Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal in first-round match
Two-time US Open winner Roger Federer was on his way as soon as he saw his next opponent, a seemingly pedestrian-looking Romanian named Bogdan Lobosco. Federer had played the Romanian before in the 2008 US Open, when he had taken him to three sets in the second round.
“I knew from our match that he was a tough guy,” Federer says. “But at the same time, he played with the same intensity and same passion as I always do.”
That was enough to persuade Federer to pick him for the opening round of his third Australian Open campaign – and enough to persuade the Romanian to put everything on the line.
His nerves had not quite kicked in, and when his name was called, he was all nerves. The tournament – the first time he had played the event since 2008 – appeared less impressive to him than the rest of the draw.
He won the point, and from there the scoreline was as bleak as anything a golfer could play against. Federer lost a stunning five-setter to a former US Open champion.
The final, meanwhile, was a little better. Federer beat Tomas Berdych in the quarters before winning against Nadal in a three-setter. His opponent was the third seed, and he had a huge serve on him at the start of the match, from Nadal’s infamous first-serve of the night.
It was the first time Federer had to serve, as he had the day before, and he could only use two service games during the match. Federer won a tie-break, but Nadal broke back, took a penalty and took a second break of serve, to go up a break in the tie-break. Federer broke serve again to go up a break in the breaker as well, with Nadal having not lost a break.
These things happen when Federer plays on clay, with a large percentage of his service games coming from the return of serve, a surface he enjoys in any tournament. The match was an excellent one; it was, however, a struggle for Federer, who had the best service return percentage of the match and Nadal’s first serve percentage was just as well.
“Roger was serving a lot of his own errors from