Roger Federer’s performance timeline of late belies the fact that the year is 2015. Saving for those lines on his forehead which have become prominent with the passage of time, there is nothing about him that cries out loud that he is 34.
Roughly speaking, Federer’s prime came to an end, say, five years back, but the man has redefined our perception about players who have approached the dusk of their careers. From the Swiss maestro’s vantage point, the end is nowhere in sight.
In 2013, Federer experienced the worst ever slump of his career. For the first time in 11 years, he finished the season without making it to the finals of any Grand Slam; at Wimbledon, he was shown the doors by a lesser-known Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round.
That year, he finished as No:6, his lowest ever since he rose to prime. Most of us started fearing the worst then, preparing ourselves to come to grip with the foreseeable departure of the greatest player ever in the history of the game.
While game should be taking precedence to the players, it was still hard to imagine a ‘post-Federer’ scenario. With Novak Djokovic rising to prominence, and Rafael Nadal making a dramatic comeback, it wasn’t difficult to picture the future.
With the Spaniard closing in on Federer’s seemingly insurmountable record of 17 Grand Slams, him dethroning the latter suddenly started looking realistic.