US OPEN 2013
Federer: Winning Is What Counts
New York, U.S.A.
by ATP Staff|
Don’t tell Roger Federer that it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game. For now, the Swiss’ sole focus is on the wins.
“I don’t mind how I play, as long as I win,” he said in an on-court interview Thursday, following his second-round win at the US Open.
That mentality explains why the 32 year old has downplayed his form against Rafael Nadal in the Western & Southern quarter-finals. After a largely forgettable summer by his high standards, Federer appeared back to his best against the Spaniard. The match still ended in a three-sets loss.
“One match against Rafa is not going to make my season or going to make me super confident or not,” he said. “It needs to be more than that.”
Since claiming his first title of the season at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle (d. Youzhny), Federer has gone 8-4 in match play. His results have included a second-round exit to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon, a semi-final loss to Federico Delbonis in Hamburg and an upset in his opening match against Daniel Brands on home soil in Gstaad.
“It hasn't been actually a terrible season up until Wimbledon really, and Wimbledon was just a disappointment,” he said. “I wish I could have played better, but I thought Stakhovsky overall played pretty well. Let's be honest. Let's give him some credit, too. After that, I just really hoped I could win Hamburg and Gstaad back to back to gain confidence. Never really happened.”
Federer spoke about his brief experiment with a larger racquet at those clay-court events, saying it didn’t go quite as planned due to his back issues. “Even though I was comfortable with the racquet, with the back pain I had, I couldn't feel things the way I wanted them to be, and my focus then was totally elsewhere than with the racquet and with tactics and the way I wanted to play. I put that aside.”
This week, as in Cincinnati, he’s back to the trusty 90 square inch racquet frame that carried him to a record 17 Grand Slam titles and optimistic that the results will come with time and patience.
“I'm still sort of hopefully gaining confidence match by match,” he said. “As we know, it might not just take a match but might take just a few matches, and next thing you know you're playing really, really good tennis again and you're close to playing some really great tennis. I think that's kind of where I am right now, and that's where every match is really important to me now and that's how I play every single point right now.”