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A Swiss Smörgasbord: The Local Reaction to Federer’s Upset

After 11 years, Roger Federer saw his Australian Open semifinal streak snapped at the unlikely hands of Andreas Seppi. TTI’s bilingual(+) boss René Denfeld takes a look at reactions from the Swiss media.

Stay tuned for Part II – out tomorrow – which will feature a talk with Svenja Mastroberardino of Let’s Talk Tennis for an even more in-depth assessment of the home country perspective.

It was a late Friday afternoon in Melbourne when Rod Laver Arena’s day session concluded with a bombshell. World No. 2 Roger Federer wound up on the losing end of a match against unseeded Italian Andreas Seppi for the first time in 11 encounters. After four sets, the world No. 46 sealed the match with an outrageous forehand passing shot down the line.

Just like that, the four-time Australian Open champion had failed to reach the second week for the first time in fourteen years. It wasn’t only a case of one of tennis’ greats putting in an average performance, but also one of Seppi accomplishing the rare feat of playing his best tennis on one of the biggest stages. While the upset is pulsating throughout the tennis community, newspapers and media outlets worldwide, we’re going to take a closer loss at how Federer’s loss is perceived by his compatriots and the Swiss media.


Federer: “I made too many wrong decisions”

On its website, Swiss TV is running the news with a quote from Federer’s press conference and subtitle, “The Swiss doesn’t hold back with self-criticism when it comes to his surprising loss to Seppi.”

The piece continues saying that although Federer’s draw looked tough, no one really saw him losing to Seppi – considering their head-to-head and the former No. 1’s previous successes in Melbourne.

From dream opponent to nightmare
“Somehow, I saw it coming”

Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger has been running several pieces and galleries on Federer’s loss, a full translation of the post-match conference as well as a article with Seppi describing the match from his point of view.

20min“The second set broke my neck”

“” concludes that Federer’s high number of unforced errors and double faults paved way for his loss. The subtitle reads: “Roger Federer agonizes over the early failure in Melbourne. If he had won the second set, everything would have been different. At least that’s what Federer says.”

Australian Open:
“I was soft and tired”, explains Federer

On, Stéphane Altyzer writes that it was Federer’s forehand in particular that let him down throughout the match and he noticeably struggled to perform well on the big points.

Federer duns after flop in Australia:
“Don’t interpret too much into this”

The online presence of Swiss newspaper reports that Federer was having a bad day and struggling with the shadows on court. Federer himself removes assumptions that the turnaround from Davis Cup to the new season was too quick.

Beyond the reports, Simon Häring wrote an op-ed article for, while René Stauffer commented on the Federer loss in his analysis on

Häring writes that Federer’s hunt for his 18th major title is turning into a “dance on the knife’s edge.” He continues that it’s difficult to say how much training and many warm-up events are enough for the 33-year-old to be fit on a given day, and that things just didn’t pan out in Australia.

“It’s a shame, but not the end of the world.” He finishes with the thought that maybe the early loss and No. 1 moving into the far distance provide an opportunity for Federer to orient his season early with Wimbledon in mind.

Stauffer opines that Federer’s loss to Seppi shows how winning simply doesn’t come as easily anymore to the 17-time Grand Slam champion, and that his aura isn’t the same is used to be. While Federer posted a strong season last year, his big tournament wins have become more sparse, Stauffer goes on to say. In his opinion, the biggest difference now compared to Federer’s period of dominance was that his opponents now enter the court believing they have a shot.

He concludes that while it doesn’t sound like Friday’s loss hurt the Swiss maestro’s motivation, it certainly hurt his chances of ever becoming No. 1 again.

A Swiss Smörgasbord concludes tomorrow with a conversation with LTT’s Svenja Mastroberardino.

Was the Swiss media too harsh? Sound off in the comments!

About René Denfeld (202 Articles)
Weather is my business. Tennis is my playground. Born in the year of the Golden Slam. Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have.

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