Roger Federer Interview - August 17Posted on August 18, 2007
WESTERN SOUTHERN FINANCIAL GROUP MASTERS
August 17, 2007
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Do you feel you did the job at least adequately today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I actually think I played better today than I did yesterday. The only problem was I had one really bad game which then cost me the set. It was a pity I couldn't create myself maybe more chances, especially breakpoints in the second set, because I really thought I was starting to play better and then had the bad game.
It happens. I'm glad it doesn't happen every match. I still thought it was good serving today and better hitting from the baseline. So I'm actually quite happy.
Q. What about your serve? 75% seems like a really high number.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's great. You feel it when you battle around between 40 and 55 really. You feel like you always have to work extra hard putting the second serve in play. You're taking the chance of serving double faults and giving your opponent a chance to really hit the ball. By having 75% and service quite a few aces it always helps.
Q. The third set you had a long stretch where you didn't miss a first serve. Are you proud you were able to hold on?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, you get some days, you know, when all of a sudden you're clocking your serve wherever you want, and when you mix it up it works too.
Especially when you feel like your opponent is struggling anyway in the first serve you try to, you know, get it in there even more so. You slow it down just a little bit to make sure it goes in, and all of a sudden the percentage goes up.
Q. He's quite a flashy bird.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, he's dangerous. Sometimes he returns from the back and sometimes he really moves in and really gives it a shot, you know. So you got to be really focused, and maybe that was one of reasons I got broken, you know, because I didn't know what to expect.
I missed one easy forehand volley and you double fault and all of a sudden it's Love-30 and you're worried he's going hit a couple of forehands and that's it.
That's always the danger against guys like him or González, and that's why they're tough to play.
Q. He has a really low ball toss. How hard is it to read his serve?
ROGER FEDERER: He has a really fantastic kick serve, especially on the ad side. I mean, he's got the kicker wide, he's got the hard one wide, and then he's got the faker down the T. So he really can make you look like a fool sometimes.
I didn't think he served that great today. I think he struggled with his foot a little bit from yesterday. But still, it's a quick court so it's hard to return, and I thought I actually did pretty well today.
Q. Are you feeling pretty confident tomorrow after ten in a row over Lleyton?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, you know, like I said last week, I don't think the nine in a row mattered much before the one from last week because we hadn't played like in two years. In two years a lot of thing happen.
It was good for me to get it right away. So from my point of view it's kind of like 1-0 again. It's good I played him last week so I've got an idea of how he plays, and he's been playing good tennis this week.
He struggled the first round with Wawrinka. You know, he almost could have lost there. So that was a pity for Stan, but I hope I can take him down myself now.
Q. Of all the players left in this tournament Lleyton is the only one who has defeated, and you that was in 2003. How difficult do you think it's going to be for someone other than yourself to win this thing?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, there's many good players in there who I feel I can lose to at any time: Blake, Davydenko, Hewitt. These guys can play excellent. The other two guys as well. Querrey is just coming up, and Ferrer, I mean, I've had a pretty good record against him as well but I've had some struggles against him in the past as well.
He's best return on second serve at the moment in the game, so you've got to be really careful. He just beat Roddick. So I really think there's plenty of guys still in the draw that can make it really hard for me to mean win, and it starts tomorrow with Hewitt.
I really think this court suits his game even more because it's quicker than last week, and last week was already pretty good for him. But by becoming so fast like this week, I have the feeling it's going to be a tough match tomorrow.
Q. He thought last week it was going to be a little closer than the score indicates.
ROGER FEDERER: It was a hard-fought match. I really had to battle hard. I was up a break and he came back, you know, and it was really getting to be one of those battles.
You know, so the score maybe indicated it was easy but it wasn't. I didn't expect something like that, but straight sets is always better.
Q. This is the second time you played him after he started working with Tony, and you played Marat Safin after he started working with Peter Lundgren. What are your feelings going into those matches with those guys who are coaching or working with your opponent?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, with Peter it was different. I was younger. When he took it over with Safin the first time I played him Peter was sitting, and it didn't happen with Hewitt. Tony wasn't sitting there. Tony I came together with when I was already No. 1 in the world, so it's a bit of a different feeling I have with Tony Roche than I have with Peter Lundgren.
With him he was like my best friend on the tour and we were together 40 weeks a year. It was much more intense than with Tony, who was only around for maybe 15 to 20 weeks a year.
It's hard, you know. Especially against Safin it was hard at times. But with Hewitt I don't think it's going to be a problem because they're both Australian.
Q. When you're playing a tournament that's not a Grand Slam, do you ever have a goal or agenda in addition to winning, working on something in particular, experimenting?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, otherwise I would be serve and volleying right now and I'm not. So the goal for me really is just trying to play well and win matches before a Grand Slam.
But I'm not here to pick up matches, I'm here trying to win this tournament. This is a big one, and I've had some struggles in the past here but I've won it before. It's also the ultimate test, you know, because you've got the chance to play against the best in the world.
That's what it's about for me. I mean, improve I can do on the practice courts. I did that in two weeks in Dubai between Wimbledon and Montreal. So I already worked on my game. Now when you come to the matches you just play to win. Sometimes it's ugly and win and that's a good feeling too, like yesterday.
Q. Have you seen much of Peter Lundgren around? Do you stay in touch?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw him in Montreal. Yeah, I mean, when we see each other, yeah, we don't wall each other so much anymore.
Q. What are your memories of Lleyton from the junior days? You played in the European Championship.
ROGER FEDERER: Doubt that, him being Australian. No, no. We played a Zürich one time. It was at world Youth Cup. We were both 16. Darren Cahill was in his chair, and my chair had another coach, and Peter actually came to watch that match I think.
I beat him with match point. I should have never won because we replayed the point and stuff. I was already out of the point, and he got so upset I hit his string with his fist. He had blood all over his hand. He put it on the backboard and it was like unbelievable. So this is how are our first match started. We've cooled down since, but it was funny. My God.
Q. You guys played doubles together at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Actually we were supposed to play at Australian Open together in '98 in juniors, but then he won Adelaide and I won the Victoria junior tournament, so he was actually right away in had the main draw of the men's and he skipped the juniors.
But still later on we did play in Wimbledon together. We actually won a couple matches and lost to Rafter and Bjorkman. Yeah, we've known each other for a while.
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