Federer: Return game was biggest problem

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AP

Returning effectively was the biggest problem Roger Federer says he had during his five-set defeat to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

''I couldn't figure out why I wasn't breaking Novak's serve, or actually creating opportunities,'' he said. ''It's really only until the fourth set when I was down a break that I started to understand more how to return him, which was a surprise for me because I've played him that many times.''

Federer had seven break points in the match, six of which were in the fourth and fifth sets. He earned all three of his breaks in the fourth set, with the first following a game in which he saved a triple break point of his own.

''I just felt I changed the way I approached the return, and also the way I played the rallies from the baseline, because I felt there were opportunities and options  for me to do different things,'' said Federer.

''Yeah, so I felt like that was my biggest problem really overall. I think that's where I lost the match. I served well myself throughout. I feel like if I would have returned better or would have understood it earlier or if he would have helped me out just a little bit things could have been quite different.''

The seven-time Wimbledon champion said he wanted to put more pressure on his opponent throughout the match.

''You know, I think it's one thing not to break. That can happen if the other guy plays well in the big moments and all that stuff,'' said Federer. ''But it was really not creating enough opportunities to put Novak under pressure, you know.

''For some reason it never ended up being 15-30, 30-30, putting Novak under pressure enough, so he could always free serve, free swing, and take chances on his second serve.

''I think, like I mentioned before, he was doing a good job on his serve, high first-serve percentage, staying aggressive from the baseline, not making any easy errors, all that stuff.''

But the match was a high-quality contest, agreed Federer, saying, ''I thought it was a great match and I enjoyed to be a part of it.''

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