Roger Federer admitted after his 4-set loss to Juan Martin del Potro last night that he felt he wasn’t playing well enough to beat rival Rafael Nadal in the Friday semifinals. Rather, it was good that del Potro won because he would have a better chance against the Spaniard.
“Of course it is a pity, but, you know, Juan Martin deserves it more,” del Potro said. “I feel I have no place in the semis and he will have a better chance to beat Rafa, to be honest. The way I played or playing right now, it’s not good enough in my opinion to win this tournament. It’s better I’m out and somebody else gets a chance to do better than me.”
Nadal leads Federer 23-14 but Federer has won all three meetings this year. But the two still have never played at the US Open, though while that was on the public’s mind, that wasn’t on Federer’s mind.
“I didn’t even think about it, as I lost that match, that it’s not going to happen,” Federer said. “I’m dealing with just trying to understand what happened and just to overcome this in the next few hours, days, weeks, whatever it is, you know. I’ll be fine.
“It’s been a tough tournament throughout. I honestly was only thinking about tonight. My head didn’t even wander during the match. I knew it was going to be a tough one. I had struggled too much throughout the tournament to think too far ahead.
“In some ways I’m actually happy I made the quarters, so I’m not disappointed, because it’s been a good run this year already. Unfortunately I ran into a guy who was better than me today.”
Federer, whose management team also represents del Potro, is looking forward to a good match between the Argentine and Nadal.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting match,” Federer said. “Both are great shot makers. They have, you know, some of the best forehands in the game. They are both winners. They know how to get it done. I think it should been an exciting semis.
“Rafa now is playing within himself a lot. I think he was very focused here, in practice and also in the matches. I assume we know what we’re going to get from him.
“Juan Martin, I hope he recovers. It’s big for him now to have a day rest tomorrow, because again, it’s an emotional night and all that stuff. Rallies weren’t very long, so he did well to bounce back from his Thiem match, you know. That was nice for him. You know, I think it should be an exciting match. I’m sure the crowd’s going to get into it.”
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