Yeah but who wants to play Fed in the QFs? Him and Delpo definetly to be avoided.
I think predictions of Fed's demise are a bit premature. His loss at Wimbledon was completely out of the blue. He had won Halle easily and then demolished a top 50 player in the 1st round. Stakhovsky must have seemed like another formality. I think Fed just became a bit complacent, dropped his intensity slightly and Stakhosky took advantage. Fed will be determined to erase that defeat at the USO and I really hope he is in Joker's quarter.
I would agree that Federer losing quite that early and who he lost to might have been a surprise, but I don't think it was out of the blue, not entirely.
He's won one title all year and his form does seem to have been very erratic. He seems to have been either playing really well or downright poor, there doesn't seem to be much in between. I still want to know where his return game went against Stakhovsky.
I do think the decline has come, in fact, to a point I think it has been coming for a while. I just think it is gathering pace now.
It seems to me as if Federer's aura has diminished somewhat. I don't think players are as frightened of him as they might have been in the past. Sure, you still need to be good to beat him, but I think more believe they can now, which is surely half the battle.
I'd be a bit surprised if Federer got beyond the quarters at the USO. The only way I see that happening, frankly, is if he draws Ferrer.