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Monday, June 18, 2018

Roger Federer Explains Previous Loss to Novak Djokovic Was Rafael Nadal Thing

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have met 19 times in their careers and Federer holds the head-to-head lead 13-6. Fed has won the past three matches between the two, but Novak got him when it mattered most — the semifinals of the U.S. Open. Djokovic won that match in five sets last year but wound up losing to Rafael Nadal in the finals. Both Novak and Roger agreed that a matter of a few shots determined who won or lost, but Roger offered up another potential reason for his defeat in September.

“Maybe I just felt like I have to get out of this match as quick as I could to save energy to play Rafa the next day,” Federer said prior to his semifinal match against Djokovic at the Australian Open. It’s a plausible explanation, considering how feared Nadal is as an opponent, and the issue that Federer would not have had a day off between the semis and finals.

Ironically enough, the finals ended up being postponed a day because of rain and Nadal won the tournament on Monday. Though looking ahead may have cost Federer at the U.S. Open, it may have taught him a valuable lesson he can apply for the future: always go all out to ensure you win your current match otherwise there won’t be a next match. We also call that the Lou Piniella Rule.

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