This past Australian Open we saw crazy upsets, quality tennis, and an epic ending that nobody saw coming, a Roger Federer victory over Rafael Nadal. At age 35, it would be reasonable to assume that the Aussie will be Federer’s last major title, but with his recent level of play, it also wouldn’t be unreasonable to say he’ll win another slam this year. It’s tough to gauge what exactly we should expect from Federer this year, but his history and analyzing his current situation could shed some light on it.
People will try and dismiss Federer by citing his age and claiming that he’s regressed significantly, and even though by Federer’s standards he has regressed, by a normal professional tennis players standards he’s still incredible. In fact, by normal standards, Federer has really only had one “bad” year since he’s entered his prime. He’s fallen out of the top ten once, and it was due to injury, not because he played poorly, so the only time he really was playing badly was in 2013 when he dropped to No. 7 at one point and played poorly in every slam. Age clearly got the better of him in the sense that he stopped winning three majors a year, but his level of play hasn’t dropped in a way that’s made him worse than a top five player, except for in 2013.
Another thing worth noting with Federer is that his results in 2014 through his results now in majors have been exceptional, and it’s actually pretty crazy it took him this long to win his 18th considering them. In 2014 he went 73-12, got back to the world No. 2 spot, and his major results were semi-finals, the round of sixteen, finals, and semifinals. In 2015 he went 63-11, and his major results were third round, quarterfinals, finals, and finals. In 2016 he only played two slams because of his injury, but he reached the semi-finals of both of them and lost a highly competitive five-setter in the Wimbledon semis to Milos Raonic. Obviously, the only thing he’s done in 2017 was play and win the Australian, but based on these results in recent years and his result in the Australian, I think it’s reasonable to expect he’ll continue to play at this high level throughout 2017. Also, considering the fact that recently Novak Djokovic, the man who prevented Federer from winning all of those finals in recent years, hasn’t looked like himself the door is wide open for Federer to win another slam.
The French Open seems unrealistic for Federer to win since he’s only won it once over the duration of his career. Even he admitted that his eyes are set on an eighth Wimbledon title since the French historically hasn’t been his best tournament. The thing with the French and U.S. Open though is that Federer didn’t even play them last year, so he’s No. 10 in the world right now without any points from two majors, if he plays well in the French, expect his ranking to skyrocket and with that comes an easier draw for him at Wimbledon. It’s not gonna be easy for him, but it seems like a reasonable expectation that Federer will be a major factor on the tour this year. At age 35, though, it’s possible Federer may choose to retire soon. As of now it really looks like he’ll be able to play at a high level and compete in majors until he finally gets sick of it.