A Preview of Federer’s 2014 Season: Can He Win the Magical 18th Slam?

Hi folks. I started a post this past weekend but couldn’t find the enthusiasm to finish it. I can’t remember the last time that happened, if ever. But since I have talked to some of you on my last post I have a better understanding of what has been going on of late and feel inspired to do a new post. There has been less comments and participation in discussion from my readers of late. I couldn’t quite figure out why and my traffic was as good as ever. Actually it is still growing. The reason is pretty much as I suspected – the fact that Roger has been struggling. I guess it is normal to be less enthusiastic and active when that happens. I kept my posting up despite less comments from you guys, but after my last post and the lack of comments I started losing enthusiasm. It just looked like you have lost enthusiasm yourselves, and this blog functions as a whole after all.

I realize now that you guys have just lost some enthusiasm because of Roger’s results. I’m not mad at anyone for it but at the same time I don’t think Roger’s lack of results is a reason for losing hope anymore. I think he has shown during the indoor season that he still means business and that we have reason to believe that 2014 will be a much stronger year for Roger than 2013 was. I also find this struggle interesting. It is uncharted territory for Roger. Never has he reached such a low as in 2013 and I find it fascinating to see how he responds when faced with something totally new. I think if he stays motivated, which he is, there is no reason to believe that he can’t reach the opposite side of that all time low, which is of course an all time high. Lets say he manages to win another slam. Would’t that be an all time high after everything that transpired this year?

I think it will be. Of course there is no guarantee that it will happen, but there is no guarantee that it won’t happen either. I’m actually very excited about the 2014 season. The upside of having a poor season is that you don’t have many points to defend the next season. That is already a big positive for Roger in 2014, before he has even hit a ball. The other positives are that he will be well rested and this year he is not playing exhos in South-America either. He will take that momentum from the indoor season and start confidently in 2014. He will already start in Brisbane as the top seed and will have a good chance of winning the title, which would be the ideal way to begin the season. It will also be good preparation for the Australian Open where he has a semi to defend. It’s going to be tough as Roger won’t have a top 4 seeding.

Hopefully he doesn’t get drawn in Nadal’s quarter again. But getting drawn with Djokovic or Murray isn’t much better either, as a loss doesn’t help the head-to-head. On the slow hard courts of Melbourne these guys are just very difficult to beat. Ideally Roger wants to get drawn in Ferrer’s quarter. But getting to the quarters is no given these days and just getting that far would already be a decent result. Looking at the other slams you’d expect a similar result in Paris than this year, although you’d like to see him do better than losing in straight sets to Tsonga. At Wimbledon there will be the best chance for making points after this year’s loss in the 2nd round. At the US Open there will be another good opportunity for gaining points. In almost all the in between events there will be chances for Roger to gain points as well.

What I’d like to see is Roger returning to the top 4 by the end of the year. I think he belongs ahead of Ferrer and Del Potro in the rankings. He already beat Del Potro the last two times they met, and his head-to-head with Ferrer is a staggering 14-0. With the lack of points to defend next year I want to see him establish himself as one of the big 4 again, where he belongs. He may not be quite up there with Nadal, Djokovic, or Murray anymore, but I think he can sneak ahead of Del Potro and Ferrer. Del Potro is a very dangerous player himself and he may even win a slam in 2014. But then again Roger could too. At least I’d like to see Roger end ahead of Ferrer in the rankings in 2014 so that he is in the top 5 again. A slam title is of course the ultimate goal but it is less certain than in the past and I don’t want to create any expectations.

If it happens it happens. But before it can happen Roger will at least have to maintain a certain level of consistency. Definitely a better level of consistency than in 2013. This is why I felt the indoor season was so crucial. With 3 wins over a top 10 player during the indoor season, Roger has sent a little message that he can’t be taken lightly in 2014. It has lifted his confidence and I think he will capitalize on that in 2014. It will be a question of forgetting what happened in 2013 and not losing matches he should be winning. I believe he can do that and if he does he will give himself chances to take it a step further. He just needs one slam where he is playing well and there is a couple of big upsets. Then he must seize the opportunity and make it count. But it’s all about laying that foundation from where he can attack.

And that foundation is a burning desire and a refusal to surrender, exactly like we saw against Del Potro in London. As long as he maintains that attitude and his body allows him he is almost guaranteed to win another slam. That was the attitude he showed in 2012 and it resulted in #17. I think Roger’s back should do better in 2014 as well. He didn’t play as much as he did in 2012 and he had to deal a lot with his back. He should be in a better situation now to avoid it crippling him again. The match against Del Potro is the main reason my faith in Roger is restored. If I didn’t see the intense desire and hunger he showed in that match I would not have had much hope for 2014. But he showed me he still wants it bad and therefor I see no reason not to be optimistic about 2014. I hope you guys feel the same and will feel a bit more optimistic after this post.


Here is a little something to help raise your enthusiasm for the coming season as well :-)

Posted in Uncategorized.


  1. Hi, Ruan.

    I always read your blog but only leave an occasional comment. I know we all appreciate what you do and your passion for keeping us informed so thank you very much. I agree it is sometimes a little hard to maintain the enthusiasm for Roger, but he is the GOAT. Enough said.

    Grumpy Reply:

    Very well said Karrie. I too feel the same way. I will like to add that Everything that needs to be said about Roger has been said which is probably why this is a period of inactivity on the blog. Besides, it’s the end of the year and even tennis fans need to refresh themselves before the action begins in 2014.

  2. I always read your blog, I love reading about Roger but I never comment. So even if people aren’t commenting you are still appreciated. I agree that we should keep our hopes up for 2014, I was lucky enough to see him twice at the O2 and his supporters were as passionate as they have ever been.

  3. “Can Roger win the Magical 18th Slam???”
    Yezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz !!! Difficult, almost impossible, but Roger makes impossible possible.
    Roger believes, so I believe !!! He has surprised me once (in 2012), he can and will do that again !!!
    I have to have atleast that hope….

  4. Hi Ru-an, Answer to your headline of this blog….YES, HE CAN! Reading your blog, am all excited for the new season of tennis to start, for Roger especially. Am so much wishing and hoping that Roger will win his 18th GS. As you say, Ru-an, Roger shows determination to win….May he keep healthy to have a good 2014. So glad to see my favorite picture of Roger with his two darlings in fatherly expression on your blog.
    Thanks for keeping us informed, Ru-an. The two RR’s are tops.

    Ru-an Reply:

    You are welcome and thanks Dolores.

  5. “Why do I love him? I don’t know, I just love him.” Evert said. “There is something about Roger which just tugs at the heartstrings. I don’t know what it is, I can’t say exactly, but he gets to me. Maybe it’s because one of my sons idolizes Roger, and I can see similarities between the two. It’s almost as though Roger could be my son.

    “I’ve been in this game for more than 40 years, and there has never been a player who has made me as emotional as Roger has, not even close. … This may sound strange, but his losses affect me much more than my own defeats.”

    I was so happy reading this as someone could try to put it in words on how a Roger fan feels! But still she was only trying, I bet no one can express it in words, only a fedfan can feel it!

    Ru-an Reply:

    Those are nice quotes Pradeep. Tells you how much he is loved by people.

  6. Hello Ru-an, agree with your hopes for Rogers’ 2014 season, as long as his back stays healthy i see no reason for him to not start gaining in points and ranking. I have had a hard time this past year not just because Roger had a hard time but because Rafa had such a great season. I don’t like his tennis and to have him in so many finals was boring for me. There is also the question of purity of the players. If i have doubts about doping there is no point for me to watch. Only been a few weeks and am missing tennis, rest well Roger we are waiting for you. I understand that it may be hard to write when comments are low but know that it’s not you, sometimes people just don’t have anything to say. Be well Ru-an, so glad you are here.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Thanks Susan glad you are here too!

  7. Hi Ru-an,

    Please, don’t take it personally. I love reading your posts and read every one. As Chris Evert said above, being a Fed Fad is an unusually emotional experience and this difficult season has been emotionally exhausting for all of us. I agree with your sentiments and certainly believe that Roger has another slam in him, and I will be steadfastly rooting for him of course. Two things that concern me. I really want to see him switch rackets because I think it could give him a lot more power AND margin for error, which he desperately needs. Without it, it’s just not a fair fight. And, the back. Now I am already in my 40’s but I can tell you that a lifetime of tennis has made my lower back very unpredictable. Playing a lot or a little isn’t always the cause, sometimes it’s just moving wrong, sleeping wrong, picking up the kids, etc. It’s terrible. So I think he needs to be a bit lucky with that as well. All the best to you and the other readers and a happy Turkey Day.

    Ru-an Reply:

    No problem Eric you are one of the guys who have been commenting regularly and you have been the best addition to this blog of late. It’s true that being a Fedfan is an emotional experience and puts a drain on you when he struggles. This must be why people have lost enthusiasm. So I understand it but it puts a drain on me too. I’m sure it puts a drain on Roger too. Happy thanksgiving over there in the States to you!

  8. Hi Ruan,
    I have been reading your blog regularly and as such miss when there are less comments. For one I am to be blamed myself because I write not so much. But that is not to say that I am not interested in this blog. It is just the opposite and I am very interested. I have still been wondering how could Federer not only qualify for London but reach the semifinal of WTF. He had been struggling almost the whole year. So I am very optimistic for the future. Even if he cannot produce the results we would have liked I simply get enjoyment watching his art displayed.

    Ru-an Reply:

    No problem mridul I enjoy having you as a reader. But as you say it becomes less interesting for everyone when there are less comments. Like I said the blog functions as a whole. If one party does not play its part the other parties suffer.

  9. Of course, he can!

    He needs to string together a run of decent performances leading up to Wimbledon. In my opinion, he needs to win Halle and perhaps have a quarter-finals (or better) showing at Roland Garros to have a chance.

    However, Keep Calm and Trust Federer.

  10. Hello Ruan,
    Very good post and I’m glad some readers are commenting to it immediately.
    I wrote (in a comment on your previous post) that Roger didn’t make things any easier for me with his inconsistent results.
    I won’t take back that comment of course, because it is true.
    But by reading the comment section above, particularly the one from Susan, I realize that I forgot to mention another important element which also affected my motivation to stay tuned in.
    Like Susan I did go trough a hard time this past year not so much because of Roger’s results as such, but more because of ‘mister humble’ and the environment in which Roger does have to compete with this guy (and the other main competitors).
    I know you hate conspiracy-theory-like comments, but the reality is there and won’t go away soon, and I don’t like that kind of stuff. Particularly the lack of serious doping controls combined with the draws being manipulated just turns me off, and makes it very hard for me to remain interested in the whole thing.
    How staying tuned in to watch tennis events if you know that things are “ manufactured” to a certain extent, and that you ain’t sure that what you’re watching isn’t fake after all.
    I already told you, Ruan, when the RG 2013 draw was released this year, that I can prove to you and anyone that’s interested in the matter, by making use of statistical sample theory (which is used in certain fields of scientific research, in audit, etc… and can perfectly be used to test the randomness of draws of tennis events), that draws of slams are manipulated at times.
    I don’t even need that kind of proof to show it to you.
    I bumped for instance into a concrete example of at least partial absence of randomness in the makeup of a specific slam draw while I was doing some research recently.
    If you search in the archives of the ATP-site and look specifically for the composition of the AO 2001 draw, you can check for yourself – if you want – that seed 1 Gustavo Kuerten and seed 4 Yevgeny Kafelnikov were placed in the same quarter of that AO draw, G. Kuerten being placed at line 1 and Y.Kafelnikov being placed at line 32; Yes, I said seed 1 and seed 4 IN THE SAME QUARTER of a slam !
    Seed 1 being placed at line 1 is of course completely normal as it is the case in every draw, but seed 4 being placed at line 32 is all but normal, because the four highest seeds should each being placed in a different quarter of the draw.
    So, which more evidence does one need to believe that draws are – at least not always- entirely and consistently made in the same way, let alone made in a random way. You can lead a horse to the water but you can’t make it drink, the proverb says.
    I could tackle other issues that also bother me a bit, but it would make my comment too long.
    Your blog is unique in several ways.
    One of these ways is that it doesn’t impose taboos at his readers as far as content is concerned, provided that the comment is expressed in a mature, respectful manner.
    But the irony of that unique quality is that it also carries within itself the risk that people get too well informed here about tennis and just don’t feel comfortable anymore with all the knowledge they acquire, even it isn’t always ‘confirmed’ knowledge.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Interesting comment again Wilfried. I understand what you are saying but I think we should just focus on Roger and remain enthusiastic regardless. These cheats will pay for what they do eventually. It’s not within our control and not our problem. It’s like the courts that have all been slowed down. Clearly this seems very unfair to Roger but there is just nothing we can do about it. I do understand how it can discourage people, but do understand if it discourages you it will in turn discourage me to blog.

    Wilfried Reply:

    I didn’t mean to discourage you by my comment. If that was the case, I apologize for it, Ruan.

    Ru-an Reply:

    You didn’t discourage me. It takes a little more to discourage me than that Wilfried ;-)

    Josafina Reply:

    Hello Wilfried,

    If I’m not mistaken, Magnus Norman was ranked number 4 at the 2001 Australian Open. Kafelnikov was ranked 5th, so him and Kuerten being drawn in the same quarter is not abnormal at all. Just saying…

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hello Josafina,
    My example of the AO 2001 draw was based on data available in the “result archives” of the ATP-website, which I consider as an official source of information.
    As you can see in the link below Kafelnikov was seeded as seed 4 at line 32 (and not seed 5 as you claim) :
    Other sources on the internet, like Wikipedia for instance, are sometimes less reliable as source.
    By way of illustration:
    In the following site you’ll see Kafelnikov mentioned as 4th seed.
    In the next one Kafelnikov figures as 5th seed.
    Which information will you take as the correct info? I’ll leave it up to you to decide for yourself.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Hi Wilfried, Wikipedia has the draw with the results and it does look like Kafelnikov was the 5th seed.


    If you go to the ATP website and look at Kafelnikov’s ranking before the 2001 AO it does say that he was ranked 5th too.


    Wilfried Reply:

    I see, indeed. Kafelnikov was 5th in the rankings, but in the result archives he’s mentioned as seed 4.
    Must be an error in the data of the results archives,or could also be, like Wimbledon does all the time, not following the actual rankings of the players to determine the highest seeds.
    It was only an example anyway.
    My point remains though.
    Draws are far from random.
    Take for instance Nadal’s favored slam.
    I’ll let you guess how many times seed 6 and seed 7 have been drawn in the same quarter with seed 1 in the last 30 Roland Garros draws (1984-2013).
    You’d be surprised to know the numbers…
    By the way, Roger is ranked 6!

    Wilfried Reply:

    1982 is the last draw in which seed 6 has been paired with seed 1 in Roland Garros.
    Since 1983, year in which french man Yannick Noah won the Roland Garros title, seed 6 has never been paired anymore with seed 1, NEVER.
    Very random, those draws isn’t it!!??

  11. Roger will be swinging freely in 2014. No more record streaks that can be stopped, they are stopped already. No more h2h to worry about, the damage is already done. No more worrying about going slamless, he already is. That should give him freedom to play for fun and live in the moment.
    My problem are not the results of Federer in 2013, but those of Nadal. Ridiculous. But the D talk gets redundant and boring, it is what it is

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Chris… your comment + + + + 1 !!!
    Loved it. EVERY word of it !!!

    Wilfried Reply:

    Hi Chris, agree with you.
    No record streaks that need to be stopped.
    Swinging more freely is certainly needed, but within the spirit of competition and not just because of having some fun out there on the court. Who else than Roger Federer himself told the press or whoever it was that he wants to win 5 titles next year ? I assume he said this because he still wants to win.
    Or do you really believe that he enjoys being beaten by Mister humble (with capital letters) and Mister Djokovic (also with capital letters) or whoever is kicking/hitting relentlessly ….

    Ru-an Reply:

    Agree Chris there will be less pressure next year. After this year many people have once again written him off and now he can go about his business by moving under the radar and surprising people.

  12. I’m definitely looking forward to 2014! One of the things I’d hoped we’d see towards the end of this year is an upturn in Roger’s game as it’d be difficult to imagine him suddenly “turning up” in 2014 if there wasn’t already a hint of improvement at the end of the previous season. I’m feeling optimistic and not blindly so as I’ve noted a lot of positives in Roger’s improving game and attitude that I feel will definitely help him next season. One thing I’m desperate for him to deal with is his psychological preparation which I feel he crucially needs going into certain games. My feeling is that Fed has not resolved some difficult experiences within the game and that this hinders him going into certain matches. His explanations of how he “gets over” losses in interviews really pushes me to believe this. I’ve been doing a lot of research in sport psychology and simply deceiving yourself by trying to forget or see it in a different way which Fed seems to do is not a “longterm” solution as really, your mind does not “forget” those things and it usually translates into how you act/react in certain situations. The answer is to tackle it head on and think through it honestly instead of creating mental garbage. Of course this is a personal thing and I’m only speculating here but if he is experiencing this, I’d love for him to pay more attention to his mental health as it’s almost as important as physical wellbeing in an athlete. Hope I haven’t come off sounding too crazy but it’s something I’ve also been dealing with and thankfully, getting better tackling. Best regards to all…onwards and upwards!

    Ru-an Reply:

    No doubt the upturn towards the end of the year was crucial Mickey. As for your comment it doesn’t sound crazy. I have also noticed this before. He deals with losses well in the sense that he remains positive and forgets about them quickly, but I do think he doesn’t always learn from those losses and makes enough adjustments. He seems to block those losses out too much. There is valuable lessons he should be learning from them, even if it means having to face some things that he doesn’t necessarily like to face.

  13. I think Federer’s back will determine how successful he is in 2014. If it is ok he will be top 4 again. Maybe top 3 if Murray needs more time to comeback from his injury

    I am also keen on finding out if he tries the bigger racket again. I hope he would but I don’t think so.

    I think Federer needs to update his equipment somehow (strings, and so on…) to win another Grand Slam. He didn’t change anything since 2002.

    For Example Nadal changed his strings (I think before 2010 ==> very successful in 2010) and also the weight of his racket lately.

    Djokovic changed his racket after 2008.

    Technique is developing rapidly also in tennis. You need to adjust to stay or reach the top again….

    Does anybody have information on Federer’s intention to change to a bigger racket?

  14. Beautiful post!

    I think that the sentence you wrote:

    …I also find this struggle interesting. It is uncharted territory for Roger. …and I find it fascinating to see how he responds when faced with something totally new….

    summarize the new stage in RF career.

    I belive he will prevail !

  15. I know its Federer blog but we are most of all tenis fans so i decided to re-post 2 verry intriguing opinions about the current state of tenis and see how you find the statements made.

    As for FEDs next season.He will end-up under N1 or N2 spot thanx to the all time low points count he marked this year. If he makes semis on all slams he might not need to win anything but few other masters on fast courts to be even N1.

    If you did not find anything suspicious in this final WTF in London then we must be watching different sport. Tenis is totally compromised by players and doping control agency WADA and ITF. Draw fixes, surface fixes, cover-ups of doping you name it.Unfortunatelly Nadal is usually the winner.

    So here are the 2 comments i wanted to share with you and they were provoked on the news that another spanish tennis player (female) tested positive and Nadal stood up for her immediatelly as he did with his budies Guasquet, Contador etc…:

    ayahabaybozNovember 28, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    … Nadal and Djokovic are puppets of the whole tennis industry. Nadal has been allowed to challenge Federer with some help on court setup, rule tolerance, PRP, TUE etc. When Federer is getting more difficult to play Nadal, here come Djokovic, with same help also I must say. This omerta from the tennis lord to media must cover such thing: rivalry, to keep money flowing. Next year it will be Djoker again to climb back to no.1. And system will work for that. Media selling stories of comeback bla bla bla…

    team_kickassNovember 28, 2013 at 8:06 AM
    Idols aside, I have been wondering about that as well.

    Can this argument be made that the ITF together with the ATP/WTA actively influence the outcome of their top positions?

    A Serena at the top good for the American market, no doubt. A competition for the # 1 spot including reality-defying winning runs and impossible defending is more dramatic than having a single player on top.

    So has the tour become a mere show, a la World Wrestling Federation (to take it to the extreme) – is this what we are seeing here?

    A combined effort in controlling results to their own liking and thereby magically maximizing profits while scripting the dramaturgy for the ‘race” and the # 1 position in advance?

    Would that mean that when it comes to doping, they would at times protect one player from positive testing results, while at other times take him/her out of the game (aka voluntary suspension)? Always depending on their level of oportunism and their cold-blooded calculations as to what serves their interests best?

    The point could definitely be made regarding the slowing down of the surfaces – this benefits a certain clientele, obviously. Add to that the overall intransparency of the ITFs anti-doping “efforts” – they do not really refute the possibility of patronage, a case in point for that: the UCI and Armstrong.

    Tennis has become an industry, no doubt, I mean they are even cosidering to further pressure the AO in favor for more revenue from a slam in China – greedy assholes they are…

  16. Hi Ruan,
    I am also one of those people who read all your posts but seldom comment. I really appreciate your commitment to writing this blog and agree with your comments and enjoy your insights. It has been a tough year being a Fedfan but I think next year will be a much better year. He is much better than Ferrer and deserves to be ahead of Del Potro.

  17. Thank you, Ruan, that was very sweet of you to say. Your blog and the community you’ve created are a great joy for me. Here’s something I don’t buy about the supposed draw rigging theory. Roger is still by far the biggest star in tennis and audiences both live and on tv want to see him play more than anyone else, so Roger equals $$ for the tournaments and networks. If the draw was being rigged, wouldn’t they be rigging it to help the moneymaker while they still have him??? So clearly I am not generally a conspiracy theorist but…. As far a doping, I have to say, it just seems that what Nadal is capable of doing is not humanly possible without some kind of extra help. I don’t see how it’s possible for someone to play for 6 grueling hours of 35 shot rallies, and then recover in a day or 2 and do it again, on supposed bad knees. Or almost retire for injury and then barely pick up a racket for half a year and come back and win EVERYTHING. So even though I have great respect for his incredible fighting spirit, and the way he figures out how to break down his opponents’ games, I hate to say it, I hate to believe it – but I just can’t imagine what he does PHYSICALLY is humanly possible.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nice to hear Eric. As for the rigged draws I have seen some stats which does seem statistically extremely unlikely to happen. Wilfried knows about this. It pertains to the fact that for a long time Djokovic and Federer was always drawn in the same half at slams. I’m not sure what the reason for this was however. Would it make any difference if Djokovic was in Nadal’s half and Murray in Federer’s? But I think even when Fedal wasn’t #1 and #2 it still kept happening. I don’t quite remember the relevance of it all though and maybe Wilfried can help us out here. Like you I hate conspiracy theories and most of the time they are nothing but excuses from fans who can’t handle the truth, but there are times when things don’t make sense. Sometimes things don’t add up statistically, and it can basically be proven that there is something wrong. As for the NAdal issue I have decided not to write about it anymore. First because we have no proof and second because it makes us look like sore losers.

  18. And i’ll go even further to say that the truth always eventually floats and they will ultimately figure out what Nadal is doing. Even if it’s not technically illegal now, I bet it will be in the future.

    Ru-an Reply:

    Actually I think it had to do with the fact that Fedal never got drawn in the same half because they probably wanted a Fedal final. And thus they are catering for the fans to make more money, instead of being honest and making fair draws.

  19. Ru-an! Helloooo!! I’m back! Yes, BACK!!! No more MIA!! Hehe! Gosh! I MISS you guys!! I’ve been sleepwalking at 3am, coughing like my lungs are gonna burst and using up every kleenex in the house since I got back! But NOTHING’s gonna stop me just feasting and gorging on your ENDLESS posts, Ru-an! Wow! you were like posting everyday! Just like the good old days, Ru-an!! But alas you may not be as regular as you are moving. I AM sad already, Ru-an! Where are you going btw? Do not the Americans know that they are losing a rare SA gem??!!!! OK, onto tennis. Wow! You guys are hot, man, HOT!!! Just love love love your heated discussions/comments. Love the “Spanish infiltration” too! Some of Rich’s comeback comments got me rolling on the floor. Haha! We all know now who the lawyer is on this blog!!! And a warm welcome to the new commentators! Thanks for keeping this blog going and especially keeping Ru-an motivated and not too lonely while Mirka was away!! Hehehe! Gosh! I miss you guys! CAN’T say the same though for a certain Swiss player who has forgotten (again!)how to play tennis!! Has he been sleepwalking with me or what?!! Haha! Anyway, here are my thoughts for 2014 (ie if I’m thinking clearly enough….a….ah…ah…choo!! Now, where is that darn kleenex?!) :

    Firstly, question mark over Murray. He can come back very strong or he would need a longer time or he may never get back to his best form! Secondly, according to history, and according to Ru-an’s proven theory, Fedal cannot reign concurrently. Therefore Nadal could slump next year but it may not be until after AO. Uncle Toni is on a mission, “Rafa to win AO 2014 and therefore the only player in open era to win at least twice in each slam, blah, blah, blah,”) Thirdly, Nole is out to prove a point and may well be in ominous form next year. Only question mark is he maybe fatigued; but then that word only applies to every player not named Rafolerer, aka tennis machines. I see Delpo continuing to progress but what can stop him is his knack for picking up injuries. As for Birdman, he is far away in Twitter Land. Doesn’t look like he’s coming back. Plus his due date is already expired, I should think. Jo-Willy, I’m not worried about him. He’s an extremely busy man. Too many issues going on with him. So!….what all this means for 2014 is that Nole maybe the only top player standing in Roger’s way! And Roger CAN win his 18th! Yay!! But WILL he?! :

    If he “forgets his loses easily” and behaves like NOTHING has changed, he won’t (re Ru-an’s and Mickey’s comments above)

    Players who have beaten him, especially in recent years, have sent loud and clear messages to Roger. He should know exactly where his game is at and what he needs to do. But is he habitually hard of hearing?!

    Roger’s game has become too predictable. It doesn’t help that his game must be the most studied in tennis and often players bring their A game when they play him. Conversely, does Roger study his opponents’ games just as keenly as they scrutinise his?!! He has often said he has “no time” to watch much tennis and he doesn’t watch finals if he himself was not in it!

    It’s about willingness to adjust, adapt, improve, evolve. Simple as that. Roger is not old. But the heavy family, ATP, Sponsor, Media commitments can sap his energy which can make him “old”. Denial can be energy sapping and makes him “old”. All the years of mental battles with himself and other players are draining him and escalating his age; especially if they are simply forgotten and not resolved or dealt with. Whether a bigger racket would help, and issues like these are actually secondary and would naturally sort themselves out as he sorts out the “root” causes of his losses first.

    If all stars align and Roger gets lucky, he may get his 18th. And we can all be happy and satisfied. But a huge part of me always wished and even dreamed a fantastic and completely fulfilled end to Roger’s career : that Roger would push his mental and physical capabilities and his talents to another level; which he is completely capable of. He has 3 to 4 years left in him of glorious brilliant winning tennis; regardless of how gruesome the game is today; he can match everyone of the top players. BUT only IF the imprisoned Roger Federer would allow the real Roger Federer to play. It’s all in the head, as even Nole himself said as much. And of course it’s all in his back as well. If the back doesn’t hold up well enough, all bets are off!!

    And Ru-an, Please continue to help us and cheer us on and explain things to us and console us and make us smile and take the knocks with us and celebrate with us and..and..and… See! This blog is SO needed! I look forward to your Anniversary post!! Btw, Flove your layout, the excellent Roger pics selections and your lovely captions!! Come Christmas, I will say a prayer for you, that joy and peace will be yours wherever you may be!! Happy holidays everyone!!!

    Jiten Reply:

    I have not read your post yet. I am so so so happy that my dear sis is back. We were all getting worried! Wow, there will be lot of sunshine from now onwards. On to reading your post now…

    veronica Reply:

    Thank you SO much, brother! (Jiten) sister! (Katyani) and grandma! (Dolores)!!! It feels so much like family with all your warm welcomes! You are such lovely people, truly I do not deserve such love!! Haha! I REALLY look forward to 2014. I have good feelings for Roger. And like Girish, I CAN’T wait for his schedule! Is he playing games with his fans or what?!! Why is he taking so long to release it?! He must have something up his sleeves! Btw, welcome Girish! what a unique name!

    Dolores Reply:

    Hi Veronica, Sooooo glad to have you back in the saddle with Ru-an and all of us on this blog. We did miss you….bubbly Veronica is back! Sorry you are down with a nasty cold, wish you Gute Besserung! You say a lot in your comeback blog, much of it I agree. Am not one to make predictions, but do much wish and hope Roger will have his 18th GS. His health is #1 to accomplish it. He is the one to do it, it will be a lot of determination and grit on his part.
    Take care, your ole’ Grandma Dolores wishes you well,

    Katyani Reply:

    Hey Veronica, my Aussie twin sister !!! How are you girl??? I missed you, as much as the others, even more. Roger is not playing, you were gone….
    Ps, don’t do that again Ronnie (does anybody call you Ronnie??).
    I do agree with you. Roger has too much going on besides tennis. But… I really think he will win more majors.
    Difficult, but not impossible and yes, the draw has to be kind to him. And this will make sound funny, but I think AO and RG are his better chances than Wimby and USO.
    But, we can discuss that later. For now, I am just too glad that you are back !!!
    Oh and congrats, Roger will be playing two events in your country !!!

  20. Hi Ruan, Wish you many more happy returns of the day :-)

    I think Roger will win #18… But he should win some titles first because as he only said ‘winning the titles keeps the things exciting’. He wants to stay in top four.

    We know that he is playing Brisbain and a charity match against Tsonga in Melbourne before AO. I’m already excited to see his full schedule.

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