In the 15 years he has reigned as a Grand Slam singles champion, there has never, ever been this much uncertainty surrounding Roger Federer.
And you can be sure there is no one more curious about the going-forward viability of this 35-year-old than Federer himself. After an unprecedented six-month in
jury-induced layoff, he is avidly sifting the daily data, crunching those early match numbers.
“How is the game, how is the ball, how is the body, how is everything?” Federer said, describing the ongoing search. “I’m getting tons of information out of these last few days now.”
Amazingly, Roger Federer never faced a break point against Tomas Berdych in a lopsided straight-sets win at the Australian Open.
It’s a complex calculus, but after the first two rounds here at the Australian Open the sample size was too small to be conclusive. That’s because Federer had the good fortune to draw opponents ranked Nos. 300 and 200, both of whom had qualified their way into the draw.
Kansas State desperately needs a quality win or two before people — up to and including the NCAA tournament selection committee — start believing. Saturday would be a pretty good place to start. Meanwhile, no team is a better indicator of just how strong this league is than TCU, which spent its first four years as a Big 12 member as the closest thing the league had to a reliable doormat. Coach Jamie Dixon’s first season is already tied for the best start in school history, and the Horned Frogs are young enough that their ceiling might still be miles off.