Roger Federer Interview - French Open, May 30

Posted on May 30, 2009

Roger Federer Interview
French Open, May 30

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Seemed pretty tough conditions out there this afternoon andevening. Did it take you a little timeto get adjusted to the wind?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, you can never, I think, quiteget used to swirly winds. It was toughconditions. It was tough to see the ball,too, with the sun going down.

The stands were verybright, so it made it very difficult to see the ball and keep the ball inplay. I think that's why rallies wereshort and conditions were pretty quick in the beginning, because, you know, itwas a nice day all day. When the sunshines onto the court for 10 hours, that's what you get at the end of the day.

So it was kind of difficult, but I thinkonce sort of the shadow came in, you know, I think the level of play alsopicked up. So the end was a good one,and I was happy the way I played towards the end.

Q. Therewas just a pretty significant controversy in the women's draw. You're known for your sportsmanship. When a ball hits a player, is it the player'sresponsibility to report it, do you think, to the chair umpire that it's hithim or her, and the point is over?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, you mean ‑‑ okay, so the player gothit won the point?

Q. Correct.

ROGER FEDERER: It's a tough call. I mean, it's one of those borderline calls,you know, where ‑‑ it's like if you get a double bounce when you run for adropshot. Yourself, you can't hardlyfeel it.

I mean, I guess whenyou touch it with part of your shirt, Imean ‑‑ I'm saying now that I would absolutely report it, you know. But then if Wimbledonis on the line, would you?

I would think I would, just because out offair play. So would I report it. But because it happens so little, that maybein the moment itself you don't know what to do, and then you realize it's suchan important point. You know, actually Iwant that point.

The umpire probably didn't see it,and next thing you're maybe doing something you shouldn't have done and youregret it later on. This is where it'smaybe a tough call sometimes.

Q. Nowyou sitting on the player council, and you're listening how Nadal is talkingabout the antidoping rules. You're aformer No. 1. You shared that table withhim on the player's council with him. How much a player of your influence can sway things the way playerswant?

ROGER FEDERER: We don't have much power when it comes toabout the doping issues, you know, just because rules are in place. They've ‑‑ how does it work? The international, you can avoid that, wellthen the Spanish would request it from him. So we have to do it anyway, you know.

Either from thenational or the international level, we'd be asked from someone to report forone hour a day. That's why it's a losingbattle. I haven't heard his commentsthat much lately. I heard it in thebeginning when he first came out. Ithink it was in Australiaor something. I mean, I heard that.

Sure, I understand him, you know, but whatare you going to do? It's not fun foranyone, you know. I think he knowsthat. We just try to get through it aswell as we can.

Q. Ingeneral, you get the feeling that as a former No. 1, or while you were No. 1,your goal was getting here, and you guys have no strength to shape this sportthe way you want, to solve the issues?

ROGER FEDERER: I think so, especially now that we're in thecouncil. Even though being in thecouncil that's not a very strong position. I think it is when you're ranked at the top and you want the best forthe game.

So I think having a lotof players now in the council is a good thing. That means we have to speak, even though, let's say we don't like eachother, which is not the case. But itmakes us sit down at the table and discuss issues that maybe we would never do,and I think that's a good thing.

He's being very good in the meetings. He's always listened a lot. We have ‑‑ when we agree, you know,things move very quickly. So far, we'veonly agreed on everything, which is a nice thing. I like doing business with Rafa, let's say. (laughter.)

Sounds so serious, but it's ‑‑the meetings are fun, too.

Q. Sodo you think the ATP has advanced significantly with the new head and the newchanges with the council?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's a process that takes its time, youknow, for Adam Helfant to get into the job, listening around, meeting thepeople. I think those times are kind ofover now. I think now he can starttaking decisions.

There was a transitionperiod, as well, which made it hard, you know, to change a few things. But honestly, we have better prize money, youknow. Etienne didn't do all bad, youknow, but definitely there were some tough decisions like with the Hamburg case and soforth.

So there was a few tough situations, alsowith communications. I think that'sunder control now. That's why it's justmore smooth now. I'm looking forward fora great future for the ATP.

Q. Ingolf there has been a lot of talk about the impact of the downturn in theeconomy. Has there been any talk ordiscussion about that in the ATP?

ROGER FEDERER: Sure, we talked about it, you know. We want to not destroy any tournaments, youknow. Tournaments and players have towork together, even though we want things, tournaments want things. I think that's at the end of the job, it's Adam's,sort of nice job to judge, you know, both parties and see what's best for thesport.

I think because we'rein the council, I think it's interesting for the tournaments that they see wedo care from our side, because we know they care. They try to put on a great event for us. We are thankful by showing up and trying toput on a good show.

So for this reason, I think it's workingactually really well at the moment, even though times are tough.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. It is always said that you shouldn't be happy of the loss of anopponent, but how do you react to Djokovic's loss? He was the toughest player in your part ofthe draw. How do you react to his loss?

ROGER FEDERER: If I can't reach the semifinal it won'tchange anything for me, so I should not lose focus. I've seen nothing from that match, so I can'ttalk about that match. I was playing atthe same time, more or less.

I was getting preparedwhen he started. But indeed it is asurprise, that's for sure. But I'm verypleased with my match today, and that's the most important thing.

Q. But aren't you relieved?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not at all. Winning the semifinal is not winning thetournament, so it doesn't change anything.

Q. A question about the conditions. You were talking about the light. From the press stands, we had the impression that the wind blew away allthe clay. Did this give you problems?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, there are always bad bounces on clay,whether it's windy or not. The mostdifficult thing, as you said, was that there was not much clay left.

So it was ‑‑ sometimesit was slippery and sometimes it was less slippery, so you needed to be morecautious when you tried to slide.

You need to be careful, and that made thingsmore difficult. You need to know exactlyhow far from the ball you were, because sometimes when you were trying to findyour rhythm and trying to put the ball in you still missed, and then you feltterrible.

It was difficult to see the ball,because everything was very bright behind the ball. So it was not easy, indeed. That's the reason why maybe the level of gamewas not so great in the beginning.

But then at the end we startedplaying better, and I think the match was great.

Q. Whatpleased you in this match and what disappointed you about your game? And also another question about the wholetournament. What is your impression?

ROGER FEDERER: I'm disappointed with nothing. I'm happy I won. I missed some opportunities in the first setand he played well. But as I said, wedidn't have much rhythm. I was trying toput the ball in, but in that case it's difficult to win all the points. That's why he stayed into the match.

After that, he startedplaying really well. He played verystrong, hard shots on the baseline. Itwas difficult for me. He had more rhythmin the beginning. It was more difficultfor me. I was not feeling my serve verywell. But as the match progressed, Ifelt better with my serve.

It's always dangerous to lose the first set.

Q. Andfor the whole tournament?

ROGER FEDERER: It's correct. I'm happy I'm still here. Othershave lost already. I'm still there. Of course, I hope I'll play better and bettermatch after match. But if the conditionschange, the opponents change, I'm hoping for the best in my next match. I hope I'll be able to show what I can do.

Q. About the difficulties you talked about, we had the impression you werein control. Was it true?

ROGER FEDERER: More or less. After losing the first set. I wasnot controlling the match then; he was. But after being up 2‑Love, things came my way again. I served better, and this is why I was ableto mix it up more.

It's been a while. I haven't played against Paul‑Henri, so itwas difficult for me to see where he was going to serve or hit his forehand orbackhand. Next time I'll play him Ibelieve I will be able to see where ‑‑ it will be easier to play againsthim. It's easier when you know theplayer better.

Q. It's the weekend. It's thebeginning of the evening. People have alot of fun. They enjoy it. Is it different from when you play during theweek? What do you think about theatmosphere?

ROGER FEDERER: The stadium was full from the beginning tothe end, which is not always the case, and that was really nice. To be able to have that in the first week isgreat, and the crowd was very fair play. I had a lot of pleasure. I reallyenjoyed that match. I saw the Hola, thewave. It was really nice, the Mexicanwave. I think it was a good match.

Both of us enjoyed it,even if I won, so I had maybe a bit more fun. It's a lot of fun playing those kind of matches.