Emotionally Drained Federer Eager To Land Gold Medal For Switzerland
by James Buddell|
Roger Federer will play the gold medal match at the London 2012 Olympics Tennis Event on Sunday knowing that he has already retained the No. 1 spot in the South African Airways ATP Rankings.
Federer said he was emotionally drained after beating eighth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6(5), 19-17 in the semi-finals on Friday.
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“I'm extremely drained from serving against a match so many times, basically being down in the score for the entire match except the one time where I served for it.
"The level of play throughout was amazing, especially from Juan Martin. I've never seen him play so well, to be honest, from start to finish, particularly on grass. He should be very proud of his performance.
“I felt very bad for him at the net. It was an emotional hug we sort of gave each other. It's not over for him yet. I hope he can make the turnaround and play a good bronze medal match." Del Potro will play second-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Federer admitted that the emotions he experienced on the point of victory were almost as strong as winning a Grand Slam championship title. "I definitely got a sense that this was something special we were both going through,” said Federer, who has won 17 major titles.
“The deeper we went into the match, the more I thought, 'Wow, this is so cool to be part of a match like this’. The emotions I felt were as strong as winning a Grand Slam almost."
Federer is competing at his fourth Olympic Games.
At Sydney in 2000, he lost to Frenchman Arnaud Di Pasquale 7-6(5), 6-7(7), 6-3 in the bronze medal match. Four years later, in Athens, he lost to Czech Tomas Berdych 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the second round and at Beijing in 2008, Federer was beaten by American James Blake 6-4, 7-6(2) in the quarter-finals.
On Sunday, Federer will bid to win Switzerland its first medal at the London Olympics against third-seeded Briton Andy Murray. Four years ago in Beijing, Federer captured the doubles gold medal with his compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.
"I hope I can get to gold again, and that it's going to set free some great playing on Sunday,” said Federer. “Then we'll see if I win or not. I'm sure the emotion is going to be extreme. But we're not there yet, so have to stay very calm right now."
Should Federer win the gold medal, it would add another chapter to his illustrious career just days before his 31st birthday on 8 August.