Eliminated against all odds in the eighth round of the US Open last night by a surprising John Millman, Roger Federer admitted after the game that he suffered from the very wet conditions of the night session.
It’s rare to see Roger Federer score as much physically in a game as he did last night at Flushing Meadows. Wet T-shirt, sweaty face and looks like bad days, Switzerland obviously had a very bad time on court Arthur-Ashe in its surprise eighth-round loss to John Millman (3-6, 7-5, 7-6(7), 7-6(3)) : “It’s been very hot tonight. It was one of those nights I couldn’t find any air. I’ve suffered under these conditions, it’s one of the first times I’ve experienced it. It’s uncomfortable, you keep sweating, over and over again. You’re drenched, so are the balls, and everything slows down as you try to hit winning points. You lose energy as the game progressed.”
Roger Federer in his 8th final at the US Open
Roger Federer, who had not yet lost a set of a fortnight before facing the Australian, dropped physically through the game, finishing with statistics worthy of his worst Grand Slam matches. He suffered from a lack of air due, according to him, to the roof of the Court Arthur-Ashe. “When you feel like that, nothing works… I’ve trained in harder conditions before, I’ve played in the heat all day, but sometimes, it’s just not the day your body can handle it. Since the roof is there, the air no longer circulates on the court, it is a different US Open, ” said the Baslois in a press conference.
“Glad the game’s over”
Even worse, the world number two had chances in each set to try to get out of it, but he acknowledged that John Millman managed the evening conditions better than he did : “I could have gotten out of it, I had my chance in each set. It’s a shame not to have been able to lead two sets to zero, or win the third set, at least to take the lead at some point. But I think John played a great game in tough conditions. Perhaps because it comes from the wettest place in the world (Brisbane),” he said with a smile. Switzerland also admitted to being “happy that the game is over”, a sign that he was not at his best, and that he might not have subconsciously wanted to hang on to the fifth set.
No sixth US Open title or 21st Grand Slam title for Roger Federer, who hasn’t reached the major semifinals since the Australian Open last January. He leaves New York disappointed but soon plans to move on : “it’s not a question of age, it’s a question of humidity. Today was just hot. There’s no shame in that. It happens. We need to move on. I’m happy to rest and then come back to wash the Cup and finish the season strong.”