Roger Federer lost again on Friday, this time in the quarterfinals of Monte Carlo to Jurgen Melzer. Like after all Federer losses, tennis folk immediately drew grand conclusions about the star's tennis future based on two hours of play. Is all the fretting warranted?
Today, Busted Racquet takes an in-depth look at the knee-jerk reactions on both sides of the aisle:
Freak out! Federer had been in the finals of Monte Carlo three times in his last four appearance.
Chill out! The time he wasn't? When he last played the tournament in 2009. That year, Federer lost to Stan Wawrinka in the third round.
Freak out! The loss on Friday was the fifth for Federer this year.
Chill out! All five of those losses have come to players in the top 10 (Novak Djokovic x3, Rafael Nadal, Melzer).
Freak out! None of Federer's wins this year have come against a player ranked inside the top 13. (A victory over No. 14 Stan Wawrinka stands as Fed's best for 2011.)
Chill out! He's 23-0 against players outside the top 10.
Freak out! Federer's big-point struggles continued against Melzer. He was 0-7 on break points and failed to close out a game on Melzer's serve that he led 0-40.
Chill out! There were moments during the match where the wind blew so hard that the Monte Carlo court looked like the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. Plus, Melzer played well in victory. He won the match, Federer didn't lose it.
Freak out! This was Melzer's first-ever win against Federer (he was 0-3 previously). He joins Gael Monfils, Albert Montanes, Marcos Baghdatis and Nikolay Davydenko as players to get their first notch against Federer in the past 18 months.
Chill out! That oft-repeated factoid is overrated. In the previous 18 months before this stretch, Federer also was beat for the first time by Julien Benneteau, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Stanislas Wawrinka, James Blake, Ivo Karlovic and Gilles Simon. When you've been so good for so long you're going to lose matches to guys who have never beaten you before.
Freak out! Federer hasn't come back from a set down in a match this year. He's only done it twice since Wimbledon.
Chill out! The last time Federer lost five matches before April 15 was in 2009. He went on to win the French Open and Wimbledon that year.
Freak out! Had he defeated Melzer, Federer would have played David Ferrer, whom he's defeated 11 times in a row, in the semifinals.
Chill out! Federer wasn't going to beat Nadal in the final anyway.