The way I see it is this, tennis is like life in general. When your head is clear, the sky is the limit, when you are not travelling so well it's an uphill battle.
I am certain that I will one day change this site to something along the lines of 'Tennis and Golf Philosophies' .
I have often talked about Tiger and his ability to play golf yet his inability to handle public scrutiny, and play golf. When the World talks about you it does not sit well with your thought process. I believe Novak Djokovic is right where Tiger was when the 'shit hit the fan', so to speak.
No one can explain why Novak can't win regularly at the moment however it seems that all of the scrutiny regarding his private life may just be playing a huge part in why he is injured both physically and mentally. He has no fight.
Roger Federer seems ridiculously content with life, not just with tennis and it shows with his play. He hits the ball with such freedom that it is almost embarrassing for the rest of the tennis fraternity who seem to struggle with their own mortality.
Do some players own a fear of winning ? Do some players own a fear of losing ?
Roger Federer owns neither, he simply plays with no fear of consequence of his actions, he plays like he lives. Married, four kids, go to work, pick up the pay cheque, no issues, enjoy the weekend.
Roger's weekends however usually involve the court, as Tiger's used to involve the course as on many occasions the weekends involved the pointy end of a tournament where the titles and big dollars were and still are on offer.
Tiger is injured, probably more mentally than anything else as is Novak. If he had won that first set against Berdych this year at Wimbledon do you think he would have retired ? He is shot, it's not even worth an argument, his mind is done, like a snag on a barbie.
Roger goes about his business with a minimum of fuss, no stress, no marriage issues ( none public anyhow ) and he simply enjoys being Roger whereas others aren't coping too well with other issues in life that will play on people's minds when they attempt to play sport.
Being free in your mind allows you to play free in your game. If you wake up in the middle of the night for a pee what do you do ? You go for the light switch, you don't even have to think about it, you know where it is, you can do it with your eyes closed.
That's sport, the elite can almost do it with their eyes closed, that's how finely tuned they are but the rest may fiddle around for a while until they find the switch. When Tiger and Novak were unbeatable there for quite some time I am certain that their light switches were almost turned on before they even got there, now they have to think about where it even is.
Sport is about the mind. It doesn't matter how well you can kick it, hit it or place it, sport requires the mind to be free of all the other shit that gets in the way of you being able to play your chosen profession to it's absolute maximum.
Roger Federer quite possibly is the most stress free sports person on the planet, he has to be. How else do you explain the titles he has won this year with the most time off last year ?
Happy off court, happier on court.
Sport is played between the ears, life begins when you wake up in the morning, get that bit right and you may just get the rest of it right........