Smashed Racquet Shows Federer Is Going Crazy

Roger Federer is not used to losing. Ever. So his ongoing struggles to push above mediocrity are understandably trying not only to Federer’s tennis, but also his mental health. The most glaring proof of that came Friday in Miami, where Federer went Andre Agassi on his racquet, then decided his water cups were better suited to spend time in the stands than in his hands less than a set later.

roger federer racquet

(Photo proof of Federer’s racquet rage, from the MIAMI HERALD.)

Novak Djokovic — a Federer fire-ant past and present — was the culprit driving along this tantrum, which could be the sign of much larger issues for Federer. What started in an emotional meltdown after a memorable Wimbledon loss to Rafael Nadal is starting to get the feel of a grand unraveling, perhaps signaling the long slide of a 13-time Grand Slam winner back to earth.

Say what you will about Pete Sampras’s inability to win the French Open — a fate Federer looks more and more ticketed for each year –  but even in his most scuffling final hours, Sampras always held himself with the highest dignity you could imagine. His performance on the court wasn’t always pristine, but you wouldn’t have known it from the way he handled himself.

That’s absolutely the way Federer’s development felt, too, which is precisely why his descent into the realm of racket busting is so surprising.Will Federer be able to turn his year around in Paris or London? It’s possible, but it’s also possible that he makes premature exits at one or both events. And that’s when these emerging antics might get really, really interesting. If he breaks down into tears at Wimbledon one year and throws racquets the next, it might set an all-time land-speed record for a prince’s collapse to pauperdom.