World number two Roger Federer reflected on a poor performance in the final of the Cincinnati Masters on Sunday.
The Swiss Maestro’s hyper-aggressive tennis saw him drop just one set in a tiebreaker all tournament, but he fell at the last hurdle against a resurgent Novak Djokovic, who cleaned him up 6-4, 6-4 to create tennis history.
Federer earned just one break point the entire match and failed to take advantage of Djokovic’s second serve, of which there were many. Never one to make excuses, Federer admitted to his sub-par performance.
“Today was just about being on the ball and missing, so it was even worse of a feeling, to be honest,” the 37-year-old told the press afterwards.
“I just think my feet weren’t moving probably at the end of the day, and maybe the late finishes from the last couple of days had something to do with it. It’s a bit frustrating, but I guess these matches just unfortunately happen sometimes. It’s just a long week. It’s tough, grueling. The best players are playing.
“You play against tough guys early on in the draw, so you don’t have much time to find your rhythm and actually almost work on your game throughout the week.”
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The result sees Djokovic move further ahead to 24-22 in their head-to-head statistic. Always the gentleman, Federer reminded the press of Djokovic’s historic achievement of winning all nine Masters 1000 titles.
“And then Novak, he’s a great champion and this is what this should be about, this press conference…not about me missing second-serve returns,” continued the 20-time grand slam winner.
‘It’s about him making history. That’s my opinion. We can go into whatever points you want, but I think that’s what the headline should be about. This is an amazing accomplishment, and I hope he’s extremely proud and extremely happy about this moment.”