Tennis: Federer says Djokovic deserves to be No. 1
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 5, 2011
BERN, Switzerland ó Roger Federer says itís good for tennis that Novak Djokovic won Wimbledon and became the top-ranked player.
The only player who has beaten him this year said Tuesday that Djokovic has earned his success after compiling a 48-1 record in 2011.
ěHe deserves to become No. 1 after an immense start to the year,î said Federer, who defeated the 24-year-old Serb in the French Open semifinals. ěWhen you lose so rarely, your confidence carries you a long way.î
The third-ranked Federer said it wasnít a big surprise that Djokovic dethroned Rafael Nadal after having beaten the former top-ranked Spaniard in four previous finals in 2011.
ěAnd heís proved before at Wimbledon that he can play on grass,î said Federer, a few days before the start to Switzerlandís Davis Cup match against Portugal. ěItís good for tennis that it happened.î
Despite Sundayís final promising to write a significant chapter in tennis history, the six-time Wimbledon champion did not watch it at home in Switzerland.
ěUnfortunately, I wasnít able to watch the final, but for sure it was being played at a very high level,î he said.
Federer lost in the quarterfinals to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France. The five-set defeat was the first time he blew a two-set lead in a Grand Slam singles match, and just the third time in his career.
The first came against former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the 2003 Davis Cup semifinals against Australia ó the closest Federer has come to lifting the trophy.
Since then, Federer has won all 12 singles matches on national duty, the most recent against Italy in September 2009 to help keep Switzerland in the elite 16-nation world group.