Roger Federer Interview - Toronto, Aug 13Posted on August 14, 2010
R. FEDERER/T. Berdych 6 3, 5 7, 7 6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about the crowd. The Toronto crowd was just electric out there pulling for you, real nice to see. Elaborate on that a little bit, your thoughts on that.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, the crowds were absolutely amazing. Rarely, you know, you get those kind of atmospheres, so I knew that was something special. So I'm very thankful, of course. I put in a lot of hard work, you know, around the years, so it's nice to get the support.
Anyway, I have always around the world great support, but when it gets so loud and so exciting, it's obviously something different. Adrenaline starts going, and you hope you come out, you know, on the better end at the end, and that's what I was able to do. I'm really, really happy.
Q. Where does this victory rank, even with all the Grand Slam championships, but avoiding losing three straight to this guy coming back from 5 2, where do you rank this victory?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I've played 800 matches. (Laughter.)
It's sort of hard to put a rank on it, but it's nice always winning matches 7 6 in the third, because it's a bit of a flip of the coin, you know, sometimes and you try to play as solid as possible but as dangerous as possible. But at the same time, you've got to sort of play safe, too, because you want to give the other opportunity to miss as well.
Today I just think I had a good start to the match, had chances in the second, and then it was just kind of one of those matches I thought was going to slip away again like at the beginning of the season, but I was able to turn it around. It was definitely huge at this point. It was the crowd on top of it. It ranks definitely top 100. (Laughter.)
I don't know if it's top 50 or not, but don't forget I've played some amazing matches throughout my career.
Q. Obviously this one's not on grass, but can you explain at all how the match went differently than Wimbledon did, tactically or how was it played any differently from your point of view?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, sure. I was actually more concerned or thinking of the Miami match we played against each other, because that was night session on hardcourt, same speed, I think maybe even in the same round. So it was something you could really relate to.
Wimbledon plays different regardless. It's just something that you go for more earlier on in the point maybe. The serve has a bit more effect. I don't know. It's hard to compare those two.
I tried to take out a few things from Wimbledon, but honestly, out there I was thinking of the Miami match, and that one kind of played out pretty similar except this time I made it.
Q. You said you were thinking about the Miami match. Are you thinking about that while you're playing?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure.
Q. Do you want to shut that off while you're playing or do you mind that running through your head?
ROGER FEDERER: No, you're not thinking of when you're walking off the court and you lost. That's not the moment you think of. You think of how the points were being played, what worked in that match. You know, you try to remind yourself how you're supposed to play.
You know, I went through the Miami match a little bit yesterday and just tried to, you know, see what was working, what wasn't working. That's why I was preparing with that kind of a match.
Sometimes you don't have much say, either, playing against a player with the power of Berdych and he's made a move, he's on a streak and on a good run. This is why this is a great victory for me, great to stop him, good for me, for my confidence this week and next week and the following week. I could definitely take a lot out of this victory.
Q. Having lost to him the two previous times, did you feel at all that this is a match you had to win? Did that create any extra pressure that may have hurt you?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I don't know, this wasn't the French Open which I haven't won yet, so pressure is definitely always here, you know, with all the success I've had and everything that sure, I don't want to lose any of the matches, you know, and especially not against a guy once, twice, or three times in a row, but then you've got to give credit to the guy, too. He's been playing really well. He's been dangerous. He's been taking advantage of tough draws now and making moves. That's tough to stop him.
I thought he was going to make a move earlier on in his career when he beat me in 2004 in the Athens Olympics. But after that he just became a steady kind of top 30, top 40 player, which was a bit of a surprise to me. This is where I saw him hanging around, you know, more around the top 15, top 10 even. That's what he's finally doing.
No, I didn't feel like I had to win this match, but I was definitely putting pressure on myself to come out, play aggressive, you know, and me making some adjustments for a change instead of him having to do adjustments.
That's maybe something that hasn't been the same, you know, when I played him in the past.
Q. In that situation where you have to break in that final set and you're getting multiple chances and then he's holding and you're going back and forth, what are you trying to tell yourself? Stay calm? Or are you thinking tactically at that point?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, um, I don't know what you guys saw or not, but in Miami he served for I think he was up a break too in the third, and I came back and pushed it to the breaker and then had 6 5 I think on my own serve.
At Wimbledon he served for the match and I had also two or three breakpoint opportunities in the last game to come back, so it was deja vu, you know, in the two last matches we played against each other. I could completely relate to it. I just kind of felt this was probably going to slip away. I mean, I can try as hard as I want. It just doesn't want to really work. Either I'm going to come up with some stupid shot or he's going to come up with something good.
You know, tonight I got lucky, I tried everything I could, you know, to keep the ball in play and mix it up, and it would have to come down to the wire. Obviously it was not something I was hoping for, but it went my way and is obviously a big relief and a nice feeling.
Q. Rafa was in here earlier talking about the difference between returning on clay, grass, and hardcourts, and he was saying that he was having or that it's more difficult on a hardcourt to kind of figure out when to be more aggressive or when to play neutral. How do you go about, you know, figuring out whether you're going to be aggressive on a second serve return, for example, or whether you're going to chip it back and kind of play a more neutral point to begin the point?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I feel on clay you have to be a little bit careful, and on grass, as well, for the bad bounce more than anything. But it's usually always sort of similar. On hardcourt you can slide it through the court and then you can kick it up, and when it kicks up it really takes off.
Then it gets up high on you. It's hard then to control the ball from up there. That's why sometimes on a fast hardcourt it bounces a lot. It's really hard to see rallies, because just hard to control the ball because of all the bounce we can put on with the spin. And naturally on hardcourt, it's so hard, the ball will bounce. I think that's what makes it so hard to return on hardcourt sometimes.
This is now more on the slower side, so it's a little bit easier, but, you know, if we go safe, then obviously it's easy to return, but you don't know if the other guy is going to go safe or not. All of a sudden he's going to throw a curveball at you or really kick it or all of sudden it's going to go almost a first serve as a second serve. That's why you always gotta be, always gotta be very careful. I think that's what I guess Rafa mentioned, kind of.
Q. You were serving to put it into a tiebreak in the second set and lost your serve. You had a couple double faults in that game. Can you just talk about what was going on in your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought that was a tough moment for both of us. He also double faulted twice, I think, maybe a game earlier.
I thought the transition going from day to night was kind of tricky. I mean, anyway, on my eyes; I don't know how it was for him. I just felt like all of a sudden I didn't see the ball as clearly anymore just for a game or two or three, and I definitely played a shocker game, but maybe that had something small to do with it, because probably in history, I probably double faulted probably 10 times twice in a game, so that's something that happens very rarely. I can put it down a little bit to that, bit of nerves, him just being solid and heat of the moment. But I definitely think the transition going from day to night was a bit of a factor tonight.
Q. What do you look for for tomorrow between Djokovic and Chardy, whichever one? What do you look to improve on? What would you think you need to tighten up a little bit in the semis?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I guess the more matches I play, the more rust I get rid of. So that's a good thing.
I'm excited again playing against either one. I think Chardy, I've never played against him. That would be something completely different and new. He's got a big game. He's had a shocker start to the year. It's good seeing him play well again.
Djokovic, obviously he's a guy I've played multiple times, especially on the hardcourts. He's always a tough match and a tough opponent.
Look, but you're moving on and a different opponent. You have a different opportunity to even play better again, definitely got to set my mind the right way how I want to play those guys. Still have to wait and see and then figure it out tomorrow. I think I'm playing at night, so I have some time.
Q. You talked last time about the shots the guys can hit now with the new strings crosscourt and all that. Are there a couple of shots you feel you can hit with the new strings that you couldn't have before?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I felt like I was one of the first guy who really used a lot of topspin. That's why I had to move from Pete's racquet to a bigger sized head racquet back in 2002. And they also then started changing the string back in 2002 with the switch of the head size, because I was just shanking the balls too much, especially on windy days, and because I was brushing the ball that much. And I think it's definitely helped me.
I mean, Agassi and I think Guga were some of the guys who started moving away from sort of the all gut early on, and I followed and then I became No. 1 in the world, and obviously many other players started using stuff like that, too, because, you know, you see what's going on in the locker room.
And I think I was definitely one of the first with some obviously other guys to change the string and stuff, you know.
But now you see much more guys with extreme grips, you know, and I think the string has definitely helped those guys, because that before wasn't possible to come through a shot that was low and hardly hit. You couldn't hit it with an all gut, you know, racquet, get a short angle, almost. You know, that was almost impossible, especially with the wooden racquet. Obviously there was no chance.
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