Does this mean Federer's age is catching up with him? The Swiss star is going to turn 29 this August, while most of the other top players are still in their early twenties. If Federer is to ever become a major threat in tennis again, he'll have to seriously reflect on this year and improve what's wrong. Since 2008, there are two parts to Roger's game that have critically worsened. First, his consistency has been horrible (to be fair, that's just compared to his old self) as of late, especially on his backhand side. Opponents are just pounding it to Fed's backhand, and he often just slices the ball back. A weak slice often ends up with a setup approach shot from the other player. More importantly though, Federer has seemingly lost his ability to get himself out of any situation. He used to be able to come back from incredible deficits and hit the huge shot or serve when it mattered most. Even last year against Andy Roddick in the Wimbledon final he managed to come back from 6-2 down in a tiebreaker to save himself. This year against Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, Federer went up 0-40 (on Berdych's serve) but failed to win that game, so then Berdych evened the 4th set at 3-3. Once Federer was broken that set, Berdych served for the match at 5-4. Federer had an opportunity with another break point AND a second serve, but he dumped the return right into the net. He went on to lose in 4 sets. This match was completely uncharacteristic of the old, dominating Federer.
So what will happen in Federer's future? Having dropped to number 3, he will no longer be able to become 1 again this year. He is only a week behind Sampras for most total weeks at number 1 (Federer's 285 weeks to Sampras' 286). Personally, I am rooting for him to overtake Sampras in that category, but it will take a lot of work for him after this year's disappointments and the incredibly talented players he'll face in tournaments. Federer should definitely get a coach or some other sort of help if he wants to win more Grand Slams. He has 16 now, but I think he only has 1 or 2 left in him, if he composes himself back to better form. As of now, the Swiss Maestro's reign of controlling tennis is over from what it used to be. However, Roger Federer is still a threat and will continue to be so for the rest of his career, and it'll be interesting to see if he can return to form and put his name further in the record books.