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Why They'll Win, Why They Won't: Roger Federer

Saturday, August 24, 2013 /by

While it can be difficult to compare seasons in sports, it’s impossible to deny that 2013 has been Federer’s worst campaign in the past decade. Once a lock to win at least one major per year, Federer has just one title this year—a minor one at that, in Halle. He’s been injured at times and has looked his age, now a wise 32. Perhaps most troubling of all, he’s clearly fallen behind the pace set by his top rivals, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray—the Swiss icon has lost his last five matches against the triumvirate. Can the US Open, where Federer will be seeded seventh, offer redemption? There’s always a chance, as he loves the courts at Flushing Meadows. The five-time champ hasn’t won there since 2008, but he has reached the final four in all but one year since. Still, those heartbreaking losses were once victories he would snatch from defeat.

Why He’ll Win: Despite what the rankings say, it’s still a foursome that rules the men’s game, and Federer can still shine on a fast surface. With an efficient opening week, he’ll be at his peak for the top competition.

Why He Won’t: Losing to Murray and Nadal is one thing, but losing to Daniel Brands, Federico Delbonis and Sergiy Stakhovsky? Even early-round opponents must now think they have a chance to beat him.

Bottom Line: All the support in the world probably won’t be enough to prevent another disappointment in Federer’s troublesome season.

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