Roger Federer: 'I self destructed'

Roger Federer said that he 'self-destructed’ during an error-prone 6-7(3), 3-6, 4-6 straight-sets defeat to 19th seed Spaniard Tommy Robredo at the US Open on Monday night. The loss means that the 17-time Grand Slam champion will finish a season without reaching a major final for the first time since 2002.

Federer made 43 unforced errors to Robredo's 26, including a litany of uncharacteristic errors from advantageous positions on his forehand wing.

“I kind of feel like I beat myself, without taking any credit away from Tommy,” Federer said. “Clearly he was making sure he was making many balls. It was up to me to make the difference and I couldn't. I kind of self destructed, which is very disappointing, especially on a quicker court. Your serve helps you out. You're going to make the difference somewhere. I just couldn't do it.  It was a frustrating performance today.”

The shock defeat, his first in 11 career meetings against Robredo, ended fan hopes for a quarter-final showdown with World No. 2 Rafael Nadal. “It’s not that much of a disappointment at the end of the day,” Federer said. “If I'm playing like this, I'm not going to beat Rafa, or Kohlschreiber, for that matter… I was fighting with other things in my match today. Not thinking too far ahead of myself, especially the level I was playing at."

Had Federer won tonight he would have reached his 41st Grand Slam quarter-final, a record held by Jimmy Connors.

From the first of his five consecutive title runs in 2004 through to his runner-up finish to Juan Martin del Potro in 2009, Federer amassed a 40-match winning streak at Flushing Meadows. But he has not returned to the final in his past four outings and his fourth round exit to Robredo is his earliest US Open exit since 2003.

Federer, 32, who converted just two of 16 break point chances against Robredo, said that he would not dwell on the defeat. “I've definitely got to go back to work and come back stronger, get rid of this loss now as quick as I can, forget about it, because that's not how I want to play from here on. I want to play better.  I know I can. I showed it the last few weeks, that there is that level. So today was pretty frustrating.

“When I lose, people are shellshocked to see me play this way… But there's no doubt about it, I'm trying hard out there trying to make it work. Sometimes it just doesn't happen.”

"Nothing goes past the hard work," he said.

"I'll make sure I put the work in. I'll believe in it and go after it. In some ways, as a player, you're always excited about that prospect because there's always something to look forward to, even in a big disappointment like the match today."

Federer has work to do to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals, the season-ending tournament that he has won a record six times. He is not scheduled to play again until the Shanghai Rolex Masters, which begins October 6. He is then slated to play the Swiss indoors Basel and the BNP Paribas Masters in the final two weeks of the season.

“I don't think I'll change my schedule,” Federer said. “I believe if I do play well, I'll make good results.”

Date: 3rd September 2013, Source: ATP


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