What do you think will happen in a mere matter of hours?
Roger Federer plays his first match in Shanghai against John Isner in the second round. This marks Fed's return to tournament play after his semi loss against Novak Djokovic. Now odds are Federer will win against a decent-in-form Isner, but like it was mentioned on Adjusting the Net the other day, he could be in for a bit of a surprise this tournament. And that brings up something I've been thinking about Federer the whole year.
To me, it seems like he's been in a perpetual state of rustiness. He loses a tournament then takes four to six weeks off. I know he's Roger Federer, one of the greatest athletes of all time, but I think getting out there and mixing it up more with these guys would help him maintain a little bit more sharpness. That way, he doesn't get cold-cocked when he returns to the court. Admit it: With all of his game and seemingly magical powers, would you be surprised if he lost to Isner first match out? Of course as an athlete gets older with more outside things going on, it gets harder to return to the grind. But the only way I see him getting 20 Slams is to get out there and play more. No one is going to hand him those extra Majors; he's gonna have to go out and take them, and re-establishing a semblance of that aura of invincibility is going to have to be done at the Tokyo's and L.A.'s of the world.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.