I have said it before and been wholly wrong, I'll admit that, but now really is the time for the 33-year-old Roger Federer to hang-up his racquet.
His third-round Australian Open exit, his earliest in 14 years, was largely unexpected, purely because he is Roger Federer - but the warning signs have been coming. The relatively unknown Andreas Seppi was the man to knock-out the former world no.1, but his similarly unheard of Italian compatriot, Simone Bolelli, had lit the fuse at the previous hurdle.
So, with just two poor matches, some of you may be laughing at my assessment that 'the warning signs have been coming', after all he was playing some of the best tennis off his life just before Christmas - but look off-court for a moment, look at the hype around him, that is where it has all been unravelling.
No.18: that is the key thing. It seems like whenever anybody talks about Federer now, they are talking about the elusive Grand Slam no.18. People seem to be thinking it is a matter of when and not if. The pressure on the Swiss veteran is severe because of it.
Of course all of the talk was been born because he has not won a Grand Slam title since 2012, two-and-a-half years ago, the absence of titles is making the expectation grow strongly.
Now is the time where we all must sit back and appreciate that it may never happen. Instead of yearning for that one title to take the total to 18, we should actually start cooing over the amazing 17 titles that he has indeed managed to pick-up.
Compare it with football and the English Premier League for just one moment. Nobody now thinks of Sir Alex Ferguson 'why didn't he win a 14th league title'; of course not. However, look at another legendary manager in Arsene Wenger - his reputation has been slightly tarnished by his failure to won the title with Arsenal for nearly 14 years. What is the difference? - One left at the right time.
Back to Federer now and talk has already begun about how Wimbledon is the one where he will win Grand Slam no.18 - give it a rest, give the poor guy a break.
It is such a big ask for the 33-year-old to win with the sheer weight of competition against him. Two weeks against the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and the up-an-coming youngsters is just too much.
Leave now and Federer can sit in his multi-million pound mansion in Switzerland as the greatest ever. He'll probably be considered the greatest anyway but the longer he stays, the longer the varnish wears off his gold statue of greatness.
I want him to continue, I love watching him play - but he as to continue playing for the right reasons.
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