Friday, July 26, 2013

Federer's Slump Continues; Loses to #55 in Gstaad

Roger Federer decided to add two European summer clay-court events after his shocking 2nd round loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon in order to build up confidence before the United States hard court season. Ever since that disappointing result things have not gone well for Federer or Stakhovsky. The Ukrainian has failed to win a single match since then while Federer has been winning some matches with surprising difficulty but is also losing to players he would typically dismiss in his sleep. Last week he lost to qualifier Federico Delbonis in the semifinals of Hamburg after two close 3-set matches against Florian Mayer and Daniel Brands. Delbonis went on to lose the final against red-hot (in more ways than one!) Fabio Fognini. This week he faced Brands again and failed to win a single set, falling 6-3 6-4 in the 2nd round of the clay court tournament in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Federer apparently tweaked his back while playing in Hamburg and probably should have withdrawn from Gstaad. He is also playing with a larger racquet but he insists that neither are the cause of his recent sub-par results (his only title of the year so far is in Halle, on grass). Although he is down to World #5 now, exactly one year ago Federer was ranked World #1. If he doesn't do well in the upcoming Masters series tournaments in Cincinnati and Toronto he may have to face one of the members of the big Four in a US Open quarterfinal. This is likely since he won Cincinnati last year, and it would be a big surprise if he were able to defend that title, but we shall see.

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