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Federer unperturbed by Rome defeat

sports Updated: Apr 28, 2010 10:58 IST

AFP
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World number one Roger Federer insisted he was not worried by his second round defeat to Ernests Gulbis at the ATP Rome Masters 1000 and said it might even help him.

Federer began well in his first clay court match of the season but his game then totally deserted him as he suffered a shock 2-6, 6-1, 7-5 defeat to the 40th ranked 21-year-old Latvian.

But the Swiss master seemed relaxed when talking about his match afterwards and even suggested that such a defeat isn't a bad thing.

"It is easier to take because I'm used to winning so much so that sometimes when you get a loss ... You can't always win and sometimes it takes a loss to wake up and sort of shake your mind up and think about how you're going to approach next week," he said.

"Because sometimes when you win it's just too easy and too simple. When you lose, you actually realise how tough it is to dominate this knock-out system we have in tennis which is brutal."

Having begun his clay court season relatively late, Federer said he was pleased he had already decided to play in Estoril next week and then Madrid after that as he looks to build up some clay form ahead of the French Open.

"I'm not too worried, I'm more curious to see how next week goes. It always goes like that when you touch a new surface and you play your first match.

"If you lose early you can't wait for the next tournament to come around. That's the way I feel. It's frustrating ... because I think there could have been good tennis at the back end of the tournament but I didn't get the chance to build any momentum and confidence so I'll have to do some hard yards now and win some ugly matches.