Federer: 'I Expect Better From Myself'
Roger Federer smiled and waved to the small crowd at the Parc des Eaux-Vives as he departed the court following his three-set loss against Pablo Andujar on Tuesday at the Gonet Geneva Open. But the Swiss star admitted he was disappointed with the result and his performance.
“It’s good to be back on the court, but then you lost a match like this and you’re down. It never feels great. I was looking forward to playing here, no doubt about it,” Federer said. “But this is a press conference where I have to explain how I feel about losing, which is never the greatest way of trying to explain why and how it all happened. But of course there were moments where I was really happy to entertain the crowd and [I was] looking at the long road that I’ve been on from the comeback.
“Sure, it’s rewarding to be back on a tennis court. But I expect better from myself. I feel like in practice I’ve been playing better, even in practice here. But then again as we know, matches are a different animal. I’ve got my work cut out there.”
During his post-match press conference, Federer used his hands to make the motion of going off a cliff to symbolise how he lost a 4-2 lead in the third set. That put an end to his 32-match winning streak on home soil.
“Of course at 4-2 in the third you feel like, ‘Oh, that’s nice that I was able to turn around the match.’ You start feeling better and that’s when it dips and everything is over 10 minutes later,” Federer said. “But we know how tennis goes and that’s where it’s so brutal sometimes. But I feel like I didn’t deserve it at the end. There was just not enough happening in my game.”
It wasn’t one particular mistake that frustrated Federer in the end. The 39-year-old admitted that as he searched for answers, he simply could not find them with his tennis in the key moments.
“I just could feel that [as] the moment was getting tougher, the game wasn’t there. Obviously [I was] missing way too much maybe to come through even though [I was up] 4-3 and a break. The chances were all there,” Federer said. “But again I thought he played good down the stretch and I just couldn’t come up with the goods.”
This was just Federer’s second tournament since the 2020 Australian Open after undergoing two arthroscopic right knee surgeries. In March, the Swiss lost in the Doha quarter-finals. The World No. 8 admitted that he did not expect to be in top form this clay season.
“Roland Garros is not the goal. The goal is the grass, so I still have time,” Federer said. “I’m disappointed for the tournament more than anything. I wish I could have stayed around and played some more matches for the people here because the atmosphere still is, considering [the circumstances], very good, and they seemed very happy to see me here.”
Even for Federer, a 103-time tour-level titlist, there are days when things don’t work on the court. He admitted it was a "pity" to not be able to find a way through despite that.
“I was a bit limited today I felt on the court and obviously here in Geneva, in Switzerland, we always have a bit of altitude, so when you start to play in two minds, it gets very difficult,” Federer said. “Obviously I wish I could have played more, but at the same time it is what it is now, so you’ve just got to accept it and move on.”