Roger Federer is taking the positive from his thrilling three set loss Friday night to Rafael Nadal at the Western and Southern in Cincinnati.
Playing some of his best tennis in a long while, Federer had won the first set and was even with Nadal through the second until the Spaniard gained control to win 57, 64, 63.
Federer, who had slumped badly since his Halle title, said he is encouraged by his performance heading into the US Open.
“I’m happy with my progress along the way,” said Federer Friday night. “Could have won tonight, should have won tonight, who knows? But at the end, I think Rafa’s confidence and the way he’s playing at the moment got him through. So for me, I think it was a good step in the right direction. My mind’s already totally geared into what I’m going to do tomorrow, next day, and the following day, and, you know, looking ahead at the US Open. So I’m excited about the next sort of ten days.
“I know my body’s fine and my mind’s okay, so that’s two good things looking ahead,” he added. “It wasn’t a bad performance, so I can definitely take more things away from this week than I could for the last sort of three months. So I’m happy about that. That sets it up nicely for me for New York.”
Federer’s ranking won’t be as happy. With the defeat the Cincinnati defending champion will lose those points and slide to No. 7 in the Monday rankings, a low he has not seen since the end of 2002!
“It doesn’t change anything for the US Open,” Federer said referring to his ranking drop. “For after that, as long as you’re either in the top 4 or the top 8, I think at this point that’s what matters. Or you’re world No.1. So rankings at this point anyway is not what leads me. It’s about getting my game back on track, and that’s what I’m doing well. So that’s what’s exciting right now, not the rankings really.”
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