How do you feel to be beaten, sir?
Roger Federer's loss to Robin Soderling in a French Open quarter-final match yesterday ended his amazing streak of reaching the semi-finals in Grand Slam tournaments for 23 consecutive times. It definitely has been, as Federer said, one of his greatest achievements.
I am particularly interested in how he took the defeat. When asked how he would get over it, he said he would simply look ahead to the grass-court season when he will attempt to win a seventh Wimbledon and 17th Grand Slam title.
"You move on," he said. "You move on to the grass and forget a little bit."
That's probably the best way to handle a loss in sports. As Allen J. Fox said in an online article called The Agony of Defeat:
"All losses hurt your confidence, but the more emotion that's associated with a defeat, and the more you highlight it in your mind, the more damage it will do. You must black out the loss as soon as you can. This can be difficult because tennis matches feel more important than they really are, and losses linger as players naturally tend to blame themselves. The best way to counter this is to get your mind off losing."
Just as amazing as Federer's run of 23 Grand Slam semi-finals is his sense of humour. He joked: "Now I've got the quarter-final streak going, I guess."