Roger Federer Interview - US Open, Sept 2
Posted on September 2, 2010
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk about the conditions out there today? Specifically, the heat early on and then the wind later in the match.
ROGER FEDERER: Um, yeah, I mean, it was a little bit warmer at the beginning and at the end of the match, but I thought the wind gave it a bit of a cooling factor today.I don't know if it was hotter yesterday or today. I really don't know, but for me it wasn't a problem, anyway.
Q. In this extreme heat, have you lost any weight? I know some commentators mentioned you've been looking a little skinny.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't know. The match wasn't that long, and I played like an hour the last two days. So I don't think there's much I was eating more than I was practicing, so... No, I mean, I thought it was warm, but I don't think it was brutal, you know. Sure, out on the court it always gets warmer than elsewhere because of, you know, the concrete and all that stuff that reflects back from the court, as well. Obviously if you have tough rallies it's tough anywhere but especially if it's humid and hot, sure, you feel it. But I don't know. We practice hard to be fit for those conditions, as well.
Q. You mentioned that you had muscle pain in Toronto; earlier this week you were talking about it. How are you feeling now?
ROGER FEDERER: No problem. The body has gotten used to playing matches and serving one after another, returning one after another, for three, four hours in a row. So I have no muscle pain anymore, and it's about just, you know, saving your energy for the really big match coming up, maybe the next one. Who knows?
Q. At this point in your career, is it any more important for you to make sure you get off court as soon and quickly as possible?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I feel it's the same. I guess now it's almost easier to handle tougher matches, really, just because you know what your body can take. You know what's just muscle pain, you know what's more injuries, you know what's tiredness; whereas when you're younger that kind of hits you like a truck, and all of a sudden you realize you have no more energy and mentally it's a big push when you're young.You know, and I had it twice at the French against Corretja. I think both times I kind of got into it. Once I got into the third or fourth round of the Major I was just so tired from playing. I think today it's much easier to cope with that.
Q. After last night's match, Andy Roddick's opponent said he didn't think Roddick was as aggressive as he should be in that match, and it's pretty well known he should be more aggressive. What's your opinion of Roddick's degree of aggressiveness and his approach in the court?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, he played well in Indian Wells and Miami. You figure he knows what he's doing. If he keeps that up, he's gonna have a shot at a title here. Obviously it's a big surprise for me to see him go out, even though Tipsarevic is a good player. I beat him at the Australian once 9 7 in the fifth. That was a phase I had mono, and so it's kind of somewhat of a similar situation, I guess. Andy had signs of it now, as well. Look, him and his coach need to know what's best for him. The guy played well yesterday. It was a tough match for Andy, and I feel bad for him.
Q. You alluded earlier to the short durations of your first two matches, two straight set win. Is this sort of the perfect way, in terms of looking at the way you're launching this particular campaign? Do you feel like you're you've gotten off to a more or less good start?
ROGER FEDERER: No, it's the perfect start, sure. I played Monday, had two days off. I had another easy one physically today, and here I am in the third round feeling like I'm completely in the tournament. I got a sense for how the court speed is again. I got the sense of, you know, the crowd and the wind now as well. I played one night, one day. I have all the answers after two matches. Obviously they weren't the most difficult matches, you know. I didn't have to save multiple breakpoints or whatever. Even though I got broken today, I feel really good. Tougher matches will only be coming up now, I guess. I underestimate nobody. But today was already, you know, a little bit dangerous of an opponent. He hits hard, flat, and through the wind it's not so easy to all of a sudden try to brush up the ball because you shank a lot so you start playing more careful. It's gonna be interesting to see how the Saturday conditions are going to be with the hurricane sort of moving in. We'll see how that goes.
Q. The women's top seed is Wozniacki, also one of the youngest players. What do you make of her success?
ROGER FEDERER: I obviously haven't seen her play so much. Definitely not as young as when Martina and Capriati and Serena all came up. They were all 15, 16, and you knew they were going to be future No. 1s in the world and win Grand Slams. That doesn't happen so much in the women's game, and actually in the men's game you don't have any teenagers in the top 100, which I think is a bit unfortunate. But games are getting more physical and more tough now. It's just hard to kind of breakthrough sometimes, I guess. But seems like she's doing great. She's No. 1 seed obviously because Serena is not here, but she's doing great in all other events, playing a full schedule. I'm sure that's one of the reasons she's ranked up high.
Q. Have you seen any huge improvements in your style lately with Paul on your team now?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, when I'm playing great, regardless of who's in my player box, I can beat anybody, you know. It's about being consistent and being confident in the way I play. I'm not all of a sudden going to play a two handed backhand or serve and volley on my second serve nonstop. It's just not gonna happen. It's in the details, and it's very important to me what Paul tells me and what Severin also tells me, who I've been with for three years now. It's an interesting, you know, time right now, because I went through times where I thought every time was interesting for me, because I went through times where I didn't have a coach, I had times where I had two coaches, as well, one coach. Here we are at the stage again where there's someone new to the team, and I kind of like those times, yeah.
Q. You're the only past champion left in the men's tournament. How much of an advantage is that, or a help is that, knowing you've done it in the past versus other players who are trying to but don't know that they can, because they haven't?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's definitely an advantage, I would think, yeah, because weathering the conditions here in New York. A lot of players can really do well here in New York because it's a fair kind of a court. It's a quick court, so if you're not feeling well, it can all of a sudden slip away from you. So it's a dangerous court to play on, and everybody has the last slam left to prove. I think that's why it makes it really hard to win. You could be unlucky and get hit with a really hot day or a very windy day, and not even in your control sometimes you lose a match here. That's where it's important like today to get through easily instead of maybe going five hour match, you know, and losing the tournament because of a match like this, you know. Yeah, I mean, I would consider it as an advantage. But again, I'm not at match point serving for it, so still a lot of hard work to do.
Q. In the last couple of days, several people have spoken about the shot you made the other day through your legs.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah.
Q. But Novak Djokovic said he didn't need to see that one. The one he saw last year...
ROGER FEDERER: Was enough for him? Okay.
Q. How do you look back at the shot you made against him last year, and what made it special for you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, being all of a sudden center court always helps because you get every angle of the shot. That just helps the spectators, the media, for me as well, for the players. I mean, you can see it so many different ways, which is fantastic; whereas this year I think I hit it from the other side of the court, so I'm not sure we have as many camera angles like last year. But it was just a moment, semifinals on center court against Novak, Love 30 and going -- getting match point, and after that playing on a high end, ripping another forehand winner on the second serve of Novak to clinch the match. Everything was just like boom, over, with fireworks, you know. I think that's what was so special about last year, I thought.
Q. What goes through your mind when you see replays of that point?
ROGER FEDERER: I like it and I smile, of course, like everybody would.
Q. In the spring and in Paris there was a lot of talk about new string.
ROGER FEDERER: About?
Q. Advances in a new string from Babolat. Are you an equipment guy in that when you hear about new equipment or strings or racquets, you test things, or are you very conservative when you have your equipment and you stick with it? Pete always...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember Pete wasn't very flexible when it came to all that stuff. I think it's hard, because if we had a five months offseason, we could just go out and just test anything. You know, like work on your game and completely come out five months later and you're like, you know, This guy's playing different than he was five months ago. We don't have that, so you have a tendency to be very cautious about how much testing you go through, because you don't want to waste days and stuff on testing and all that stuff. Honestly I'm always very open, and I talk to Wilson very openly about, Is there another racquet you guys think I should be testing? I've tried out some other things again, you know, the other year. And with strings the same thing, even though I've been playing with the same string now for eight years. It's what many guys do, is like the half gut, half synthetic, Luxilon. So that's been working well for me. The others talk about something else. Obviously if some of the top guys use it, it becomes bigger news than if No. 75 in the world uses it. But I think it's important to stay open for changes and just not get stuck in a bubble and think what I got is perfect. Who knows, maybe there's something very good as well out there that you haven't seen yet.
Q. What do you think about Russian tennis? Maybe have some Russian friends on tour?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, Russia's always been very strong, especially on the women's side lately. Obviously when I came up, Yevgeny was there, Marat. I came with Marat through the juniors, and then once they kind of went away we have had Davydenko at the top for five years now. I don't think if he would have been injured so much, always at crucial times, he could have been even maybe top 3 in the world, top 2 in the world, if things would have gone really well for him. They're all very good, all very talented. I'm sure there is no change in the future. They will always be very strong, have very strong will.
Q. I just wanted to ask you about a habit of yours, kind of helping the ball boys out during matches, and do you do it sort of out of a sense of politeness or playfulness, or does it help your game? Help in the match? Comment on that.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. Depends how the points are being played. If balls end up on my side of the court, then I like to get the ball from them and get it on the other side real quick, you know. These guys catch the ball really well here at the US Open, all those ball boys. You know, they're not 10 years old, so they know -- they're really, really good, and that's why you can play around with it a little bit. I don't know if they enjoy it. I like it. They're always ready to catch it, anyway. Seems like they're just waiting for it. I don't know. I like to have a good flow of the match so spectators don't have to wait so much, and also my opponent. I just kind of think it's a nice thing.
Q. Two matches in, do you feel like your game and your body are exactly where you want them to be?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, body is well. Mentally obviously I'm fresh, too. I haven't played much, so I'm really eager to, you know -- looking forward to -- I'm ready, anyway, for tough matches coming around. It's good I'm saving myself, really, and my game is fine. You know, today it's tough to judge, because it was quite windy at the end. It's just a matter of getting through those kind of matches, really.