Roger Federer bowed out at the semifinal stage of the Australian Open for the third straight year in 2013, and for the fifth time in his illustrious career.
The disappointing exit doesn't bode poorly for the 31-year-old tennis legend, but it certainly sheds some light on what we can expect from him over the course of the 2013 season. There are still three major tournaments left to play this year, and two of them have been dominated by Federer over the past decade.
With Fed's 2013 Aussie Open run behind him, it's time we look forward and project how the Swiss star will fare at the year's remaining Slam events.
You can look at the lengthy break between the Australian Open and the French Open two ways if you're Roger Federer. Either you have the benefit of four months time to prepare or you have to maintain for four more months before you even have a shot to win another major.
By the time the French Open arrives in late May, Fed will be closer to 32 than he will be 31. Plus, Fed's dominance has never quite translated to the clay.
Federer has played in the last 14 French Opens, but has won there only once, losing in the men's final four other times (each against Rafael Nadal). He lost in the semifinals in Roland Garros last year.
It's his worst major by far. He's won only 80 percent of his career singles matches there (54-13) and has won just once despite reaching the semifinals in seven of his last eight tries.
Given Fed's lackluster game against the world's best on the Paris clay, where the ball bounces higher and rallies last longer, a semifinal exit seems unavoidable for the tennis legend. Assuming Rafael Nadal is back and playing his usual, brilliant clay-court tennis, I look for Fed to bow out in the semis in Paris this spring.
Roger Federer proved last July that he will never be too old to put on a clinic at the All England Club.
Fed was phenomenal at Wimbledon just more than six months ago, playing his precise game to perfection on the fast grass of London. His win over Andy Murray in the men's final ended a two-and-a-half-year major tournament drought, and tied him with Pete Sampras for the most Wimbledon men's titles ever (seven) in the Open era.
When talking Fed and Wimbledon you have to keep in mind these numbers: Federer has won over 90 percent of his career singles matches at Wimbledon (66-7), and has won seven of the 14 Wimbledon Slams dating back to 1999.
I look for Fed to win Wimbledon this summer and become the first man in history to win the Slam eight times in his career. It would also be his 18th career Grand Slam championship.
Though it may seem audacious to say Fed will win back-to-back Wimbledon titles in his early 30s, there's never been anyone better on the All England Club grass than the Swiss superstar.
From 2004 to 2008 Roger Federer was untouchable at the U.S. Open, becoming the first man in the Open era to win five consecutive Slams at Flushing Meadows. But he has since cooled off at the year's final Grand Slam.
After coming up short at the last four U.S. Opens, Fed is still fighting to become the first man in the Open era to win six majors in New York. He is currently tied with Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors with five overall.
Historically, the U.S. Open is Fed's second-best Slam behind Wimbledon. Still, he hasn't cashed in there since he was 27 years old, and that's why it's hard to like his chances at age 32 in 2013.
Fed is poised to make another deep run, yes, but there's no way the magic continues in the semis, where he'll likely be up against one of the other three members of the Big Four (Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Rafael Nadal).
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