Roger Federer opens up about “tough” pre-quarters

London: Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who crashed out of the ongoing US Open, said that his pre-quarters clash against Australian player John Millman was “tough.”

“I thought the match was tough. I wish I could have led two sets to love and then maybe the match would be different and I would find a way. Because I did have my chances all the way till the end. It was just tough,” ATP quoted Federer, as saying.

Crediting Millman for his exceptional performance in the match, the 37-year-old said that his opponent is an intense player and has got a positive demeanour about himself on and off the court.

He further suggested the world number 55 to play in the same way while taking on Serbian player Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final round.

“I love his intensity. He reminds me of David Ferrer and those other guys that I admire a lot when I see them; when I see how they train [and] the passion they have for the game. He’s got a positive demeanour about himself on and off the court. I think he’s got a great backhand that he can protect very well down the line and cross-court,” Federer said.

“When you attack there in the wrong way, he will punish you every time for it. He has options, now especially where it’s a bit slower, to return in and return back. I think against Novak, he just has to bring it again [and] try to worry Novak,” he added.

Reflecting on the climatic condition, which was apparently hot during the match, Federer said that he struggled a lot because of the excessive heat on the day.
“I just thought it was very hot tonight. It was just one of those nights where I guess I felt I couldn’t get air. There was no circulation at all. For some reason, I just struggled in the conditions tonight. It’s one of the first times it’s happened to me,” he said.

Federer suffered his earliest loss in a Grand Slam event since his third-round exit at the 2015 Australian Open.

He was thrashed 6-3, 7-5, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (3) by his Australian counterpart in a thrilling round of 16 clash.