Losing Ways of Federer & Mirza

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tennis Losing Ways of Federer & Mirza

This seems to be the season of losses from the unlikeliest of quarters for a player who is a legend and for one who is an established player on the tour. Roger Federer and Sania Mirza have been enduring losses which are uncharacteristic and happening at the time of the year when they usually peak in terms of their respective performances.

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Starting from the grass court season, which starts at Halle, till the Masters Series Championships of the year, Federer is a winner all the way. It is his time of the year, where he endures very few losses, which come far and few between and enters tournaments at will to win and not to just compete. His hard court season at the U.S. Open Series elevates his game to an altogether new height. His record at this stage of the season remains unblemished and his progress remains a mad dash to the post of glory.

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This year his decrees have fallen into deaf ears. Coming from a heartbreaking Wimbledon loss to his nemesis Rafael Nadal, Federer needed a good tournament in the Rogers Masters Series in Toronto, Canada, to help him salvage him of his ranking points. This was needed to be done to keep his pole position atop the ATP ladder intact. When it all seemed that he would bounce back, Federer was stunned in the very first round by Gilles Simon in three sets. This was his tenth loss this year. It is rare in the last couple of years that his loss rate has touched double digits.

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With this loss and the fact that Rafael Nadal has already reached the final, only a few hundred points will separate the top two of the tennis world. It will be a matter of few weeks that Nadal ascends to the very pinnacle of the sport and the ranking will see Federer in the second spot, a phenomena taking place after about five years on the very top of the game.

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His current form can be counted on the devastating loss at Wimbledon and the neat upsurge he saw Nadal do at Roland Garros. Federer is not used to having losses of such magnitude at such close intervals. This year surely calls for the curtains on his domination. Though the year has treated him shabbily, Federer is a true champion and he will bounce back with vengeance. I have a strong belief that he is not yet over with his business.

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On the other side of the court India’s Sania Mirza is having a tough second half of the season after a very promising first half of the year. With amazing wins and great battles behind her in the Australian Open Series and the Grand Slam itself, she injured her wrist which has had an adverse effect in the progress she wished to make this year.

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The U.S. Open Series is where she comes into her own, whipping past champions and dangerous floaters with equal ease and making a name out of herself but two uninspiring losses to virtually unknown players in two tournaments where she had a lot of points to defend has left her with a sudden fall in her rankings and a doubtful form before the Olympic tennis tournament. This comes at the back of three dull losses in the grass court season.

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There are a lot of points that she needs to defend by the end of the year and if she wishes to continue to be part of the elite top thirty two players. Her progress always seems to be steamed by a steady flow of injuries which she just cannot seem to keep at bay. Though her game has improved by leaps and bounds it will be tough for her to go back to the magical form where she almost throttled Venus Williams, Daniela Hantuchova and Jelena Jankovic in the first three months of the year.

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All in all it seems to be a season of losses for these two players, one a legend struggling to cope up with a sudden loss of form and the other player, burdened by the expectations bestowed on her and laden with a job of making them meet.

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Sayan S. Das

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[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/extrajection/241381331/]

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