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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The End of an Era?

(federer leaving Centre Court
at Wimbledon today)
Roger Federer, six-time Wimbledon champion, was eliminated today in the quarterfinals by rising Czech star, Tomas Berdych. Is it the end of the Federer era in tennis? Maybe so. This marks the first year since 2002 that Federer won't be in the Wimbledon final, and his early defeat marks the second Grand Slam in a row in which he exited in the quarterfinals. When he lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open last month, it was the first time since 2004 that he didn't make either the semi-final or final of a Grand Slam tournament. But, hey, all good things must come to an end at some point, and at age 28, (Federer will turn 29 in August), it might be Federer's time to start winding down his brilliant career. Not that he can't still win a few Grand Slams, he's perfectly capable of that, but even if he retired tomorrow, he would leave the game as one of the all time greats, if not the greatest.
Venus Williams, who lost yesterday to an unknown opponent, might be near retirement herself. She's 30, which is dinosaur age in professional sports, and as if her loss yesterday might not have been enough of a signal, she lost today in the doubles, playing with sister Serena, her game definitely not as sharp or as strong as we're used to seeing.
With Federer's loss, Wimbledon 2010 is up for grabs. Can Nadal take his second championship, or will this be, finally, the breakthrough year for Djokovic, Murray, or even one of the fast rising young stars, Berdych or Soderling? We'll soon see.

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