In shades of their meeting last Saturday in Paris, Roger Federer (Player Profile) lost another disappointing three set battle to Novak Djokovic, this time in the Tuesday night session at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. The loss brought Novak within one win of tying the Head-to-Head series with the 17-time Grand Slam champion (the Swiss leads 16-15). The third set in particular was a frustrating display from Federer, who dropped his first service game and never recovered.
“Great, we’re positive,” Federer said sarcastically. “It was great to win two sets off Novak, and losing four. Losing a match, it’s really exciting. But I don’t know what to tell you. The season’s not done yet. Let’s talk about this stuff in hopefully four matches.”
For Federer, his issues are more mental than physical, which could be more complicated in some cases. His aim is to remain positive and try to perform at his best for the remainder of the season.
“I think at this point it’s very mental, just making sure I don’t get too negative on myself because of the loss today,” he said. “It was against Novak after all. It’s not against some journeyman. So I feel like it was very close, but then again didn’t make it. It’s a positive that it was three sets. Don’t really care. But I just have to make sure I stay positive right now in my mind, which I am.”
While he may not have come out on top in his opening match against Djokovic, Federer is still excited for his upcoming matches and is still motivated to perform. His only problem remains his ability to remain confident and aggressive during matches, while simultaneously limiting unnecessary errors in his game. Now at the tail-end of a arguably his toughest season in the last decade, Federer admits he gets “rattled” at times when he is trying to find consistency.
“And I’m looking forward to the next matches. And I’m happy how I recovered from Paris. That was really key for me to see today how I was going to feel. Maybe I did have some ups and downs, but that’s more towards the season I played and more I think a lot of matches. Then I just got to play my game. It does remain indoors. So I think I have to just make sure I take it to my opponents rather than trying to make the plays too often, what I was trying to do today … But obviously it’s been a tough season overall. So I guess I’m just rattled at times, with my level of play consistently.”