Roger Federer has 'massive regrets' after Stefanos Tsitsipas defeat
Roger Federer admitted he had "massive regrets" after failing to capitalise on his opportunities during a shock defeat against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Australian Open.
Tsitsipas, 20, ended Federer's hopes of a third consecutive title in Melbourne with a relentless performance to make a big statement of intent on one of the biggest stages in the sport.
Federer suffered his first defeat in the tournament since a semi-final loss against Novak Djokovic in 2016 and the two-time defending champion was left to rue 12 missed break-point chances.
"I have massive regrets. I felt like I have to win the second set," he said.
"I don't care how I do it, but I have to do it. Cost me the game tonight. There is always multiple factors that play into a match like this.
Federer failed to convert any of his 12 break points in the match
"I lost to a better player who was playing very well. He hung in there, gave himself chances at some point, stayed calm. It's not always easy, especially for younger guys. Credit to him for taking care of that.
"But it definitely didn't go the way I was hoping on the break points. I also didn't break him at the Hopman Cup, so clearly something is wrong how I return him, what I'm trying to do."
Federer, along with world No 1 Novak Djokovic and fellow long-time rival Rafael Nadal, has dominated on the Grand Slam stage in the past decade, but the Swiss was cautious to leap to any conclusions - including John McEnroe's suggestion it marked a changing of the guard.
Stefanos Tstsipas reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final
"I love John. I've heard that story the last 10 years. From that standpoint, nothing new there," the 20-time Grand Slam champion said of McEnroe's comments during the on-court post-match interview with Tsitsipas.
Tsitsipas, one of the sport's rising stars, maintained a high-level of tennis as he saved four set points to avoid falling two sets down and recover to become the first Greek man or woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final.
Both players produced tennis of almost mirroring playing styles, but Tsitsipas' conviction in the pressure moments proved crucial as he secured another notable victory in his burgeoning career.
"About Stefanos, I think he's definitely done a really nice job now the last year and a half. I mean before that, too, obviously," Federer added.
"But beating Novak in Toronto, the likes of (Kevin) Anderson and (Alexander) Zverev, now me here.
That's what you need to do to get to the next level. He's doing that. It's really nice for him.
"I see him definitely being high up in the game for a long time. That was a good night for him tonight."
Federer also revealed his intention to play at this year's French Open for the first time in four years, having opted to skip the clay-court season in the past two years.
"It's a bit of a desire. I'm in a phase where I want to have fun and I've missed not doing it," he said.
"I don't feel it is necessary to have a big break again."