Roger Federer's claycourt season had a rough start on Tuesday, as he lost to Pablo Andujar in three sets in the second round of the 2021 Gonet Geneva Open. But Federer is not too disheartened by the defeat, and during his post-match presser he even claimed that he knows he doesn't have a chance of winning Roland Garros.
After dropping the opening set while looking understandably rusty, Roger Federer seemed to have got into his rhythm in the second. He broke Andujar early and served well from there to seal it 6-4 and take the match to a decider.
Federer then broke again to lead the Spaniard and seemed on course for a win, before he played a few bizarre points to get broken while serving at 4-3. The Swiss' serve was subsequently broken again at 4-5, giving Andujar the biggest win of his career.
Speaking to the media later in the day, Roger Federer admitted that he made a few too many errors which ultimately cost him the match. But in the same breath he claimed that such things were a 'part of the process', and that he was ready to move past the disappointment.
"It wasn't dramatic but I just made too many mistakes," Federer said. "It is disappointing but I have to accept it as part of the process and move on. I have a lot of work ahead of me."
Roger Federer then disclosed that he felt better physically in his Geneva outing compared to his outing at Doha two months ago. The Swiss beat Dan Evans in his first match there, before being upset by Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Federer also insisted during the interaction that his main priority was still Wimbledon and not Roland Garros, and that he was looking forward to some more competitive match play over the next few weeks.
"My goal is the grass court season, not Roland Garros," Federer said. "Next weeks will be important to get used to the tour again. Matches are different than training sessions."
The Swiss further claimed he knew he wasn't in with a chance to triumph in Paris. He even pointed out that no player in history has gone all the way on the terre-battue at the age of 40.
"I know I will not win the French Open," Roger Federer said. "I'm not so sure in the last 50 years in Paris somebody rocked up at 40 years old, being out for a year and a half, and wins everything straight or in five sets."
"I know my limitations at the moment but that doesn’t mean I'm not gonna be hard to beat" - Roger Federer
Roger Federer was probed further about his performance against Pablo Andujar, who is the lowest-ranked player since Grigor Dimitrov (ranked No. 78 in the world) at the 2019 US Open to beat the Swiss maestro. In reply, Federer admitted that he had higher expectations coming into the match.
Federer then reiterated that it was important to get some more matches under his belt so that he can settle into a good rhythm before Wimbledon.
"I'm disappointed for the tournament more than anything," Roger Federer said. "I was expecting better from myself."
"I know my limitations at the moment but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna be hard to beat," he added. "What is important are the next weeks, getting used to be back on the tour again."
The 39-year-old quipped at the end of the interview that while getting back to his best was an uphill task for him best at the moment, he was ready to put in the hard yards and see it through the end.
"You sometimes need to just put yourself out there," Federer said. "This is the process I need to go through."