LONDON: Roger Federer has vowed to use the pain and frustration of his shock Wimbledon exit to fuel his bid to return to the top of the men’s game.
Federer is expected to drop to number three in the world rankings for the first time since November 2003 in the aftermath of his four-set defeat against the Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych on Wednesday.
That sensational result ended Federer’s seven-year run of almost unbroken success at the All England Club.
For the first time since 2002, when he was beaten in the first round by Mario Ancic, six-time Wimbledon champion Federer will miss the final of the grasscourt Grand Slam.
The 28-year-old lost his world number one ranking after being beaten by Robin Soderling in the French Open quarter-finals and is likely to sink another place after his Wimbledon exit.
Yet Federer puts his current struggles down to injuries to his back and right leg and insists he can still get back to the top.
“I do think that I can get back to a position of dominance. That’s why I’m here,” Federer said.
“God, I can’t wait for Paris and Wimbledon to come around next year because they’ve been frustrating tournaments for me this year."
“Obviously people think losing in the quarters is shocking, but people would die to play in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam."
“It’s not something I’m used to doing, losing in quarter-finals, because it’s not something I’ve done in the last six years."
“But this was a different story than Paris. In Paris conditions were tough and Robin (Soderling) played fantastic."
“Here I was struggling with my own game and with my physique. I’m looking forward to a rest and then attacking again in North America.”
Federer had been troubled by the leg problem since losing the Halle final to Lleyton Hewitt last month, while the back injury flared up partly due to the amount of low shots he has to make on grass.
The Swiss star made it clear that he believes those injuries, rather than his own poor form, had been key to his premature departure from Wimbledon.
“Once I enter the court, I am there to battle and to try to win with what I’ve got. But it’s just uncomfortable. When you can’t play freely, that’s the kind of performance you get,” he said.
“You can’t concentrate on each and every point because you do feel the pain sometimes. Then you tend to play differently than the way you want to play.
“It’s just not good and healthy to play under these kind of conditions. So if there’s anything good about this it’s that I’m going to get some rest, that’s for sure.”
With the memory of the Berdych defeat certain to be fresh in his memory for some time, Federer admits he has no intention of watching tomorrow’s men’s final.