Roger Federer Interview - Wimbledon, June 28Posted on June 28, 2010
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yeah. I mean, it's great to be part of it when you make it to the second week, first of all. Secondly, I think it's wonderful for the fans. I always say for fans the best days are like quarterfinal day or last 16s, because then you usually have the big names but you still have enough matches to go look at, not only just on the big courts but also on the grounds. The juniors are also playing.
I mean, I think this is a wonderful day for the fans.
Q. How do you feel you played today?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought I played great. Aggressive right from the start, which I think was key today because I knew Melzer was going to try ‑‑ every chance he was going to get, he was going to hit the ball and come forward as well. You want to counter that and play aggressive yourself. I was able to do that very well today.
Q. Do you feel you can intimidate opponents on this Centre Court because you know it so well?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't play that trick. Honestly, I don't even know how it works. So I just try to play a good match, you know.
I know Jurgen too well to play tricks with him. I always say, you know, if you're not good enough and you have to use stuff like that, then you have issues. So I always say, Try to play your best, and if it's enough, that's great; otherwise you have to go to the practice courts and work harder and get better.
Crowds are wonderful here. Obviously I know every corner of this Centre Court. It helps. I've got the experience from playing so many big matches here. I don't obviously get too overexcited about a match like this. But I also have nerves going into a match like this. It's a guy I never played before. He's a good friend of mine. You don't want to lose.
Q. Any concerns about fitness at all? There was a photograph with some strapping on your thigh the other day. Is that just precaution?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was after my first‑round match. MY thigh was hurting a little bit, which already was the case in Halle. In the finals it was hurting me as well.
But honestly now I have no more problems, no more strapping. I'm happy I recovered that.
Q. How does the hot and dry weather change the conditions of the courts?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, this is not hot. This is normal to me anyway. Maybe for England, I don't know. For Switzerland, as well. But we're used to playing in 35, 40 degrees sometimes. This is moderate. Very comfortable to play in. This is kind of a one‑shirt‑change kind of match. That's rather easy.
But, no, obviously when it's nice and warm like this, it travels through the air a little bit. Also maybe glides through the grass a bit more. Then again, I think the difference is more from opening Monday to, you know, second week Monday, the court plays different. You can move better, I have the feeling, because it's not as slippery because the grass almost is gone.
It becomes a bit more of a hard court kind of a feel under your shoes. You get more grip, in my opinion. I think that's a bigger change than actually the weather.
Q. How have slower courts and the heavier tennis balls contributed to the decline of the serve‑and‑volley game in your estimation?
ROGER FEDERER: It's tough to say. I obviously came here in the year when I played Sampras, let's say, I was serve and volleying 80% of the first serve, 50% on the second serve.
I remember once speaking to Wayne Ferreira who I was playing doubles with that year actually. He said he used to serve and volley always first serve, 50% of the second serve. And towards the end of his career at Wimbledon, he used to serve and volley 50% of his first serve and not anymore on his second serve.
You wonder, how in the world has that happened? Have we become such incredible return players or can we not volley anymore or is it just a combination of slower balls, slower courts?
I think it's definitely a bit of a combination of many things. If I look back, I think we definitely had many more great volley players in the game back then. When you do have that, you are forced to move in, as well, because you don't want to hit passing shots against a great volleyer over and over again. But because we don't have that as much anymore, everybody's content staying at the baseline.
A bit unfortunate, I think, because I love guys moving in, like a Melzer match today who throws in the occasional serve and volley. You have to throw in great passing shots. It's unfortunate for the games. Unfortunately, they've slowed down everything, indoors, grass. Everything has become so slow, I think that is a bit of a pity.
Q. What have you missed by having that contrast like Sampras and Agassi?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I used to, thank God, still play in that era where I played against serve‑and‑volley players, chip‑and‑charge guys. It was a completely different game plan. Mindset you felt pressure the whole match because you knew it doesn't matter what surface on a couple of shots here and there. You don't get that feeling anymore as much.
Q. Yesterday this country and the sports world were shocked by some problematic officiating, and there were very loud calls for electronic officiating. Could you talk about how electronic officiating has evolved in our sport and would you call for it in soccer, especially at the goal line?
ROGER FEDERER: Have to be careful. Who is the head of the FIFA? I don't remember. Is he a Swiss guy by any chance (smiling)?
We have, what is it, electronic line calling even though we don't need it. We all know we don't, but we do have it. They should have it, and they don't. So it's a choice the guys have to make at the top, you know.
I do struggle a little bit with soccer at the time because there's so many mistakes from umpires. Don't blame them. They're so far away sometimes from what's happening, and then also so many goals are disallowed that are goals and others are not counted that would be goals. It's frustrating as a fan.
You just hope that all those things go for you when you're like in this kind of a stage of a tournament. They could have been sent home just because of that single mistake, and it's incredible.
I think it's rough, you know. To me it seems like it's just crying for a change, a bit.
Q. In our sport you feel it is best just to leave it in the hands of the linesmen and the chair umpire?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you have to understand, one forehand down the line doesn't change the outcome of the match; whereas one goal changes the entire mindset of a team, of a strategy. You know, you can play defense after that.
Tennis, we don't have that. Guys are sitting there, not moving. They're only staring at the line. It's so much more simple. It's going to even out throughout a career or a season, the good and bad calls.
Whereas goals, I mean, it's such a huge impact in those 90 minutes. It changes everything. That's why they have it in American football, right? They have challenges you can do. I mean, there's so many ways of trying to adjust the system.
Q. You came out missing a few first serves. How do you work on that as the match goes on?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you look for your rhythm, try to make sure you get the right rhythm going. Well, then maybe you start finding the T serves; then you look for the wide serves. But everything happens very quickly. That's why I'm very happy I can rely on a good second serve. I think I won 70% on my second serve today. That was another key on winning the match in straight.
Q. Did it hurt at all to dismantle Melzer so easily and give him quite a beating since he's your friend?
ROGER FEDERER: No, that's just tennis. That's a tennis match. It's no more than that. He even said right after, the match was over at the end, he hopes he doesn't have to wait another 10 years to play me. He was not frustrated.
He was hoping for a second match right after the match was over. That's the kind of guy is. It's wonderful playing on Centre Court. He knows wherever he plays me around the world, it's most likely going to be Centre Court.
I think our games match up well. He probably likes my style of playing, moving forward, not giving him too much chances. I feel the same from his game as well. I think we would match up well if we play together more often.