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For the Record
L. Jon Wertheim
May 21, 2007
Not So Jolly Roger SINCE ROGER FEDERER became the world's No. 1 tennis player in 2004, the only time he could be accused of slumping was when he walked sheepishly, self-deprecatingly to the net after another win. This is a player who has won six of the last seven majors and once went more than a year without losing in consecutive tournaments. Yet heading into this week's event in Hamburg, Germany, Federer has lost four times since March and has taken the trophy at "just" two of the six events he's entered in '07. Last week in Rome, Federer fell in straight sets to Filippo Volandri, an Italian ranked No. 34 in the world. This skid has perplexed everyone in the tennis salon, not least Federer himself. "I don't know what's wrong," he says. "I have to analyze it myself."
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May 21, 2007

For The Record

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Not So Jolly Roger

SINCE ROGER FEDERER became the world's No. 1 tennis player in 2004, the only time he could be accused of slumping was when he walked sheepishly, self-deprecatingly to the net after another win. This is a player who has won six of the last seven majors and once went more than a year without losing in consecutive tournaments. Yet heading into this week's event in Hamburg, Germany, Federer has lost four times since March and has taken the trophy at "just" two of the six events he's entered in '07. Last week in Rome, Federer fell in straight sets to Filippo Volandri, an Italian ranked No. 34 in the world. This skid has perplexed everyone in the tennis salon, not least Federer himself. "I don't know what's wrong," he says. "I have to analyze it myself."

Normally long on both patience and loyalty, Federer split with his part-time coach, Tony Roche, last week. ( Roche, an Aussie who is one of the most respected instructors in the world, reportedly refused to go on the road for more than 15 weeks a year, meaning much of his coaching was done by telephone or e-mail.) For Roche, this completed an unfortunate hat trick: He failed to coach Ivan Lendl to an elusive Wimbledon title, guide Pat Rafter to an Australian Open and assist Federer in winning the French Open—the one line missing from the Swiss star's gilded r�sum�.

Proving that no good deed goes unpunished, some wonder whether Federer hasn't spread himself too thin with humanitarian projects and general accessibility. It also bears mentioning that Federer switched rackets before the start of the season and is playing with a model with a smaller head. Whatever its cause, this swoon augurs ill for Federer's odds at the French Open, which begins in two weeks. Even if Federer gets his game out of the breakdown lane, defending champ Rafael Nadal—who has won 77 straight matches on clay—is the overwhelming favorite. A more optimistic spin: One of the earmarks of a true champion is the ability to self-correct. Federer certainly has the chance to do that now.

Failed
By Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, a marijuana test, according to published reports. The former NFL rushing champ, who played the 2006 season in Canada after being suspended by the NFL for failing four drug tests, applied for reinstatement last month. But his most recent failed test will likely delay his return until at least September. Miami coach Cam Cameron has been noncommittal about welcoming back Williams, 30, who has played in just 12 NFL games since '03.

Announced
That he is leaving the U.S. ski team, Bode Miller. The 29-year-old won the 2005 World Cup overall title but bombed at the '06 Olympics when it seemed he was more interested in the nightlife in Italy than the slopes. He previously drew the ire of the U.S. ski federation when on the eve of the Torino Games he told 60 Minutes that he had skied while "wasted." Miller will train and travel independently of the U.S. team, which Miller claimed was planning to institute rules that would govern him more onerously than his teammates. "I do not believe I can excel and perform at the level I demand of myself under the guidelines the U.S. ski team has presented," Miller (below) said. "I will continue to ski as an American under the U.S. flag and am proud to do so." The announcement came during a trying week for Miller: Last Friday his 24-year-old cousin, Liko Kenney, shot and killed a New Hampshire police officer during a traffic stop. Kenney was then shot and killed by a passerby when he refused to drop his weapon.

Fired
As executive director of the NHL Players' Association, Ted Saskin. A controversial choice when he took the job two years ago (he was the only candidate interviewed), Saskin was placed on a paid leave of absence two months ago in light of accusations that he spied on players by tapping into their e-mail accounts. Saskin was fired by the union's executive board in a conference call. "It was a unanimous vote today, which was nice," said Detroit defenseman Chris Chelios. "We're all on the same page. We're moving forward."

Arrested
On charges that he was a pimp, former Steelers linebacker Richard Seigler. Last Thursday, hours after Pittsburgh released him, the 26-year-old was accused by Las Vegas police of pandering, providing transportation for a prostitute and living off the earnings of a prostitute. Seigler—who spent part of last season on the Steelers' practice squad and played in one game—denied the charges. "The police department in Las Vegas is trying to make a name for themselves," Seigler (right) told The Oregonian. "When the off-season ain't more than two months, how am I able to run a prostitution ring when I'm living in Pittsburgh playing football?" Seigler faces up to 10 years in prison.

Died
Of cancer at age 79, Gino Pariani, a midfielder on the 1950 U.S. World Cup team. Pariani scored for the Yanks in their opener, a 3--1 loss to Spain, four days before they beat England 1--0 in one of the biggest upsets in soccer history. Pariani, who was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 1976, wasn't flashy, but he played a key role in the win over England, helping the U.S. control possession in the midfield. "Gino was probably more appreciated by his teammates than the fans," teammate Walter Bahr said. "Always reliable, always gave a good game. You could depend upon him to do his job well."

Died
Of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, former boxing champion Diego Corrales, 29. Corrales, a native of Sacramento, died on May 7, the second anniversary of his greatest triumph: his knockout of Jose Luis Castillo in what some boxing connoisseurs consider one of the greatest fights ever held. His left eye swollen shut, Corrales twice pulled himself off the canvas early in the 10th round, then stopped Castillo a minute later, winning the WBC lightweight belt. The fight was typical of Corrales's career (40--5, 33 KOs); he possessed both punishing power and an amazing threshold for pain. "You think of Hagler-Hearns and Ali-Frazier, but that was one of the most sensational fights of any era," said light welterweight Ricky Hatton.

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