Few will argue that Roger Federer is no longer the force of old. After all, it is unknown to be half-way through a calendar year and the Swiss maestro to still be without a title, while he has only reached one final so far in 2013.
He looked second best in all areas in his French Open quarter final defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and straight-set Grand Slam defeats are not something that is associated with Federer.
Because of this, Federer will not be considered by some to be a serious contender to win Wimbledon this year, despite being the defending champion and winning the Grand Slam seven times in the past.
Federer is 6/1 to emulate Rafael Nadal’s French Open accomplishments of winning the same Grand Slam on eight occasions and punters writing him off are doing so at their peril.
Looking back at some of the greats of yester-year, the moment when their careers plummet rapidly downhill are clearly visible.
The latter part of Pete Sampras’ career saw Grand Slam defeats to little-known trio Andrea Gaudenzi, Galo Blanco and world-ranked 145 George Bastl, who was only playing at Wimbledon in the first place after being given a lucky loser spot.
Among Boris Becker’s Grand Slam defeats was one against world number 92 Rodolphe Gilbert, Andre Agassi was beaten at Wimbledon by Paradorn Srichaphan and Ivan Lendl dropped a two-set French Open lead to Brazil’s Jaime Oncins.
Federer is yet to lose on this level. He has won his last 144 matches inside the first four rounds of a Grand Slam and reached 36 successive quarter finals.
Meanwhile, looking at his last 12 Grand Slam exits, 10 have come against players in the top 10 of the world rankings and his other two defeats have been against top-20 players.
Furthermore, Federer continues to be there or thereabouts despite 2010 suggesting his time had passed, when comprehensively being dumped out of Wimbledon in the quarter finals by Tomas Berdych. Yet, he has since come back to win again.
At the last French Open he was beaten in straight sets by Novak Djokovic, but back he came to win Wimbledon, defeating the likes of Djokovic and Andy Murray to shine at SW19.
Federer may have declined another level in the last 12 months and Nadal’s return to top-level tennis will make his chance of winning that bit harder, but Federer is certainly not over the hill yet and if he is to have one more moment in the limelight, Wimbledon 2013 is the most likely place.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.