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Sport Tennis Roger Federer United States Argentina Switzerland

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Federer admits unworthiness for US Open crown

Roger Federer made 41 unforced errors during his four set loss to Juan Martin del Potro. Reuters/Geoff Burke

Roger Federer slumped out of the US Open on Wednesday night conceding he did not belong among the elite. His blunt assessment of his powers came after his loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals.

The Swiss five time champion squandered four set points during the third set tie break in his four set defeat to the 28-year-old Argentine.

The 24th seed won 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 6-4 to set up a semi-final meeting with the top seed Rafael Nadal who swept past the unseeded Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 6-1 6-2 6-2.

"I feel I have no place in the semis and Juan Martin will have a better chance to beat Rafa, to be honest," Federer said after the three hour clash. "The way I played or am playing right now, it's not good enough in my opinion to win this tournament. It's better I'm out and somebody else gets a chance to do better than me."

The 36-year-old said he felt his game had been too passive in his previous rounds in New York. "If I ran into a good guy, I was going to lose, I felt," Federer added. "I don't want to say I was in negative mindset, but I knew going in that I'm not in a safe place.

"I might have depended too much on my opponent and I don't like that feeling. I had it throughout the tournament, and I just felt that way every single match I went into."

Despite admitting his own poor form, Federer paid tribute to the opponent who beat him in five sets in the 2009 US Open final.

"He came up with the goods when he needed to and I helped him a little bit sometimes too maybe," Federer said. "But he was better, especially on the big points."

Federer has won five titles since returning from a six month injury lay-off. He claimed his 18th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open in January and followed that up with titles at Indian Wells and Miami.

He claimed the Halle tournament on grass shortly before winning his 19th Grand Slam event at Wimbledon. It was a record eighth trophy at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.