New York: An out-of-sorts Roger Federer spoke of a crisis of confidence after he “self-destructed” in a stunning fourth-round defeat to unfancied Spaniard Tommy Robredo at the US Open, on Monday.
The Swiss’ erratic display included a most unFederer-like 43 unforced errors and left 14 of 16 break points going begging at Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“Confidence takes care of all the things you don’t usually think about,” Federer said, his stinging defeat reminiscent of his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon two months before.
“Maybe my consistency is just not quite there yet. Maybe on a daily basis, set-by-set or point-by-point basis, maybe that’s something that has been difficult for me. Maybe that was one of the reasons why I lost on Monday, playing up and down.
“I kind of self-destructed, which is very disappointing. I kind of feel like I beat myself, without taking any credit away from Tommy,” Federer said. “Clearly Tommy was making sure he was making many balls. It was up to me to make the difference and I couldn’t. It was a frustrating performance.”
Federer appeared impatient on most of his break point chances, miscuing a stream of groundstrokes to let Robredo off the hook. It was his earliest exit from the year’s last Grand Slam since a fourth round loss in 2003.
“I think I explained it enough. It just ended up being a bad combination of many things. I’ve definitely got to go back to work and come back stronger. Get rid of this loss 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.”
Federer said the much-hyped clash with Rafael Nadal was the last thing on his mind when he took to the court and defended his usual laidback appearance as the game slipped from his fingers.
“If I’m playing like this, I’m not going to beat Rafa, or Kohlschreiber for that matter. For me, I didn’t think of that. I’ve been too often in this situation. I was fighting with other things in my match.
“But the story of my life: When I lose, people are shell-shocked to see me play this way. If I win, it’s the best thing. There’s no doubt I’m trying hard out there to make it work. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
“Nothing goes past the hard work. 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 this match.” (Reuters)