Federer: That_Ñés why I love this sport
Originally published on: 30/06/12 00:00
For a second, it looked as though Roger Federer might follow Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon on Friday evening.
But after holding firm to survive a five-set nail-biter and a “wonderful” effort from Julien Benneteau a day after Rafael Nadal was shocked by 100th-ranked Czech Lukas Rosol, Federer admitted that the unpredictability of the sport, particularly on the grass of the All England Club, remains a major thrill.
“That's why I love this sport, that every day is a completely new day,” said Federer. “You don't know what to expect, and you have to react so much in our sport that you only control certain things. This is where I think it's impressive that the other guys also for so many years have been able to be so solid.”
Federer, who watched the latter stages of Rosol’s victory over Nadal on Thursday night, said he sympathised with the 11-time Grand Slam champion but was buoyed to see a lowly-ranked player destroy the notion that the top three are unbeatable ahead of the latter stages of a Grand Slam.
“It was just amazing to see that it was possible,” said the six-time Wimbledon champion. “Okay, [Rosol] didn’t play like that for five sets, but in the fifth set I was just a joke. I was laughing because of his performance for 10 minutes after that. I couldn’t believe he had pulled it off in the way he did.”
Federer, who defeated Nadal in two of their three Wimbledon finals – in 2006 and 2007 – insisted that the Spaniard’s surprise loss was one of those things and could be expected over the course of any top player’s career.
“Of course I do feel bad for Rafa because it’s a tough loss; it’s Wimbledon; it’s the way things happen,” he said. “You figure he was not the overwhelming favorite going into the fifth outdoors, but we have all been unlucky and lucky over the years playing in tough, better, or worse conditions for yourself or for the opponent that they just equal out over the course of your career, really.”