Monte-Carlo Quarterfinals Results: Federer Out

The Roger Federer Mystery Tour continued today as, in rather casual fashion, Jurgen Melzer disposed of the world's No. 3 in straight sets 6-4 6-4 at Monte-Carlo

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The win gives Melzer his first against Federer in four tries and completes the trifecta against the top three players in the world. 
"I mean, I have beaten Rafa last year. I have beaten Nole [Djokovic]. So this was the one missing. I'm very happy I actually did it today," Melzer said after the match.
For Melzer, the win validates last season's success on the clay when he made it to the semifinals of the French Open, only to be ousted by eventual champion Rafa Nadal.
But what does the loss mean for Roger?


His ATP record this year drops to 24-5. At first glance the record may seem alright, except for the fact that in 2006 Federer finished the year 90-5. Granted, that might have been the very acme of his career, quite possibly the very best any player has ever played the game of tennis in the history of the sport. 

However, maybe it's a good way to put into perspective how far Federer has fallen over the last few years. I don't want to get into his ability because I still think it's too early to say that he's lost a step, or lost some of his game. His losses, at least the most notable ones (such as those to Djokovic and Nadal this year) were riddled by uncharacteristic errors made by Roger. 
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But there is no denying that Roger Federer's tournament-in and tournament-out dominance has completely evaporated. 
In Roger's match today, Melzer played an extremely smart and aggressive match. Against the Roger Federer of two years ago, with a clear head and a honed game, Melzer's best would never have been enough to win. 
But today, Roger wasn't able to convert on several break point opportunities, which were match situations he used to thrive upon. 
There is definitely something different about Fed and about his game. He's not as confident as he once was and possibly not as focused. Perhaps it's because he has a family to think about now and his mind is in more places than it used to be back in his "prime." I'm not sure. 
Whatever the case, I'm not convinced we've seen the last of Roger's best tennis. I'm too stubborn and too hopeful to admit that there aren't more exciting chapters to read in the story of the greatest tennis player of all time.
However, I am convinced we've seen the last of the year long dominance we were treated to four or five years ago. 

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