Cape Town – The normally even-tempered Roger
Federer was feeling a little bit aggrieved after receiving a code
violation during his defeat to Kei Nishikori at the ATP Finals on
Federer’s quest for a seventh ATP Finals crown and 100th ATP title
got off to a less than stellar start, as an error-strewn performance
from the Swiss great resulted in a 7-6 (7/4) 6-3 victory for Nishikori.
To make matters worse, Federer was also handed a warning by Steiner for hitting a ball into the crowd.
Early in the second set, Federer was angered by a challenge, and made his feelings known.
When asked if he was unhappy with the umpire, Federer said: I was,
just because I thought what was his argument, why the warning?
“But nothing more than that. He thought I was angry. I wasn’t. Now
I’m angry because I lost, but I wasn’t, so… “He knows me very well
apparently, or he thought so.”
Federer’s form has been pretty good heading into the ATP Finals,
having made it all the way to the final in Paris where he lost to world
No 1 Novak Djokovic, but there have also been a few disappointing
results mixed in.
Still, he was at a loss to explain his poor performance against Nishikori.
“I’ve been feeling fine,” he said. “It’s just that practice has been a
bit all over the place. Practised in Queen’s, practised on the outside
courts here, then centre as well.
“So it’s not always exactly the same conditions. Overall I thought I’m hitting the ball okay. The warm-up was totally fine.”
Federer was left to lament giving away the early break he’d earned in
the second set almost immediately, and he identified that as the
turning point in the match.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t keep the lead that I got early. That was important at the end,” he said.
“That was the key of the match. That 10-minute swing at the end of the first throughout maybe one-all in the second.”