What Happened to Fed at the U.S. Open?

What happened? I don’t know, but I have some ideas.

Per the American Lung Association humans have maximum lung function at about 25 years of age and this starts to diminish at 35. (http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/how-lungs-work/lung-capacity-and-aging.html). Roger is 37 and he complained after the match of difficulty getting air in the steamroom-like conditions in Ashe.

His opponent was a spry, energetic, 29 year old with a vet’s wisdom. The Aussie, John Millman, is and was in remarkable physical condition. In addition the surprise victor was a hitting partner for Roger earlier this year, i.e. he knows Roger’s game. Finally he was playing well enough to be a part of the last 16 men left in the draw including a win over the excellent shotmaker Fabio Fognini.

I’ve watched Roger during his entire career. He is my favorite tennis player. This was not the Roger who is occasionally upset in majors. This Roger was not close to that player. He is the best volleyer I have ever seen, but last night he had numerous problems even on easy balls at the net. He even had problems being consistent with his vaunted forehand. Roger, finally, had diminished confidence in his backhand.

He has conceded to age the need to reduce both his practice and his schedule. Perhaps last night his age finally caught up with him despite his incredible talent. Remember, Tom Brady, an older, great quarterback is not required to repeatedly sprint. Father time is a mean, mean man.

H. Robert Rubin, M. D., memoirist and author of two books available on Amazon, Look Backward Angel and How Did I Get Through This?