Roger Federer: I Tried To Play Offensive Against Nadal, I Just Didn’t Have The Best Day [Video]
by Tom Gainey | May 19th, 2013, 11:10 pm

It was a tough day at the office for Roger Federer. Playing in his first ATP final of the season, Federer was swept away by Rafael Nadal this afternoon 61, 63 in the championship match at the Rome Italian Open.

Federer, who hadn’t dropped a set all week, was down 61, 30 and in danger of losing the most lopsided match of his career. Afterward, Federer admitted little went right today against his rival Rafa.

“[It was a ] one sided result,” Federer said. “It didn’t go how I hoped. I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points and I didn’t string them together.

“He is clearly playing well and I am happy for him that his comeback is working out so well. He is super consistent.”

Federer said having played evening matches made no difference to playing a day final. And he shrugged off concerns that his back was injured.

“Ask Rafa if I served slow and he will silence the Twitter world and your friends,” he responded to a journalist when asked if there was a problem physically because of his serve speed.

Federer was still hopeful that an offensive strategy would pay off, but he knows it comes with a high risk against Nadal.

“If I don’t play offensive then he puts me far down with the ball and so you have to play your opportunities which are presented within the rallies,” Federer said. “He does an incredible job returning form the back of the court and it is hard to do because he covers the court so well. You need to serve accurate and this is why it is difficult.”

Federer says he will take a few days off and begin training on Wednesday for the French Open.

“Overall it was a good week for me,” he said. “I think I played pretty good tennis, I I guess it was too big a turnaround today and Rafa was too good today.”

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20 Comments for Roger Federer: I Tried To Play Offensive Against Nadal, I Just Didn’t Have The Best Day [Video]

Michael Says:

It is quite a honest assessment by Roger. He played desperate tennis which just didn’t work and it will never will against a player of calibre like Rafa. You need to play strategic Tennis against Rafa and no one does it better than Novak. Roger cannot do it because he simply cannot play like Novak. He has lost the pace,speed and movement to make a difference.

Humble Rafa Says:

To sum up his explanation..I am too old, can’t keep up anymore.

andrea Says:

about a third of the way thru the match roger started grunting on his shots which he never does…he was working hard to return the pace of nadal’s balls.

you gotta hand it to nadal. to be away for so long and come back to such dominance is crazy. what does that say about men’s tennis today?

Rumble Says:

the most disappointing player, in my opinion, is Berdych.

He has the height, he is not that old, he has the game, the serve, the fitness – he has played superbly against players like Fed and Djoke. But he just folds up against Nadal. Its not even due to a one-handed backhand – he has a two-hander!

I don’t think I have seen a mental midget like him.

James Says:

“He (Rafa) covers the court so well…”
Roger Fed.
That’s what I’ve been saying too that to counter Rafa especially on clay you gotta be willing to fetch every ball and cover the court well. Novak usually does that and that’s how he keeps up with Rafa. Roger is still very good esp against more orthodox players. He’s just not the type to run after every ball like Ferrer.

James Says:

I play tennis (pretty sure 100 times worse than ATP prof players haha) and my biggest strength is in covering the court better than my opponents. I’ve been able to beat players that are technically my superior. Believe it or not, having quicker legs and better court coverage does help in tennis. Add the skills of Rafa or even Nole, you’ll be very tough to stop.

Michael Says:

It is not enough to be just offensive against Nadal. You may end up spraying in all corners just like Roger did yesterday. What you need is a strategic plan to upset Nadal’s rythm and that is where Novak comes in. Give it to this man. He knows well as to how do it. I have always seen Rafa in an offensive mode when he is against other players but against Novak, he will be the one running all over the place. Novak makes him run on the court hither and dither. He knows Nadal’s backhand is not effective as his forehand and there he solves the riddle of Rafa’s game by concentrating on it. He is also not afraid of the top spin Rafa generates and he culls it by his double handed backhand and by hitting the ball flat and deep which make Nadal pretty uncomfortable on court. How else this man could have dominated Rafa ? 8 out of 11 is what this man has accomplished and I would rate this as a stupendous feat against one of the Greatest players I have ever seen.

Michael Says:


About Berdych. You are perfect in saying he is a mental midget. Of all, this man has the game to trouble Rafa. But he never does it. He is superb against Roger, but not against Novak who has beat him twelve straight times. Even the latest one Novak lost is just a fluke where Novak should have definitely won. He managed to lose from a winning position.

Borg Says:

The Goat will never have the best day when he meets my idol Rafa. He will always have the worst day. That best day will never come for you Goat.

Borg Says:

20-10 !!! Yawn !!!! Great rivalry and that is what the Media tells us. Ha Ha. Bull shit.

Brando Says:

Respect to the Fed: an honest assessment of the match and great respect shown to Rafa. Good luck at FO Fed, RU at Rome was a great result!

terracotta Says:

It’s not just mental with Berdych. Rafa returns his big serve very well and really moves Berdych around. Berdych cannot hit a decent ball on the run, he has to be stationary to get his metronome going and control play. Rafa also plays short balls at his feet and the big guy finds it hard both to move forward and to bend. It’s a bad match up for him… just like Federer v. Nadal..

WTF Says:

When Nadal beats you to win a title and doesn’t dirty his clothes lying on the clay, showing far less emotion than usual, it’s a bad sign. It means YOU SUCK and I don’t feel that winning today took much effort. You didn’t even give me a warm up.

The only other time I’ve seen him not fall to the floor in elation against Roger was that 6-3 6-1 6-0 demolition at a French Open final a few years back.

skeezer Says:

^Very true.


Michael Says:

What was most disappointing was not Roger losing. It is only the manner in which he lost and showed less spine than usual. It almost seemed that he was reconciled to losing and was playing desperate Tennis coming to the net without much thought. He shanked easy volleys into the net and in addition most of the times it was Rafa passing him from the back of the court. It looked awful watching this match and I really felt for Roger. He should have been terribly disappointed with his performance in this match and that showed in the trophy ceremony when he spoke in English even though he knows Italian much. Normally Roger speaks in the local dialect to please the audience but not this day. It was real hammering by Nadal which undid Roger’s personality and character on this day.

Colin Davis Says:

We hear a lot about Roger’s family, which is – quite rightly – a priority for him. Nobody seems to mention how the family feel.
His daughters are old enough now to follow a match and understand what’s going on. Suppose they don’t like seeing Daddy lose, and supposing, as time goes on and he loses more often, their feelings become obvious to him. What then?

Faleye o kehinde Says:

Roger can still go a long way, he’s still a champion, he has got everything possible in Tennis

madmax Says:

Very proud of Roger’s interview here and his utmost respect for Rafa, that he is saying he is the favourite for the FO and that Rafa deserves this, and he does.

Rafa is the best on clay. No one can argue with that.

Can’t wait for the FO, and hope that Roger can still maintain his form and passion to win more matches in the future.

At this stage of his career, I think he is doing magnificently and whilst the consistency has gone, this happens to every player.

There is no one like Roger and we should thank our lucky stars that he is still a fantastic player, willing to continue to work this year, take care of his body and prolong his active tennis years.

Okiegal Says:

Rafa doesn’t celebrate all that much when he has just won a match against Federer. I think he has so much respect for Roger……and vice versa!!

Claroscuro Says:

This loss was so uncharacteristic. I mean, even forehands which were not risky and aimed close to the middle of the baseline wee missing. Personally, I think he was either intimidated or his level just dropped in the end. That, and his win over Paire wasn’t much to write home about. I always thought Nadal would beat him, and that his game brings KFed many difficulties and is uncomfortable, but those errors were just so uncharacteristic and many of them not even forced.

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