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Federer knocked out of US Open

A bitterly disappointed Federer leaves the stadium

(swissinfo.ch)

Swiss tennis player Roger Federer has been eliminated from the US Open by top seeded Novak Djokovic.

Although Federer got off to a good start, Serbia’s Djokovic fought back to win a place in the final 6-7, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 on Saturday.

“It’s awkward having to explain this loss because I feel like I should be doing the other press conference,” said Federer said after the nearly four-hour match at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.

"Sure, it's disappointing, but I have only myself to blame," Federer said.

Rain forced the players to postpone the match for an hour. To the dismay of players and spectators, this year's US Open has been incredibly wet.

The blue skies that followed seemed to favour Federer initially.

"Everything looked perfect in the beginning as Roger booked the first two sets and was playing really well. It was in the two following two sets that Djokovic raised his level of play while Roger did not quite keep up," stated Federer's official website.

It went on to point out that Federer was back in form by the final set, but that "an incredibly hard forehand from the Serb and one of Roger's balls just barely touching the net and sailing into the out kept him from clinching the victory".

Djokovic – speaking at that other news conference – called Saturday’s win one of his greatest victories ever:

“I was two sets down, and I haven't won many matches in my life when I was two sets down. Five, six years ago was the last one. Especially against Roger… when he's in control of the match he's confident, and it's really hard to get back into the match.”

"Tough and cruel"

The semifinal US Open match between Federer and Djokovic was eerily similar to last year's. It was also then that Federer fell to his Serbian colleague in the fifth set.

In a post-match interview with the SonntagsZeitung, Federer said there was not much that he could have done to win the fifth set.

"That's how the sport is, and that's why we like it. Sometimes it's tough and cruel, and today it got me," Federer told the newspaper.

Both the SonntagsZeitung and the NZZ am Sonntag noted that most of the 23,000 spectators wanted Federer to win the match and proceed to the final.

Djokovic will play against No 2 Rafael Nadal in the final at Flushing Meadows on Monday. Spain’s Nadal beat Britain’s Andy Murray in four sets on Saturday.

This is the first year since 2002 that Federer, currently No 3, has not won at least one Grand Slam title. Federer has won the US Open five times.

Asked by the SonntagsZeitung how that felt, Federer admitted that it had been a hard year with losses at key moments.

"But I've had tougher times. The season isn't over yet, and I'm looking forward to the rest of it," Federer said.

Winning isn't everything

The “Federer complex” no longer exists, according to an opinion piece in the Zentralschweiz am Sonntag newspaper. In other words, players like Djokovic, Nadal and Murray no longer have to fear Federer.

However, that is not to say that another player is about to take on that role.

“Longtime alpha animals (Federer and Nadal) do not believe that the Serb has the mental strength to pull that off,” wrote former Swiss tennis champ Mats Wilander. He added that Federer is still the “absolute master” when it comes to his serve.

“Swiss fans should see that the Federer era was an absolute dream-come-true for a small country like Switzerland,” pointed out Wilander. He said that now it is time for Federer to begin a new era in his career.

He closed the piece by saying that Federer plays not to win, but because he loves tennis: “If it had only been about winning, he would never have won so many titles.”

US Open

From 2004 to 2008, Swiss player Roger Federer enjoyed an undefeated run at Flushing Meadows, collecting five titles and winning 33 matches in a row. 

But in the 2009 final, Federer was defeated by Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro in five sets. Del Potro was unable to defend his title after injuring himself in January. 

Only American Bill Tilden has managed to do better than Federer. In the 1930s he won six straight US Open titles.

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