Roger Federer: I’m Feeling Better Than Last Year At This Time And Mentally I’m More At Peace
by Tom Gainey | August 13th, 2012, 6:22 pm

Roger Federer took part in a special US Open Series teleconference today from Cincinnati where the Swiss is the top seed and four-time champion.

Among a number of topics Federer discussed, he spoke about his thoughts on the Olympic gold medal match, the rigors of this summer’s schedule, the old generations vs the new, he return to the No. 1 ranking and his kids.

Federer will open play Wednesday against the winner of the Jarkko Nieminen-Alex Bogomolov match.

Q. Novak Djokovic won the Australian Open and Rafa Nadal the French Open, you Wimbledon, Andy Murray the gold medal. Would you consider this year’s US Open to be sort of a tiebreaker to the tournament of who has had the best year?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously it gives you a direction, yes. But you have the ATP World Tour Finals at the end of the year and there’s still a lot of tournaments to play for like Shanghai and Paris, so forth. It’s not just only I think the US Open, otherwise the winner wouldn’t play the remainder of the year. I think that’s not going to happen. It is interesting, obviously, that three different guys have won three different majors this year, plus Andy the gold. It definitely sets a great tone for the US Open, there’s no doubt about that.

Q. I’m wondering if you have had the time or taken the time to analyze what happened at the gold medal match. It was so lopsided, so out of the character, not what we’re used to seeing.
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly it took me five minutes to analyze really. I didn’t need to kind of sit down and go in a dark room and cry over it and kind of understand what happened. I think I understood rather quickly what happened. I thought Andy played a good match. The beginning of the match was very close. I had some chances there. Had some chances in the second set. I think I missed nine breakpoints, I didn’t make one. That obviously doesn’t work in a big match like this against a great player like Andy. Once he was in the lead, obviously he did really well to keep the lead. Yeah, I think that was it for me. Maybe I was emotionally drained a touch. Maybe I was a bit tired from the Del Potro match. I thought Andy did really well to put the pressure on me. It was out of character for me to lose nine games a row in the finals. That’s obviously something that can happen, but I guess I got myself to blame, and Andy’s great level of play. For me, I moved on really quickly. I was happy for him and disappointed for me. I was still very happy to get the silver and the medal for Switzerland.

Q. Could you look back to Wimbledon a little bit? Everybody always tries to retire players when they hit 30. It seems like the game is skewing a little older now.
ROGER FEDERER: I think you’re right. I mean, I think over 30 players in the main draw of the French Open. Seeing, for instance, how well Tommy Haas is playing, how many of my generation are still playing and playing well, it’s nice to see really. I remember when I was coming up on tour how many great rivalries we had in the younger generation. When I came up, we came up, basically there was still Agassi, Sampras, Moya, Henman, you name it, all the older guys that made the tour work. I think we had so many great young players coming up, it’s nice to see so many guys are playing well, holding on and winning titles really. I think it’s really good times in tennis. Like you say, you have the older generation, you have the generation of Rafa that’s extremely strong as well, and now the new generation is coming through as well with Bernard Tomic, Milos Raonic, David Goffin, Kei Nishikori, all those guys. It’s good times in tennis right now. But I do hope we get even some more better younger juniors coming through in the next couple years.

Q. With a longer-than-normal grass court season in 2012, such a short turnaround to prepare for New York, do you think it’s tougher to make the switch from grass courts to hard courts this season? What are the precautionary measures you might implement to ensure you can stay healthy now?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, there’s no doubt about it, this is not an ideal preparation. I mean, it’s amazing, for instance, what Novak was able to do. It’s not impossible, but it’s just very hard on the body and mind to travel halfway around the world, go on a different surface, win, then back it up week and week again. Obviously, the US Open is only coming up. That hasn’t even started yet. It’s been tough. In the past you would take maybe a few weeks off for a top player, then prepare for three brutal weeks on hard courts, then come over here wanting to fire out of all cylinders. This year it’s different. Obviously we stayed on grass. Now all I have is four days on hard courts before I play my first round here probably against a top 30 player or top 40 player. It makes it obviously very difficult and a big focus for me to get through my first-round match over here. Obviously physically I feel fine. The body did hurt maybe the first couple of days just because the movement is a bit different. But I think everybody has a bit of issues like that in the beginning. So it’s just important to be professional, sleep enough, eat healthy, do all your treatment the right way, all that stuff, so you will manage the next like over six months on hard courts now. That’s the most brutal surface out there. It’s a big stretch coming up for all of us really.

Q. You just said that physically you feel fine. How do you feel mentally and emotionally going into this year’s US Open as opposed to last year? Can you look back a little bit on last year’s Open.
ROGER FEDERER: I’m very excited, very happy. Back to world No. 1. I’ve had a magical summer for me. Really ever since the French Open, it’s been a good year all around anyways, but winning Wimbledon, getting back to world No. 1, there’s been so many things happening for me, it’s been a wonderful last few weeks. I feel like I’m feeling better than last year because I was a bit shaken up against the loss by Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, and even through Montréal, it was a tough situation. Cincy I didn’t play all that great, lost to Tomas Berdych. I came into the US Open not quite sure of how I was playing. I was actually playing really, really well. I had that brutal match with Novak, up two sets to love. I feel like this year mentally I’m more at peace. Then again, that doesn’t give you any – how do you say – idea yet of how you’re going to do at the US Open and Cincinnati. We all have to wait and see how that goes.

Q. You mentioned about reclaiming the world No. 1 spot in the ATP world rankings. You surpassed Pete Sampras’ record by doing that this summer. At your age, at this time in your career, how important is it to you to keep surpassing records like those of Pete’s?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know how important it really is for me. I just think it’s a motivation, a big one, for me to be able to have the opportunity to reach such great records, you know, equal, tie and break records like these. It obviously kind of gets you going. It motivates me to play against younger generations. It motivates me playing in front of full stadiums. All these things add to the great puzzle and life I’m living as a player. It makes easier, all the sacrifices, all the traveling, playing we do on a daily basis. But it’s not most important. But obviously it’s a nice thing to have and one I hope I will be very proud of once I retire.

Q. The US Open has record prize money again this year, $25.5 million. You’re somebody that travels all around the world. Can you tell us if you’ve seen how the economy has affected different places? I imagine pro tennis players are insulated because the tournaments take very good care of you as you travel. But can you talk about if you’ve seen any change in how places have been affected by the economy over the last few years.
ROGER FEDERER: By ‘places’ you mean tournaments, right?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: I think we’ve gone through the crisis – who knows, maybe there’s another crisis on the horizon here – actually pretty good, considering how bad the economy was from 2008 till now. We’re obviously trying to sign on some sponsors during that time for the tour because we lost Mercedes and others. I think we’ve actually gotten through this financial crisis, economic crisis, really well. I think also, obviously because it’s a one-week or two-week event, you have an entire year to look for ways trying to make your tournament sustainable. Obviously you hope that they had long-term contracts. Obviously some did get unlucky, that the contracts ran out right at the time that you didn’t want it to run out. Obviously then it was a dangerous and difficult situation really for those. They asked the ATP for relief, the council and board. That’s what we discussed and tried to make it a good decision for the tournament but also for the players, because you want to keep the jobs alive for all those players, that they can travel the world and still make money and have all those possibilities to play tournaments. Overall we’ve gotten through this pretty good. Yeah, we hope it’s a successful tour, and I feel it is.

Q. Could you address the fact that a couple weeks ago they announced that Wimbledon in 2015 will move into the summer an extra week, so there would be three weeks of grass court play prior to it.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it’s a great thing. I think it was very well-received from the players. From what I heard, everybody was in favor of it. Think back at how the tour used to be. We used to have three Grand Slams on grass, and now we only have one. We barely have one month of tennis on grass. Obviously it’s nice to keep that surface alive a bit more. It gives just a bit of a bigger rest between the French Open and Wimbledon, so that completely makes sense. Obviously, you have to understand every change brings problems from time to time. But I’m happy that Wimbledon and the US Open were able to sort out that kind of a situation because it wasn’t an easy one for the US Open, but a very good one for the players. I think Wimbledon is excited about it, too. I think it has many more upsides than downsides to it.

Q. For those of us who weren’t at Wimbledon for the Olympics, how different was it? Was there anything you missed that you would normally have at Wimbledon? Anything you liked about the Olympics?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, many things I missed from the Wimbledon tournament. I guess you also felt that it was just a completely different event. Those things we thought we were very nice, then other things we had to get used to. I think it was nice we had to adjust, that it was a completely different feel from Wimbledon to the Olympics. I think overall it was a well-run tournament. At times it almost felt like the site was too big for the Olympics. I can only speak from experience from Sydney, Athens and Beijing. They all created the stadiums for the Olympics. They were not as big, obviously, as Wimbledon. Hardly any is, except for the US Open. I thought it was great to have such a big site, but at times it was too spread out, I thought it was. Then again, it didn’t change the fact that we had great atmospheres in the stadiums, that it was a very unique place to play tennis at where there is so much history.

Q. When your girls were born, you spoke about wanting to be around the game long enough for them to be aware of who you were as a tennis player and what you had accomplished. What do you think their sense is now, because they are a little bit older, and what do you and Mirka tell them?
ROGER FEDERER: It was really Mirka’s wish more than mine. I’m just happy I’m still playing and things are still going so well for me, that I’m actually able to feed them almost on a daily basis. That’s what I was worried most with Mirka. Maybe with having twins, it was going to get extremely difficult to travel the world with them, see them enough, that it was not going to actually pull me away from the game. That was my biggest worry. It was really Mirka’s dream to have them still see me play from time to time. We’ve already had that now. So I don’t know exactly what they think of me. As their dad, they know I’m a tennis player, that I do play a lot of tennis, but I don’t think they understand that it’s actually a job. They don’t understand, I think, the difference between a match and practice. It doesn’t matter. They sit in stadiums. They’ve created obviously some of the most unique moments in my life, having seen them, you know, at let’s say trophy ceremony in Basel, trophy ceremony particularly at Wimbledon this year. Those are memories no one can ever take away from me and Mirka. That was a very intimate moment for me and Mirka even though it was in the eye of the storm with everybody watching. It was a great, great feeling for me. I hope they also look back and were happy we did those things. We really try to protect them as much as we can. Life on tour is good with them. I’m happy the way things are going.

Q. Do you want them to play the game?
ROGER FEDERER: Not necessarily, no. If they really, really want to, I’ll support them. If they don’t, I’m very happy they do something different, as well.

Q. There’s been a lot of talk over your records. There’s two that don’t get a lot of attention. You’ve never retired from a match once you started plus you’ve played every Grand Slam since 2000. What pride do you take from those?
ROGER FEDERER: I wonder how many close calls I’ve actually had to retire during a match. Maybe a handful where I was just thinking, man, I’m in too much pain, I maybe actually shouldn’t be playing. But I can just play, or I have so much pain, but I know I won’t injure myself more. It was more kind of like some of those moments. Obviously playing the consecutive Grand Slams, you don’t really think about it. I’ve never actually entered a Grand Slam just to enter to keep that streak going. I guess I was always lucky enough and prepared enough to feel like I could do something and play well or even at times obviously win very often at Grand Slams. So that’s not one thing I thought about. But every match I play, not retiring after a match for me, that’s something that’s almost normal. If you do enter, you’re supposed to be playing. I’m happy also I’ve played schedules from always January till November basically. I’ve never taken a full season off after the Open. I’ve never taken more than, what, eight weeks off from the tour. I’m obviously proud of this. Then again, it doesn’t mean that much. I know other players have many more problems trying to do that all the time and some just can’t because it’s not possible with their body or they’ve gotten unlucky much more than I have over the years. I think I’ve taken great care of myself and mentally I’m very strong to be able to handle all of that, I do believe.

Federer also held a press conference on site. Here’s some video:

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42 Comments for Roger Federer: I’m Feeling Better Than Last Year At This Time And Mentally I’m More At Peace

Brando Says:

Very nice article regarding fed’s concern about rafa:

‘I was going to write him and check on him because I can’t believe he’s been out that long,’

It’s nice to see that these 2 get on well and care about the other- in this instance fed’s concern about rafa’s absence from the tour.

Like fed, i do hope rafa turns up at the USO!

conty Says:

rumor has it that they (fedal) are still ‘going steady’ in the bromance dept. again. they made-up after some troubles.

no, seriously, expecting rafa nadal to come out completely revived and rested, complete with rocket serve (live left arm), for US Open; clay season apparently took it’s toll on him.

if he still comes out even somewhat injured by the US Open, then i’ll start to really worry, Brando. he’s only 26. there are more years of tennis in his body, imo, and though i’m not a big fan of his tennis, i miss him when he’s not in the draw fighting.

Brando Says:


Hope that your’e right conty.

As a fan i miss him naturally, but i must say that whenever he or any other member of the top 4 is absent from an event then it loses a bit of sparkle IMHO.

With rafa, whether one is a fan of his or not, his competitive spirit is a force to be reckoned with- and when he’s missing, i think most fans also miss the fight that he brings to the game.

Hope he is fully fit by USO!

WHY Says:

Can someone please explain why the Funk/Trunk does not have Murray winning Olympic gold? I’m not even a fan of the guy but cmon!! Putting Djokovic there just because he won a tourney without any decent competition! Horrible website management.

jane Says:

It does seem strange with Rafa gone so long. That Rosol match seems like eons ago. I think he’ll be back at the USO but I read somewhere, maybe here (?), that he might play Washington as a USO warm up?? Is that true?

Lisa Says:

My predictions;

1)Federer to reach Cincinnati final

2)Djokovic/Murray to win Cincinati

3) Federer to win US Open….

Roger de Vries Says:

Can I just change the subject for a second and ask why for fecks sake does the ATP still hold a Master Series in Cincinnati?

Surely tennis can find a better location leading up to the USO, especially in the era that men’s tennis is in now?

The Cincinnati crowd is awful, I will not say more or things will lead to American politics and religion;)

But maybe Tennis-X can do an interesting article on what makes Cincinnati have this lead-up tournament, and why it is not a disgrace?

Gaga Says:

I have my doubts that Nadal will play the US Open. But he really should not come back until he is fit and ready. This is not the best part of the season for him usually. He did win the USO in 2010 but he was carrying immense momentum from winning Wimbledon that he does not have this year. Playing while still not fully healed his injury would be a huge mistake. He has played many times while injured and has played the price for that before. Should learn from that by now.

Kimmi Says:

congratulation to petra. PODJ!! (sp). first title this year.

So happy for her. hope she wins the big one soon.

Dan Martin Says:

By the way, I think Roger is always more mentally relaxed once he wins a major in a calendar year. He followed up Aussie Open wins with the Wimbledon-USO double 3 out of 4 times he won down under. This is probably true of any player that has proven he can and should be winning slams as Agassi always said, “I’ll take one slam per year.” and Sampras said of his 96 US Open title that it would have been “a professional disappointment” had he not taken at least 1 slam in 1996.

dMb Says:

Obviously, some editing would obviously be nice….Besides the fact that Roger speaks nearly fluent English and the transcriber seems to have more problems with the accent than that Roger actually speaks like that, i think.

metan Says:

I feel so shame after reading the link brando post, fight with other fans like a cat and dog, actually in real those player have a respect and care for each other. The sin I have for idolize rafa.

Thank you for posting brando,

metan Says:

Sorry, actually in real life.

metan Says:

@ Dan Martin,

I can’t read the link you post, need to register. Other way?

RZ Says:

WHY – I totally agree. If Serena can get the nod for her Olympic medals in the Funk, surely there was room for Andy too, especially as his win was HUGE in front of a home crowd over Fed. He might have pulled out of the Roger’s Cup but at least he showed up and gave it a try.

Dan Martin Says:

Metan, you should not need to register. I am not sure why it would say that. Let me check into it. Dan

Dan Martin Says: Sorry I put up a link to my editing of the column instead of just the link – the link in this post should work Metan and others – sorry about that

madmax Says:

I sincerely hope that rafa plays at USOpen. I fully believe he will be there too. I like Feds open honesty and his incredible records, but I too, like conty, miss seeing rafa on the tour. I know he will get better. He will manage his problem as he has done over the years.

“There’s been a lot of talk over your records. There’s two that don’t get a lot of attention. You’ve never retired from a match once you started plus you’ve played every Grand Slam since 2000. What pride do you take from those?”

Roger is truly amazing in this department.

Margot Says:

Why @ 8.02pm 13/08/2012. The reason Andy didn’t get into the “Funk” must be the same reason that his Gold medal match did not get a write up.
This is a Fed-Fan site after all, didn’t ya know?
Lordy, Andy’s been in the “Trunk” so often, I sometimes thought he’d been bought a season ticket.

the mind reels Says:

Roger de Vries Says:

“Can I just change the subject for a second and ask why for fecks sake does the ATP still hold a Master Series in Cincinnati?

Surely tennis can find a better location leading up to the USO, especially in the era that men’s tennis is in now?”

Roger, what’s with your grudge against the Cincy tournament? Seems to stem from your disliking of Cincinnati as a city and/or the people of Cincinnati. Are you from the United States?

The tournament in Cincy has been around for 100+ years (it’s actually the longest-running American tournament held in its original city), and it’s one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the country after the US Open. Aside from the tournament’s obvious prominence in our sport, Cincinnati is a rather historic city by American standards (to say nothing of its general importance as a business center and Ohio’s place in politics).

There are certainly other tournaments with fans that commentators here would call rude, awful, terrible, etc.

“But maybe Tennis-X can do an interesting article on what makes Cincinnati have this lead-up tournament, and why it is not a disgrace?”

This statement doesn’t even make sense. The tournament already *isn’t* a disgrace.

jane Says:

Mainly true, Margot, though there are a few interlopers. ;). He did deserve both a write up and a spot at the peak of the Funk section – his gold medal achievement was stellar, not only because he beat to of the top four guys back-to-back, but he beat Fed handily after losing the Wimbledon final so he bounced back from that tremendously well, showing change from previous tough losses. Looking forward to seeing how he does at Cincy too. Drag he and Nole are on the same side again.

jane Says:

two not to… doh.

Brando Says:


‘Lordy, Andy’s been in the “Trunk” so often, I sometimes thought he’d been bought a season ticket.’

ROFL- funny comment, but the amount of time i see andy’s name in the trunk- it could be true!

RZ Says:

Margot, I wouldn’t call this site a Fed-Fan site. Fed seems to end in the Trunk more often than he ends up in the Funk.

skeezer Says:

^ Actually I like the Funk / Trunk stuff. Controversial, funny, stupid, wacky, right, wrong, its all fun. It causes reaction, they get hits. They like it.
Sometimes me thinks some think take it too serious, its not the ATP ranking system ( by a long shot…hehe )
But I would keep posting your comments about the fairness of Funk / Trunk. I am sure the staff reads some of our comments ;)



“Lordy, Andy’s been in the “Trunk” so often, I sometimes thought he’d been bought a season ticket.”

Lol, that demanded a re post!

Dan Martin Says:

Roger de Vires – As someone living in the Greater Cincinnati area I think that Cincy is not the biggest city in the country it is a large metro area with several other decent sized metro areas near it (Louisville 1 million people is 90 min away by car, Lexington and Dayton are both several hundred thousand and 1 hour away by car, Indianapolis is not far away and nor is Columbus, OH) Throw in years of great support and years of having the tour slot along with corporate sponsorship (Western & Southern’s HQ is in Cincy) mean that it keeps its slot.

Margot Says:

Many thanx jane for that :) also Brando and Skeeze..;)
RZ you’re obviously not reading what I’m reading…

Sienna Says:

Wow I am amazed by the contrast Fedal are portraying.

Fed is like a hungry wolf, full of life, lust and passion for tennis as upposed to Rafa who looks wairy, scared and insecure.
The Rafateam is only protecting hte brand of Rafa at this point of the year. Knowing that he will surely lose against the Rosol’s in the world would damage his career big time.

From an atletes point of view his status will dwindle down so fast. Players feel (even Rosol) when They can beat Rafa.

But marketing wise he will be around for a longer period even more if they can portray it like he is injured.
In the shortterm that will only benefit his marketvalue and his acceptance for new brands. He is still doing comercial activities. So 1 further proof of no injury because who would want to do commercial activity when your livelyhood is on the line?
It just doesnt compute with the evidence that is all around us.

steve-o Says:

Glad to see Federer so happy and cheerful and relaxed and full of good spirits and love of the sport.

Hope he’s had a chance to recover from that marathon with Del Potro. He’s done very well at Cincinnati over the years, and if he can make it past the early rounds he has a great chance at winning.

Here’s to some great tennis in Cincinnati; all the top players (save Nadal) are participating. And then on to New York!

Ray Says:

this site is a fed-fan site? that is why we have morons like mem and mark and brando bashing fed all the time? i would like to see what a non-fed-fan site looks like. it must be filled with psychos and MFs!

margot, please stop sounding like nicolas massu’s fan! have confidence in murray that he will win more big and more meaningful titles! tennis doesn’t deserve to be in the olympics. those poor athletes in swimming/track and field and other sports get their 5 minutes of limelight and greedy attention seekers like massu/kafelnikov or marc rosset fans want to steal even that.

there are atleast 5 bigger titles in tennis than olympics. maybe even more. so please wait for andy to win one of those and he will get his due. you dont want andy to end up as massu/ marc rosset, i am thinking!

Ray Says:

federer is 7 weeks short of completing 500 consecutive weeks @ top5. as is the case in these longevity records, only lendl and connors ahead of fed in this stat.

next week, fed will complete 600 weeks consecutive in top 25 :)

harry Says:


“Lordy, Andy’s been in the “Trunk” so often, I sometimes thought he’d been bought a season ticket.”

It’s been said a few times, but this really is funny :)

Alok Says:

Ray Says:
this site is a fed-fan site? that is why we have morons like mem and mark and brando bashing fed all the time? i would like to see what a non-fed-fan site looks like. it must be filled with psychos and MFs!

Well said. Don’t forget those who bash Fed more subtly, on his draws with the silly comparisons of his opponents ranking and the other top 4 players’ opponents former ranking to make their draws look tougher than Fed’s draws. There’s a lot more underhanded stuff going on, but it looks as though some Fed fans don’t see the digs, or don’t want to rock the boat coz of the friendship.

Alok Says:

@Ray: “tennis doesn’t deserve to be in the olympics. those poor athletes in swimming/track and field and other sports get their 5 minutes of limelight and greedy attention seekers…”

Tennis players, basketball and other professional sports players shouldn’t be allowed in the Olympics becoz the players earn buckets of dough. The amateurs struggle to make a living, and their limelight is stolen from them by the professionals. Murray’s not the only athlete in GB who’s won a gold medal, but he’s the one who’s getting all the attention, plus the 750 ranking points.

Margot Says:

@Ray, and I thought this was a tennis site…why silly old me.
If the Olympics counts for so little, why did TMF bother to play?

Mark Says:

@ Margot. “tennis doesn’t deserve to be in the Olympics”. That line by Ray smacks of sour grapes. TMF DID NOT win the Gold and therefore will never complete the Career Golden Slam!

Michael Says:

I think Roger is completely at peace. He has achieved everything in Tennis and there are just very few achievements that elude him. He is still the No.1 in Tennis and that should be demotivating for the young guns. That a 31 year old can dominate in what is probably the toughest era Tennis has seen is something extraordinary. He is a five century once player and we may not see the like of him for quite a long time. His records in Tennis will stand the test of time and I think from hereon he will play with very less pressure. I think he has very good chances at Cincinnati which is his favourite tournament.

Thomas Says:

I agree with ray. To be blunt, the olympics mean complete jacks*it in tennis compared to the slams. Personally, I don’t think tennis even belongs in the olympics.

I agree with your points. The subtle digs that people take at federer’s draws are downright hilarious.

RZ Says:

Mark, there’s always Rio in 2016! LOL.

Alok Says:

@Thomas, reading some of the subtle digs makes me laugh and shake my head at the transparency, but then I wonder if I’m the only one who is seeing it, except for Ray and now you, but what about the other Fed fans? It’s like some people are allowed to say whatever they want without being questioned, and then others are taken to the woodshed for saying practically the same stuff.

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