Q. Could we have your thoughts on the match.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I thought it was a good match. But, no, I mean, I think I had, I guess, many chances. You know, I mean, I was up a break in the first twice. Yeah, I mean, I had many chances. I missed them, you know, and they cost me dearly.
It was a tough match. I don’t think I served particularly well, unfortunately. And I think that was the key to the match in the end.
Q. When you’re not serving well, what kind of things are going through your mind to try to get back?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, just hang in there. I mean, I won a set against Rafa serving, what, 30% first serves. You know, I mean, it’s makable. I got a great second serve. Very reliable normally. I hit some stupid double‑faults, but that’s going to happen in a five‑set match usually.
But, no, I mean, I tried to kind of get the grip on my serve, but never really found the rhythm, which was a pity. You know, but it happens.
Q. Can you take us through your emotions.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I fought hard, you know. I mean, I think I played well. I’m happy with where my game’s at. I wish my serve would have been better, but that’s something that sometimes is a bit, you know, day‑form issue, you know.
I have a completely different type of serve than Rafa. You know, he makes sure he gets it in; I try to go and chase the lines. So obviously you’re always going to miss a few.
But, look, I mean, I love this game. It means the world to me, so it hurts when you lose.
Q. A lot of us felt at the end of the fourth set that the momentum probably had swung back in your direction. How tough is Nadal in a fifth set?
ROGER FEDERER: Tough like many other guys. You know, in a fifth set, anything can happen. That’s the problem. Not usually the better player always wins. Just a matter of momentum sometimes.
You know, maybe I should have never been there, you know, in the first place. But, I mean, I think he played well. You know, I definitely played a terrible fifth set, you know. I kind of handed it over to him.
I mean, no doubt he’s one of the tougher guys out there for a fifth set ‑ no doubt.
Q. Is there a feeling inside you that this is one that got away from you?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, I mean, kind of, you know. I mean, this is, sure, one of the matches in my career where I feel like I could have or should have won, you know.
But you can’t go through your whole life as a tennis player taking every victory, you know, that’s out there. You’ve got to live with those, you know. But they hurt even more so like if you’re that close, you know, like at Wimbledon or like here at the Australian Open.
So that’s what’s tough about it. But I have no regrets, you know. So it’s all right.
Q. Did you think him playing 5 hours, 14 minutes late on Friday night, did you feel like his condition might go if you could stretch the match out long enough?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I knew it was not going to affect him a whole lot, so didn’t have any role to play in it. I was ready for that.
Q. Did you feel he was getting stronger at the end?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I think I played a bad fifth set. But, no, I mean, he was playing solid. I think he tried to also kind of keep the points short, you know, through the fourth and fifth set, you know.
Q. Did it hurt more because it could have been the 14th for you and you have to wait for another time?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, honestly, no. I mean, it’s more like, you know, in the first moment you’re disappointed, you’re shocked, you’re sad, you know, then all of a sudden it overwhelms you. The problem is you can’t go in the locker room and just take it easy and take a cold shower. You can’t. You know, you’re stuck out there. It’s the worst feeling, you know.
So, I don’t know, it’s rough.
Q. You mentioned you had problems with the first serve. You had only 52% of first serves in. You also had 19 breakpoints. That was happening on Nadal’s serve. So what was the problem then? Only him serving well or you having some problems returning or what?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I wish I was a lefty, too, playing him breakpoints on the ad side, not on the deuce side. Sure, a great advantage for him. It’s not the first time (smiling).
Q. Do you believe you still can beat him?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, for sure. I didn’t spend four and a half hours out there believing it [sic].
020109 sunday/info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images