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Federer's Olympic dream shattered

Ossian Shine in Athens | August 18, 2004 16:02 IST

World number one Roger Federer's top target for the year -- an Olympic tennis gold medal -- was taken away from him in a "terrible day" on Tuesday.

Despite 2004 Grand Slam wins at the Australian Open and Wimbledon and a soaraway lead at the top of the world rankings, the Swiss crashed out of the singles to the 79th-ranked Czech Tomas Berdych 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the second round.

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To complete his dismal day, he then teamed up with Yves Allegro in the doubles and crashed 6-2, 7-6 to India's Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes at the same stage.

"It's a terrible day for me losing singles and doubles," said Federer, who had stated earlier in the year that his main aim in 2004 was to win in Athens.

Federer said his heavy schedule had finally caught up with him. "I've been playing non-stop, you know. And it's obvious it's going to catch up with me, eventually.

"Unfortunately it's during the Olympics."

He continued: "Obviously I was aiming for a better result than this but that's what I got. So I have to live with it.

"I wasn't real happy with my serve, my forehand, my backhand, my movement. So that about sums it up.

"I never found the rhythm even though I got here early. That is a bit surprising to me, even though I felt right away that the conditions are quite tough to play in.

"I probably would have needed a few more matches to get the confidence up.

"But too late."

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