Losing another Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic didn’t leave Roger Federer half as cheesed off as he was by how long it took officials to hand the Serb the trophy.
Rain delayed the presentation for about 20 minutes as organisers opted to hold up the formalities to close the centre-court roof at the All England Club on Sunday.
“I was like, `Give it to Novak’. It’s his moment,” Federer said following his 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (10-12) 6-4 6-3 loss to the world No.1.
Ironically, though, the delay somewhat eased Federer’s dejection at missing out on getting his hands on the major silverware himself for a record eighth time and helped the world No.2 absorb the manner of his defeat.
“It’s no fun ever losing really, unless you know that you’ve entertained the crowd and you can be happy with your performance,” he said.
“Then you get it over quicker. But it doesn’t mean you’re not disappointed, or you just kind of move on easily from it.
“Some matches tend to be easier to digest. This one feels the case, just because the end of it.
“It was awkward having to shut the roof. You go take a shower. You come back for the ceremony.
“Okay, fine. Let’s go take a shower, come back. So that was weird.
“I think that gave me a chance to also settle down and come back and have a much better idea of what actually happened out on court.”
As Federer digested the loss, Djokovic took advantage of the presentation delay to once again celebrate by savouring a piece of the famous centre-court grass.
“I was assured that’s it’s gluten free; it’s not processed, completely organic and natural and I could eat it. So I had no reaction,” he said.
“It was obviously nice to repeat this tradition and doing the thing I do after I win the title here in Wimbledon.
“When I was a child, dreaming of winning Wimbledon, it was something I always wanted to do in my celebration.
“I picked that. I hope people are not annoyed by that.”
The combatants were also earlier halted for 20 minutes midway through the third set with Djokovic up 3-2 with a service break when the heavens opened.
“Maybe the rain came at a bad time for me,” Federer said.
“Maybe if it came earlier or much later, it would have been better.
“The way it was, I couldn’t take advantage of it, even though I had a love-30 game (on Djokovic’s serve) shortly after I came back.
“But I actually felt fine. It was a little bit of a rushed rain delay. Out, back on. You try to speak to your team, try to relax, at the same time stay warm.
“It’s not like hectic, but it’s not the usual rain delay you have. They told us they were going to try to get us back out there as quick as possible.”
Ultimately, though, Federer was glad the final concluded without the roof being closed.
“Because it is an outdoor tournament, not indoors,” he said.
“Of course the roof is nice to have, but it’s perfect conditions playing that way as well outdoors, so it was nice.”