Philosophical Federer accepts Rome reality check

By Paul Virgo

ROME (Reuters) - Even a great champion like Roger Federer appreciates a reality check from time to time. The world number one got one on Tuesday when he was stunned by Latvian Ernests Gulbis to exit the Rome Masters.

"You can't go 100 percent winning throughout the season," the Swiss told a news conference after his error-strewn 2-6 6-1 7-5 second round defeat.

"Sometimes when you are winning, it seems too easy. When you lose you realize how tough it is to dominate the tour. So I won't get carried away with the defeat."

The Swiss said his numerous past triumphs, including his 16th grand slam at the Australian Open in January, cushioned the disappointment.

"I'm not worried. It's always like that when you touch a new surface and lose. I think there could have been some good tennis at the back end of the tournament if I'd made it through.

"The French Open is at the back of my mind. Winning three, four, five matches in a row is on my mind and that's why I'm happy to be playing in Estoril next week."

(Editing by Justin Palmer

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