Despite the 21-year-old Scot now holding a 4-2 advantage in their career head-to-head, world number two Federer said his main rival would continue to be Nadal, absent this week because of injury.
“At the moment it’s Rafa and myself,” said the Swiss, who beat Murray in the U.S. Open final.
“I really still feel it’s that way because … we’ve played big events on so many occasions. I mean, we still have to play a few more grand slam finals. If that’s the case, I’m very happy from my side.”
“Of course I’m disappointed. I wish I could have played the matches I played here under better circumstances,” said the 27-year-old, who also lost his opening match to Gilles Simon of France.
“But I tried. I almost made a miracle happen. I can’t believe how close I got, to be honest. So I’m actually very happy.”
Federer said his back had stood up quite well but compensating for it had taken its toll.
“I play four hours in slams, it’s not a problem,” said the 13-times grand slam winner. “Here I play two hours, in the morning I can hardly wake up. On top of that, I got sick. All those things just made it really difficult this week.”
Federer made 64 unforced errors in the match, the result, he said, of his physical condition weakening his serve and dictating his approach.
“When you play on the offensive it’s you who decide how you move, where you put the ball,” he said.
“When you’re on the defensive this is where you can’t control what you’re going to do.
“Obviously you always have to pick the offensive game plan. That then has a lot to do with a lot of errors. Sometimes you look like an idiot but you don’t have an option sometimes.”
“Certainly I believe that I have the quality to reach the top spot in the upcoming year or next couple of years, (maybe) 10 years,” he said.
“That is my lifetime goal that I’ve been always trying to achieve. But I have learned a lesson. If I pay too much attention to rankings, it doesn’t go the right way.”
“Now it’s not only about the two players any more,” he said. “It’s about five, six, seven players who are playing really well and can win against each other.
“I think it’s good for the sport to see some new faces playing the final stages of the major events.”
“I didn’t manage to win a couple of finals, but I’ve done it now,” said the Serbian, who also won the Masters Series event in Indian Wells in March.
“I ended up the season the way I started it, with a win in a big event. So it’s a great boost for the upcoming season.”
“I think Serbia’s getting used to number one so I’ll have to work on that, I guess,” joked Djokovic. “Probably the fact that we didn’t have the best possible conditions gave us more motivation to succeed.”
“I didn’t care if I played Djokovic or Davydenko,” said the Scot. “I was playing against Federer. I wanted to win. I’m not going to go over against him and let him beat me easily.
“Psychologically, a win like that is going to be huge for me next time I play him, especially in big matches… he’s one of the greatest players of all time, so it meant a lot for me to win that one.”
“He’s still playing great. I mean, he’s number two in the world,” Murray said.
“Nadal’s had one of the best years in tennis over the last 20 years and he (Federer) is still not that far behind him. So he’s maybe lost a few more matches than normal, lost to guys that he doesn’t normally lose to.
“But it’s not totally surprising. He’s normally losing like seven matches a year, which is ridiculous.”
The match had taken its toll, Murray said, but he would not know how much it would effect him until he woke up.
“I’m probably going to be a bit tired tomorrow,” he said. “It depends physically how I feel. If I feel good, then I have a good chance of winning. If not, then it’s going to be tough.”
“Why are they still playing when I am not on the tour?”