Roger Federer Interview - Wimbledon, June 25
Posted on June 25, 2010
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yeah, to some degree, yes. I knew I had more of an active role today in my match, you know, that Clément was only going to allow me to play a bit more. He has different assets than the last opponent.
I knew it could be somewhat like in the first round. I've played him on numerous occasions, also on grass before, so I know how he plays. I've been successful the last few times we've played.
So it's the kind of guy I didn't like to play against. Today I don't mind it, so I'm happy with the score line.
Q. I don't believe you played Melzer before. Probably one of the only guys in that age bracket that you haven't faced. What do you look for in a match where you haven't seen him face to face?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, we know each other very well, back from the juniors. We played doubles back at the Orange Bowl probably like in '97 or '96. So we go way back.
It's funny because I've practiced with him, you know, chat with him every day in the locker rooms. But it's one of the guys I never faced. And he's my age, so it's an interesting matchup. Usually we always play the same tournaments as well because he's Austrian, I'm Swiss.
We tend to have similar schedules, but we never met. Kind of cool we finally get a chance to play each other, especially here at Wimbledon, which I think is one of his best surfaces on grass, and he's coming off of a great French Open.
I'll definitely be in for a tough match. He's improved again. He's making a move, a push in his ranking. My job is to try to stop that a little bit.
Q. It's still the first week of Wimbledon. You've had some tough matches, so has Roddick, Nadal, Djokovic. Do you think the depth in the game is the highest it's ever been in men's tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I think there's always been big depth, you know, the last years. Just this year it seems like ‑‑ I mean, no major upsets yet but tough matches for everyone. And touch matches don't mean that there's a decline in form.
I think you always also have to respect the guy who put in a great effort and a good match. There's many guys that did that against top guys. Unfortunately for them, they weren't really able to break through and make the upset they were hoping for.
But it's good for the tournament the top guys are still going. Interesting with obviously a week ahead of us now.
Q. Was that your best performance, the performance you were happiest with so far today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess so. Even though last round's match was hard to judge because there was more just serving, bombing, returning, reacting. Not much you could really do in the outcome, whereas in the first match, obviously I was four sets in trouble and only in the fifth set could I finally start to play a bit of normal tennis.
So obviously, this felt much better. Right off the bat I got the early break. Same thing in the second set. From then on, it was a race to the finish line. So it was a good and solid match for me, clean, hardly any errors, good on the offensive. So I'm very happy with my game right now.
Q. You've been to a lot of special events. Anything at all surprising about your experience with the Queen? What did you enjoy the most about it?
ROGER FEDERER: Just enjoyed sitting right next to her at lunch really and getting a chance to know what kind of a person she is, because you hear a lot obviously about people of her status.
It was nice. She was very friendly, very relaxed. You could tell she's done this a million times, you know. She made everybody feel very special at the table, one of those things you'll never forget, and be able to tell to your kids or someone down the line.
Q. Did she have any sensibility at all towards our sport in terms of references or knowledge?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, she knew about my tough first round. She knew she was going to watch Andy obviously at 1 p.m. She knew about the Isner‑Mahut match. She also was very excited to be back at Wimbledon finally, that her schedule allowed it, because usually she said she was in Scotland during this time. We were all very thrilled she finally made it.
Q. What did she mention about your first round and about Isner?
ROGER FEDERER: She said I should hit more backhand down the line (laughter).
No, she didn't go into details.
Q. Given the choice from a fan's perspective, would you take Monday at Wimbledon or Saturday at the US Open, the second Saturday?
ROGER FEDERER: In terms of?
Q. If you were a fan and you had a ticket and you had to choose between one of those two days.
ROGER FEDERER: You'd do both, you know. Go to one first and the other one in September.
No, I think even the middle Saturday ‑‑ is it Labor Day weekend? I think it's great.
Q. It's a three‑day weekend.
ROGER FEDERER: Those days are great as well at the Open. There's obviously something, a myth about opening Monday here. Obviously, the importance of the match is almost maybe greater at the US Open if you're talking about that middle weekend, the final weekend at the Open. Atmospheres are very different.
Honestly I was joking before. But I still think if you're a diehard fan, you should do both. It's really that great.
Q. Switzerland is playing right now.
ROGER FEDERER: Are they already?
Q. I think so, yes.
ROGER FEDERER: So I should go (smiling). It's a good point. I hope they're winning. I hope this is worth it, what I'm doing right now.
Q. As someone who has won many career‑defining matches, what advice can you give to the England football team for Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER: The better the opponent is, the better you play yourself. It's very simple sometimes. There's nothing much you have to do. Against weaker players or weaker teams, respectful obviously, you tend to have options. You tend to pick the wrong ones.
Against the better players, you only have one option and then you play better. I think that's what's gonna happen with the England‑Germany match, as well.
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