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Well, I personally don't feel surprised in terms of results. Fed didn't produce enough tournament wins to stay in the top 3. But I do feel a little surprised at how quick he has shifted priorities to winning only the Slams mainly and less on winning the regular tour events.

But then again, I have always said that once a number one player gets married, the tennis results always seems to drop. 

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He's claiming to have sustained injuries after the USO and wants to recuperate. I think Andy Murray passed him by just because he played more tournaments (and won) this year. RF at number 4 just doesn't seem right. I know he will probably start anew next year and possibly get back to number 2.
I have a little doubt he will get back to Number 2. I think that spot belongs to Nadal, even though he seems to have increasing doubts of his ability.
It is time for all Fed fans to realize we are seeing the decline.  It was only a matter of time.  Age does that to players.  Fed wants one last chance to add a Gold Medal to his collection so that he can be "complete" with his peers.  His desire is to have a complete resume once he officially hangs up his rackets.  Like Tim stated, once a player gets married, the trend is that their results drop.  It has happened to them all. 

I was replaying the 2005 Fed vs. Agassi matches, both Australian and U.S. Open. Fed was more vigorous and "swashbuckling" in his strokes. His backhand had great coil and balance, his forehand had more loop in the backswing to get him out of trouble. Agassi never seems to get the ball out of Fed's deceptive extension. Now his backhand looks abbreviated and his forehand does not start as high and comes through with flattened spin. He has given away his marvelous extension, especially on the forehand.

He used to hit 35% flat finishing forehands. It is also clear to see his footwork cover less ground and surrounds the ball less. He seems to hit more "inside and out" swingpath off both wings of his groundstrokes, instead of "outside and in". Hence, some of the strokes lack the power he once had. Perhaps age has caused all of these changes, but something in the back of my mind also thinks Fed has also chosen to be more conservative as well.

Interesting. I haven't gone back and looked at any Fed in his peak, like 05-07.  Do you have some youtube examples for us Tim?  I sense that he isn't going for the winners like he used to.  Fed as 4???  Strange days indeed.
I felt a little shock earlier when I first heard it , just because Federer has been 1 or 2 since so many years now , and it's now no. 4 ! Amazing ! I guess I'm slowly coming around to it now :( Very slowly though ;)
Wow! The difference in his movement is huge. This Roger against Novak of 2011 will probably win in straight sets. It's a shame I only found tennis recently :(
Check out Safin vs. Fed Australian Open and see his movement there. He really hustles after balls!
Federer has to defend his year end Masters points so I'm not sure if he has any chance to take back number 3 this year. It does feel like the impregnable wall has been scaled.

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