Roger Federer: You Guys Debate The Draw, I Play In It!
by Tom Gainey | January 12th, 2014, 8:18 am
  • 27 Comments

Ahead of the start of his 2014 Grand Slam campaign, Roger Federer met the press at the Australian Open over the weekend.

Federer, who lost in the final to Lleyton Hewitt on the faster courts of Brisbane last week, remains upbeat and guarded on the slower courts in Melbourne.

The 32-year-old who won the tournament four times will be joined by new coach Stefan Edberg in the first round on Tuesday afternoon against James Duckworth. The Swiss is an a very tough quarter that includes two former finalists Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray.

Here’s his full presser:

Q. Do you rate this year the best condition you’ve been in for a couple years coming into the Open physically?
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm. I don’t know. I don’t know. I can’t recall all the years prior. I remember playing well here last year. Had a couple of tougher ones where I was sort of sick slightly before the Australian Open. But this time around I haven’t been sick or anything for some time. My back’s been in good shape since Hamburg pretty much. No, you know, setbacks.

So, yeah, I mean, I feel good. My confidence is there. I’m happy I played Brisbane, so I know where my game’s at. I’ve practiced. Now I’m just managing my energy and my practice sessions, getting used to the conditions here. Yeah, can’t wait for the tournament to start now.

Q. What do you know about your first round opponent, James Duckworth?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, my coach went to see the Nieminen match against Duckworth in Brisbane because I was playing the winner after that one. I saw the Duckworth match here last year against Kavcic when they were playing in the heat in the fifth set and all that.

I don’t know him that well, but I know he’s got a powerful first serve, likes to play aggressive tennis. I’ll have to get some more feedback from my coach.

Q. You and Lleyton were enjoying the faster courts in Brisbane. How have you found the courts here so far?
ROGER FEDERER: Not as fast. Brisbane was quicker than this. But still depending on who plays and how you play, you can make it more of a fast paced tennis. I played the other night against Jo, things clearly slowed down in the nighttime. It’s not going to be 40 degrees at nighttime either, so the ball’s going to slow down.

For that reason you need a faster paced, you know, court just to help the guys who want to play for a little bit more, otherwise it becomes a game of just waiting, being patient, all that stuff, which is not a problem if the tournament wants to see that kind of a tennis.

But I think it’s nice. It’s a little bit faster than last year, but not a whole lot.

Q. What are you hoping to get out of the change to a bigger racquet?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it’s the same like before: I just hope to play good tennis and be successful really.

I’ve wanted to change for a number of years, but I kept on playing well in the slams, kept on playing well on the tour. Things were just going so well I only did minor changes to my racquet. Since 2002 I haven’t fiddled around the racquet head size.

After Wimbledon this year I finally had a bit more time and I’d like to do an initial test. I was going to do some more after the US Open, but I wasn’t in the mood for that, so I waited for the end of the year and did some more testing there.

Now I’ve really been putting in a lot of hours on the racquet. It feels good. I’m really looking forward to playing now with that racquet here at the Australian Open as well after playing Brisbane already.

Q. What do you make of your half of the draw with yourself, Rafa and Andy Murray all in there?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a draw is a draw. You guys debate it; I play in it. That’s basically it. I focus round for round. That’s the only focus I need to have.

I’ve had tough draws in the past. I’ve had easier draws in the past. Then again, you don’t want to, you know, play poorly at the end of the day. You want to play good tennis. That’s what my goal is for the first week.

You know, you can’t win the slam in the first week. That’s my first goal, get through the first week and get into the tournament really.

Q. Do you think Andy is a contender? Back from a back surgery.
ROGER FEDERER: Never had surgery so I can’t answer that question. Haven’t seen him play. So I have a really difficult time telling you if he’s a contender or not.

Playing wise, absolutely. He’s played great at Wimbledon, here at the Australian Open last year. Won the US Open. I mean, he knows how to play on the hard courts. Been one of the best in the last few years.

So without the surgery, clearly would put him as a favorite. Now that he had that, I don’t know where his game’s at. I hope for him he is where he wants to be and that he can put himself into position. I’m sure he needs a few rounds to get also settled into the tournament.

But normally he would be absolutely, yeah.

Q. How about you, are you in shape to win?
ROGER FEDERER: We’ll find out (smiling). I don’t know yet.

Q. Rafa was saying he was a little disappointed they made the courts a little bit faster here because he thought people enjoyed the longer points and rallies. Do you find that slow court tennis is more entertaining than a faster court? A matter of taste or what?
ROGER FEDERER: Got to ask a hundred kids on the grounds right now. There’s tons of people you can interview there.

I think even these conditions here, we’ll see long rallies after all. We’re not talking about a lightning speed court. In Brisbane it was fast, but it wasn’t lightning either. This is like medium, if that.

I don’t know what the big problem is. Really can still play from the baseline, no problem. You can stay back, return from the back. You can do all that stuff if you want to. It’s not like it’s impossible.

Even does it on the indoors where you don’t think that’s possible. That’s how he beat me in London anyway.

Q. Most pundits have talked up Novak and Rafa’s chances at the Australian Open. Is there still belief in you and other members of the top 10 that you can knock Novak and Rafa off their perches?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it’s normal that they are considered, you know, the one and two favorites for the tournament. Of course, we do believe we can knock them off, yes.

Q. You brought Stefan Edberg into your team. Quite exciting for everyone.
ROGER FEDERER: Mostly for me. I didn’t bring him in for you guys (laughter).

Q. How do you see it working as a dynamic? Do you consult with him before matches? Talk to him when you feel like it?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn’t do that in Brisbane. I mean, we spent one week together in Dubai. He’s arriving here in the next few days. Yeah, I mean, we’ll see how it goes really, for all of us to find out it’s going to be, how he wants it to be, how I want it to be. We’ll talk about it hopefully as the tournament goes along.

If it doesn’t, we’ll go back to practice maybe, do something different, and you figure things out on the practice courts again. Clearly I hope he’s coming here for matches. Then always on the day off we have time to talk about things, how we’ll manage it.

I mean, look, my life on tour is pretty much settled. It’s always solid routines. He’ll just fit in nicely into that. I’m just really excited that he’s taken up the offer because I didn’t think he was going to do it because he’s got a life. He doesn’t need this.

For me, clearly it’s very exciting to have him as part of the team. I’m looking forward to every week I’ll spend with him on the tour this year.

Q. I know you enjoy listening to stories that former players have. Have you shared that with him?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a little bit. Whatever it may be. It’s interesting and it’s fascinating how he went through his career, how things were back in the day. Especially his days, those were the times I remember from TV. That’s kind of what’s very exciting, just hanging out with him. That was the idea, as well. If it didn’t work out, he would say, I’m not ready for this, at least I would have had a few nice dinners with him and able to spend time with a childhood hero, which would have been plenty to fuel my motivation, inspire me for a few weeks or months, I’d say.

But now that he’s going to join on the tour, you know, that’s an ongoing thing, and I’m looking forward to that.

Q. You’re seeded sixth here. Lowest you’ve been seeded here for a long time. Do you feel like you’re the hunter rather than the hunted here?
ROGER FEDERER: I definitely have less pressure this year, less to lose. I’m not the defending champion or any of that. So, yeah, I should be able to play more freely, and other guys are supposed to make their move or defend again, all these things.

So, yeah, things are maybe a little bit more comfortable this year around. But at the same time maybe the draw becomes tougher in the process. But, you know, I’m happy I’m back here. I’m happy I’m able to continue playing tournaments and Grand Slams, whatever in a row, a Grand Slam streak. I’m very proud of that. I hope I can keep playing for a long time.

Yeah, I’m looking forward for this event. At the end of the day it all comes down to how well I play to see how big my chances are to go really far and win the tournament. But, you know, I’m very focused right now of getting through the first week and making sure I get things underway nicely. I don’t really look much further than actually my first round opponent always.


Also Check Out:
Fedal Wars: Agassi Puts Nadal Ahead Of Federer On The GOAT List, Is He Right?
Pete Sampras On GOAT Debate: Federer’s The Greatest, But Nadal’s Now In The Conversation
Rafael Nadal Beats Federer For 22nd Time, Talks About GOAT Debate
Nadal Expected To Be Seeded Fifth At Wimbledon; Federer, Murray Don’t Seem To Mind
Serena Williams: I’ll Let Andy Roddick Serve First In Mixed Doubles And Let Him Feel Like A Macho Man

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get Tennis-X news FREE in your inbox every day

27 Comments for Roger Federer: You Guys Debate The Draw, I Play In It!

Rafael Nadal: I Don’t Understand Why The Australian Open Made The Courts So Fast Says:

[...] the Australian Open management for what he feels is the unnecessary quickening of the courts. While Roger Federer found the courts to be paced “medium, if that”, Nadal says they are player “faster conditions that [...]


Perfect fan Says:

Allez roger….play freely n play aggressive….thats the mantra.


skeezer Says:

Go Fed. No whining here. Just play baby, just play. Fast, slow, Blues, Red, Green, whatever.


Slice Tennis Says:

Good that the conditions are fast.
Or else he would be whining like this:
http://www.thenational.ae/sport/tennis/winning-federer-not-happy-with-us-open-courts


Slice Tennis Says:

I can knock off Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer

Rafa and Nole are shivering in their boots now.
LOL.


Giles Says:

US Open too slow, Brisbane too fast.
#Whiner


A Tango Lad Says:

Well all I can say is all of the players like to express themselves even the great Roger himself of who I am a huge fan.

Even though he is widely accepted as one of the finest chaps in the game, why I can remember when he complained of the way Djokovic just slapped at the balls down match point at the U.S. Open or complained to Murray for allegedly stopping in the middle of a point at last year’s Australian Open.

So if my man Roger is capable of such transgressions, surely we can understand Nadal making such “terrible” statements.

Let’s all just enjoy the great tennis ahead. I have a feeling that Roger just might surprise some of his frustrated fans in the coming fortnight.

May the best man win!


Josh Says:

Let’s go Roger!


Slice Tennis Says:

“So if my man Roger is capable of such transgressions, surely we can understand Nadal making such “terrible” statements. ”

Hey Tango Lad,
You will now be accused of being a fake fed fan by our resident frustrated fanatic.

Tango Lad is now another moniker of slice tennis.

ROTFL.


madmax Says:

Slice Tennis Says:
I can knock off Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic: Roger Federer

Rafa and Nole are shivering in their boots now.
LOL.

January 12th, 2014 at 10:46 am

ST, seriously. Can you read? Of course EVERY SINGLE player has to have the belief that they can win, and if Roger has beaten them in the past (and recently), then why shouldn’t Murray, Tsonga, Wawr, Berdy and others believe it too? Give me a man who is going to shiver in their boots and NOT have a belief that they can beat the best?

You really do talk crap sometimes.

Q. “Most pundits have talked up Novak and Rafa’s chances at the Australian Open. “Is there still belief in you and other members of the top 10 that you can knock Novak and Rafa off their perches?”

Well of course there is!
ROGER FEDERER: “Well, I think it’s normal that they are considered, you know, the one and two favorites for the tournament. Of course, “we do believe we can knock them off, yes”.

Of course all players believe they can do it! Darcis believed and look what happened in the first round of wimby! Stakhovsky after this, beat Fed in the second round, because HE believed he could knock Roger off and I am sure that Darcis’ success affected ALL the players, giving them that..”Hey! If he can do it, then so can I!”

Good for all players that have the belief!


Slice Tennis Says:

Madmax,
But when was the last time your big mouthed weak era goat beat Rafa ?
ROTFL


Slice Tennis Says:

…in a slam ?


Gordo Says:

C’mon Slice Tennis,

Any athlete in any sport has to believe they can win, even if the odds are not with them. It’s part of the mental process even if they are vastly inferior.

Federer has to go into matches believing he can win.

I mean seriously… You continue to post on this site; you must believe you can write. :)


madmax Says:

Gordo!

Where have you been!?

It’s debatable whether the guy can write. If he can, he still needs to improve on some of that facts. :(

Slice tennis: Last time in a slam, I think was 2007. Wimbledon.

What you forget ST is that Rafa didn’t always make the finals of a slam, when Roger did! So let’s turn it around shall we?

When was the last time Rafa got to the final of the WTF? 1500 points, top 8 players in the world?

and won?

I liked your after thought Slice tennis. Before the after thought, it would have been 2012, right?


madmax Says:

This is what Newcombe said about Fed’s game:

Newcombe said Federer still had the leg speed to attack the net and prepare in time for a powerful return.

”At 32, as long as you are not carrying injuries, your body is able to compete, no problem at all,” he said.

”What gets to you after 30 is the mental side, the desire to actually want to do it. As long as that’s there, and you don’t mind the travel, and putting in the hard yards and the practising and all that goes with it, there is no reason why you can’t do it.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/roger-federer-must-go-back-to-serve-and-volley-game-says-john-newcombe-20140110-30moe.html#ixzz2qDKuxQn9


A Tango Lad Says:

madmax, whether we are Nadal fans or Roger fans, we should strive to be objective.

Yes when Nadal was younger you are correct that Nadal didn’t always make finals that Roger did but since 2010, the reverse has been more the norm.

For example, Australian Open 2012, French Open 2010, 2012, 2013, Wimbledon 2010, 2011, US Open 2010, 2011, 2013, Nadal was in the final but Roger was out.

As a fan of Federer and tennis, I prefer to give all players their due.


Purcell Says:

Slice T:
Question 8….,,,,,,you and other members……..?
Answer: …….yes WE do believe……..
AO starts very, very soon. Two weeks of unadulterated pleasure. Two weeks minus sniping?


skeezer Says:

@gordo
Welcome back. Nailed that post! Lol.
@Tango Lad
Objectivity on this site left when the vamosheads attempted a takeover here when they got booted off over “there.”


Purcell Says:

Robbo out faster than the speed of light. Stan keeping in touch against injured opp.


madmax Says:

A Tango Lad Says:
madmax, whether we are Nadal fans or Roger fans, we should strive to be objective.

Yes when Nadal was younger you are correct that Nadal didn’t always make finals that Roger did but since 2010, the reverse has been more the norm.

For example, Australian Open 2012, French Open 2010, 2012, 2013, Wimbledon 2010, 2011, US Open 2010, 2011, 2013, Nadal was in the final but Roger was out.

As a fan of Federer and tennis, I prefer to give all players their due.

January 12th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Purcell Says:
Slice T:
Question 8….,,,,,,you and other members……..?
Answer: …….yes WE do believe……..
AO starts very, very soon. Two weeks of unadulterated pleasure. Two weeks minus sniping?

A Tango lad, I appreciate your comments. I do. But i would much prefer it, IF you could read your good friends snidey comments before you become too selective with mine. It’s not the federer brigade who begin with these endless snipe attacks.

Purcell. Absolutely. I will do my best during the next two weeks to enjoy the AO and ignore Slicetennis, hawkeye and whose the other one? Oh yeah. Holdserve. Thanks for pointing this out.


madmax Says:

A Tango lad, also, thanks for being objective about the slam finals and that Nadal didn’t always make the finals Roger did. You are a poster who is objective and fair. I appreciate that.

I notice that slice tennis has gone quiet. So I want to thank you for that peace as well, which isn’t always easy around here. :)


skeezer Says:

Slice Tennis went silent cause she got a posting beatdown. Facts and common sense thinking will do that to ya everytime.
Enjoy the AO everyone, Tennis is a great game to play and watch. hopin for some upsets, it makes the Slams interesting, no?

Ps: Niners baby, yeah! Next up, cheatchickens.


Michael Says:

Best of luck to Roger. I hope he makes a mark in this tournament. He need some wins under his belt to feel confident once again. But there are no high expectations. He already has amassed an incredible record at this venue and proven himself.


Slice Tennis Says:

Oh Skeezer…I am shivering in my boots because of the beatdown. I am so worried now…I don’t have a life outside tennis-x.
ROTFL
#ThereIsLifeOutsideYourDarkRoom
#PleaseComeOut
LMAO


Humble Rafa Says:

Dear Arrotards,

This is like the quarter final. Two more rounds to go, and its all over. So enjoy it.


hawkeye Says:

Let’s separate the fans from the fanboys. Who will answer it honestly?

Which would be more enticing: Fed to win another Grand Slam title, or never win another Slam, but disallow Rafael Nadal from beating Fed’s Grand Slam record of 17?

Top story: Meet Mr. And Mrs. Novak Djokovic!
  • Recent Comments
Rankings
ATP - Jul 21 WTA - Jul 21
1 Novak Djokovic1 Serena Williams
2 Rafael Nadal2 Na Li
3 Roger Federer3 Simona Halep
4 Stan Wawrinka4 Petra Kvitova
5 Tomas Berdych5 Agnieszka Radwanska
6 David Ferrer6 Maria Sharapova
7 Milos Raonic7 Eugenie Bouchard
8 Juan Martin Del Potro8 Angelique Kerber
9 Grigor Dimitrov9 Jelena Jankovic
10 Andy Murray10 Victoria Azarenka
More: Tennis T-Shirts | Tennis Shop | Live Tennis Scores | Headlines

Copyright © 2003-2014 Tennis-X.com. All rights reserved.
This website is an independently operated source of news and information and is not affiliated with any professional organizations.