Roger Federer lost in straight sets to Stan Wawrinka (4-6, 5-7) today in heavy, wet conditions. Roger’s forehand was crap: 22 of his 31 unforced errors came off that side. And he only got 51% of his first serves in.
As Swiss daily, Blick, said in its headline: “Stan schickt Roger in die Flitterwochen!”
Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds: “Stan sends Roger to his honeymoon!”
On the bright side, Roger Federer didn’t cry or smash his racquet, and he even admitted to the press that he’s going to “work” on some things in practice next week. Good thing, too, now that even his strengths have abandoned him.
Here’s the scoop from today’s post-match presser:
Q. Was it kind of just bad timing all day today, with the weather and everything? Did that have any effect on how it went today?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, I thought the conditions were fine to play, you know. They were pretty heavy, obviously, you know, because there was no sunshine, and wet courts, so that made it kind of tough to get a lot of free points on the serve.
But I thought I had decent timing on my backhand. You know, I was playing it okay, trying to mix it up as well. But, you know, my forehand was hurting me in the beginning. I was making a few too many errors. That kind of gave him the advantage.
It was unfortunate. But I thought Stan played well. It was okay.
Q. Do you feel when you don’t have the timing on the forehand, do you know pretty quickly it’s going to be a tough day?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. It’s normal for me to miss forehands. I don’t just push them in. I usually try to go for it and be aggressive on it, you know.
But it got better towards the end. But still I just struggled. I guess it was Stan’s game. He did a good job today. He kept the ball in play. He was just better, so it was okay.
Q. Does it hurt more or less to lose to Stan?
ROGER FEDERER: Less for me anyway (smiling).
Q. Do you think you had enough preparation on clay? Is that part of the problem coming in?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it’s the problem for everyone. Are you going to ask this of everyone who loses this week? You’re going to get the same answer. Nobody had a preparation. So it’s a difficult one, you know. Slim excuse, because it’s the same for everyone.
Q. Do you think playing two matches here in Monte‑Carlo will help for the next tournaments?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, this I don’t know. I hope it will. I think what it helps is knowing what I need to work on, you know, next week. That’s always been one of the reasons why I came here to Monaco without preparation. I’ve tried it differently, not playing Monaco I think maybe for two years, and using that as a serious buildup. Now I’ve always sort of decided to come here, see what happens. Actually I’ve done really well.
That’s why I came again this year, because it just gives you information going into your practice sessions, you know, what you need to work on. Today definitely my serve wasn’t working. I haven’t served my best throughout the season, so I have to make sure I get my serve back in, you know, going well for me because I just don’t hit the spots when I really want to.
Not that I expect, you know, 10 aces a set here on this type of heavy clay, but I just think it’s something I need to work on, you know, make sure my timing gets right, my footwork gets right, and my forehand, that I use it the right way.
It just showed me again this week what I need to work on for next week. That’s why I think it was good to come here. Look, I didn’t expect myself to dominate everybody this week. I knew it was going to be difficult. Playing Stan in the second round I thought was always going to be difficult for me because this is his place here.
I got close, you know, but not good enough to beat him today.
Q. Is there any way you will try to play next week or will you just practice?
ROGER FEDERER: I’ll play for a week, but on the practice courts.
Q. Does it make any difference to lose to another Swiss?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I’m out of the tournament, you know, so it doesn’t matter who you lose against.
I’m happy for him that he’s, you know, progressed so much over the last couple years. He’s finally making a push, you know, getting close to top players and beating top players like myself. I think it’s great for him. The beginning of the clay court season, he’s already playing really well. That’s stuff he couldn’t really do three seasons going because he got injured or he had tough draws or he played one horrible match which took away this is confidence.
And this year and last year I think it’s all sort of coming together for him. I’m happy for him. Like I told him, the loss doesn’t hurt as much just because I know it’s against a good guy, so…
That last line makes me laugh, considering how Federer reacted after losing in Miami to Novak Djokovic. . .
Photo: Keystone via Blick