Roger Federer lost another three-set match and, perhaps, his longtime grip on No. 1.
Croatia's Ivo Karlovic defeated Federer 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 7-6 (5/7) and that means Rafael Nadal can overtake the Swiss star and top the ATP rankings for the first time with a triumph in Sunday's final.
"It's disappointing, losing without getting broken, but it's not the first player it has happened to, especially to a guy like Ivo,"
Federer said. "He served really well, so it was always going to be a hard match."
"There's always danger in tough matches against Ivo. I knew that from the start."
Federer said he did not care whether or not Nadal won the event to take the top ranking spot from him but was going to focus on the Olympics and US Open.
"So far it's OK,"
Federer said. "I guess I'll analyze and assess my game after the US Open. For the moment it's just all a blur. I mean, it's so many tournaments in a row, big tournaments in a row, it's hard."
"It's a tough trip we've got up in front of us now, going back to China and coming back to the Open."
"I'm looking forward for the next two tournaments. Those are really the ones that can make this season from a good one to a great one again. I hope I can manage to pull off something in the next couple of weeks."
Federer was using the tournament as a tune-up for the Olympics and the US Open.
"I don't know what to take out of this match,"
Federer said. "There's always going to be a nothing match, these type of matches. What are you going to do? I just tried to serve well."
"It wasn't an Olympics or a US Open, so I can live with that."
The match turned on a few points in the tie-breaker, Federer failing to convert when it mattered most.
"Maybe I got a little bit unlucky on a couple but he definitely served well. In the last tiebreaker when I had three chances on second serves I wasn't able to get one when I really needed to be on even terms with him,"
"I guess that cost me the match, which is hard to accept."
(source AFP, photo/Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)