A battered Roger Federer has to leave victory in the semifinals of the Australian Open Novak Djokovic. Even if this defeat was foreseeable – the Swiss must get the rival out of his head.
“Nice reception, nice farewell – and in between it was forgotten because you know you have a three percent chance of winning.” That was how Roger Federer summed up his appearance at the press conference on Thursday.
The ominous starting position of the 38-year-old was due to his problems with the adductors. Already in the match against Tennys Sandgren, he had to take a medical break, even yesterday after the lost starting set against Djokovic, he was treated in the catacombs.
Anyone who has regularly followed the Basel bidder since his professional debut on July 7, 1998, could look back on the 50th duel between the two exceptional players. Finally, Federer contested a total of 1,513 matches on the tour, including 421 Grand Slam games without ever giving up a game. Federer only had to give forfait at a tournament for health reasons only four times in his long career. His Serbian rival finds the right words for these facts: “Great respect.”
Unfortunately, Federer had to stand in Melbourne for over twelve hours this year to play in the last four.
Vulnerability is increasing
In the past, “chord worker” Federer was not used to such additional loops. Neither does his body, even if, according to his own statement, he made good preparation. But training sessions can unfortunately not replace match practice. Accordingly, Federer was not surprised at the departure: “I got the most out of it.”
The father of four let it be seen that, due to the circumstances, he will probably continue to do the same program before the Australian Open next year. “In my career I have proven enough that I do not need a lot of practice,” said the Basel bidder. In fact, he can probably flip the switch as quickly as no other player – but Federer, too, cannot (more) crush his opponents with his aura as before before the game.
It was difficult for all fans of the Maestro to see that with John Millman (ATP 47) and Tennys Sandgren (ATP 100) two players outside his weight class not only challenged him, but brought him to the brink of defeat. Tennis is unpredictable, but the “Big Three” has given men a monotonous phase in recent years. However, in the recent past Novak Djokovic has rushed and hunted for records alone, even if Nadal is still the top favorite in Roland Garros.
The Swiss spoke after the game against Sandgren of demons, which would go through the head of a tennis professional again and again during a game. These negative thoughts also go through the mind of Novak Djokovic. But the latter was able to drive them out and turn them up in the first set at 1: 4 and 0:40, while Roger Federer was unable to maintain his level. Even though he had “nothing to lose,” as Federer explained. When the first starting sentence was at his fingertips, the demon «Djoker» announced himself, who has certainly not shrunk since the bitter loss to Wimbledon. The last six duels at Grand Slam tournaments all went to the Serbs.
Of course Federer is right to say that it would have been very difficult even after winning the starting set. The conditions in Melbourne are actually ideal for the current world ranking second, the record winner (7 titles) of the tournament.
Courage is good for Federer
Nevertheless, you can still feel: Federer’s offensive style of play can also do more than just hurt a Djokovic in top form. In his advanced tennis age, every missed opportunity hurts twice, especially knowing that the stumbling blocks will not decrease. All the more unfortunate, the body reported to the record slam winner. He couldn’t stand up to the Dominator for long.
The Swiss must spend his time on the tour as he did in the first games against Djokovic. With this lightheartedness and attitude, Federer can get a chunk like Djokovic out of the way even at an advanced age and still win majors. Even if the public should be more aware than ever of its “transience” and enjoy every minute on the pitch.
Ultimately, he no longer has to prove anything to anyone. But how sweet would be a triumph in Wimbledon, where he has the highest chance of winning. “I believe in another Grand Slam victory,” Federer was also confident at the press conference on Thursday. He has already taken the first step to drive out the demons in 2020.