Roger Federer Interview
Sony Ericsson Open - Miami
April 1, 2011
R. NADAL/R. Federer 6 3, 6 2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You've heard your name called many times around the world. Have you ever heard quite so intense and such a testimonial to you as tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, yeah, I mean, I don't know. Haven't gone through every match I've ever played, but it's definitely a very nice feeling to get the support from the crowd, you know, especially against Rafa, obviously.
Yeah, I think definitely had something to do with the score. I'm not sure I wanted it or not because it meant I was down in the score. Definitely nice hearing my name go through the stadium. I've had some great times here in Miami. Definitely nice feeling to have to play out there and hear that.
Q. You want to break it down for us?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think it's always a bit of an adjustment obviously for me coming out and playing Rafa any lefty, I guess, but him in particular. That's what kind of made it hard tonight.
I tried to warm with a lefty, Bob Bryan, and tried to get as acclimatized as I could against him. It's just hard. In the first couple games you get break down, and then I felt like conditions weren't really favoring me as well.
I knew it was slow, but just makes it so hard it hit through him on a surface like this. Then maybe you try to overhit a bit, and then obviously I start taking wrong decisions on big points.
From then on, you're down a set and a break, and it's not easy to come back. I thought he played well. He played tough and he played good when he had to, and I didn't do that tonight.
So it's disappointing for me.
Q. It seemed like your backhand just wasn't there tonight. Did you feel it was off from the beginning? Did you want to just run around it all night?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I guess so. What else you want to me to tell you?
Q. Looked like in the fifth game in the first set that you were finding some rhythm and started to find your groove. Is there anything about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, clearly I'm not going to go through a match not being able to make any shot at all. I'm going to get through a few games where I feel better.
Like I said, I had a few mini chances, which against Rafa I was down right away. From then it was an uphill battle. When I did have chances I played poorly and he came up with some good stuff. Off night for me, unfortunately.
Q. What does this surface add or take away from your game? You talked about it being as slow as clay. Just more specifically, is it higher bounce? Too much time for him?
ROGER FEDERER: Particularly against players like Rafa who like to have a bit more time and gives the, an opportunity to return from way back, from in front, defend like they can and so forth, it's definitely helpful.
You can't sort of shoot through the court too much. It's always got to be worked out every rally. That's not how we played against each other in London, and knew it wasn't going to be anything like this tonight.
But, yeah, it's what it is. I've played really well on this surface in the past. Tonight, unfortunately, it wasn't the night for me.
Q. Are you satisfied wit the way you served tonight? Were you expecting it to help you a bit more?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't see the statistics, so how did it feel? Felt okay, I guess. I served in spells. I knew I wasn't going to get the free points like on the faster surfaces, and that makes it harder against Rafa, getting some momentum on your service games. Every time you miss your serve you're going to be in a tough rally and so forth.
That's what the serve is tonight I was hoping to get a few more free points. I did when I was hitting my spots nicely, but...
I didn't think I served poorly, but Rafa did well and got a lot of balls back. I was just not good on the offensive tonight, and that kind of took all the opportunities away to create something tonight.
Q. Does this widen the gap, or are you more determined than ever to get back?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, for me those are not big setbacks. I wish I could play better right now against those guys, but it is what it is. I'm the last guy who gets pulled all the way down and then can't get up for the next tournament.
I'm excited going Monaco now. I'm going to fly there directly and prepare as well as I can for the clay court season. It's a big swing coming up now in Europe, so that's the mindset.
Yeah, I want to do well and I want to do better. I got the opportunity in a couple weeks already.
Q. 3 Love down in the second set, Love 30, you felt like you were right there, right?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well, right there is different for me. But I wasn't far from maybe getting a break, let's put it that way. Did I have any breakpoints tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: One. I don't remember how I messed it up, but, yeah, I had a chance. Could have attacked better on one of them and ended up, yeah, not hitting it perfectly. So just one of those nights.
Q. Coming into the match what was your mentality? What did you want to do? Show? What did you anticipate coming into the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I was confident. I was feeling well. Clearly I had in the back of my mind also how has this tournament been for me? Has it been as perfect as I wanted it to be getting into the semis?
I knew there were some doubts after all getting through the match with Simon, Rochus, a match with Monaco, extremely hot. I'm not saying that Rafa didn't have I don't know how his matches have been, but he just played a night session against Berdych. That definitely helped him.
Then again, regardless I'm not sure I would have beaten Rafa tonight. I just couldn't play my game. Maybe that has something to do with the lack of rhythm I got all week from the opponents I've played, from the conditions I played in.
But those are not excuses. Those are just facts. I knew those were a few things that could go wrong. Maybe that was one of the things. But then again, Rafa is such a unique player in terms of how he plays that he always makes it difficult for any player.
I was determined and trying to cut down the length of the rallies, taking the ball early, serving well and mixing it up well and then a few specific details I'm not going to share but I wasn't able to do to tonight; Rafa was able to do his game plan, and he deserves to be in the finals.
Q. With the exception of Andre and maybe Connors back in the day, there haven't been too many players winning slams after 29. What do you feel like you have up your sleeve that you're going to be able to use to win some slams in the future?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, I don't know. You tell me. I don't know. I think I've done quite well over the last ten years. I feel like I've done a lot more than some other players, so I feel like I'm yeah, we'll see how it all plays out.
We'll see at 36, 39 how many more I was able to get or not. We're not going to predict how many I'm going to get or not. I'm enjoying myself right now, and I feel like if I'm playing well I can get those. That's what I care about right now.
Q. After Rafa's play today, do you think it's going to start a new era with Djokovic and Nadal on the top?
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly. I don't know. You tell me. Let's see in five years. Look back. It's not like Novak hasn't been around. Guys all talk about it like the guy can't play tennis. It's disappointing.
Q. It took Pete a long time to get his last title, and some of the other guys also, before they made that final statement, went through a lot of stuff. Are you prepared and thinking about maybe having to go through all that and ultimately prove your point? Is that a challenge, or more of a hassle and a drag?
ROGER FEDERER: No, bigger hassle is being asked all the time these questions. I don't know how many times I need to answer until I just say I'm not going to answer it anymore. Up to you how many times I will have to answer the question until I'm sick and tired of it.
But I know that I can do many more things in the game. Sure, it's disappointing losing a game like tonight, but those are the matches I work extremely hard for in the off season and practice, and I'm very excited by what's to come still.
I don't feel like I'm 35 like you guys make me sound I am. I'm still only 29, and I have many more years left.
Q. Is it a Grand Slam title, or are you also thinking Olympics, Wimbledon, grass?
ROGER FEDERER: You name it. It's not only just the slams for me. I like any tournament, that's why I play them. Otherwise it would be like only playing eight tournaments a year.
Q. Where are the Olympics?
ROGER FEDERER: They're high, sure. I would love to win the Olympic gold. Who wouldn't? And who wouldn't want to win them at Wimbledon?
It's clearly a big goal and I'm thinking about, but it's not my No. 1 goal in my career right now. It's one after another. There are a lot of the highlights in tennis, which is great. Thank God we have those. I don't know how I would handle having a highlight every four years, to be honest.
I think we're very lucky in tennis. I think that's why it's very easy to go from one tournament to the next, because the next one is as big as the other. We have so many wonderful events around the world, and the tour is on such a high right now, such a great buzz around it.
So I wouldn't want to miss that, playing with all those guys at the moment and facing off and seeing how I can do against them. I've had a great last sort of six to nine months, and I'm looking forward to what's to come until Wimbledon at least right now.
Q. You have a favorite for the final here?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, I think it's pretty open, obviously because of how Rafa played tonight and how he can play in finals. He's got a great winning record for finals in general. I don't know if he's ever won here? He hasn't.
I think it would be nice for him to win here for the first time. He should have beaten me here six years ago I was down two sets to love and a break and breakpoints if I am not mistaken. So he should have gotten that one, but I snuck that one out on him.
Novak has been playing great this season. Yeah, I think Rafa is going to give Novak a run for the money, and I'm going to pick Rafa.
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