Roger Federer crashed out of the 2021 Noventi Open in Halle on Wednesday with a 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 loss at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime. The Swiss, who beat Ilya Ivashka in the first round on his comeback on grass, played some uninspiring in the second and third sets against Auger-Aliassime .
Roger Federer struggled on both the serve and the return in the second half of the match. He faced a whopping 15 break points against the Canadian, who grew in strength as the match progressed.
Federer was thoroughly disappointed in the aftermath of his defeat, and was also unusually late for his press conference. On arrival, the 39-year-old claimed he needed time to digest his performance in the third set and to calm down a bit before speaking to the media.
Roger Federer also opined that his loss against Felix Auger-Aliassime was similar to his Geneva reverse against Pablo Andujar.
"I felt like I needed time to digest the third set," Roger Federer said. "I was unhappy how it ended, was similar to Geneva one. I rather keep it short and simple, I rather take my time to come in, not sweaty and in the heat of it. Not sure what I'm gonna say in these moments, that's the reason why (I was late)."
Roger Federer further revealed he felt "very negative" towards the closing stages of the match, and admitted that his attitude was far from desirable. But he also asserted that he didn't want to make any decisions in the heat of the moment, before confirming he would spend some time in Switzerland before heading to Wimbledon.
"I was very negative, which is not my style," Roger Federer continued. "My attitude was bad, I'm not proud of it. That was disappointing. I don't want to make any stupid decisions now. We are now going back to Switzerland and have time to discuss what the next steps are."
Roger Federer will enter Wimbledon with very little match practice under his belt. He has played just three best-of-five matches (at Roland Garros) this year, and only two matches on grass (at Halle).
However, the World No. 8 claimed that he was aware of where he stood going into the grasscourt Major. Federer also heaped praise on Felix Auger-Aliassime for his performance.
"I got a lot of information from my matches in the last weeks, changing surfaces is not easy," Federer said. "Felix is a great player and today he was better."
Roger Federer underwent two surgeries on his knee in 2020, which kept him out of the game for almost a year. On Wednesday the 39-year-old spoke about the difficulties of his rehabilitation period, and pointed out how playing on tour is not as easy as it once was.
"The rehab process was a huge challenge for me," Federer said. "Everybody who has had multiple surgeries knows what I'm talking about. Things don't come easy anymore and that's sometimes is the major concern."
We were all shocked when Wimbledon was canceled last year: Roger Federer
COVID-19 had brought tennis to a standstill for around six months last year, with many tournaments getting postponed or canceled. Wimbledon was one of the premier events that was called off altogether, even as other Slams decided to change their schedules.
Roger Federer pointed to the uncertainty of the tennis schedule in 2020 and said he was "shocked" at Wimbledon's cancelation.
"Last year everything happened very quickly," said Roger Federer. "After Indian Wells cancellation we were all trying to understand how the situation would evolve. Few weeks later Wimbledon was canceled and we were shocked, but we know the reason of course."