Roger Federer: “There Is No Doubt About It Beating Novak In A Final Makes It Extra Special”
by Tom Gainey | August 20th, 2012, 4:20 pm

It was another glorious Sunday afternoon for Roger Federer and his fans. The Swiss played some of his best tennis of the season in a 60, 76 win over rival Novak Djokovic to win the Cincinnati Masters 1000 title.

Federer finished the tournament without losing serve once, holding all 47 service games in his first hardcourt event since Miami.

The win was also his 6th of 2012, 9th since turning 30 and 76th of his career. And it was also his 21st Masters title tying him with Rafael Nadal for the all-time lead.

Federer will rest up for the US Open where he’ll again be the top seed. Roger, though, hasn’t won in Flushing Meadow since 2008.

Here’s Roger’s presser, video interview and highlights from his big win Sunday:

Q. Your fifth title in Cincinnati and your first as a 31 year old. How do you feel?
ROGER FEDERER: Feels great. I’m obviously very happy. If I remember correctly, this was the first win here I had also after I had twins, right?
So it’s great coming back here. I’ve been able to win five. It’s obviously incredible because I remember the first few here I struggled. Now looking back it’s just unbelievable. Plus this was probably the best week ever here in Cincinnati for me never dropping my serve and all that stuff and beating Novak in the final.
This was very sweet. No doubt about it.

Q. How good was the first set? You have a plane to catch or something?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know, look, I was hoping for a good start, but not like that. I’ll take it. I tried to stretch the lead. Obviously Novak had a hard time finding his range on the serve from the baseline.
But the combination just made it all work out for me today in that first set. It was a tough first set for him. Then the second set I obviously always knew it was going to be a difficult one.
I started forgetting that I had never dropped my serve for the entire tournament. I was just focusing point for point mentally. I think that got me through at the end.

Q. You said before the final that winning would be quote/unquote helpful for New York. Winning a dominant first set like that and eking out a tight second, was that an especially helpful win for you?
ROGER FEDERER: What I like about the win, I mean, there is no doubt about it beating Novak in a final makes it extra special. But also just in Cincinnati, I like to play here. But then also the reaction after losing in the Wimbledon final for me to come here somewhat rested, to be honest, and then to play a great finals after playing a very not good one at the Olympics where I went ton lose, what, nine games in a row?
But I came here and never dropped my serve. That’s the kind of reaction I want to see from myself. I didn’t have a letdown.
Even though I reached almost all goals already this year by securing a medal, winning Wimbledon, and getting back it world No. 1, it’s important for me to push forward and give myself the best possible preparation for New York.
Then if I can win tournaments, that’s even better. I really didn’t expect it. Same for Novak, I don’t think. We both didn’t expect to play so well right after the Olympics, even though we are world No. 1 and 2.
I thought it was great effort by him and also for me. Obviously this is a fantastic week.

Q. Do you feel pretty much going into the US Open that physically and in terms of the way you’re playing that everything is in place now? Nothing to focus on?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, I rarely do crazy things before slams anyway. I feel like the work is done before so there are ways of‑ how shall I say‑ preparing maybe more physically and mentally New York or the slams. And there are others where you can do it more by playing matches and a lot of practice.
I guess I did the matches route because it was the only one this year. I’ve done that one many times, when you do play well, you have enough matches. When you don’t win so much, you have more time on the practice.
So it’s going to work out either way, I think. Just have to be confident that whatever happens on the match courts you’re not going to be too affected. If you lose, you just take the confidence with you and you just then manage your schedule for me now next week before the Open.

Q. You didn’t face a break point throughout the match, but you did find yourself one point away from going to a third set. Is that an unusual’ thing? Does that occur to you? Are you aware of that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I wasn’t sure if I had to face break point. Now that you say it, I look back and I don’t remember facing break point, that’s true.
Novak did a good job staying with it, starting to raise his game even though things weren’t going well for him. He also had a couple tough situations to come through, which he did well.
I thought as the match went on it was going to get more difficult. It was important for me to get out of that second set, even though I wouldn’t have been worried about the third set. Anything could have happened there anyway, but it would have given Novak that much more time to get into the match and maybe try out a few more things and get comfortable.
He did a good job to come back in the breaker, and he did definitely start to play some of those amazing shots we know he can do towards the end of the second set.
I don’t want to say that got me worried, but I could see he was finding his range and making it super athletic the way he likes it.
It was a special breaker, and like you said, one moment I think I got it; then he thinks he has it. At the end I just snatched it.
Yeah, it was nail‑biting is at the end.

Q. Do you think that he was mentally fatigued in the first set, and have you ever experienced that kind of letdown in a championship match?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know what he said, if he’s been to press or not. I don’t know how he felt.

Q. He said he might have been.
ROGER FEDERER: Might have been. Exactly. Like me at the Olympic final. I might have been. I don’t know what I was. Just maybe not so sharp.
Then when things go bad for you they go worse. That’s the problem. On top of that, when you play another fellow top 4 guy who likes to be in the lead, like myself, Murray, Rafa, Djokovic, becomes that much harder.
Then it’s not so much’ how you play, all of a sudden it’s double effect how your opponent’s playing, too. It was a tough first set for him but he was able to pick it up, so maybe he’s not that disappointed. I don’t know how he feels.

Q. How much do you notice the body language of your opponent? Novak is demonstrative. He does facial expressions; he’ll fist pump. Do you notice when he’s not making intense faces and things like that and making noise?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, I’m aware little bit of what’s going on. Today I think I was playing very much within myself and trying to focus. Then it’s hard to fist pump if you make a great shot at 5‑Love against you.
Same problem for me at the Olympics final. I wasn’t going to go crazy when I finally, on my own serve, make a great shot to go 30‑15. That’s a waste of emotion almost there.
You have to find a way to get yourself back into the match. This is where players sometimes are criticized for not trying hard enough. It’s silly to act like you’re fighting like crazy if the score is so against you. Usually you do get pumped up when you’re hitting good shots on your opponent’s serve or when it’s very important.
Because he never broke, he never really got a break point so he never really got that opportunity to really go crazy. That’s in my credit, I think. But at the same time, today just worked out for me and not him.

Q. The Slovak and Czech language are the only languages in the world which have a special language in tennis language when you beat somebody 6‑0. Do you know this expression?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know it.

Q. You’re married to a Slovak lady.
ROGER FEDERER: We don’t talk about 6‑Loves in our relationship. Maybe it’s going to start now.

Q. They call it to give somebody a beautiful bird, a canary.
ROGER FEDERER: Okay. I’ll ask her if she knows it.

Q. Do you remember how many times you give somebody canary in a tournament like this?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. Do you?

Q. No. That was the loudest crowd I heard this week. You probably hear some loud crowds. Do you ever get goosebumps in the middle of that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I definitely do. I don’t remember when exactly they happened. I got extremely excited last year I remember when I finally had match points against Novak at 40‑15 in the last set. It was 5‑4 or something. I don’t know what the score was anymore.
There I remember the crowd, there was a massive roar. I thought, Man, I just got to the finish line, and then bang, bang, bang, everything changed.
So I think I kind of wait with my emotions to go crazy. That definitely happens from time to time. Here in Cincinnati fans are great. They enjoy their tennis and they know where they’re coming to watch it. They feel all very I think fortunate he they the ticket and they can come see us play.
You do feel that as a player as well and you appreciate that, so it’s been a great from that standpoint. Record crowd is something you want happening every single week, but it doesn’t. Honestly, crowd attendance has definitely gone up since I came on tour.
Obviously there has been a lot expansions, and here you’ve had a great way sa well of improvements over the last years now. We appreciate that. Obviously looking forward to coming back next year again.

Q. You had some amazing half‑volleys. Do you practice that shot?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t, but it’s one of my good shots in my repertoire. I don’t know where that comes from. I really don’t. Maybe hard courts at a tiny bit easier because there are no bad bounces‑ or there shouldn’t be‑ so it’s easier to hug the baseline and play half‑volleys either backhand or forehand. It is something that always came very natural to me.
I think that’s very often also the big difference between the top 4 and the rest. I think all the four absorb pace really well and redirect it and don’t get beat with pace that easily deep down the middle. That’s what we do a tiny bit better than other players on the tour right now.

Q. As far as keeping a level of play going into the Open, is it a matter that you’ve got to keep this level, or will you relax a bit and build up again?
ROGER FEDERER: I’ll take anything, as long as I’m getting through my early rounds. It’s is completely different atmosphere in New York. The pressure is going to be different. There will be a lot talk from here until the first ball is struck over there.
I hope that physically everything is going to be fine, no injuries coming along in the next days and all that stuff. Then the night session over there, maybe it’s a day session, extremely windy or humid. It can you very hot.
Then the draw. I mean, I know I have a great record against guys outside of top 30. I would think that’s who I’ll face in the first round. But it nevertheless could be a tough matchup. I have to look at that match and really not a whole lot further.
You do look at the whole draw and good draws from the first rounds on, but I’m not going there just to win the first round. I’m going there to do very well and go very deep into the tournament. The focus needs to be on the first round and not beyond that in the beginning.

Q. Outside of the top 3 guys, is there anyone who you’ve seen over the last couple months of form who will be a surprise challenger or a dark horse at the US Open? Anyone particularly caught your eye in terms of their form?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I definitely think Ferrer deserves a lot of credit because he’s always there and he hangs around and goes deep now on all surfaces. He’s become extremely good other hard courts.
This was obviously a tough one after being on grass for so long and coming here on the’ quick hard court and playing Stan. It was always going to be a tough first‑round match for him.
I think him, Tsonga as well. I thought he played great at Wimbledon. Maybe lost at the Olympics because of that incredible match he had with Raonic. He played really great against me in Montréal last year and won the tournament in Doha at the beginning of the year. He’s got it on hardcourts, and I played him in the quarters in the US Open last year. He knows how to go deep in that tournament.
Then there is obviously all the other guys ranked within 5 and 10. Del Potro, Berdych. Those guys will have the best chance to go deep.
Then maybe some of the younger guys, I hope they can make the a move as well.

Q. With what happened with Nadal against Rosol, do you think the top guys are going to go into the first week with a heightened awareness?
ROGER FEDERER: I think normal. I mean, I can only speak for myself, but I have big respect for the guys ranked whatever they are ranked. Doesn’t matter. I know the margins are small. Guys come and watch a tennis match and they say, Oh, this was not so easy and it was two and three. I’m like, I know. That’s how every match is being played.
A few shots here or there and five centimeters in or out can make a huge swing, and lucky or unlucky can make a match extremely difficult.
I think particularly at Wimbledon, I think we all felt threatened right after Nadal lost just because it was incredible how well Rosol played and how much he believed in it.
I do hope this more guys ranked where Rosol is or even better ranked, they do believe more in beating the top guys on the big stage. It’s been happening not very often. It was just refreshing to see that it was possible for a guy like Rosol to come through.

Q. At age three, do your daughters already realize you as a champion, or when do think they’ll understand that?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe next year. I don’t know. Right now they know I’m a tennis player, or they know I play a lot of tennis. That’s about it. Can’t tell the difference between matches and practice, I don’t think, yet. But I think they’re getting there. We’ll see how it goes.

Roger’s On-Court Interview:

Extended Highlights:

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46 Comments for Roger Federer: “There Is No Doubt About It Beating Novak In A Final Makes It Extra Special”

Humble Roger Says:

congrats Roger.

fake time-out. bump to player. ego tw-year-ranking. looks down on Sampras era. etc.

arrogant gamesmanship Nadal never win Cincinnati Masters 1000 title.

Since this MS is fast.

Fot Says:

What? Humble Roger? Your post makes no sense.

Darren Lockyer(Greatest Sports Icon Ever) Says:

If Federer reaches the US Open final….

My money says he will win…

Humble Rafa Says:

I have stay away from the euphoria. It’s getting to me, seriously!

No one appreciate how much I have accomplished at such a young age. They want to admire old people.

DC Says:

@Humble Rafa Says:
I have stay away from the euphoria. It’s getting to me, seriously!

No one appreciate how much I have accomplished at such a young age. They want to admire old people.
its not about age. They are admiring champions

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger seems to be so relaxed and peace with himself. It’s such a unique position to be as a champion. I’m not sure if there was ever a champion who had this privilege of Roger. It’s not like he is an underdog and winning. He is still a serious title contender and yet he is handling the pressure so well.

I really like the way he hugged Murray in the finals of Wimby and he asked fans to applaud Novak in the cincy trophy ceremony. He almost feels like he is a big brother to these rivals. No animosity or anger towards his rivals.

It’s a great example he is setting for the next generation to follow.

skeezer Says:

^ yes, absoutey, and notice no bumping during changovers! He is da man. Interview as usual all class. Juniors take note.

Michael Says:

Definitely a big morale boosting win for Roger going into the US Open and beating Novak. He is one of the favourites.

Michael Says:

What should be more encouraging for Roger with US Open approaching is his net game. I have never seen Roger so impressive at the net than he is now. This should definitely work in his favour at the US Open because it is a game rarely played today.

dari Says:

aww, nice mention of the good parts of getting older on the tour! guy has been around and not just hanging around, being the best for a long time. don’t let up now, fed


dari Says:

so, with rafa out of the draw, it’s not gonna be about whether fed gets him or not, it will be about who fed faces in the semi, and if he will be first or second on the OOP and thus tired or not!

so you kinda hope that fed does not get murray 1) because he would be the tougher opponent 2) so that he doesn’t have to play the later match and tire out the old bones!

Sienna Says:

People people let there be No misunderstanding.

Roger Federer is a Wolf and he is very hungry for more. You guys make it like he is a saint. But make no mistake about his intentions on court. Win, win, win. That is his deal and his goal.

He doesnot care if he is called arrogant or whatever. Everything he does is put there to minimise the risk of losing.
Of course he wants nothing more then being friendly and so on with his rivals but in the end there can be only one. And he intends to be that one.

That is why he is not only a great tennisplayer but the ultimate winning machine. He loves to win loves to compete. But he hates to loose.

Nadal, Djokovic, Federer are relentless on court. But only Federer can make everything he does about winning.

Even his family life has been adapted to this 1 goal, 1 need and 1 hunger.
His wife being a former tennispro knows this and she is a driving force off that machinery.

Let there be no understanding that he wants it all. When tennis is concerned he will take no prisoners and he will not be a pleasant person. I respect that so much.
He might be a nice eloquent young men and he does lots of good for the world. And he cares about tennis.

But lets face it he is a monster, a hungry Wolf who stops for no man. and sacrifices so much. mayebe everything to get his goals.

Wog boy Says:


Question one:

Is Federer already in the semis?
I probably slept through first week and half of USO 2012 :)

Question two:

How many times Andy beat Roger in GS matches?

bstevens Says:

No one is bigger than the sport but I have to say that the day that Federer retires I will follow tennis a little less intently. The guy is a pleasure to watch on the tennis court. To me, his career was complete when he won the French in 2009 and every success since then has just been gravy. I think that Federer fans should be thankful that Roger has never had any serious injuries and that his body and motivation remain in top form.

alison Says:

bstevens yes indeed Roger will leave a big hole when he retires no doubt,but like you say no player is bigger than the sport,we will probably never see the likes of again,but life and tennis will carry on regardless.

Reyals Says:

Darren Lockyer(Greatest Sports Icon Ever) Says:
If Federer reaches the US Open final….

My money says he will win…


I concur.

bstevens Says:


I agree that tennis will go on without him. I also think that we are in a “golden generation” where we have the top 4 players who are so different in play style and mannerisms that they can attract different types of fans. As excited as I am for the US Open, I still feel a hole exists because Nadal will not be playing.

It is also difficult to see who among the new generation will take up the mantle after the current top guys. Raonic looks promising, Tomic seems pretty raw, Dimitrov has yet to make his breakthrough, etc. So I think we should just take a step back and appreciate the top players that we have today.

The Great Davy Says:

The Next era of the tennis: The Davy Era. Where Your Great Davy dominates the into the 2018 season with wins over tops players such as Zopp, Rufin and Donald Young.

Everyone else hasbeen kidnapped by Boris so I can finlandly win grand slam!

Huh Says:


completly agree with bstevens that Nadal not being there in the USO definitely lessens the excitement and curiousity a significant lot. at least i won’t be as much on the edge of my seat as I remain generally during fed rafa duels, anywhere and anytime!!! so may be thats some sort of consolation for rafa’s absence, right? coz there’s gonna b less pressur on my heart as there will be no fed rafa match there. Otherwise, one needs to only be a fed fan to feel the anxiety and curiousity that fed vs nadal brings on, it’s matchless!


dari Says:

Wog Boy, you should know that I deleted the part of the sentence that said “if he should get to the semis”, seriously!

But I just had to place him there in semis to have any point to mentioning it

That being said, I really could go and not comment on the draw at all, the players have no say in it and there is no way to change it, you’ll have to win 7 matches no mater how the draw looks. This is more my line of thought these days, especially with Rog getting old and watched him work his way yhrough difficult draws and botch it with the “easy ones”
At any rate, what would we write about without the typical “the draw, the draw! ” moments the week before a slam :)
Andy will beat Rog in slam at some point, we will see if this time!

El Flaco Says:

Normally, the semifinal schedule in Cincy is a noon and 7pm start My guess is that Roger requested that the 2nd semi be moved up to the early afternoon.

RZ Says:

I think Dari is right that where Murray ends up in the draw will be what most people are looking at. Even though Murray hasn’t beaten Fed in a GS (don’t think he’s beaten Nole at a slam either), he beat them both at the Olympics, which is the next best thing. It’ll be interesting to see Murray’s form and level of motivation at the U.S. Open, which he’s said is his favorite tournament.

RZ Says:

It’ll also be interesting to see where Tsonga ends up, as he can give both Fed and Djokovic trouble. Same with DelPo.

andrea Says:

bstevens – i agree with you. was thinking who was going to step up from the current crop of players and be the next top tier. history tells us that there tends to be dominant men players in every era. can’t wrap my head around the suspects out there right now. no one stepped up yet.

DC Says:

i remember Noles mom had made a comment after Nole won the 2008 AO “The king is dead..long live the king” indicating Fed’s departure and Noles arrival.

Almost 5 years down the lane,how wrong she was.

dari Says:

Bottom line- whoever is in the draw- BRING IT FED

skeezer Says:

USO is on. Pre qualie rds are being televised by CBS. They know how big this tourney is! Shaamoon!

El Mago Says:

Wasnt murray supposed to have a tough draw in olympics with djokovic in semis and federer had an easy draw with delpotro.

yet, it was novak who rolled like a golden retriever puppy for murray, while delpotro killed federer’s gold medal chances!

at wimbledon nadal had the easy draw with murray in his half. poor guy was not even in the semis to make use of his LUCKY draw.

if you guys did not sleep at school when your teacher was teaching you math in highschool, you would not be making such stupid comments about the draw.

David Says:


I’d agree that there’s no young guy who will come close to Fed or even Sampras, but I think Raonic has what it takes to be a lower tier all-time great. I see him as an improved version of Roddick. Plus he has the great fortune of not being in Fed’s generation, so right there that should lift him from 1 Slam to 5 Slams.

Reyals Says:


The king is alive and kicking all these years after. Djokovic’s mom was dead wrong.

Wog boy Says:


Sorry, but I can comment only on what I see in your post and I saw that you placed Roger in SF even before he played players like Delpo, Tsonga, Raonic (depend on drow) who are in my opinion more danger to Roger than Murray, two of them took him out in GS. Yuo know I like Andy but it is what it is.
Even Roger himself said ” I’ll take him on any day in a five-setters .
I know I will be asked to prvoe he said that so just google article:

Daily Record
by David McCarthy 26 Jan 2009

“I can beat Andy Murray over five sets anytime, says Roger Federer”

Anyway nice to talk to you, running late for work, see you in NY:)

Daniel Says:

Wog Boy, I remember this as well. He said after AO 2010 again if I am not mistaken. He was more simple, kind of, I’ll take him on a Grand Slam any day. But it was a response and he smile right after.

Wog boy Says:


I am always more cautios when it comes to people who smiles at me than the other ones who tell me to F… OF, at least I know what they really think about me:) and I will rather have a drink with second ones and have them with me in dangerous situations to cover my back than the ones that smiles to me.

He is master on the court and off the court, no doubt about that.

Wog boy Says:

Should say “OFF” not “OF” I am sure you knew what I meant.

Sienna Says:

I think Roger can certainly tell you to shut up! Or use a n even stronger phrase.
Are you implying he doesnt speak his mind ?

Do you tell everyone to f o when you have a different opinion ?
Wow nice going guys , maybe you should ligthen up a little .

Chris Ford Says:

Fans shouldn’t just assume Roger will be in the Semis barring a “huge upset” in the QFs.
It shouldn’t be taken for granted. Roger has had great skill and not a small amount of luck in keeping those insane QF, and the long Semi run stopped by Soderling eventually going – but one day he will face a Falla again and come out on the wrong side in early rounds.

I hope it doesn’t happen for many years, but one day that QF streak ends.

The Crafty Rascal Says:

Novak is my favorite so fun to watch.

Just in time for the US Open, check out my hand made real tennis ball cufflinks

jane Says:

I wonder if Fed would still say that about Murray after the Olympics gold medal match.

Tennis Fan Says:

Roger would never say such a thing. I have discovered that not everything written on the internet is 100% accurate. Shocking isn’t it.

skeezer Says:


The funniest thing and irony of that quote is( if it is a true quote from the Maestro ):

The entire 17 times they have played each other they haven’t played ONE 5 setter……..yet.

Wog boy Says:

Why wouldn’t be true, just because doesn’t fit with image of St Roger. I don’t know if Roger is Catholic or Lutheran but if he is Catholic one he is gone I am sure his fans will ask Pope to canonize him, if he is Lutheran, tough luck, they stop canonizing long time ago.
This was published in the biggest Scotish newpaper, never denied, you really think they would print something risking to be sued by somebody who can by all Scotish newspapers together plus few English:)

El Mago Says:

novak’s mom is just a foul-mouthed b!tch! i wonder what she has to say about the king being dead. i hope novak kicks her out of his box.

Tennis Coach Says:

Novak mom is right, the king is barely alive!

Tennis Coach Says:

and beating Roger in US open final will be extra special for Novak!

skeezer Says:

Wog boy,

For me I only said that( “if it is a true quote from the Maestro” )cause I was too lazy too verify it to back u up(sorry).

That wasn’t the issue if he said it or not to me, it was they have never played a 5 setter, so the quote has yet to be judged. If he can back it up, so be it.

Irregardless, we all can go back through the years with Rafa, Fed, and Novak and find some “juicy” quotes, no?

Wog boy Says:


We certanly can, they are all only humans:)

It wasn’t much about you, you said “if” so you left room for both ways:)

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