Olympics: Federer laments shadowy doubles loss
LONDON—Roger Federer insisted the lengthy shadows on Court 18 played a key role as he and Stanislas Wawrinka saw their defence of the Olympic doubles titles ended by Israel’s Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram.
Despite losing the first set, the unfancied Israelis bounced back to win 1-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Federer has described his gold medal victory with Wawrinka in Beijing four years ago as one of the greatest moments of his illustrious career and he was determined to mount a strong defence of the title.
But the seven-time Wimbledon singles champion and his partner, seeded sixth at the Games, were unable to emulate their Chinese triumph as the Israeli pairing fought back.
Federer felt the Swiss duo were well on top in tricky conditions and claimed the Israel duo only began to take control once shadows cast by the sun had left the court.
“Conditions were tough. They were breezy, a lot of shadow on the courts. But that didn’t disrupt our play. Honestly, I thought they struggled a lot with that (the shadows),” Federer said.
“I thought they had virtually no chance on our service games and on the returns we were making all the play.
“They definitely played better once the shadows went, all the flags, all the spectator shadows were gone. It was more clean tennis.
“Overall I thought we played a good tournament. It just wasn’t meant to be today.”
Federer could at least take consolation from reaching the quarter-finals of the Olympic singles, achieved with a victory over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin earlier on Wednesday.