Roger Federer's second-round loss at Wimbledon confirmed the dwindling of his dominance. This and his drop to No. 5 in the rankings prompted the Swiss great to get with the times and change to a bigger racket, which has so far proved to be a wise choice.
Federer may be seeing success in the German Tennis Championships, but when we strip away the equipment, the fact remains that he's past his peak.
Peter Bodo of ESPN wrote that while Federer's new racket is helping to enhance his strengths, "He just doesn’t attack break points with the relish and confidence of a young warrior."
Federer is cruising in his current tournament. On Thursday, he beat Jan Hajek in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. He won 70 percent of points on his first serve and tallied seven aces, although break points were not his strong suit. But when he faces the likes of Novak Djokovic and the soaring Andy Murray, it will be clear that his time has come and gone.
Murray is on cloud nine and has strung together some impressive results recently. Not only did the 26-year-old notch his first slam title at the U.S. Open last year right after winning gold on his home turf in the Summer Olympics, but he continued to bring glory to the British by seeing victory at Wimbledon just a few weeks ago.
Federer's technical precision is marvelous, and his slices are now more lethal than ever, but he can't overpower Murray like he used to.
And don't forget about No. 1 Djokovic. While he couldn't fool Murray in the Wimbledon finals, the loss may have been partly due to exhaustion. He's still the best in the world. He just won the ESPY award for Best Male Tennis Player, and fans echo this sentiment:
The U.S. Open, which saw Djokovic and Murray face off in the finals in 2012, will shed more light on where Federer's game is relative to the two powerhouses.