Roger Federer didn’t skip a beat when losing to Kei Nishikori of Japan, Thursday. The No. 2 ranked exited the Madrid Open with a 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 loss.
His response: He headed back to the practice courts.
Bear in mind he’s already won the Dubai Tennis Championships, ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, BNP Paribas Open this year.
And while losing is still a surprise for his fans, equating a Tiger Woods loss on a PGA Tour, Federer’s legacy is set. This is still the same man who has won 76 tournaments since turning pro in 1998.
At a news conference he tastefully expressed his frustrations and said, “In practice I was hitting the ball well so this comes as a bit of a disappointment for me… It doesn’t change my mindset going forward. I’m going to go back to the practice court, train hard and make sure I don’t have these kind of days anymore.”
For Nishikori, the win was more epic than business as usual. He hasn’t won any tournaments, so beating a No. 2 seed is more than enough reason for a No. 16 ranked player to celebrate. Who wouldn’t? I know I would.
In Federer’s case, the loss doesn’t help as he slowly creeps to the end of his career. Everyone wants to finish on top, not losing to a No. 16 seven weeks after losing to Rafa Nadal at Indian Wells.
It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments are made when he hits the court May 26.