Roger Federer taking the positives out of semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic: 'It was definitely worth it to come to Paris'

Andrew Hendrie in ATP 4 Nov 2018
  • Federer upbeat despite semi-final defeat in Paris to Djokovic
  • The Swiss says he played better tennis this week than he did when he won the Basel title last week
Roger Federer (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Roger Federer was upbeat about his performance at the Rolex Paris Masters despite falling in a thrilling three-set battle against World No. 1 in-waiting Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals on Saturday.

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Looking to progress to within one win of a 100th career title, Federer - who was playing the Paris Masters for the first time since 2015 - came agonisingly close to snapping the 22-match winning streak of Djokovic in the final four, but ultimately the Serbian came up trumps in the crucial moments, saving a set point in the opening set before prevailing in a deciding set tiebreaker.

"I think the level was good from my side," said Federer. "Clearly I have some regrets. When you lose a close match like this you always have. Wherever they are in the match.
"But, overall, it was a good tournament. I can look back and think it was definitely worth it to come to Paris. The welcome was great. I played some good tennis, so I can be happy."

Arriving in Paris on the back of winning his ninth title at the Swiss Indoors in Basel, Federer has generated some solid momentum ahead of the Nitto ATP Finals in London, which begins on November 11.

Roger Federer (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
It was always going to be an immense challenge to repeat his extraordinary resurgence of 2017, but Federer has successfully defended his Australian Open title and won three more pieces of silverware in Rotterdam, Stuttgart and Basel, while he briefly hit the No. 1 ranking again in February.

But there have been quite a few surprising defeats spread out across the year, including Thanasi Kokkinakis in Miami, Borna Coric in Halle and Shanghai, Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon and John Millman at the U.S. Open, making Federer’s nice runs in Basel and Paris over the last fortnight all the more important when it comes to his confidence heading into the season-ending championships at the ATP Finals.

"I'm happy with my game. It's better than last week in Basel. There I won the tournament and here I played in the semis and it needed somebody of Novak's calibre to beat me. So, that's all right. I'm looking forward to a rest now and a good preparation for London.
"We're going to play against the Top 10 from the first match. It's not simple. My body is in shape. Mentally I felt tough. So, it's a good thing as well. And I reached the semi-finals [in Paris]... I can still be satisfied."

Federer has won the ATP Finals on six previous occasions, but his last triumph came back in 2011. The Swiss has since lost three finals to Djokovic in London, while his last visit to the season-ending tournament resulted in a semi-final defeat last year to David Goffin.

Federer and Djokovic will be joined in the elite eight-man event by Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem and Kei Nishikori.


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Roger Federer taking the positives out of semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic: 'It was definitely worth it to come to Paris'

Roger Federer was upbeat about his performance at the Rolex Paris Masters despite falling in a thrilling three-set battle against World No. 1 in-waiting Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals on Saturday.

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