I created win-machine 'monster', says dejected Federer
I practised really hard. I can't practise much harder in the off season, maybe I did pay the price for being a little bit ill: Federersports Updated: Jan 25, 2008 17:59 IST
Beaten Australian Open champion Roger Federer admitted he had an off day Friday and blamed himself for creating "a monster" where everyone expects him to win every week.
The Swiss world number one was sent crashing out of the tournament in the semi-finals by heir apparent Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), ending the Swiss star's record run of 10 consecutive Grand Slam finals.
Federer said that considering he had poor preperation due to a virus keeping him out of the warm-up Kooyong tournament, he was happy with how he performed.
And he said he couldn't be expected to win all the time.
"I'll definitely reflect on what happened. I mean, considering my illness, I'm happy with the result here," he said.
"Of course, I've created a monster, so I know I need to always win every tournament. But semis is still pretty good.
"But, yeah, I'll analyze and see if I have to make changes for next year. But, honestly, I think I did play pretty good, didn't play my best throughout the championships, but it was pretty solid, so it was okay."
Pressed on whether he really felt he had created "a monster", he replied: "Well, some sort of, yeah.
"Winning every other week, lose a set and people say I'm playing bad. So it's my own mistake, I guess. I've got used to it by now.
"But it's not easy coming out every week for sure trying to win."
The peerless Swiss has ruled his contemporaries like no other. He secured the number one ranking for an unprecedented 209th week after sweeping into a record 15th consecutive Grand Slam semi-final in Melbourne this week.
But his drive to beat Pete Sampras's the all-time Grand Slam record of 14 titles will have to wait until the French Open, or more realistically Wimbledon. Federer currently has 12 Grand Slam trophies.
Friday's loss was his first at a Grand Slam since going down to world number two Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the 2005 French Open, but he said he gave it his all.
"From the spirit, the way I fought, the way I tried, it's all I could give," he said.
"When you give a hundred percent, you're happy with your performance. It can't always go your way. I know that.
"I've won, many, many times when I didn't expect myself to win. So tonight's one of those nights where you're a little bit disappointed.
"But it's going to go over and I'm going to look forward to the rest of the year."
Federer said he wasn't moving as well as normal on the Plexicushion hardcourt and berated himself for not converting the passing shots that usually characterise his game.
He said the illness before the tournament could have played a part.
"Obviously, the approach has been unique this year, it's the first time I've been ill before a Grand Slam," he said.
"It might have had an effect on my movement, I don't know. But I definitely didn't feel as quick as some other times.
"I practised really hard. I can't practise much harder in the off season, so I did everything the right way. And maybe I did pay the price for being a little bit ill.
"But I like to give credit to my opponent, as well. I don't want to blame it too much on my own play. He came up with the shots at the right time, and that's all I can say really."