John McEnroe finds it hard to envisage Roger Federer adding to his record 17 grand slam titles and believes the Swiss maestro is showing signs of slowing down.
The 32-year-old Federer heads into next week’s U.S. Open seeded seventh, his first time outside the top three in any slam in the past decade, and his recent form offers no suggestion of a quick improvement at Flushing Meadows in New York.
McEnroe, a four-time U.S. Open champion and three-times Wimbledon winner, is not ruling Federer out of contention for the latter stages of the tournament but he feels it may now be too much to expect the Swiss to go all the way.
“To me, it’s obviously going to be a lot more difficult at this stage,” McEnroe, now a television commentator with ESPN, said on a conference call.
“I don’t see at this stage him being able to go through all seven (rounds) and have to beat at least two of these (top) three guys.
“Maybe he would use that type of thing as incentive. When you’ve won 17, you clearly think you can win another one. To me, there comes a point, even as great as Roger has been for so many years, that it catches up to you a little bit,” McEnroe added.
Beaten by the 116th-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round at Wimbledon, Federer also lost to Federico Delbonis in the Hamburg semi-finals and 55th-ranked Daniel Brands on home soil in Gstaad.