Roger Federer suffered his earliest exit at the US Open in 11 years this evening falling to 31-year-old Tommy Robredo 7-6, 6-3 , 6-4 in the fourth round. The match was scheduled to be played third on Arthur Ashe but due to an afternoon rain shower the contest was moved to Louis Armstrong, a court Federer hadn’t played on since 2006.
In heavy, humid conditions, Robredo, a former Top 5 player who battled a serious leg injury last year earned his first career win over the Swiss in 11 tries to put himself into his first US Open quarterfinal.
Federer, who’ll finish without a trip to even a Major final this season, was just 2/16 on breakpoints.
The loss also means fans will have to wait another year to see a Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer at the US Open.
Federer addressed the press afterward.
Q. Obviously a difficult day for you. A disrupting day as well. Did the fact you had to switch courts, was that a difficulty at all?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, that should not be the issue. I’ve waited for so many matches throughout my career. That’s definitely the last excuse you could find, you know. I mean, I’ve been practicing on Armstrong, so there’s no excuse there either. I was prepared for it. I was even happy about it. I thought it was going to be a great atmosphere, that I could, you know, take advantage of maybe the fact that people were really going to get behind me, make it a great atmosphere. But unfortunately, you know, I didn’t show the game that they could really get into it and excited about. That’s how it goes sometimes.
Q. What went wrong for you? Physically your game, you couldn’t find a rhythm?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I started badly, which put me down a break. Then I was able to come back in that one. But it’s true, I mean, I struggled throughout, which is not very satisfying, to be honest. I mean, Tommy did a good job to keep the ball in play and make it difficult for me today. I missed so many opportunities. Rhythm was off. Yeah, when those things happen, clearly it’s always going to be difficult, you know.
Q. Do you think also it’s a matter of confidence at this point that when things go wrong, you start to, I don’t know, get angry at yourself or nervous, you’re not as evoluted as you normally are?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, probably. Confidence does all these things. It takes care of all the things you don’t usually think about, you know. But I just think it’s been a difficult last three months, you know. Maybe how do you say my consistency is just not quite there yet. Maybe on a daily basis, set by set or point by point basis, maybe that’s something that has been difficult for me, you know. So maybe that was one of the reasons I lost today.
Q. Being more negative?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean playing up and down. Then against a quality player, it becomes more difficult to keep that level up.
Q. Was the back an issue today?
ROGER FEDERER: No.
Q. Anything going on there?
ROGER FEDERER: No issue.
Q. I’m sure you’re not happy with your performance, but what is going on through your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: I kind of feel like I beat myself, you know, without taking any credit away from Tommy. Clearly he was making sure he was making many balls. It was up to me to make the difference and I couldn’t. I kind of self destructed, which is very disappointing, especially on a quicker court. Your serve helps you out. You’re going to make the difference somewhere. I just couldn’t do it. It was a frustrating performance today.
Q. What about the anticipation, maybe the disappointment of not getting into the quarterfinals against Rafa?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it would have been a quarters, not a final. Not that much of a disappointment at the end of the day. If I’m playing like this, I’m not going to beat Rafa, or Kohlschreiber, for that matter. So, for me, I didn’t think of that. I’ve been too often in this situation. I was fighting with other things in my match today. Not thinking too far ahead of myself, especially the level I was playing at.
Q. The conditions seemed slow. Did you have a chance to practice before the rain? How did you feel during the warmup?
ROGER FEDERER: Actually, believe it or not, Armstrong is a bit faster than Arthur Ashe. Clear, it was very humid. Definitely it’s been humid the last couple of days now. That also had an effect on both players, you know, how you can maybe hold the grip, the timing you get through it. But there again, I mean, it’s not like it’s just humid on my side and not on his. It’s all around humid for everybody watching. Yeah, it was a different type of court, atmosphere, surface speed, if you like. But then again, you know, I know Tommy’s game really well. We’ve played so often against each other. There’s no secrets out there today. Credit to him for playing a good match today.
Q. Did you feel all right during the practice?
ROGER FEDERER: Normal. Doesn’t really matter, practice, to me, you know.
Q. You’re known as such a great closer, 2 for 16 on break points.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that was a great close. No, it wasn’t a very good close today.
Q. No. Could you talk about your difficulty on break points? Secondly, were you overall surprised by your performance today, by the result?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think I explained enough, you know. We have a forehand here, end up losing the point like three times. Every time like he comes you play where he’s standing, and, I mean, it just ended up being a bad combination of many things today. So I’ve definitely got to go back to work and come back stronger, you know, get rid of this loss now as quick as I can, forget about it, because that’s not how I want to play from here on. I want to play better. I know I can. I showed it the last few weeks, that there is that level. So today was pretty frustrating.
Q. I know it’s right after the match, but do you anticipate you’re going to make any changes to your training program or regimen?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, who knows? I haven’t thought of it right away, you know. Nothing goes past the hard work, you know. However you want to see it, whatever that means to you, you know, as a player, or in the fitness room, I’ll make sure I’ll put the work in. Once I decide what that is, I’ll believe in it and go after it. So in some ways, as a player, you’re always excited about that prospect because there’s always something to look forward to, even in a big disappointment like the match today.
Q. I don’t know if the Masters Cup is one of your goals or not, but you are a little bit in trouble. Would you change maybe your schedule in order to do that, or is not really that important for you to be in the top 8 at the end of the year?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m not really thinking about it. I don’t think I’ll change my schedule accordingly. I believe if I do play well, I’ll make good results. If I make it or not, then we’ll see. But important for me, first and foremost, that I move better, that I play better. My problem is there in training, not actually playing matches right now.
Q. You played Robredo a lot in the past. Did he do anything differently, show anything different from when you played him in the past?
ROGER FEDERER: No, he didn’t. Pretty simple. No surprises. He didn’t serve and volley or chip and charge. He stood back the way he usually does. He kick serves the way he usually does.
Q. You’re such an instinctive player. The game always has seemed to come so easily to you. Do you think it’s even more difficult, someone who is a natural touch player when the timing is off, it even looks worse when we’re used to you hitting the ball so sweetly?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. Look, then again, it’s always been a fine line, especially in the beginning of my career when I didn’t have the results to back me up. People thought, Did he even try? Does he care much? Like, He can play so well. Is it so terrible? Now, with the results, I know you don’t believe that so much. That’s the good thing. The story of my life: when I lose, people are shellshocked to see me play this way. If I win, it’s the best thing. Yeah, I can see that. But there’s no doubt about it, I’m trying hard out there trying to make it work. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
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