Defending Wimbledon champion Roger Federer revealed he “expected more” from Switzerland after their narrow World Cup exit to Sweden.
Federer won 35 straight points on his own serve en route to beating Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-4 6-4 6-1 in the second round on Wednesday.
But while the majestic Swiss champion was making serene progress as he crafted 48 exquisite winners during a 90-minute match, the same cannot be said of his fellow countrymen as the national team suffered a 1-0 defeat in the round of 16 of the World Cup.
Federer, who will take on Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany next, was not best pleased with the performance of Vladimir Petkovic’s men as Emil Forsberg’s deflected strike booked Sweden a place in the quarter-finals against England.
“I was disappointed,” said the eight-time Wimbledon champion. “I expected more from the team. But that’s the thing with knockout. When you have to bring it like it was the finals every match, it’s 11 guys at the same time.
“It can’t just be three guys, eight guys. It needs to be everybody at the same time doing the same thing. That’s what is hard, I guess, in a collective like that.
“I felt it’s an opportunity missed. I think we had our chance against Sweden but in the end, I thought they were maybe a little bit better. We didn’t create enough chances. At the end I do believe the one who usually creates a bit more deserves it, as well.
“It’s not a sour taste in the end because I think we deserved what we got. Maybe we’re not part of the best eight in the world.”
The 36-year-old 20-time Grand Slam champion used his own experience of knockout competitions to decipher what went wrong for the Swiss.
“What I know from knock-out play throughout the course of my career, you can’t afford to come in lethargic or not thinking,” added Federer. “You just think it’s going to happen by itself, just because you play one good match the day before. You’re only as good as your next performance really.
With England’s hopes of winning the World Cup for the first time since 1966 in mind, Federer was told by a reporter there was only one team he should support now Switzerland are out.
“Is there? I don’t know who I’m going to root for yet. I have to check it out,” he said with a smile. “But my favourite team is gone, so it won’t be the same any more for me.”
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