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Wimbledon 2011: Becker on the future of Federer

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Tsonga powers to shock win over Federer

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's stunning quarter-final triumph over six-time champion Roger Federer was the biggest shock of this year's Wimbledon.

Tsonga produced a magnificent display to become the first man to come from two sets down and beat the Swiss star in a Grand Slam match.

Federer's total of 16 Grand Slam titles is a record, but at the age of 29 question marks are being raised about how long he will stay in the game.

Six-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker gives his opinions on the future of Federer in the men's game.

Boris Becker
By Boris Becker
Three-time Wimbledon champion

Roger Federer's defeat was not so much about Jo-Wilfried Tsonga going up to another level, but Federer not being able to cope and being unable to find a better stroke.

It was a big surprise for me. Roger had cruised into the quarter-finals and cruised through the first two sets of this match with some brilliant tennis.

Upbeat Federer promises to return after defeat

But when it hits you, it hits you.

Roger brought about Pete Sampras's demise when he burst onto the scene and shocked the seven-time champion at Wimbledon back in 2001.

Who knows whether this is the end of the Swiss's era at the top of the men's game?

He is going to have a lot of thinking to do over the summer. Reaching the quarter-finals is not good enough for a six-time Wimbledon champion.

Physically he is still fine despite being 29, but mentally his motivation just cannot be the same as it was three or four years ago.

In order for him to play a couple more years successfully he needs to reach the semi-finals and finals of Grand Slams, that is his quality. He can't be satisfied losing like this.

As a fan I really hope he continues at the highest level and finds his mojo again.

ROGER FEDERER'S 16 GRAND SLAM WINS
Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)
French Open (2009)
Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
US Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

I hope he is going to do all he can to continue at the top.

We have a lot of good players on the Tour and anyone in the top 10, on their given day, can beat each other.

And Federer is partly responsible for the fact that men's tennis is in such good shape. He put it all on his shoulders about five years ago and he has inspired Rafael Nadal to take it to another level.

It is not just Nadal, though, Novak Djokovic has had an amazing year and Andy Murray has got better, which means life isn't going to be any easier for Roger in the future.

I knew that my time at the top was up when Sampras came along and I knew he had more firepower than me.

I don't call Roger the best of all time, I call him the most successful of all time

Boris Becker

I felt that on his best day and on my best day he was better than me, and psychologically it was difficult for me to then carry on. I just wasn't happy with quarter or semi-finals.

It takes practice and practice and lot of sacrifices to stay at the top. Roger has done it for so long, and 60 Grand Slams later the question he has to ask himself is, do I need this? If he says yes, then we will all be happy.

But he is a father of twins now and loving your children makes it harder to leave home week after week.

His record total of 16 Grand Slams is under threat from Rafael Nadal, who stands just six behind. The Spaniard is still only 25 so if his body stands up physically to the Tour and he carries on playing amazing tennis he could break the record. This could spur Roger on to win a few more.

I don't call Roger the best of all time, I call him the most successful of all time as I can't compare the 1970's, 80's and 90's to today's game.

Long may he continue.

Fantastic Roger Federer hits sublime lob

Federer hits sublime lob


Boris was talking to BBC Sport's Paul Birch



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see also
Tsonga stuns Federer in five sets
30 Jun 11 |  Tennis
Reaction to Federer's defeat
29 Jun 11 |  Tennis
Federer keen to stay a contender
29 Jun 11 |  Tennis
Wimbledon day nine photos
29 Jun 11 |  Tennis
Federer ends Sampras reign
02 Jul 01 |  Wimbledon 2001


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