Excerpt from David Bowie’s Heroes
Though nothing, will keep us together
We could steal time, just for one day
We can be heroes, forever and ever
What’d you say?
I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, forever and ever
Oh we can be heroes, just for one day
Sports Are Not Merciful
Roger Federer has played strong tennis in 2012. He is tied for the tour lead in tournament titles. Still, his vanilla performance in the French Open semifinal round points to the fact that no matter how smoothly Roger has transitioned while getting older eventually time will win. Roger cannot play like it is 2006 in every match. He has talented opposition that is 4-6 years his junior surrounding him in the rankings. Younger players are always trying to break into the top tier of the tour. Nothing can keep Federer and the top 5 together. He is secure as a top tier player in 2012 and probably in 2013. Beyond that it is possible, but by 2015 he’s going to be the same age that Andre Agassi was when he surprisingly reached the 2005 US Open final (losing to Federer).
Roger has an Opportunity
Time is an opponent no one beats, but some athletes achieve timeless excellence. Roger has already done this. He will be number 1 emeritus until the day he stops showing up at events as either a player or a dignified guest. Given how often I have seen Borg or Vilas in the stands over the years, Roger has a lot of time to enjoy being the Dean of Tennis if he so chooses.
Roger Federer left Paris as a man clearly 3rd in the world. A gap between he and the top 2 players was evident, but David Ferrer and Andy Murray had not exactly staked a claim to number 3. Now Roger is 2 wins away from returning to the throne at Centre Court as well as claiming the number 1 ranking again. I cannot see Roger having a 26 to 52 week reign at the top spot. However, he can win a manageable number of matches at his favorite event to become number 1 again for a very finite period of time. Although age makes it clear that nothing can keep an active Federer and his fans together forever, two wins would allow him to do something timeless once again. Such a victory may only last for one day, but it would also last forever and ever. Roger does not need this win for his legacy, but he is two matches away from enhancing an already sublime career.