While Roger Federer fought valiantly all week in Toronto, he ultimately could not find a way to thwart an inspired Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final of the Rogers Cup.
The world No. 3 was not the first person to try and stop the Frenchman this week. Tsonga maintained command of the match through dominant serving, as he faced no break points and won over 90% of his first service points to close out the match 7-5, 7-6.
Tsonga defeated a gauntlet of opponents including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Grigor Dimitrov before reaching his first Masters 1000 final in over two years. Tsonga became the first Frenchman to win the Canadian Open and the first player outside the Big Four to win the tournament since 2003.
Although Federer was quick to compliment his opponent for his incredible showing, he was clearly frustrated by the daytime conditions at the tournament.
“It was the overall day conditions that were tough for me. It was much faster than in the night all my previous matches, so I think the turnaround was tough. Today was just really difficult in terms of rhythm from the baseline, so it was like a new tournament for me today.
“No excuses. I think he (Tsonga) played really solid and well when he had to, and I think he served well overall, which was key for him.”
While Federer is satisfied with his kick-off to the US Open Series, he is also disappointed by the way the scheduling of his matches negatively impacted his final match of the week.
“I’m pretty happy that I made the finals in my first tournament back on hard courts. Had a few tough matches which clearly gave me a lot of information. I know what I need to work on the next few days and next few weeks, which is good to know what I need to do other than feeling lost. I wish I could have played better in the finals today, but I think the facts were that it was tough for me. Jo did come with all the day sessions into the finals, I didn’t.”
After being pestered repeatedly by the same reporter to explain his mental preparation for the final match against Tsonga, Federer ended the press conference on a surprisingly blunt note.
“I was not playing good enough. You can be as nervous as you want to be. If you can’t hit forehands or whatever, it’s just like – it wasn’t my day.
“It was just a shitty day.”