Roger Federer: It’s Not That Surprising Novak Lost
by Tom Gainey | March 12th, 2018, 1:26 pm

While most in the tennis world were stunned by Novak Djokovic’s collapse yesterday to qualifier Taro Daniel at Indian Wells, Roger Federer wasn’t.

And consider Federer won the Australian Open last year after taken six months off the tour!

“To me, it’s not that surprising,” Federer said of Novak’s loss. “When you go away from the game for, let’s say, over a two-month period maybe, it starts feeling a little bit that way.

“I feel like when you do come back from injury or when you haven’t played in a long time, it just takes extra effort. I think that’s probably also what he’s also feeling. And maybe was tired in the end a bit because, yeah, the focus you need to have is greater.

“I also thought Taro Daniel played very well, you know, made him work for it. Normally it’s the way Novak wins it. So this time he just lost one like this.

“Look, still such early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery. Yeah, just — he’s only going to get better from here. He knows that. We all know that. But it was nice to see him playing again.

“I see where he’s coming from. I think every player feels that way. It’s maybe just strange to hear that from such a champion, you know, that he also feels that way.”

Federer added that he wasn’t sure if Djokovic was 100% healthy yet, and that plays role.

“I think as long as you’re 100% physically, you know, that helps,” said Federer. “I’m not sure if Novak is 100% yet. Only he knows. If he’s got still some rusts there, that’s going to rock your boat as well a little bit, you know, to be honest.

“It doesn’t take very much to get that feeling back, but in the beginning it’s very odd when you haven’t played match plays. And you can try as hard as you want in practice to pretend like it’s you’re down match point every single point you play. It just doesn’t feel the same, you know, playing in front of a crowd, saving breakpoints on the stretch, hitting winners onto the line. That comes over playing a good schedule with the right amount of practice, vacation, matches, everything.

“That’s why after injury or something like that, you just need a bit of time. And I think Novak needs that, too, even though I wouldn’t be surprised if he would have won here or Miami or anything going forward, because he’s too good of a player not to do something like that.”

Federer is back on court for a third straight day against Djokovic countryman Filip Krajinovic.

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18 Comments for Roger Federer: It’s Not That Surprising Novak Lost

BBB Says:

Alright, I’m the first to kvetch that Federer is not as gracious as people say. But these comments are classy.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

BBB, I’m a big fan of Fed, but its easy to be classy in that position (i.e. knowing that he came back from 6 months off and won Australia!)

BBB Says:

This is why I like you, TV!

It’s definitely true that he tends to be more gracious when he’s #1. Nevertheless, I was so aggravated by his ungracious comments in 2010/11 etc that I want to be fair….

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Haha! Very big of you!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

People are complex. Its possible to be a decent person, generous to others, and treat people with respect, as Fed is often reported to be by other players, and still be b**y and snarky on occasion.

As I said, I’m a big Fed fan, but I’ve found Novak to be one of the classiest guys on tour in his public comments, win or lose.

BBB Says:

Can’t disagree with you there. It’s why this binary “I’m a fan of x therefore x does no wrong” or “I can’t stand y therefore y only does wrong” doesn’t work for me.

AndyMira Says:

Yeah!….Agree with u BBB!..That was a very nice words from Rog!…But i’m very surprised,many articles i’ve read use the words ‘Shocking’ when Novak lost to Taro yesterday…What shocking??The Bro were out injured for 7,8 months!And did not play competitive tennis for ages!Mind the’s only a couple of rounds..

The real shocking is when Muguruza lost to Vickery,Petra lost to 16 year old Animisova,Konta lost to teenager Vondrousova….even Pouille lost to a quali Bhambri..

And agree with TV…Novak always show class especially when he lose…

skeezer Says:

^same here👍

BBB Says:

Andy, I tend to agree, though watching him spray his backhand like that was weird. I posted elsewhere that Courier said he may have changed racquets, which would explain some of the more bizarre misses on rally shots.

I can see how coming back from surgery, with a service motion that’s still relatively new, and different equipment would make for a tough afternoon.

But he was also up 5-2 in the opening set, and nearly broke Daniel in the opening game of the third.


Markus Says:

“Shocking” is a term regularly (almost obligatory perhaps) used when Federer, Nadal or Djokovic loses against a low ranked player early regardless of whether they are coming back from injury or not. I was “shocked” myself right after he lost. Only after some capitulation did it stop feeling like a “shock”.

Willow Says:

People should cut him some slack, he hasnt played for ages, he was bound to be rusty, im sure he will improve, it just wont happen over night, maybe the days of him intimidating players have gone, maybe players are figuring him out now ?

Markus Says:

Take away del Potro and the real shock will be if Federer does not win Indian Wells.

BBB Says:

I think Federer has shown that the intimidation factor can go away for awhile, but if you get your game together, it can come back. For a few years players weren’t psyched out when they played him, but they seem to back to walking on the court having half accepted that they’ll lose in straight sets.

AndyMira Says:

BBB….I understand,but we’re also must not forget that aside from his problematic physical..he’s also dealing with inner demon atm…

I read an article last week that said Novak wants to get his confidence back..that means..he’s not confidence atm…that’s why 5 2 happened…and Taro knew that as well…And believe me BBB…other player’s knew that too…They will pounce on him relentlessly in the coming months..and i think he will suffered a few more humiliating & painful losses on his journey to find that lost confidence..But i think & believe,once his elbow start healing well..and he feels that he can trust his elbow back,plus he adapted really well to the new technics in his game..and with his fitness keep improving day by day…then he will win again[insyaallah]…All he need right now is time & patient…That’s all..

BBB Says:

Time and patience, I agree.

I am less worried about the mental side of things. I think the push to get 4 majors at once was so consuming that he was almost bereft afterwards. Coupled with stuff with his brother.

I like the Agassi relationship. I think they’re intellectually similar. I’m optimistic.

AndyMira Says:

BBB…This is an article about what Rafa thoughts about injury & what related to it…I think we can include Nole in this too considering he’s also just got out from his 1st major injury in his career…tho i also agree with u on a mental drainage from reaching 4 in a row 2 years ago…

Madmax Says:

“Look, still such early stages for Novak coming back and the first one after surgery. Yeah, just — he’s only going to get better from here. He knows that. We all know that. But it was nice to see him playing again.

Just want Novak to come back strong and be in the mix again – and I believe that he will, but things take time, plus he has a second child now, may be at the moment, his focus is not fully on the court. Who knows.

Come back soon Novak, and come back soon, Andy.

Willow Says:

Id like to give Taro Daniel credit for beating one of the all time greats, as its all been about Novak losing, Novak is in the early days of a come back so its too soon to access what will happen going forward, i believe he will be fine, but i dont think he will be as dominant as he was, players dont seem intimidated by him anymore, they have figured him out, and relish the challenge,and for somebody who was one of the fittest players on tour he looked quite drained the other night considering he hasnt played for such a long time, but contrast Federer although many years older looked as fresh as a daisy anyway hope they are all back soon, Andy, Stan, Rafa etc….

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