Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal
“This was the most important tournament of my life,” Roger Federer said on Saturday evening. “I’m very overwhelmed by it. I’ve still got a long way to go. This is just another step forward for my career.”
That was his opening statement of his seven-match, five-week tournament at the Rogers Cup, the third ATP Tour event of the 2017 season, coming five months after his last Grand Slam quarterfinals appearance, at the 2013 US Open. This was the first Slam since beating Tomas Berdych at the 2015 US Open, another year when Federer was playing on clay. He won the tournament in 2012 and 2015, and reached the final in 2012, 2010 and 2007. He’s lost in the third round of the French Open in 2013, 2012, 2013 and 2015, his only Grand Slam quarterfinal exits in Grand Slams.
He had to wait two years to get back into a Grand Slam tournament before his home Slam, and is now ranked a career-high 13th in the world. He’d made the playoffs in his last 13 seasons of Grand Slams. This was his first quarterfinal in a Slam since Wimbledon in 2013, and he took a set off No. 4 Kei Nishikori to reach it.
“I haven’t done it for a long time,” Federer said. “But I think I’ve got the strength to do it. I’m very happy.”
Federer’s tournament was a tale of two men. He entered having lost four straight finals on clay, and had never reached a third round in a Slam since beating Tomas Berdych five years ago. He led the first set 6-3 before losing the next five, losing the first set of his next four