Roger Federer Interview - Rome, May 9Posted on May 9, 2008
Q. Was it the serve and volleying, or the backhand today was not working?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know if it was just the backhand, you know. I think I missed plenty of opportunities throughout the match. I think I led in both breakers with a mini break, and usually when I have the lead, you know, I don't let it go, so it's quite disappointing.
Q. You looked tight in the second set when you lose the breakpoints in the first game. Were you tight?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Well, the way you always feel in breakpoints: it's never fun to face them. That's why you try to avoid them. No, look, he's difficult to play, you know. He gives you little rhythm and he always changes his game up a lot.
You know, I've played against him in the past, so it wasn't much of a surprise, you know. I just hoped I could have played a little bit better.
Q. What was the problem with your backhand, Roger, the shanks?
ROGER FEDERER: You've seen me so many times. It happens all the time. Something I've been trying to get rid of for ten years. Still not today.
Q. Do you feel this was especially a missed opportunity with Rafa out and the draw opening up?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, you can maybe look at it that way. To me it's just disappointing the way I lost today. My focus is not at the bottom of the draw. It's just I wish I could have played better, you know, and I played so poorly on the big points. It's a tough loss.
Q. Do you have more regrets especially for certain points, some certain moments more than others, or not?
ROGER FEDERER: I regret losing the match, so the details don't really matter right now.
Q. What do you think you should have done better? Was it hitting the shots, your attitude?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I think the attitude was okay. I struggled to return and, you know, he definitely did serve well when he had to, especially throughout the first set I thought. Maybe in the tiebreak on my serve on both deuce sides let me down, and I let him back in the match that way. I think that one hurt me in the first set. Second set I went down instead of going a break up, so that was tough. I didn't really believe I was going to come back because he was serving so well. But, you know, after getting, you know, sort of back on even terms, it was just a big disappointment to be broken yet again. And then, you know, having to break him again, I guess it just used up too many lives. Unfortunately, I couldn't sort of win the tiebreak. I don't know how I lost it, but it happens sometimes, I guess.
Q. In retrospect, do you feel you might have gone to the net more and taken it away from him?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I mean, there's no point just moving in, you know, all the time. I think I was doing that in the beginning. He adjusted a little bit. I don't think I could have come into the net a whole a lot more, you know, to be honest.
Q. What does this mean for your French Open preparation?
ROGER FEDERER: More time for Hamburg, so that's what I got. Looking forward to defend my title there. Wish I could still be playing here, but, you know, worse things have happened. So I hope I can bounce back strong in Hamburg.
Q. Are you still satisfied with your clay court game at this time?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. I think it's not bad, you know. I've played plenty of the matches so far, so I'm pretty pleased with my run so far. It's just a disappointing loss today, but you're always going to get those.
Q. Does a loss like this affect your confidence level?
ROGER FEDERER: I hope not. I can't tell you right now ten minutes after the match. But this wasn't really a clay court match, you know. I think I would be a bit more worried if I were to lose against a guy, you know, who would just be playing real clay court tennis. This was a different match. It's like when you lose against Karlovic and it's a guy that gives you very little rhythm, so when you come off the court your a little rattled obviously because he didn't allow to you play your game. Still think I should have within today.
Q. Many people say that this year is the beginning of the end. What do you think about?
ROGER FEDERER: Next question, please.
Q. Does his taking your rhythm away and coming to the net a lot in that match demonstrate that people playing and attacking style can succeed on clay, and is that something that you think about doing yourself at the French this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, all of a sudden maybe I'll be serve and volleying first, second serve, you never know. But I have my doubts some reason. I don't know why.But of course when a guy serves well, you know, and he backs it up with a good volley behind, you know, he's tough to play for everyone. But I don't think that's the way to win the French Open, to be honest.
Q. Did you sense that he was playing particularly well when he beat Ferrer particularly easy?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't see any of his matches. No, obviously I assumed he was playing okay. A little hiccup maybe against Horna. I thought he was going to beat him maybe a little bit easier. He's a tough guy to play. He also beat Nieminen who's tough and doesn't give you much. No, I was expecting I think anybody in the quarters is a tough match, you know, not just Stepanek.
Q. It was 5 2 in the tiebreak; what happened there? I mean, the first part of the match we can see he was playing very well.
ROGER FEDERER: Two good serves, so we have 5 4. So then we talk again and that changes already. Then I had one mini break in hand, and that's not a lot, you know. Maybe at 5 2 everything looks a little bit more relaxed. But if he serves two big serves, one ace of it, one service winner, I mean, those three points lead gets cut down to one. So that's not to exaggerate, but I had the lead, you know. Maybe at 4 1 he hit a good return to go instead of going 5 1, I go 4 2. Never hitting such a good return all match long I think on the forehand side on the ad side, so it just went against me, I guess.