It is very easy with sport sometimes to get sucked into the simple winning and losing view of things.
Yes, athletes and teams are ultimately judged by victories or defeats, but often there is more to take from proceedings then simply the result.
Roger Federer is a case in point. He was beaten by Novak Djokovic on Saturday in the semi-finals of the Paris Masters.
Yet, the 20-time major winner described himself as being “happy” with his efforts despite the fact it was Djokovic, poised to return to world No 1 for the first time in two years on Monday, who prevailed.
Federer was right to be. It was a hugely encouraging effort from the 37 year old that serves as a reminder that he will still be a threat for grand slam titles in 2019.
Djokovic is playing superb tennis and is a man clearly reinvigorated now he is back to full fitness and his elbow problems appear to be in the past.
Before Sunday’s final in Paris against Karen Khachanov the Serbian has won his past 22 matches, a run stretching back to last August.
Federer came closest to ending that run as he went down 7-6, 5-7, 7-6. The match ultimately came down to a final set tie-break that Djokovic won 7-3.
Federer gave a performance mixed with quality play and resilience that genuinely troubled his in-form opponent.
What was impressive was how Federer dug in. He was not broken in the match, even though Djokovic created 12 break points.
Now it is easy to write it off as Djokovic spurning a number of opportunities, but Federer deserves credit for gritting it out and getting himself out of trouble to ensure the match went the distance.
There is still the ATP Tour Finals in London to come later this month, but the performance against Djokovic is a welcome reminder that Federer, even at an age when most of his peers have long since retired, is still capable of more titles.
Read more at: https://www.thenational.ae/sport/tennis/roger-federer-proves-in-paris-he-will-be-a-grand-slam-contender-in-2019-1.787793
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