Roger Federer spoke to the press following a tough straight set loss to Andy Murray Sunday in the Olympic finals.
Q. Is the primary emotion satisfaction at winning a silver or frustration that it’s not gold?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no, I’m very happy. I am satisfied. I think this is as good as I could do during these championships. Andy was much better than I was today in many aspects of the game. For me, it’s been a great month. I won Wimbledon, became World No. 1 again, and I got silver. Don’t feel too bad for me. I am very, very proud honestly to have won a silver. Had a very emotional tournament from start to finish. I could have lost in the first round against Falla. Same thing obviously with Del Potro. I felt like I won my silver, I didn’t lose it. So I feel very, very happy.
Q. You’ve dealt with a lot of partisan crowds before. Was there a rise in the atmosphere did you think at all?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, different. Maybe more patriotic. The buildup I think was completely different. Not that I read the press here. But there’s so many things going on right now in the sporting world that obviously the focus wasn’t just alone on the tennis tournament and on Andy Murray. So maybe that helped him prepare. Maybe the mixed yesterday took his mind off it. Then obviously once the match started today, I knew it was going to be a good crowd for Andy. But, honestly, I’ve experienced more tougher crowds for my opponent in the past everywhere I’ve played all around the world. But that’s not why I lost the match today. But I’m sure that gave him a lift and made him play well, once he was in the lead in particular, and he never looked back. His credit for getting in the lead and then using the crowd to his advantage to come through. He did it unbelievably well.
Q. Can you tell me something about how strongly you decide on Olympic gold to get your collection of trophies complete and will there be another Olympics in 2016 for you?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I hope so. I said it before the tournament that it’s not impossible that I could take part in Rio. But right now, I mean, in the meantime I could retire and come back. It’s that long of a break (laughter). It’s not front and center in my mind. But, of course, I’d love an Olympic gold in singles. But I am very happy with an Olympic silver in singles, and I already have the gold from Beijing. So this has been an amazing ride for me these last 10 days being part of the Olympics and representing Switzerland. I do that everywhere I go, but this was particularly emotional. I tried extremely hard. I feel I did very well. I hope, you know, the Swiss are proud of me. So we’ll see about Rio. It’s a fascinating country. I’ve never been to Rio. Obviously, I’d love to be part of it. We’ll see how it goes.
Q. Was there much of a sort of physical hangover from a long match on Friday? Also, having played Andy now at the very highest level, what is he doing maybe a bit differently now to what perhaps he was doing a year ago?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I didn’t play him a year ago much I think. Did we even play last year? I don’t know. There was always Rafa or Novak in our way. I would almost have to go back a couple years with Murray. 5 August 2012 visit our archives at asapsports.com R. Federer – 05.08.12 2 It was obvious that Andy was going to become a better player over the years. Obviously he learned how to play more aggressively. He’s more consistent. All these things are obviously minor tweaks, but they make a big difference at the highest of levels. I was very happy for him, that he was able to bring such a performance and bring home the gold for Great Britain. It’s a long time coming for him. Yeah, he did great. Yeah, I mean, I’m not sure. I’m feeling somewhat fine. I think it was maybe more emotionally potentially because, God, I had tears in my eyes after my first-round match, believe it or not. Doing media I think on court it was. I almost broke down. I can’t believe this is happening. But this is how much this meant to me. I understood how close I was from losing. Then there was no doubt about it, I felt the same way exactly after the semis. Maybe there was so much emotion already out of me that potentially today that kind of hindered me from playing my absolute very best. But then again, that’s just trying to come up with some excuses. But I just think he was better, and I missed my chances. I took poor decisions in some big moments at times. I mean, I didn’t win a breakpoint. I have myself to blame at times, as well. But at the same time he put me time and time in a tough position as well. It was a combination of many things today. The result was a bit too brutal, I do believe. But credit to Andy for making it happen.
Q. Were you surprised at how well he passed when you came in regularly in this match?
ROGER FEDERER: No. That’s his best part of his game. If he doesn’t do those passing shots, he’s not going to win gold and he doesn’t win tournaments. He’s got to come up with those shots time and time again. He does it so well. I’ve always said he can absorb pace incredibly well. He has great balance and anticipation. That three-way combination makes it obviously tough to attack him, particularly on a poor attacking shot. So he did very well today.
Q. Could this type of victory be a springboard for Andy to win slams now and be a big threat at the US Open coming up?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t think he needed this, to be quite honest, ’cause he is a good player. Don’t forget that. He’s an amazing player already. I thought he played a very, very good Wimbledon championship. So for me what I was happy to see is that he didn’t have a letdown, you know, after the Wimbledon finals. It’s easy to come back, best-of-three, you know, go out third round maybe. You just feel more horrible. But he didn’t do that. He came, he won gold. I think this is how champions react. That’s more what I see, and not just actually him beating me and beating Novak back to back. We knew he could do that. He was a threat in a big way anyways at the US Open. Let’s not forget how great Novak and Rafa are, as well. So I’m sure it’s going to be an interesting US Open.
Q. Can you remember losing nine straight games, four on your own serve, the last time?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don’t. And I don’t want to remember (smiling).
Q. You’ve been through a bunch of these now. How should we view the Olympics and the Olympics gold medal compared to the majors? Where does it rank? How do you see it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it’s unique in so many ways, you know. It’s supposed to be that way. I almost believe there should be no points at the Olympics, to be quite honest, because it’s not fair for some of the players who can’t play the tournament for the reasons you know. There’s only four players per country allowed to play per country. Plus we have a tournament running at the same time in Washington that almost gives the same amount of points. So it’s a bit odd. That’s why I’m almost in favor of not having any points at the Olympics. But the importance to me it’s as big as tournaments that are out there. Similar to a World Tour Finals, where unfortunately we don’t play the best-of-five-set finals there anymore, or a Grand Slam. It’s as high up as the big tournaments. And obviously making it best-of-three in the early rounds, you know, makes the margins more small, particularly on grass. The grass has been different this time around because of the seeding. It was slippery in the beginning, then dry again. The played very different. It was an unusual tournament, but a nice one to be part of. Obviously for me, it’s the Olympic year, and you can imagine the importance of it.
Q. While I was surprised to see you visit our archives at asapsports.com R. Federer – 05.08.12 3 for the first time you losing nine games in a row on grass…
ROGER FEDERER: Thanks for the reminder (smiling).
Q. I’m surprised that you attacked so much on his backhand, his best shot. You know him so well. Why do you think you were playing so much on his backhand today?
ROGER FEDERER: Why not, right? You can try it out. Didn’t work. Next time I’ll go to the forehand. At least now Andy knows. No more secrets there. But, no, I mean, look, whatever. He did well. I did wrong, I guess. So I messed up.
Q. After that extraordinary semifinal you played against Del Potro, do you think this could have some effect in your relationship to him, make you closer to him because of this experience?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, those are matches that sort of remind you of some great battles, becomes personal almost to a degree in a nice way. So we could look back at this and have something in common. I didn’t know who won until I lost my match today. So I was looking. I saw the Serbian flag in the room I was waiting. No Argentinian flag, so who won? I thought Novak won. I came out and I saw Juan Martin. I said, Wow. Great effort. I’m so happy for you after the brutal loss. I don’t think many were favoring Juan Martin to win that match. That was a great, great effort. I was extremely happy for him, disappointed for Novak, but I didn’t see Novak, but I was just really happy for Juan Martin.
Q. You talked about how this was an extremely emotional tournament for you. Why was it so emotional?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, look, Olympics don’t come around every year. So this is obviously just a different feel to it. Crowds were different. Early on I could sense that right away when I came on court against Falla. I really badly wanted to come through in the early rounds to get into the tournament. Then you sort of install a certain way of acting and being during the Olympics, you know. So I think all of that made it, for me, very special. Every Olympics has been a life-changer for me, to be quite honest, in Sydney, in Athens, and Beijing. Good or bad, I think I took away a lot of positives, from the Olympic spirit, from the way, I don’t know, you appreciate other sports, appreciate winning, losing. I love watching sports because of the reactions of the people at the very end. How do they take wins? How do they take losses? All these things. For me, it’s always been a dream to be part of the Olympic spirit. I didn’t want to just have it go on for one day or two days with the doubles. I tried everything I could in singles and doubles. I got a silver medal, so I’m very proud. It was emotional in many ways. Obviously, the Del Potro match emphasized all of that, made it go to some crazy extremes, which I never thought it would. But I’m happy I had a match like this, even though it may have cost me the finals. Who knows?
Q. You’ve touched on this with the emotions, but can you describe the difference, how you feel being on Centre Court playing for a Grand Slam title and being on Centre Court playing for a gold medal for your country.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was short-lived. It was two hours. It wasn’t 10 seconds like a sprinter. So I had time to get a sense for it. Then again, I was always led by Andy being in the lead. Obviously, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as other Grand Slams where I maybe had my teeth in the match. It was maybe a disappointing final in ways because of that. But the occasion felt big, you know, just because you know when is going to be your next Olympic match? You don’t know yet. But that’s not how I kind of try to see it. I was well-prepared. I was calm. Woke up this morning, felt good, you know, with my body. So I was excited about the match. I couldn’t produce the way I was hoping to.
Q. Going back to the beginning, you’ve spoken about playing here in the Olympics compared to Wimbledon. Was it any different for you with nerves or emotions or anything when you walked out for this match compared to when the two of you walked out for the Wimbledon final four weeks ago? Did you feel any different?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I actually didn’t. I didn’t feel more nervous or more tense or anything like that. I just felt at peace. I was well-prepared. You know, I played a good tournament. I don’t think maybe I played as good overall as I did at Wimbledon, but I knew it could be good enough to win today. Yeah, I mean, it was exciting to play Andy again, to be honest, to have the repeat like this. Like I mentioned before, we hardly played each other the last couple of years. Now we played each other twice in a month on the biggest stage. I was more excited more than anything else. Not negative, not overly positive I was going to win today. I was just, you know, the same way I was before the Wimbledon finals, too.
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