Following his disappointing 2013 season on the tour, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer picked up significant momentum at the start of the new season, reaching the final in Brisbane and following it up by reaching his 11th consecutive semi-final in Melbourne. The Swiss No. 2’s run was ultimately halted when he stepped across the court from top seed Rafael Nadal, where he lost the match in straight sets.
The match was far from the best in their storied rivalry but was certainly a strong showing for the Spaniard, who pressured Federer for the majority of the match, forcing him to commit far more errors than were characteristic of the four-time Australian Open champion. While that may have been the case, Federer considers it a “great start” to his season and leaves Melbourne with several positive notes from his performance.
“Yeah, I mean, it’s very encouraging, you know, no doubt. Wish I could have won here and then, you know, given an all Swiss final. That’s something I’ll regret, you know, for a long time. But then again, you know, it was a great start to the season for me. Would have been nice to win Brisbane, would have been nice to win here tonight, but you can’t have it all.”
Federer began his season in Brisbane, where he reached the final in his debut at the event, before losing to hometown hero Lleyton Hewitt in a fantastic encounter. Arriving in Melbourne a day later, Federer defeated James Duckworth, Blaz Kavcic and Teymuraz Gabashvili in the first week before moving onto tougher tests in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray – both of which he passed in magnificent fashion to reach the semi-final stage.
Overall, Federer is content with the start of his season and believes that the best is yet to come.
“I think this is a very good start to the season for me overall. I played some really good tennis here. I still feel my best tennis is only ahead of me right now. So I’m looking forward to the next couple of months, how they’re going to play out for me, and hopefully by April I feel like I’m going to be at 100% again.”