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I've created a monster: Federer
January 25, 2008 17:51 IST
Brought down to earth on centre court, deposed Australian Open champion Roger Federer [Images] left Melbourne Park on Friday with his head held high.
He is still, after all, the world's best tennis player.
His conqueror Novak Djokovic and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will now scrap on Sunday for Federer's Australian Open crown.
At getting things in perspective, however, the Swiss is still a champion.
"Of course, I've created a monster, so I know I need to always win every tournament," he wearily told reporters after his 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 defeat. "But semis is still, you know, pretty good.
"It's not easy coming out every week trying to win. You'll always run into fellow top-10 players or other guys who are on a streak or on a hot run or surprise you.
"That's the difficulty about tennis.
"I've had it for a long, long time. I've had to deal with all sort of different streaks. I didn't feel particular pressure at all tonight, no."
Djokovic out-hit the Swiss world number one from the start. Third seed was just too powerful and too dynamic on the night.
Federer, who had reached the last 10 Grand Slam finals, was both sanguine and philosophical in defeat.
"Look, I've had 15 minutes to reflect on the match, so I can't tell you much yet," he said.
"But there's some sort of a disappointment. But from the spirit, the way I fought, the way I tried, it's all I could give.
"When you give 100 percent you're sort of happy with your performance. It can't always go your way. I know that.
"I've won, many, many times when I didn't expect myself to win. So tonight's one of those nights where you're a little bit disappointed.
"But it's going to (pass) and I'm going to look forward to the rest of the year."