Roger Federer: We Both Walk Away Happy, Him A Little More Than Me, But I’m Happy Overall
by Staff | July 6th, 2014, 11:58 pm
  • 16 Comments

Roger Federer came within just a few points of a record 8th Wimbledon title and 18th career Grand Slam. But the Swiss fell just short in a 5-set loss to top seeded Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday.

Federer, who turns 33 next month, was appearing in his first Grand Slam final since his 2012 Wimbledon title run. And he had beaten the Serb in the lone grass meeting and their lone Grand Slam final back at the 2007 US Open.

Afterward, an upbeat Federer who a year ago was battling a bad back, spoke to the press.

Q. I’d like to know what do you think about this match, if you think you played better than those two finals that you won versus Murray and versus Roddick? In my opinion, the level of the match today was probably better. I don’t know if you agree.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I cannot agree just because it’s totally different matchups, you know. With Roddick it was more of a serving contest; with Murray it went from outdoors to indoors, so much on the line, so much pressure. He’s a different player to Novak entirely that I can’t really compare.

I thought the match was a good one, you know. I thought it had everything for fans to like, I think. The swing of momentum in the first set, him coming back in the second, you know, staying even in the third, all the back and forth in the fourth set, and then the drama of the fifth.

From that standpoint, I thought it was an interesting match. The level I thought was good. I don’t feel I necessarily played my absolute very best because I couldn’t break for over three sets. For me that was disappointing.

But I thought Novak played well in those areas and on his serve and make sure that he didn’t have any letdowns there.

No, I thought it was a great match and I enjoyed to be a part of it.

Q. It was a high-quality match. Maybe men’s tennis is getting better and better. What do you think is the resemblance of those new guys coming compared to the four of you that have been there for so long?

ROGER FEDERER: The resemblance?

Q. Maybe I am saying the wrong word. How can you describe the up-and-coming guys compared to the four of you that are up there now?

ROGER FEDERER: We all made the breakthrough much earlier than most of the guys. Not just a match here or there. I mean, I can’t put myself in the league of Rafa because he was one of the best teenagers we ever had besides Bjorn Borg.

I wasn’t that guy. I was, I guess, better at 21, 22 or 20. That’s when I started to make my rise.

So there’s not that many young guys. There’s really only one teenager in the top 100 and we wish we had more. The other guys we’re talking about are all 22, 23 and have been already on tour for five years.

Nevertheless, it’s exciting. But you cannot compare them to Rafa, Novak, or Murray, who were incredibly good already at a young age.

Q. Can you describe what it’s like coming back from the almost dead a few times in this thing? What was going through your mind, the kind of fortitude you had to have to keep battling?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I just kept going, you know. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t breaking Novak’s serve or actually creating opportunities. You know, I think it’s one thing not to break. That can happen if the other guy plays well in the big moments and all that stuff.

But it was really not creating enough opportunities to put Novak under pressure, you know.

It’s really only until the fourth set when I was down a break that I started to understand more how to return him, which was a surprise for me because I’ve played him that many times.

I think, like I mentioned before, he was doing a good job on his serve, making a lot of high first-serve percentage, staying aggressive from the baseline, not making any easy errors, all that stuff.

I kept believing and kept, you know, and kept trying to play offensive tennis. I’m happy it paid off in some instances. As you can imagine, I’m very disappointed not being rewarded with victory.

But it was close, you know. Novak deserved it at the end clearly, but it was extremely close.

Q. What does go through your mind when you see Mirka and your family there? What was your switch in terms of returning Novak’s serve and putting pressure on him later in the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I just felt like I changed, you know, the way I approached the return, then also how I played the rallies from the baseline because I felt like there was opportunities and options for me to do different things.

You know, but for some reason it never ended up being 15-30, 30-All, putting Novak under pressure enough, so he could always free serve, free swing, and take chances on his second serve.

Yeah, so I felt like that was my biggest problem really overall. I think that’s where I lost the match. I served well myself throughout. I feel like if I would have returned better or would have understood it earlier or if he would have helped me out just a little bit things could have been quite different, you know, today.

But, like I said, credit to him for, you know, doing it also for as long as he did, until the fourth when things got a bit crazy, you know.

Like I said, it’s wonderful playing in front of not family because they weren’t there till the very end, but it’s nice sharing that moment with friends and family on such a big stage really.

Q. Rightly or wrongly, many tennis fans will be wondering whether that could be the last time they see you in a Wimbledon final. Do they have a point, or does a performance like that give you renewed belief in yourself as you go into the 30s?

ROGER FEDERER: You could have asked me exactly that question in 2003.

You don’t know. Totally the unknown. That’s the disappointment of an Olympic result, of a World Cup result, Wimbledon result, whatever it is. You’ve just got to wait and see.

There is no guarantee that you’re going to be ever there again or not. Or maybe there’s much more to come. It’s really impossible to answer that question.

I’m very happy to see that with feeling normal I can produce a performance like I did the last two weeks. That clearly makes me believe that this was just a steppingstone to many more great things in the future.

Q. How much did you feel like you had the momentum in the fifth set, and how big a moment do you think the breakpoint he saved was?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I thought it was an even match in the fifth. I didn’t feel like unbelievable momentum in the fifth. It was big, you know, to get it.

I think once he held once or twice I think that was important for him, but it also was important for me not to be broken, because that’s exactly when one of the players can have a letdown. I don’t think we both had that.

So it went, I don’t know, step for step for both of us. I do believe I had my chance there when I had breakpoint. Maybe if I make the pass and make him hit a dink volley, I mean, you know, I would have liked to see what would have happened.

But credit to him to hit the big first forehand, hit another big forehand, follow it to the net, and be brave on it. I tried the same, to come to net, when it really mattered. Unfortunately at the very end he got me.

It was a tough finish, but it was extremely close.

Q. What is the most positive thing that you bring back home after a final like this: The fact that you’re physically fit again, no problems with the back? You served fantastic?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, I think that’s it. To be able to play consistent great solid tennis with some really nice things to look back on, you know. Good emotions again, even though it was rough at the end clearly.

Very happy to see that I can do it week for week, match for match, you know, point for point. It’s all right there.

It’s been a very positive last couple of weeks for me when I won Halle as well. I’m looking very much toward a vacation and working out hard again to get myself in shape for the American summer.

Q. You have a positive attitude in the match. You did lose, but you lost on your own terms in a way because you kept coming in and you tried to create opportunities. Do you feel like that?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I did feel that way. You know, I mean, I think Novak tried as much as he could to play offensive, as well. I don’t think he can play much more offensive than he did, and still I felt like he was on the edge of things, as well.

So from that standpoint I’m very pleased with the way things went throughout the match, you know. So I thought it was a high-quality match and it was good stuff from both players out there. I think clearly we both walk away happy from here. I mean, him more happy than I am.

But still, I’m happy overall.


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16 Comments for Roger Federer: We Both Walk Away Happy, Him A Little More Than Me, But I’m Happy Overall

Michael Says:

For sure, what would be disappointing for Roger is the quality of his returns which let Novak off the hook. Novak was just breezing past his service games with considerable ease. It is something you do not seem normally considering that Novak is not a big server. But this was a day when Novak’s first serve percentage went up exponentially and he added huge pace, variety and spin in his serve making it difficult for Roger to read it well. But crazily in the fourth set, breaks which were hard to come by on either side, then came in torrents. But Roger handled it better and took the match to a tensed fifth.


FedExpress Says:

cant hide my disappointment. thought after coming back from the fourth and saving championship point it would be his.

But congratz to nole and his fans, he fought till the end nad deserved it.

And roger, u are stil my fav player and showed there is still fire left in u. Hoping for a good american summer.


Brando Says:

Excellent performance Fed, will not be surprised if you pick up a title in the USO swing.


andrea Says:

still sad this morning….my heart was pulling for roger.

it really kind of set in….i mean i knew it was coming but, he’s not going to be on the tour much longer…a year or 2 max? his girls will have to go to school and have a normal life. can’t keep carting 4 kids around the world.

*sigh*


SG1 Says:

Tough loss but once the disappointment blows over, he’ll realize that he’s come all the way back to relevance. He is an un questionable threat to win on the faster surfaces. If the courts at the USO are playing fast this year, every player on tour better take note of Roger. I remember the last time a double digit slam player was written off…and his 2002 Wimbledon was near as good as Roger’s 2014 Wimbledon. And Roger, at 33 is in better form than 31 year old Sampras was going into that 2002 US Open.


SG1 Says:

“wasn’t near as good….”


Goatexpert Says:

Sampras at the 2002 USO wasn’t even close to what Fed is now. Sampras hadn’t won a title in 28 months, had fallen out of the top 10, and got extremely lucky to avoid the top 5 players all the way – he never faced a top 5 player in that entire tournament, 7 matches, including the final. He got a tired Agassi in the final who had had a tough semi against Hewitt less than 24 hours ago, while Sampras faced Schalken (yes, Schalken) in the semi.

If fed gets that kind of luck, he would win 10 more slams.

However, with Djoke still going strong, looks tough for Fed to win another slam. He’s got to be really disappointed, regardless of what he says. He can THIS close to winning it, and then lost in the last due to 3 consecutive unforced errors in his own service game!

Hard courts are not where he can really win a slam any more. Grass was his best shot.

Lets see. Perhaps 17 it is for him. Still GOAT, unless Nadal reaches that number, which looks unlikely too.


jane Says:

sharko shows how well roger was serving:

Times @rogerfederer broken entering @Wimbledon final: :
2014 -1
2012 -7
2009 -3
2008 -2
2007- 3
2006 -2
2005 -6
2004 -2
2003 -8


Daniel Says:

Also GoatExpress regarding Nadal reaching 17, but what about if he wins 3 more RG and no more Slams outside clay or ever be #1 again. Will he be consider GOAT with 17 Slams which 12 are RG?! Not in my opinion. The more he wins on clay from now on the more he will be seen as a clay courter.


Hippy Chic Says:

Dont really care about the whole GOAT debate,but i will say Rafa has multiple GS now on all surfaces,its just the bulk are on clay,so because of that,he doesnt get much credit for his achievements on the other surfaces,i would say his 14 are better than Samprass 14,anyway just my two cents,but what do i know anyway?….


skeezer Says:

Glad your happy overall Fed, keep giving the fans that watchable magic as long as you can. If your form stays like this the rest of the year, you’ll surely get some more titles and a possible Slam!


metan Says:

Roger said he is happy. It is a big question mark??????. Come on man, let go your ego and play free like bird, then you won’t do those silly serves and shots again on the next tour. I am sadddddd .


madmax Says:

What an amazing match!

To my dear departed friend, Duro and all the novak fans! Jane and friends. You must be so proud!

I am so proud of Roger. I have watched the match three times now, could not post during the match or after, was so full of emotion. I think it was such a close match. Even from the first set, when Novak had two set points, saved by Roger, and then he finally took the tie break. Unbelievable resolve.

Great comments from Fed, very complimentary and accepting of Novak’s excellence in the game and his return shots.

Am glad to see that he is does not let these losses play on his mind for too long. A break is definitely well deserved and well earnt.

Onto the USO.

Allez Fed! Proud to be a fan!


madmax Says:

Metan,

once again, Roger has been part of a classic GS final! He is happy for that! We too, as fans, need to support Roger and enjoy the sheer excellence of his style of play. You could really see the Edberg effect, but it was the Becker effect that won out on the day.

Becker though, did not look well to me, in the crowd.

Novak was supreme. No other words to be said. His incredible resolve to come back when you think all is lost – at the very end – Bravo Novak.

That 4th set for me though, was the set that kept me on the edge of my feet! Roger, 5:2 down, and he clawed it back!

Roger, a class act.


jane Says:

thanks madmax: yes it was crazy good. enjoyed it very much. hope you were not too disappointed at the end.


FedExpress Says:

Andrea Petkovic thinks that nole can come near to rogers GS title win


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