A. MURRAY/R. Federer 7 5, 7 5
Q. Can you talk a little bit about why you think Murray has had success against you in the Masters level but he hasn't been able to defeat you in Grand Slam finals?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we only played twice in Grand Slam play, so it's not a whole lot of chances for him, really, to get me. The first time around, I mean, I was the big favorite going into the match, so you can't expect him maybe to win the first time we played maybe at the US Open there.
But best of three match like here at the Masters 1000 levels, there's not much in it. As we saw today, could have gone either way. A guy's gotta win. If you have a bad start like I did today or if he starts off well, you're always running behind the score; whereas a best of five set match, that's not quite the case.
Q. Despite the loss today, what are some of the positives you take out of your first hardcourt appearance of the summer moving forward towards the US Open?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's nice winning matches, you know, and especially winning close ones to the ones I did against Berdych and also Djokovic. And today was another tough match physically with the breaks, coming back, the breaks, coming back, and with all the physical strain I had to go through this week, you know, honestly I'm feeling actually pretty good, considering. That's definitely a good sign for what's to come.
Q. How do you think the multiple rain delays impacted the ultimate outcome of the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, it was definitely easy for either one of us. It was predicted to the rain was in the area, so you already play tennis, you know, knowing that in the back of your mind that rain could come at any moment.
So that sometimes plays some tricks on your mind. I thought, to me, it was particularly hard being down 3 Love with a double break, running behind the score, and still losing the first set, and not coming through there obviously was a bit of a blow, and then the rain delays completely shut it down for me to get any kind of rhythm.
I know for him, as well, but it was just a really hard match to go through at the very end. You know, it was played on a couple points here and there, and it didn't even feel like the end of the match, you know. Just all of a sudden it was all over. So it was just kind of a touch disappointing, obviously.
But I thought he played well. He was aggressive. He was taking the ball early. He wasn't giving me much, and he clutch served at the very end when he had to, and he deserved the victory.
Q. When you noticed that Annacone wasn't actually in the stands, does that mean he's gone to Cincinnati or he's gone home, or what's the situation now?
ROGER FEDERER: No, he was watching from elsewhere, you know, from a fairground because he's still involved with the LTA.
Q. Is he going to Cincinnati?
ROGER FEDERER: No, he won't.
Q. I have a feeling that you didn't force a serve at the very beginning of the first set as much as you used to. I mean, was it because you felt a bit of pain after last night or was it another reason?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I tried to go more wide than down the T on the deuce side. I guess that's what you mean. Wide, you usually don't go full blast. You kind of try to place it. I didn't place it so well.
He picked it up a few times very nicely. I do have muscle pain all over my arm and my shoulder and my chest. That's something I'm quite used to. That started actually at the beginning of the week. Small hindrance maybe, but, I mean, I could serve full, and it didn't, you know, play anything on my mind. It was just general fatigue a little bit, but muscle pain, that's not something I'm worried about.
Q. Andy, on court there, said it's always an honor to play against you. I think we could all see what it meant to him to beat you finally in a final. I know Slams are a completely different animal, completely different tournament. What do you think this does for him, beating you and Rafa in the build up to the U.S. ?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's obviously nice. It still doesn't give you a Grand Slam title, you know, what you guys are expecting him to do so badly, but it's definitely right direction. I think most important actually for both of us is that since Australia, you know, maybe we've had not the results we were hoping for after playing so well right off the bat at the beginning of the year.
I think, for us, it's really important knowing we're back on hardcourt, that our game's back on, and now we can look ahead of what's to come because we are staying on this surface for the next seven months. I think that's a big positive for both of us. For him, obviously it's even better. He won the tournament. He didn't just make the finals like I did. For me it was a good tournament, as well, and regardless how it goes in Cincinnati, we'll be one of the favorites to win the tournament.
To me, he doesn't need to prove his point anymore. He's beaten me six, seven times now. He's beaten Rafa in the past on hardcourts. It was just another great showing from him on a big stage.
Q. In the grand scheme of things, how does this affect, this particular result, affect your preparation going towards the Open? I mean, obviously you would have loved to have won the match. So what does the loss do, if anything?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you deal with it. You move on. You know, I'm planning everything for Cincy now, defending champion over there. I played some awesome tennis there last year, beat Murray and Djokovic along the way, so that was a great tournament for me. So I have some work to do over there.
It was a good start, that's for sure. I take it week by week, and it's not always just revving up for the US Open. I think it's the wrong mindset. I think we could see that today. We both wanted to win badly today. There's only one winner in tennis. That's how it goes. There's no draws. It's a bit disappointing moving away from a tournament not on the winner's side, but still, it was a good tournament.
I hope I can get a Wednesday start, because I definitely need some rest. It would be good if I can rest my body for two days, because after that, if I want to win the tournament over there, I need to play five days in a row again, and that's something that's tough, but I've done it before so I'm ready.
Q. Given that this match was decided on a point here or there, same with Djokovic, same with Berdych, you hadn't played since Wimbledon, what did you learn about the state of your game this week, and where do you think it is?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, I thought I played well, you know. I didn't play my best. But it was good enough to get somewhere and have a chance to win the title, so that's obviously good news for me.
You know, I had some issues sometimes, whatever, whether it was on the serve, forehand, backhand. That's normal. I think that's more from not playing enough matches lately and some rust, but I still made the finals and beat great players along the way who have caused me difficulties in the past.
So I'm really happy, you know, with how I have been playing, and this gives me obviously great information how I want to play the big points, what I need to do, you know, this upcoming week or so. Not just to prepare Cincinnati and the US Open but also the rest of the season. It's definitely a good start into the hardcourt season.
Q. When you're playing the way you really want to play and when you occasionally are, like you said, are a little rusty or maybe not quite where you want to be, what is the difference for you? Is it a technique thing? Is it a confidence thing? Is it the other guy or a combination of everything?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, obviously the opponent has a role to play in this whole thing. I'm very good, but I don't have the margins like maybe exist in women's tennis or whatever that you can just come out and maybe dominate an opponent every single time. That doesn't happen in the men's game, because we neutralize ourselves much more because of the serve we have in our game.
That's why you need to be really sharp and taking the right decisions at the right time. That's sometimes hard to do when the ball comes at you so fast and you only get a couple of chances sometimes. And today was a bit of a roller coaster match, you know. Many breaks involved with two good servers. I consider him a very good server, too.
It was a bit tough to get some rhythm going, but, you know, it's just little things here and there. You saw this week how close matches are being played, and when you're just not feeling 100% you take wrong decisions, or sometimes you're just unlucky or sometimes the other guy is just better. That's how small the margins are sometimes.
Q. Rafa wore pink this week. You wore pink, as well. You think you'll wear pink again?
ROGER FEDERER: Next week? Yeah, that's the plan, and then we're moving on to a different color again for the Open. I think I have a day and night session outfit for the Open. I know I won't be playing in pink for a while after this. Not that I don't want to, but it's all already in the plan till about end of next year already.
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