Up close, the thing you notice about Federer is how slight his 6-foot-1 frame is; he has stick-figure arms, and his legs are uncharacteristically thin for a professional tennis player. The contrast not only with the Popeye-like Nadal but also with Djokovic and Murray is striking.
August 24, 2013
Approaching the U.S. Open where he's seeded only 7th, tennis great Roger Federer, now 32, appears well into the decline phase of his career. An odd thing about Federer is how much he looks like athletes used to look:
Contrast Federer's 1970s-looking body to #1-seeded woman Serena Williams, who is only a few weeks younger:
There is much speculation about whether Federer will soon retire, but there doesn't seem much reason for him to hang it up like a boxer or football player should after a last hurrah. Maybe he should if he's taking anti-anemia drugs like Epo for endurance -- in this golden age of men's tennis, matches last absurdly long -- but, in general, he looks like his profession agrees with him, just as golfers seldom see much reason to formally retire. The last golfer to flat out retire may have been Bobby Jones in 1930.
Federer needs two more major championship victories to break golfer Jack Nicklaus's record of 18, a record that Federer and his pal Tiger Woods have been chasing a long time. Tiger has been stuck at 14 since June 2008. Since Tiger last won a Grand Slam event, Federer has added five titles.
Nicklaus didn't quit when he won #16 and #17 at age 40 in 1980. He kept grinding until he won #18 at age 46. And he still didn't retire then. I saw a fifty-year-old Nicklaus in the last round of the U.S. Open in 1990 cursing a blue streak when a birdie putt to move into contention for #19 didn't drop.
By Steve Sailer on 8/24/2013