Roger Federer: Did He Benefit From a Weak Era?

By Vijaylakshmi Shetty
at Internationaled.org

Published: October 4, 2010

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Roger Federer started his reign with a victory at the Wimbledon Championships in 2003. Almost immediately, he started acquiring Grand Slam titles at a breakneck pace as if there were no tomorrow. People watched in amazement. Many wondered whether he was a tennis God descended from Mt Olympus or just an amazing mortal battling wimps.

The Federer era is marked by a most compelling rivalry not seen before in tennis. Federer and Nadal, two of the greatest tennis players in history, held the top two positions in rankings continuously from July 2005 to August 2009  and also, with minor interruptions, in the period thereafter.

After Federer took over the top spot in Feb 2004, no one other than he and Nadal have held the number 1 ranking till today. An era which boasts of such a rivalry, the like of which hasn't been seen before, how can it be called weak?

The trouble is, Federer and Nadal are not in the same age group. Nadal is almost 5 years younger.

The prime playing period for tennis players can be said to be between 21 and 29 .Before 21, although they might have peaked in speed and reflexes, they would not have attained full physical strength nor  have gained adequate experience or emotional maturity. After 29, their speed and reflexes are likely to decline and the cumulative wear and tear on their bodies could result in more injuries.  

Nadal's prime starts at age 21 i.e. in 2007. So what about the period 2003 to 2006 ? Was it a weak era?

What do we mean by a weak era? We mean a period where there is no one to offer sustained competition of a high order to a champion thus making it easier for him to acquire GS titles ( almost like snatching candies from kids! ).

Who were Federer's rivals doing these period? Let's look at the top 4 during this period ( year-end rankings).

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Tennis

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