'Encouraged' Federer vows he'll be better

Updated: 2014-01-26 07:32

By Agence France-Presse in Melbourne(China Daily)

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Roger Federer said he was encouraged by his start to the new season but regretted missing out on an all-Swiss final after Rafael Nadal sent him crashing in the semis on Friday night.

Federer, mentored by Stefan Edberg and wielding a bigger racket, showed vintage form in the tournament but it was a familiar story against Nadal, who won 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3.

The defeat robbed Federer of a rare chance to play compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka in a Grand Slam final, where he would have had a great chance of adding to his record tally of 17 major titles.

His sixth straight Grand Slam loss to Nadal also pushes him below Wawrinka in the world rankings, putting an end to his 13-year reign as Switzerland's No 1.

Federer cut a deflated figure after the match, but aid he was satisfied with his effort at the Australian Open and insisted his best tennis was still to come.

'Encouraged' Federer vows he'll be better

"It's very encouraging, no doubt. I wish I could have won and then given an all-Swiss final. That's something I'll regret for a long time," he said.

"But then again it was a great start to the season for me. It would have been nice to win in Brisbane (he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the final) and it would have been nice to win here, but you can't have it all.

"I still feel my best tennis is only ahead of me now, so I'm looking forward to the next couple of months, how they're going to play out for me, and hopefully by April I'm going to be at 100 percent again."

The 32-year-old Federer said he tried to implement a few suggestions from Edberg in the semifinal but that the fast and powerful Nadal simply "neutralized" them.

"I tried a few things. Then again I think Rafa does a good job of neutralizing you," he said.

"The problem was because I wasn't getting into enough service games, I was not going to try out a crazy amount of things.

It was Federer's fourth straight defeat in semifinals at the Australian Open.

(China Daily 01/26/2014 page12)