Roger Federer Interview Madrid - October 22, 2006Posted on October 22, 2006
Press Conference Roger Federer
Madrid, 22th October
Q. It's unusual for a nonSpaniard to get the kind of reception you got at the end of the match today. Was that right up there? Spaniards standing on their feet giving an ovation is rather unusual. What do you make of it?
ROGER FEDERER: I was curious myself to see how they were going to react when seeing me. After all the matches I've had with all the Spaniards, not only Rafa, but especially not having been here for a few years. The reception was great on Tuesday when I played Massu. That kind of calmed me down and I thought, okay, this is actually going to be a fun week, an enjoyable week. In the finals I actually expected them to be obviously 50/50 because he had a great match yesterday as well. Obviously he's also Spanish speaking, so that helps. But people here took my win very nicely, and I appreciate that very much. It's not always the usual. To have so many fans around the world, now I can count definitely the Spaniards in that as well. It's a nice thing for me.
Q. In terms of back to back performances to win a championship, how good is that, your performances against Nalbandian and obviously today?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously excellent. Two 6‑0's against players of that caliber is always a bit surprising. I played well the entire tournament, didn't drop a set. Only got broken once. There's not much I can say about that. I really turned it on when I had to from the semis on. So I'm really, really happy.
Q. Your injury in your right ankle is serious enough to keep you out of Basel?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I can walk now, so it's okay. And I could continue to play. It happened to me in Toronto. It happened to me at the U.S. Open against Blake as well. It's the third time it happened. Every time I could get up, continue to play. I definitely will have to see how it reacts tomorrow morning to know exactly how I feel. I'm confident, you know. As usual, I'm a positive thinker. I don't have pain now. That's a good sign.
Q. You don't have pain?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't.
Q. Are you happy that ‑‑ also what he's been telling you for a couple of years that you're the best in history. He knows a little about tennis.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. It's very nice to hear. After last year being upset that the top guys didn't come, I'm happy I could make it up and come and win this year. We're on good terms again.
Q. You don't feel like it yet?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't feel?
Q. Like the best in history.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't understand.
Q. You don't feel like you are the best tennis player in history?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I am the best right now. But in history, I guess we'll never know except I break all the records there are. From that I'm still away of keeping everything. There's definitely a long way to go. I'm definitely in the fast lane right now. That's for sure.
Q. How confident are you to be able to play at that level to the end of the year? Do you feel steady enough?
ROGER FEDERER: The tough thing now is different balls, different surface for Tuesday. That's a bit of a problem that go like about some seasons, that they change it up too much. I think it would be easier for all the players to keep it all the same instead of having to adjust, having to ‑‑ it takes time to get used to different circumstances. I feel like I can play a solid match in any given day. It's definitely going to be tough. A lot of tennis. I hope I get over this little issue with my ankle so I can play Basel. And then I hope that I feel fine also after that tournament so then I can play Paris. That's the plan. I have a week anyway between Paris and Shanghai. We'll see what happens. At the moment I feel great. I I'll try to carry the confidence over to the next two tournaments.
Q. Will you travel with your coach again every week?
ROGER FEDERER: I'll see him in Basel. He won't be in Paris. And then he'll come to Shanghai again. And then I'll see him in December.
Q. Roger, there were lots of fine things about his performance. What pleased you both? You served particularly well as the match went on. And just like before your movement was very good. What did you like best?
ROGER FEDERER: I knew the match would be dangerous and difficult from the start, because I know he has an excellent serve, a great fore hand. He's improved his back hand. He can volley. He plays a lot of doubles. So I know that the first set was going to be crucial against a player like that. For me, even though I might lose a first set, I always try to stay poised and everything. It wasn't needed this time around. Obviously I tried to jump on top of him in the second set. He didn't swing his serve any more as hard as he did. I took advantage of that. I got into more service games, and I kept up my good work and my own serve. And that put the pressure up on him. And right away it was two sets to love. And then obviously things were getting really difficult for him. He couldn't keep up the pace. I found another gear and played great tennis. I think it was one of those matches I actually kind of prepared early on in the match to then take control later on.
Q. Winning straight sets all the time, would that help when you've got three weeks of tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously. I actually didn't know it was a 48 draw here when I came here. I was actually prepared to play six matches if I had to. Like the usual Masters Series. Then I heard I had a bye. I was actually very happy about that. Again it's kind of dangerous, too, because Massu comes in with a win against another good player and so forth. It was just important to get over the first and second round. And I'm happy that actually the Masters are all a 48 draw. That gives me a better chance of playing them all.
Q. Not to bother you, but the people in Spain, they like you. But do you think you would play against Spain in the Davis Cup because of Switzerland because of this? Or is it still too long a period of time to February of 2007?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's still a long way. I'm, of course, trying to clear my head before making a decision, because I want to let my fans know, I want to let my team know, if it's a good or less good decision for the people. I'm talking to my team right now to try to make the schedule for the beginning of the season to see what's best, if it fits in or not. I'll probably know the news in the next couple of weeks.
Q. Your game is going up and up. Is it too easy? Perfection can be boring? Because we don't get tired watching you.
ROGER FEDERER: If you're not getting tired, I'm definitely not getting tired either. I'm also very happy with the progress I'm making. It's bit by bit. I know that eventually you reach a certain level or standard. You're not going to change much in your game. There's little details that in the end make quite a bit difference. I really feel over the last couple of years now I've become a much more steady player with more choices in my game. I can vary really great now. I can rely on my serve. That wasn't always the case. And physically I've improved so much that I'm not scared of any five setters, of any tournament anymore. And also I've really come a long way in the last four or five years. And I hope to stay healthy, to keep winning. Because I like it.
Q. On just a slightly different tact, Roger. Britain has just announced that Peter Lundgren is becoming our Davis Cup coach?
ROGER FEDERER: There you go.
Q. Hopefully that will spark a major improvement in our fortunes. Could you just give us a little idea of his qualities and maybe a little bit of what he can do for us and what sort of a guy he is.
ROGER FEDERER: What's his position?
Q. Coach. John Lloyd is the captain.
ROGER FEDERER: He's got experience for that. He was in the Swiss Davis Cup team for a couple of years alongside me and everybody. Actually the plan was that Peter Carter becomes the captain eventually and Peter stays the coach. And then obviously the tragic accident happened, and he stepped down as well. And then Mark took over actually because we asked if he could do, it and he said, "Okay, I'll do it." Be a playing captain, which is very nice. Peter has experience. Obviously for a job like this, he's especially good in a team. He brings great spirit to the team and obviously as a Swede, Davis Cup is a huge motivation every time. I think he's a good guy to have and the team. I guess for him it's just a matter of getting to know the players.
Q. What is more important for you? To win the title in Basel or in Paris? If you have to choose?
ROGER FEDERER: It's obvious the win in Basel will be much more emotional because I went through the whole system of being a ball boy, my mom doing the credentials there, and having so many people and friends there. But Paris is a bigger tournament. It's a tournament that I haven't been able to win yet.
Q. So the answer is ‑‑
ROGER FEDERER: Probably Basel right now.
Q. How dangerous is the champagne?
ROGER FEDERER: It's dangerous for my eye. I thought I lost it. I was looking for it on the ground. It was just rolling away. He got me good, Fernando. Good fun actually.
Q. It's okay now?
ROGER FEDERER: It's fun. In five seconds it was okay.