The great one, Roger Federer, may be making his last appearance in the ATP World Tour Finals. The end of the year round-robin event is by invitation only to the best top eight players of the year.
This year, Roger Federer barely qualified as the seventh ranked player in the world. In past years, it has been routine for Federer to make the event. He’s won it six times.
The event is quite different than tennis’ majors or other tournaments. Played indoors, the eight players are divided into two groups and play three matches against their counterparts to determine the semifinal pairings and eventually the final pairing.
Each group sends two players to the semifinals. If two or more players in a group are tied for wins after the three matches, first and second place are determined by number of sets won and then by number of games won.
It is a great privilege to play in the World Tour Final and players are compensated handsomely for it.
For Federer, this could be his last appearance, as age may be finally catching up to him. He has gone on record as saying that he will cut down on the number of tournaments he plays next season to maintain more crispness and freshness to his game.
Federer is one of the oldest players on tour now at 32 and is married with twin daughters. He is definitely different from most of the other players on tour and different from how he used to be when he was dominating the big tournaments.
But, I won’t count him out. I’ve already done that once before and was wrong. He came back to win Wimbledon in 2012 after I said he would never win another major.
Federer has been a magician with the racket and has provided more thrills than any sports fan can count. I’m hoping he has another run in him next season.
So far in the Barclays this week, he lost his first match against Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2.
He’s hanging tough and he may have to face Djokovic again in the final. First, though, he has to make the semifinals by getting through Juan Martin del Potro and Richard Gasquet. Looming in the other group is Rafael Nadal. Andy Murray is not playing due to injury.
Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com