Roger Federer, a genius who made tennis look effortless, has announced that he is now planning “to play more tennis because he could not do his job as he did before.”
He was talking about the Open, which he has played 14 times and won five titles. His career total is now more than a dozen Grand Slams, 23 finals. He has had a better season this year than his eight years ago, and a far better year than his time when he won the US Open. He is 38, but his age is just a number, and he seems to have forgotten the importance of how he looks.
That’s especially odd since he has been in poor health for the last two years, most of it related to what’s known as “the backhand” injury and its aftermath. He has had to deal with this for most of his adult life. Now that he is healthy again, he has a job to do. He has to play, even if it is going to be painful.
The Open does not get canceled, but he told the Times: “I couldn’t do my job like I used to. I thought I could do it if I won the tournament.” He may not be able to do it yet, but he must keep trying. He may not get another chance.
If he doesn’t get another chance, he may not get another chance at all. That’s the situation that faces the most famous American athlete. His father, Fred, was a legendary golfer who won on the PGA Tour. But Fred died in 1961, when his son was 6 years old.
Then, in 1963, there was Jack. At 6 years old, he was already at the peak of his abilities as a golfer, an Olympic gold medalist and on his way to being a legend who helped inspire generations of golfers.
That was the year of the U.S. Open at Shin