out the following two problems:

1) Lack of match rhythm. When you take as much time off as Federer does these days, you lose rhythm. You become rusty. I'm sure Federer practiced his ass off during his time off, but there is no substitute to actual match play and going out to perform in front of a packed crowd. By taking so much time off, Federer has to essentially start all over again, because the rhythm on his groundstrokes, movement, footwork isn't there. I think most of his misses on returns, especially in the final of Cincinnati was down to rustiness and having no/very little match rhythm.

2) Added pressure to win every tournament you enter. Because Federer doesn't play a full schedule anymore and only a limited one, every tournament he enters, he is expected to win. When he skipped clay, we all expected him to come back and win Wimbledon. And I'm sure he did too. The pressure to win isn't the same when you play a full schedule, but when you play a limited schedule, it's immense. And I feel like his poor performances and shocking misses are down to him putting too much pressure on himself to win at all costs. He isn't playing freely and with a free mind, and that's affecting his performances, particularly on the big points.

So while playing a limited schedule helps to conserve energy and stay physically and mentally fresh, it does come with its problems. I'm not saying Federer has to play clay, but I think he should perhaps play all the big hard court events at least.
 

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Federer is using the exact same strategy as last year (a very sucessful one), so why is now bad to play a reduced schedule?
 

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He isn't playing freely and with a free mind, and that's affecting his performances, particularly on the big points.
You make some good points, and his not playing freely may be one of the key things, I think.
 

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Federer is using the exact same strategy as last year (a very sucessful one), so why is now bad to play a reduced schedule?
Last year was different because he was still in the comeback phase, so he could play freely without much pressure. It isn't the same this year.
 

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Agree 100% with the lack of match rhythm, even for somebody as experienced and talented as Federer. Luckily for him, he is still probably the most talented player on tour (or tied with Rafa) and Djokovic/Murray/Wawrinka not being fully match fit the past two seasons has allowed him still do very well in nearly all the tournaments he has entered.

However, while it may be a con in that regard, it can still be a huge pro for him to preserve his body. Plus, with a full family now and the travel that it takes to participate in every tournament, it is probably for the best both physically and mentally at this point in his career. It seems to be working for him quite well, so no need to change anything up at this point.

For some players the pressure to win the tournaments will be true, but in Fed's case I doubt he feels the pressure to win anymore. Aside from Miami, he has done well in all the tournaments even if not taking home the title.
 

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I agree with some of what you say, but I think there is a mixture of everything in there. Firstly, let me reiterate that nobody has ever been expected to always play great....and as widely chastised for not playing great, than Fed. For perspective, the guy reached the final in his first tournament back from break. He had some good wins and played some nice tennis, despite not being at his top level.

On your points, Federer has never had a problem blowing in hot from protracted absences in the earlier years....and even on his successful return to the tour last year, winning Australia from a standing start. I don't discount at all that as the years advance it does get a little harder to come from a down period to top level, or to maintain with less matchplay, but I don't think this is the whole story....and we can never forget that he needs to walk the tightrope of match-tightness and body preservation. None of us knows what that means for him now, or what kind of injury management strategy his medical team are dealing with.

As mentioned in a previous thread, I think Marc Rosset had it right in his recent interview: https://www.tennisworldusa.org/tennis/news/Roger_Federer/57797/-roger-federer-needs-to-take-risks-and-be-the-hunter-again--marc-rosset/. It's an attitude Federer needs, an approach. Palpably the early and prolonged success he had on his return from inury last year, brought with it the mundanities and stress of expectation. He again had something to lose. When he first returned, he came out to scrap. Nobody expected anything of him...for once, he again wasn't risking failure, he was there to prove himself all over again. The hunter and not the hunted. This reinjected a youth and a dynamism to his game that has been in absentia since this time last year. Ljubicic's job is to dial back into that mentality.

Then finally there is the x-factor of his own personal body-mind appraisal and feeling...the conscious and unconscious stuff only known and felt by himself. With age comes competetive fatigue. Everything feels heavier....the aforementioned expectation, the hunger and motivation don't burn as bright, the body hurts more, a new life beckons. Could it be that he was away so long prior to '17 that it gave him the zing he needed to cross those final slam hurdles and he is finally succumbing to the vagaries of father time that have claimed all before him? If so, can he somehow reset one more time?
 

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Federer is using the exact same strategy as last year (a very sucessful one), so why is now bad to play a reduced schedule?
I totally agree. That needs som explaining from the OP.

Let us not forget that tennis is about small margins. Federer could easily have lost at both AO and Miami in 2017 if you look at the match results. Maybe Federer could have lost Wimbledon 2017 if Cilic wasn't such a crybaby with his blisters.

In 2018 Federer could easily have won Wimbledon if he had taken that MP against Anderson.

I think the difference between "Top Peak Fed 2017" and "Crap Olderer 2018" is ridiculously over-dramatized.
 

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For some players the pressure to win the tournaments will be true, but in Fed's case I doubt he feels the pressure to win anymore.
I disagree. He clearly still does feel the pressure to win, the Indian Wells final being a painful example.
 

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I think he kind of abandoned that going for broke mentality he had last year. He is playing in a reserved manner, such as in Wimbledon where he lost to Kevin Anderson. That's understandable as he was thinking maybe that was his last chance after an injury. Now things are different, he knows he can win if he's healthy. I don't think he had that sense of urgency anymore. And you can see it in his style of play compared to last year.
 

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OP is right.

Nadal said last year that what Federer did has a high chance of not working because you don't play for so long, but for him it worked last year.

Also every person who gets injured and misses a month or 2 months or 5 months, when they get back they are extremely rusty and need alot of time and tournaments to get some nice match rhytm going and good timing and good play.

Just because it HAPPENED to somehow kind of work for Federer last year, doesn't mean it can work all the time.

Taking long breaks so often is not the best idea and it proved to be bad this year but also in the last stretch of last year.
 

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I agree with the OP that participating in the Tour on a sort of part-time basis hasn't worked for Roger this year. I think he needs to decide what is important - long stretches away from the Tour or playing more matches in future. It worked last year but obviously he can't continue to have his cake and eat it.
 

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As we all know, Federer's performances this season have been quite sub-par. A few glimpses of brilliance but overall he has been quite average. A lot people put that down to age but I respectfully disagree. Federer is still moving extremely well and he is still one of the fittest tennis players. I don't think him missing easy standard groundstrokes and returns is anything to do with age. I think it's down to him playing a limited schedule which brings out the following two problems:

1) Lack of match rhythm. When you take as much time off as Federer does these days, you lose rhythm. You become rusty. I'm sure Federer practiced his ass off during his time off, but there is no substitute to actual match play and going out to perform in front of a packed crowd. By taking so much time off, Federer has to essentially start all over again, because the rhythm on his groundstrokes, movement, footwork isn't there. I think most of his misses on returns, especially in the final of Cincinnati was down to rustiness and having no/very little match rhythm.

2) Added pressure to win every tournament you enter. Because Federer doesn't play a full schedule anymore and only a limited one, every tournament he enters, he is expected to win. When he skipped clay, we all expected him to come back and win Wimbledon. And I'm sure he did too. The pressure to win isn't the same when you play a full schedule, but when you play a limited schedule, it's immense. And I feel like his poor performances and shocking misses are down to him putting too much pressure on himself to win at all costs. He isn't playing freely and with a free mind, and that's affecting his performances, particularly on the big points.

So while playing a limited schedule helps to conserve energy and stay physically and mentally fresh, it does come with its problems. I'm not saying Federer has to play clay, but I think he should perhaps play all the big hard court events at least.

father time is undefeated

37 is 37
 

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everyone judging cincy way too harshly. There has been a surface change and 5 week break and its one of the fastest on tour.

Didn't' help with the rain delays and fatigue.


I expect he will find form in week 2 of us open around quarters. He is actually healthy which trumps his form as he had no shot last year let us be honest.

losing 6-4, 6-4 against rejuvenated djoker playing your worst tournament and match since 2017 needs to be put in perspective. Fed likely would have beaten anyone else even given his terrible form.
 

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Only guy who knows his body inside out is Federer himself.

Clearly he feels a schedule of about 12 tournaments and approx. 50 matches a year is more than enough.

He's not far off 40 now so really don't see him suddenly having his schedule next year as 15 + tournaments and potentially 70 matches.

He is still reaching finals on the tour so doubt he'll re-assess. That would only happen if he was losing early rounds like in Miami and then obviously retirement would come into the discussion.
 

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I might agree with you except that he did the same last year and won Halle and Wimbledon without dropping a set. Also, after being off with injury for 6 months and with only a 3 match Hopman Cup warmup he won the 2017 AO, not to mention Indian Wells and Miami. In addition, he played 14 matches in the grass season but didn't seem to get appreciably better. Either he's having a bad year for whatever reason and he will bounce back or he is getting towards the end because of age. We shan't know for a while yet though.
 

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I think it's his tactics what need looking at more than anything, this attempting to go toe to toe with everyone almost entirely from the baseline is just idiotic for 1. Any 37 year old even if it is Federer and 2. Someone who is making so many silly mistakes there.

The SABR, chip and charge and serve + volley appear to have become almost non-existent and he is so predictable now with his patterns of play that I feel any half decent player who gets into a good rhythm will beat him.
 

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I depsise Fraud but his scheduling to my mind is excellent and always gives himself chances to win slams. Had he played both Toronto/Cincy his chances at the USO would be less IMO.

The reason he hasnt done aswell this year is because Nole isnt injured anymore and RAFAs level has gone up from 2017. Fraud has just stayed at the same level, he was just the beneficiary of some laughable draws last year and people think he was playing at a higher level when he wasn't. I mean he had an injured opponent in a Wimbledon final fgs :lol:
 

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The reason he hasnt done aswell this year is because Nole isnt injured anymore and RAFAs level has gone up from 2017.
What? He hasn't even played Nadal this year and Djokovic once only recently when his terrible form was already established long before that match. So how on earth did you come to that conclusion?

ETA: Then again, you are probably trolling, so nevermind.
 

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Federer is using the exact same strategy as last year (a very sucessful one), so why is now bad to play a reduced schedule?
It was very successful last year?
Only because Djokovic was slumping.
Federer didn't win the US Open and he didn't win the World Tour Finals.....
And he looks no more likely to win them this year either.
 
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