Roger Federer: “This is Obviously a Bit of a Blow”
by Staff | January 27th, 2011, 7:55 am

Roger Federer lost to Novak Djokovic Thursday evening at the Australian Open men’s semifinals.

Q. Big disappointment. Thoughts on the game? What went wrong?

ROGER FEDERER: I thought he played a great match. I didn’t think I played bad myself, so it was a match played at a very high intensity for a long period of time.

Clearly it’s disappointing to lose, but what to do if he plays well on the big points, and potentially maybe I didn’t. It was a tough match.

Q. Physically how much did the match take out of you? Did you feel at any point you were getting weary, that he was wearing you down?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I’m feeling really good considering how intense it was. It was a three hour match over three sets and, you know, I don’t take much time in between points. It’s maybe even a longer match if you like.

No, I felt good. It was intense. We had long, tough rallies and played at a very high speed and everything. So sure, you feel it a little bit, but obviously I was ready for another two sets easily. Pity that I couldn’t push him there.

Q. You couldn’t defend the title. What do you think about this?

ROGER FEDERER: I couldn’t? Yes, I could not.

Q. How do you feel?

ROGER FEDERER: I feel okay, because I’m healthy. I wish I had a chance on Sunday, but, look, Novak was the better player tonight. You got to accept that and move on from here.

It’s not the end in any way. It’s a start for many other tournaments after this. Sure, it’s disappointing and it hurts in the moment itself. I wish I could have won here again for the fifth time.

But wasn’t possible tonight.

Q. Do you feel like there’s anything tactically you could have done different or anything that you would have changed if you had to do it over again?

ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, the night session against Gilles Simon. Playing at night here makes it pretty tricky to actually move a whole lot to be quite honest, because as the match goes on and it gets a bit cooler the ball bounces less. So, the spinny balls don’t really have that affect so the flatter you hit it the more effect it has overall.

But then you get used to that. When it’s that kind of condition, every point is basically played the same way. It’s pretty tough, you know. But I wish it was a bit different, maybe use the kick a bit more and slices would stay lower through the air. But look, I’ve been successful here under all circumstances, night and day, windy and hot, whatever. When you end up losing you wish you had different conditions.

I think he managed the conditions well. He played great. He played well when he had to. Yeah, he deserved to win at the end.

Q. Will you watch the remainder of the tournament or will you give it a break?

ROGER FEDERER: It’s always a classic question. I don’t know why you care. I don’t know what my plans are quite yet. I doubt it because I don’t switch on the TV a whole lot when I’m elsewhere with the family, so…

Q. (Question regarding who will win the final)

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don’t know who is in the final yet on the other side. I fancy Murray’s chances to go through. Then again, it’s night. I don’t know how that’s going to match up against each other.

I’m sure it’s going to be an exciting final. I mean, obviously if Novak plays at this level, he’s got his chances; if Murray continues playing at his level he’ll have his chances too. Ferrer played a fantastic match yesterday.

Yeah, regardless it’s going to be a great end to the tournament.

Q. Tonight you had chances to win the second set. You were up. Then you played a dropshot on his breakpoint and you lost your serve. You were close to the net. Do you think you lack some lucidity?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think the start to the game wasn’t the best one already. 5 3, I think, I was right away down Love 15, I think. I was always playing catch up until I had something of a chance. The dropshot was just adding one. Him getting the extra ball back in a tough way. He moved so well side to side that you have to try to get him forward too at times.

On that one he predicted it might happen and played it well. I should definitely not have given that game away. It was crucial for the remainder of the match clearly. But I’ve won matches in straight sets against him at the US Open where I should have never won in straights. I ended up doing it because things just fell my way and tonight was one of those nights it went his way. Every time I had slight opportunity, either I didn’t play my best and he played his best.

It was a tough night from this standpoint. Those are sometimes the way matches go.

Q. Todd Woodbridge after the match was sort of suggesting that with Rafa injured and you out now that it was something of a passing of the torch.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, they say that very quickly, so…

Let’s talk in six months again.

Q. Having played this first Grand Slam, how are you feeling about the rest of the year?

ROGER FEDERER: I feel very good. I’m very optimistic about the next 15 tournaments, however many I’m playing. I’ve barely lost matches lately really, so I’m happy with where my game is at, with where my condition is at.

I’m really excited for what’s to come. This is obviously a bit of a blow. At the same time, I played a good tournament. I have no regrets. I left everything out there. We’ll see what comes next.

Q. Do you think Novak has improved in any particular way?

ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, I thought he played a great end to the season as well. Played well at the US Open; played well before that, a little bit after that. His game doesn’t go away overnight either. I was able to sort of get the better of him on a few occasions in a couple of close ones.

I think I beat him four out of five times at the end of the season, and that obviously hurt his end to the season so it makes it look like he didn’t play great. Honestly, I think he was always there giving himself chances. Would he have maybe played at this level or would I have played a little level underneath that, he would’ve had an unbelievable end of the season.

But that’s sometimes how it goes. Doesn’t mean the guy that doesn’t win the tournament can’t play tennis. That’s sometimes how things are portrayed. I had a great season last year, and I think I’ll have another one this year.

Q. When you lost three years ago in three straight sets, 2008 here, do you see any similarity with that match and the one of tonight, apart from the scores?

ROGER FEDERER: Um, why compare?

Q. Just to find out if you played better tonight, the other time, or if he was playing different, if something changed or is exactly the same. Just an idea.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s not a greatest question, to be honest. What do you want me to say? I don’t know what to tell you. I think it’s irrelevant tonight.

Q. Two days ago, Novak said you are maybe the most aggressive player on the circuit. Do you think somehow he was more aggressive than you tonight?

ROGER FEDERER: I think we always try to play very aggressive against each other. Usually that’s what players do against me; the more aggressive you play, the more aggressive they will almost have to play.

Like I said before, conditions allowed it really to hit full blast through the ball, especially the one end that was with the wind made it a bit easier than the other.

Look, Novak has great assets in his game and can go up the line on both sides, forehand, backhand, moves extremely well. He’s a tough player to play against. You know, I felt that many times. He’s felt my aggressiveness all the time.

It’s a battle for almost who can play more aggressive. Tonight he was better and won the big points.

There’s many good players out there. Not just the two of us. I think we face off quite well against each other.

Q. Was he putting a lot of pressure on your backhand side? Do you think that was a winning tactic for him?

ROGER FEDERER: I’m not sure if the match was won there, to be quite honest. I think was a few points here and there. If I had served it out in the second set, who knows what happens.

I was always going to be there physically and mentally. That’s what I was going to try to test with Novak tonight , but I just couldn’t do it. He snuck out on me on a few occasions. My bad a few times; his great play a sometimes. It was just bad combination for me tonight.

Q. You had a couple exchanges with the chair umpire. Was there anything about Novak’s tactics or crowd noise that was bothering you that prompted those exchanges?

ROGER FEDERER: He’s a nice guy, the umpire, so I kind of like to talk to him at times.

Q. Nothing bothered you?


Q. After Doha’s final, Davydenko said if you play like that you would be unbeatable. How do you compare your form here and in Doha?

ROGER FEDERER: Obviously completely different circumstances with playing best of five. I still think I played a great tournament. I had some really good moments here these last couple of weeks.

Like I said, I don’t think tonight was a bad match. I can move on from this with a good mindset, to be honest. That’s what’s important right now, that I don’t feel like I have physical issues or I’m not playing the right way and whatever.

So I’m really positive what’s ahead of me. I hope I’ll stay healthy this time around in February, which has been a bit of an issue in the last couple years. So I hope this time around I’ll be good, which then is going to help me through Dubai, Indian Wells, and Miami, and then going into the clay court season.

I’m playing well. Tonight, like I said, I just ran into a player who was a bit better than me tonight.

FastScripts by ASAP Sports

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48 Comments for Roger Federer: “This is Obviously a Bit of a Blow”

Anonymous Says:

Djokovic was literally like a brick wall tonight, stopping almost everything from the baseline. Not as fun to watch as Fed, but got the job done.

Federer could have done some things differently but alas.

grendel Says:

Q. You had a couple exchanges with the chair umpire. Was there anything about Novak’s tactics or crowd noise that was bothering you that prompted those exchanges?

ROGER FEDERER: He’s a nice guy, the umpire, so I kind of like to talk to him at times.

Love it!

grendel Says:

Anonymous – a succinct and accurate summary!

esquilax Says:

I thought Fed struggled during the two weeks actually. There was just something messy about the games he played.

Murray (if he makes it) for me sorry Joker fans.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Classy interview and great attitude. You could see in that last set that Fed’s mind and heart were there, but his shotmaking was not.

Huh Says:

“Q. Todd Woodbridge after the match was sort of suggesting that with Rafa injured and you out now that it was something of a passing of the torch.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, they say that very quickly, so…

Let’s talk in six months again.”


Lulu Iberica Says:

Props to Federer, very classy interview. And kudos for telling the press some of their questions stink!

contador Says:

i left AO radio on and set my phone alarm but nothing woke me up. missed the match.

must have been cranky with a call? but i love fed’s answer. and he wasn’t going to be drawn into that whole comparison between 2008 and this year. i happen to think it’s completely different circumstances.

all credit to nole and i’m really happy for him! i do like him better than murray but think it would be great for murray to get his first slam at this AO. both are playing great, both deserve to move up.

but dahveed is not out. i find myself strangely pro rafa this morning. i picked rafa to win AO, winning the rafa slam. and it didn’t happen. my favorite all time atp player will always be federer but i guess i really did want rafa to win it, if fed couldn’t. was feeling federer peaked too early and had a tough assignment playing in-form under-rated simon from the start – didn’t believe fed’s form was going to be as good as nole’s and they were headed for the semi-clash.

fed says don’t jump to conclusions….check back in 6 months. so i believe him. love you rog!

plus cranky the news does sound like “contador,” the real alberto contador, will lose his 3rd TDF tour title and be banned for a year. in general i think cyclists pretty much bend the doping rules where they can…it’s a matter of getting caught.

spain needs a boost and i like ferru….go daveed!

but the UK hasn’t had a GS winner in how long? so go muzz!

and go li na! but i think kim will win.

Kimberly Says:

im rooting for li na and Ferrer.

grendel Says:

Contador, I believe if it was in your power, you’d let about 5 people win the title all at once! You have a generous spirit….

contador Says:

happy for all nole’s fan’s too! Duro..stu, jane, nina, sar….big celebration and good luck nole. yay nole!

contador Says:

grendel…i was not so generous a couple years ago, trust me…it was ALL about federer!

but then he finally got what i wanted most for him FO…plus, married, twins…can’t feel bad ever for federer now.

and i love tennis so….this is has been an exciting AO: dimitrov made an appearance, delpo won a match….berankis, raonic and alexandr sasha tigger dolgopolov made it to the quarters! all players i have been hoping to move up. disappointment was that soda didn’t beat dolgo….somebody has to win ; /

and of course there’s, gulbis. but what to i expect other than him to show up : )

jane Says:

Oh I see that people are commenting on the interview here: Yes, excellent interview by Fed. I like the way he handles the press here, putting off their questions that are meant to create flurries with expertise and humour. Also gave good analysis of the match, remains optimistic, etc. I have read most of Fed’s pressers at this AO and they have all been good.

stu Says:

whats taking them so long to upload Nole’s presser?

i bet he will be more forthright about the umpire complaint situation, and i’m dying to know whether or not the commentators were exaggerating…

stu Says:

i guess the press are the way they are becoz of readers like me :(

contador Says:

Kimberly – yay! we are cheering for the same person for once, li na! it’s a start. and i do lean toward underdog ferrer but think i’ll be watching pretty neutrally, since there isn’t a big chance ferru will win…but i can’t nap, if i expect to watch.

somehow i think it would be better murray lost to daveed than losing in another AO final.

to Jane….big YAY!! thought of you and nole tennis-x fans immediately when i read AO website results.

stu Says:

if Muzz does make it to the final, could we just call it a draw and call them both Slam winners? they can play some ball after with no pressure purely for our entertainment.

Huh Says:

I really hope Li Na somehow wins, I’d be so pleased! :P

jane Says:

I like Kim, but Li Na has shown such resolve to get to the final and it would be huge for her and her country to have this tile. I will be thrilled too if Li wins. I like her tattoo, her smile, her interviews. It would be awesome to see her win. ;)

Cindy_Brady Says:

Fed has very good perspective, all kidding aside.

He started out the year strong with the Doha win and a semi grand slam birth in the AO. His career at the AO is off the charts with 8 semis in a row with 4 of those being wins. There are many points to grab this season and more important, Fed’s healthy and eager to win them.

Anyway, last time Federer lost in the semis here to Djokovic he reached another 8 Grand Slam finals in a row, winning 4 of them. Djokovic by comparison is like a journeyman. Hasn’t won another slam since.

inge Says:

Roger the greatest player
None of the other compare to him.

dAri Says:

Thank you,Rogerrrr

Skeezerweezer Says:

Thanks Rog, class interview as always. This fan was concerned as well about the match being at night, as the last time he played at night Gilles took him to 5 sets. Novak did most everything well, including his serve. The 12 bounce serve is baaaccccck! All the best in the finals Novak, and see you at IW Fed.

leo vixen Says:

God, these reporters are so annoying! The same stupid questions over and over. I am glad Federer stuck it to them when he could with his answers and I wish more players would do the same on a regular basis.

thark Says:

kudos to contador, grendel, and others who have taken the time to point out that daveed is still very much in this thing! i would love to see him take it all the way!

can’t deny of course that muzza is favored, and if he does make it through then i will probably cheer for him since nole already has this title. truthfully i never really gave muzza a chance – he started out on the tour doing that bicep-flex-post-victory thing and somehow it just got under my skin. but to his credit he has matured and so has his game.

also, i’m sorry but did some reporter just take the donut out of his mouth long enough to ask roger federer if he “lacks lucidity???” i mean really who raised you?

J Mar Says:

I love Tennis and especially watching Federer & Nadal. My hope for every tournament is that they play in the finals. I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning waiting for Fed/Joker match. From the beginning, I just felt Roger wasn’t into the game. I was sad he lost. He is such a good sport, not to mention a humble and genuine person. He will be back!!!

WTF Says:

Cindy_Brady Says:

“Anyway, last time Federer lost in the semis here to Djokovic he reached another 8 Grand Slam finals in a row, winning 4 of them. Djokovic by comparison is like a journeyman. Hasn’t won another slam since.”

The last time that happened, Fed was only 26 and was stopped by mono, and had his heart broken at Wimbledon where he’d won 5 times in a row. He only won one slam that year, which is the lowest he’d won in 5 years. He’s 29 now, and wasn’t hampered by mono.

I think it’s a different scenario and the pattern is not an inevitability nor should it be seen as an encouraging sign.

No doubt he’ll still contend for slams even post 30, but his odds of winning them will get longer and longer.

jane Says:

What is a journeyman anyhow? I mean that seriously. Nole is one? or he is like one? He’s only 23; he does have a slam, a Davis Cup title, a YEC, an Olympic medal, several masters titles; he’s also been in 7 straight grand slam quarter-finals, and now two straight slam finals.

According to wiki “A journeyman or journeywoman is an athlete or professional sports player who is technically competent, but unable to excel”.

Do you mean Cindy that Nole was unable to excell after beating Fed in 2008 at the AO? I mean, he did win the title; yes he has had slumps and struggles, but still. Journeyman just seems harsh is all…

contador Says:

probably….if your into tennis withdrawal tonight as i am…you’ve scoured every nook and corner of the AO website but just in case anyone out there hoping ferrrer at least makes a match of it…and missed this….wow….great guy daveed and great story too. they added a video in to it of daveed talking about the match.

funny piece on andy murray there too…..the physio believes in aliens thing…love it. i believe in aliens. : )

contador Says:

oops…that link doesn’t work… ho hum….anyways

such a long wait ….8pm and no tennis. get a life contador…lol..
matches ( doubles ) don’t start until over an hour from now or something.

dari Says:

i know there is nole’s conference on another thread
here is fed’s video version of the above press:

jane Says:

contador you’re funny, posting dead links. ;) I have been scouring for highlights of Nole/Fed. Missed it and my eyeTV thing didn’t record as I didn’t switch the timezone from Eastern (default) to West. Can you believe it!? Grrrrr. Is there even anywhere I can pay to watch it after the fact? Anyone know?

dAri Says:

Jane,are you in a market that allows
There may be a pay link on tennistv…

contador Says:

dari…..thanks for the link. much different watching him in the interview than simply reading the words….still most impressed by his response to the umpire question. wow did he look beat. but he’s right. talk to him in 6 months…but it;s never worked out for me to see him play…as in be at a match so, i hope i get lucky at indian wells…really want to see him and rafa…..not to mention, everyone i can!! disneyland for me!

i don’t know how you can record it, jane. i have it dvr’d but i prefer to torture myself and watch live matches. i have not watched the nole/fed match. i will in time but a straight set loss for fed, i accept but not necessarily want to watch :/ even tho you know i like nole. didn’t like him at first but he changed….as he said. 3 years ago i wasn’t a nole fan. now i am.

apparently ESPN3 is a pay per view stream. i can’t get it where i live. maybe tennis channel has one?

watching doubles on fromsport and it’s entertaining reading the chat. with the AO radio commentators, of course. very animated commentary too….azarinka…..screeeeeech!

dAri Says:

Oh, that’s funny contador, I thought he looked more energetic than I expected while you thought he lloked beat! Maybe its the .lack of volume in the hair that threw you off ;)
Jane was willing to pay so if ESPN3 can help…

dAri Says:

I just read the rest of your post, conty and Jane- I’m not sure where your allegiance lies, but if its with fed, DO NOT pay for that match.
If its with nole, yeah he played great tennis but you will get to see more of it in the final!
If you just want some good tennis, muzza and ferrer is on in two point five hours+ !

contador Says:

lol…..dari. his hair…very flat.

my heart is always with roger federer, dari. but i do like novak djokovic…he’s grown on me over the past year or two. i have accepted that nolee is going to win more and more of their matches, as he is coming into his prime and is a right up there with rafa and fed, in a way. as i said on another thread, i want to see him grab this win and make a run for #1. if he doesn’t, well i still like him but it will sort of say to me that he was content to avoid the pressure and everything that goes with being #1. he could beat rafa i think, given another chance at us open. he’s an all surface player. i’d bet money he could beat ferrer here at AO. but can he beat his buddy andy murray? i keep changing my mind on it.

contador Says:

no….i have that match on dvr, dari….thinking i’ve read enough abt it. i got the idea. i’ll delete. i can celebrate for nole and for nole fans. i just don’t like to dwell on what he had to do to fed to get there.

jane would want to see it, for sure.

contador Says:

dulko and panetta won! if anyone cares…..lots of italian fans do!

jane Says:

I thought Fed’s hair looked really dark in that presser! But it was likely just wet. And his shoulders look really broad in that T-shirt compared to in a polo.

Dari, i am in Canada so usually I cannot get Espn3 related things, but thanks for the suggestion anyhow.

Contador, Nole say one of his ambitions is to try to get to number 1. I do not know if he can but I hope he tries his best to get there and realize another dream. He knows he has to win the big events to get there. But it will obviously take a lot.

Dory Says:

The media and critics are dodo-brains. It’s all or nothing for them, no middle ground. Federer will truly be dead when he starts losing the first rounds and doesn’t win at least one Slam per calendar year. The last 25 of 30 Slams have been won between Federer and Nadal and yet they proclaim him dead. Sounds really silly. Yes, he’s not at 2004-2007 form but looks at the others. How they have improved! The top 5 players are so powerful.

Murray and Djokovic haven’t met for quite a while if I remember correctly. Would be an awesome final and it would be FANTASTIC for either of them to win it.

contador Says:

delpo said he wanted to be #1. and i believe he would be no. 1 …without the wrist problem…he walks the talk. but sadly, that wrist injury might be chronic. we’ll see.

just my opinion but murray and nole have had issues with pressure situations. too much awe of fedal? i dunno. both have the talent. takes a lot to fight federer and he has in the GS on hc proven himself to me about beating federer but not nadal. the reverse is true of murray. sure, nadal had his abdominal problem and fed was “stiff” by that final in 2009…but delpo could have wilted in that final….he rallied and won. federer had humiliated delpo at AO 09. delpo came right back and nearly knocked fed out from winning FO.

i want to see that ambition and fight from muzz and nole. back it up nolee, it’s time!

contador Says:

fed’s muscles are in his broad shoulders, chest, back…that iron right arm and amazing wrist. and i marvel how that little left arm can toss a tennis ball so well. fed’s conditioning is really amazing. but he obviously doesn’t work out the left arm to be balanced like ferrer describes the way he does. ferru, may be the hardest worker in the atp. and he says he doesn’t know he’s great. well, he is. never a #1 but for him to win a slam…? hm. i am wide awake hoping he can make a match of it with murray. let’s have a great tennis match!

dAri Says:

Contador re dubles I was checking in on the scores it looked like vika Maria had it, but then I checked shortly later and…

contador Says:

,,,,,it was weird. i’ll finish that sentence for you. and big battle going on right now in mixed doubles. socks sands and her romanian partner just lost to an australian dude and chan? from taiwan.

just slapping myself trying to stay awake….c’mon men’s semi match

contador Says:

energy drink wore off.

DC Says:

Fed will be back. No matter what he says, he wasn’t playing that well during the Semi final.He didn’t look fresh and energetic. His footwork & agility were sub par.
He was nowhere playing as well he was in December.
Perhaps its the age catching up and his body & mind are not up to the mark 12 months a year.
All players have dips now and then. His are more often than the others due to age & motivational issues.
I have a strong feeling that Fed’s motivation was stemming from the fact that in order for him to be considered the best (of this era or forever or whatever) Nadal had to be prevented from winning.Once Nadal was out, Fed had no motivation to succeed.

lilac Says:

“Once Nadal was out, Fed had no motivation to succeed.”

Oh, geeez. What convoluted “explanations” would fans concoct to get comfort. Federer did not beat Djokovic because of, among other things, lack of motivation! Pathetic, really.

Listen to logic: once Nadal was out, Federer would have even more motivation to succeed, because he would be able to win GS #17 more easily, thereby making it more difficult for Nadal to ever catch up.

Top story: Preview: Federer Goes for No. 10 at ATP Halle Gerry Weber Open