A tough season just got tougher for Roger Federer yesterday. The defending champion Federer was sent out of the tournament in the third round by Kei Nishikori 64, 16, 62 at the Mutua Madrid Masters.
At 31, Federer’s cut back on his schedule but his results aren’t showing any improvement. In fact they are getting worse. He hasn’t reached a final this season and he hasn’t won a title since Cincinnati last summer. Despite this 8-month title drought Federer isn’t getting down.
“I feel like I want to go to the practice courts this afternoon, but clearly I’m not going to do that. I’m going to make sure I’m going to be as well prepared as I can be for Rome. I’ll sit together tonight or tomorrow with the team and discuss what the plan is for the next few days and weeks now. So I’m excited for that, because clearly I have no choice but to hit the practice courts. And I like to do that, and I’ll do that well and hard if that’s the route I choose.”
Federer took seven weeks off to rest and recover from a back ailment. He then returned with a convincing win over Radek Stepanek on Tuesday, but was not pleased by his effort yesterday.
“I was pretty upbeat after my first‑round match,” Federer said. “I thought I was in the tournament; I was playing pretty well. In practice I was hitting the ball well, so this comes as a bit of a disappointment for me, my performance and my match today.”
The loss was also Roger’s earliest at a tournament since Miami last year when Roddick beat him also in the third round. Federer is 14-5 on the year but just 2-4 against Top 20 players.
Federer will next play in Rome starting next week.
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