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Roger Federer Interview - Wimbledon, June 24
Posted on June 24, 2009
Q. Do you enjoy comfortable matches like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Felt good, you know. I expected much harder because he's been playing well in Eastbourne it was. He reached the semis over there.
And I've played him twice before where I saw he has some, you know, good forehand and steady backhand. On grass, you never know, so...
I was quite surprised I was able to win so easily today.
Q. How are the courts playing? Have you noticed any difference between last year and this year?
ROGER FEDERER: No. They feel the same. I felt the difference between today and the other day. It was very humid on Monday, so it was very slippery, sort of wet. But today was perfect sunshine. Then it gets slippery because I guess it's so hot, so it's different.
But the courts play nice, you know. Very few bad bounces. So it's a beautiful court.
Q. No different to previous years?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think so, no.
Q. They do change as the tournament goes on. Is that something you have to adjust to?
ROGER FEDERER: A little bit. Yeah, I was thinking that during the match today, that, you know, I came out today and felt quite different already to the first day. The courts get run down very quickly. Next time probably I'll see Centre Court again, it's got even more scars.
As you move on, it's the same thing. So it's quite a change. I mean, you don't have to adjust a whole lot. But there's definitely more bad bounces, you know, after a while, especially where the serving area is, you know. Maybe you play there later on in the tournament more often.
Q. What about the speed of the courts compared to the other years?
ROGER FEDERER: It feels the same. I think when it's humid like it was on Monday it feels quite slow, you know. Just the ball doesn't travel through the air so much. Maybe with the moist on the grass the ball gets just a bit fluffy. So maybe it feels a bit slower then.
But today, again, you know, it was good weather. The conditions are pretty quick. You know, it's hard to return. If you have an aggressive style of play, I mean, that's the way to play then.
Q. The weather has been great and the roof hasn't closed yet. Do you now start to feel that maybe you would like to see how it works, the effect of it?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, I mean, there will always be a right time for those kind of things, you know. But I guess it would be nice to start off a match, you know, right away under the roof instead of going off and coming back on.
But that belongs to Wimbledon. You know, I've done it so many times. I don't get bothered by it. But I'm definitely looking forward to my first time under the roof, you know. I don't know if it's gonna be this year. But I'll stick around and get an opportunity. We'll see.
Q. We notice today after many years Mirka wasn't in your box. Should we wait for some special announcement to be made sooner than expected, or not?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no, not really. She's just not feeling, you know, a hundred percent. She only felt 95%, so we decided it's better if she takes it easy instead of sitting in the sun maybe, feeling worse the next day.
It's important for her to rest. She's already feeling better, which is good.
Q. Is it still 10 August, more or less, the date?
ROGER FEDERER: I never said it. I don't know who told you, but... you can speculate as much as you want.
Q. Mirka told me.
ROGER FEDERER: Mirka told you? I'm sure she did (smiling).
Q. Inside information.
ROGER FEDERER: She invited you, too, didn't she?
Q. A question about your Facebook account. Do you actually update everything yourself there? Was it all fun? What made you do that, your Facebook account?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't understand the question, I'm sorry.
Q. Do you update everything yourself there?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, obviously I have a person who helps me doing it, because I can't go all the time on it. But I try to update it, you know, as frequently as I can. It's a fun thing, really, you know, that's been a lot of pleasure lately.
Yeah, it's amazing how the fan base grows quickly, you know. So many fantastic fans, not only on Facebook. I think we're close to two million fans over there, and 250,000 fans on my own website.
So it's been nice, and I like to interact. They mean a lot to me, you know, that they support me so much ‑ maybe not only by Internet, but also the stadium, I can feel that. It's a way to thank them.
Q. What does Wimbledon mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER: A lot (smiling). Well, it's a wonderful tournament with incredible history. I feel very privileged having had the opportunity to play here as a tennis player. I think there's only a few tournaments in the world that do that to you. As a little boy, you want to play at.
For me, there was probably like three or four tournaments growing up, but always Wimbledon was the biggest dream and the biggest stage. So I feel already happy just having played here. But obviously winning it is even much more than I ever thought I would achieve here.
Q. There was a story in the papers this morning about yet another report of suspicious betting surrounding a tennis match, one played at Wimbledon this week. What are your views on the problem? Is this something you talk about in the locker room?
ROGER FEDERER: No, we don't talk about it in the locker room. But it's happened more frequently than we talk about it. You know, if it's happening or not, we are suspecting. We're not sure. But, of course, it has no place, you know, in tennis, those kind of things.
But it's hard to control. But I'm sure the ATP and the ITF, we're trying our best, you know, to catch those guys ‑ if there are any out there. I think we should have, you know, massive bans on those who get caught so they get really scared of doing it.
We talk about it in the Player Council, Player Board. Those are things definitely we're trying to fight, you know. We have a good setup, so we can't avoid that there are some funny results sometimes here and there. You know, that doesn't mean it's really happening.
Q. Is it tough to control, given the amount of players in the world game, the amount of information, flow of information about injuries to bookmakers?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I don't know. I've never been approached. I never knew it existed until a few years ago when all of a sudden I heard about it. So I've been shocked, you know, to hear it.
Well, we always hope, you know, that the players also want the best for the sport. That's, at the end of the day, what it comes down to.
ROGER FEDERER: I saw a little bit. I didn't see too much. But, no, I mean, we know Kendrick can be very dangerous. So it's always possible for a guy to lose a set, especially on grass. If he serves well, plays the big points well, a set goes by pretty quickly, you know.
But he came through, so everything's under control for you guys (smiling).
Q. We haven't seen too many people that have held the No. 1 ranking for a long time. Can you talk about why you think that is, and what are the challenges to regaining that ranking?
ROGER FEDERER: The beginning was too fast?
Q. Very few people have held the No. 1 ranking for a long period of time, not like a week or two, that have lost it and been able to regain it. Why do you think that is?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the thing is, I guess, depending what kind of tournaments you do win, you know, it stays in your ‑ how do you say ‑ system for a long time. And then if you don't have those big tournaments or they come around just right away after 365 days when it's about to fall off again, you don't stay No. 1 for very long.
So I guess to stay at the top for a very long time, you got to win a few of those big ones. If you only win ‑‑ still it's good to win just a couple of slams a year. But if you only win maybe one, you have sort of average results otherwise, you probably won't stay No. 1 for very long, because the big tournaments will come around and chase you, you know.
Q. How about physically and mentally reaching that mountaintop, losing it, trying to get back?
ROGER FEDERER: That, to me, doesn't seem the biggest problem. I just think then, you know, it's just hard to regain it because you've already had so much success. You can't have success for 20 years. You can play well for a long period of time, but can you always and always win again in the big tournaments? Because those are the ones that throw off most points.
That makes it hard, because you have guys that are on fire as well. Maybe if it's just for a year, they take away the No. 1 ranking just for a year.
Q. You played in the Olympics. A late report reviewed that the air pollution level in Beijing Olympics were three times worse than in recent Olympic cities. You were playing there. Did the air quality cause you any problem at all?
ROGER FEDERER: In Beijing?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought that one day where I practiced it was a bit funny, but I think that was also because it was a hundred percent humidity, which makes it hard already to breathe at 33 degrees.
Q. I mean the air quality instead of the weather.
ROGER FEDERER: No, it felt all right. I won in doubles, which is good, so...
I didn't feel any effect in doubles anyway.
Q. I have the feeling you're playing with a little bit more spin this year. Am I mistaken?
ROGER FEDERER: I think mistaken. Sorry to tell you (smiling).