Roger Federer endured one of the most surprising losses of his career on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, falling to rising Russian qualifier Andrey Rublev in just 62 minutes. But after Roger Federer’s outstanding season, the seven-time champion sees little reason to ring the alarms in his first tournament since Wimbledon.
“I played 45 matches this year, so I think I should be fine,” said Federer
If I play Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, I know more or less what they are going to do or can do. That’s different from a player you play for the first time,” said Roger Federer. “It’s maybe a small advantage to have over us, but regardless, you’ve still got to hit the corners, hit the lines, keep it going. He did exactly that. He was really perfect today. It was a great performance.”
After 21 years on the ATP Tour, Roger Federer has a keen eye for which players have the potential to reach the highest levels of the game. He was impressed by what he saw in the 21-year-old Russian, who only lost four points on serve in the second set and dictated the tempo of most of their baseline exchanges.
“You need an opponent that maybe lets you get by some tougher moments, but he didn’t do that,” said Federer. “He was super clean. Defense, offense, serving well. Didn’t give me anything. He was everywhere. It was tough for me, but an excellent match for him. I was impressed… I think I just have to play better overall to hang with him.” said Roger Federer.