Federer happy for break ahead of French Open

World number three Roger Federer was looking at the positives after his third round defeat to Richard Gasquet at the Rome Masters.

Updated: May 13, 2011 13:46 IST
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Rome: World number three Roger Federer was looking at the positives after his third round defeat to Richard Gasquet at the Rome Masters.

Having failed to reach the quarter-finals of a tournament for the first time in a year - since he also slipped up here last year - and blowing a lead of a set and a break, Federer was quick to look ahead after his 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/4) defeat.

"I'm definitely looking forward to a few days off, I'll definitely be happy to take two, three or four days off, whatever it takes to feel physically and mentally fresh for the French Open," he said.

"I'm feeling great now and I'll practice when I get to Paris, that's the plan so it's the same as the last few years only that this time I will get a couple more days of practice which isn't bad."

Things appeared to be going to plan for Federer when he broke at 3-3 in the first set and served it out.

But at 4-3 up and serving in the second set he was broken before then failing to convert two break points in the next game.

He lost the tie-break 7-2 and then in the decider his game gradually crumbled before succumbing in another tie-break.

It was only the second time in 10 meetings that Federer had lost to Gasquet, the other being their first match in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals in 2005 when Gasquet was only 18.

But he refused to consider any suggestions that he was off form coming into the French Open, reminding reporters that Gasquet is a quality opponent.

"There is something that you have to understand, Richard is a very good player," he snapped. "So please don't be surprised if he plays good tennis. That is what he is supposed to do.

"I played him in the semis in Wimbledon, the finals in Hamburg and the finals of Toronto and I think he does not need to prove his point that he can play tennis.

"(You) make it seem as if he has no forehand and this is the first time he has won a match.

"I don't think that's how it was and I don't know if you've been living under a rock or not but I think he has been playing really well for many years.

"At his level, if you are not in the top 10 all the time and go up and down and obviously there are high expectations from France because he was so talented.

"I mean if you refer to the match in Monaco -- I don't care -- it has been five or six years and it was a completely different match and he was such a young player and it was an amazing victory.

"I think he also celebrated that more than he will celebrate this one because he expected a victory more than back then."

As for Gasquet, he said he wasn't going to get too carried away by his win, but that it does stand him in good stead ahead of Roland Garros.

"Now I'm going to get knocked out in the first round and everyone will say I'm rubbish," he joked.

"I'm better equipped to manage this situation now, I try not to ask myself too many questions.

"I've had some very, very good times and some very, very difficult ones.

"I was held up as a genius and then treated like a ... I won't say the word but I try to take it all as it comes.

"But there's no doubt it's good to go to Roland Garros having beaten Federer."

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