Roger Federer: I’m Serving Better Than I Ever Have
by Staff | January 16th, 2015, 10:02 pm
  • 33 Comments

Four-time tournament champion Roger Federer met the press to discuss the upcoming Australian Open. Here’s what he said.

Q. What is it about this Grand Slam which you particularly like as compared to the other three?
ROGER FEDERER: Sort of it’s laid back, you know. The city, compared to the other three, clearly is more small, you know. It’s easy to get around. Everything’s pretty convenient here. It’s really well-organized. Not saying that the other ones are not, but this one seems just like it’s very nice and relaxed, super helpful. Yeah, and the weather clearly helps by it always seeming to be rather quite nice. I guess the three courts with the three roofs now is something quite special for us, the players. You can see that the tournament can still go on regardless of the weather. It’s just good to know for all of us, so you’re not that dependent on the weather as a top guy, which is nice. Yeah, a lot of good things. Many good things to like about this event.

Q. Novak Djokovic had a crack at the Aussie accent. Can you do anything?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I’m not very good at that. I’ll let him do that (laughter).

Q. No g’day, mate?
ROGER FEDERER: I can do that, but not on command.

Q. Do you feel any different coming into Melbourne this year compared to last year?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, clearly things are more calm this year, I guess, coming in. Last year, you know, having the new racquet, having gotten through the back issues, having gone through the off-season, you know, feeling good but still not quite sure because I needed matches to see how it was going to cope. I came here also with Stefan Edberg helping me out. You know, there was many changes that took place in the six months leading into, I guess, the Australian Open, whereas this time around I’ve played so well. Also was able to win Brisbane last week. Makes me feel more secure, I guess, this year coming into the Aussie Open.

Q. Did Stefan do a bit more in terms of time than you expected? Do you have any idea how much he’s going to do with you this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, he might have done a couple of weeks more, but nothing significant. It was basically the time we spoke about. And we’ll probably do something like 10 weeks this year. Yeah, he just arrived. He’ll be here for the tournament. Severin is clearly doing most of the work. I’m excited that Stefan is willing to do another year with some weeks for me.

Q. How close are you now to your career-best form?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I would hope that over the years I’ve always improved. I think I’m serving more consistent and stronger than I ever have. That’s my opinion. I definitely think the racquet has helped me with that as well, a little bit. But, you know, my concentration I do believe is there, better than it’s ever been, at least I hope it is, because I feel over time you always want to improve. I think my backhand is working better than it has in the past as well. The question is confidence, forehand, movement. But clearly when I was winning almost everything, everything was so gold that nobody was even questioning anything. Maybe if there were different opponents, different times, it would have changed. But for that particular time, I was playing exactly the way I needed to. I had to adjust my game a little bit over the years. I feel I’m playing very well. If it’s the best ever, I’m not quite sure. But I’m definitely very pleased how things have gone now the last six months.

Q. I think you won more matches and played more matches than anybody else on the men’s tour last year. Do you expect to play as full of a schedule this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly. I said it a few times, I’ll reassess the situation after the Australian Open when I go on vacation really. I need a bit of a break after this because the year end was short. In a way, it’s not so bad. Usually you start the Australian Open not quite knowing where your game’s at. But because I didn’t take that much time off, I got right back into practice. I played some XO’s. I kind of knew right away when I picked up the racquet again, you know, feeling good, and the back problem has gone away, I can play XO’s, I can travel. I practiced actually very hard, to be quite honest, because I played so many matches I didn’t have enough practice. So I came out of it a bit tired. But that’s normal, you know, when you practice hard. That’s why for me it was important to not overtrain when I came to Brisbane, not overtrain in these middle weeks, so I maintain the freshness. But the bigger break is going to come after the Australian Open. That’s when I’m really going to decide how much I play, where I’m going to play, even though I have a rough idea how it’s going to go. This year’s different than last year. So we’ll see how it is on vacation.

Q. You practiced with David Goffin in Dubai. He said he learned a lot about how you prepare for a competition. What made it interesting for you to practice with him? Any advice you have given him?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw him when he was somewhat coming up I guess when I played him in the fourth round, I’m not sure, at the French Open. I was very impressed how he played then. I think he had already gone through six matches before he played me. He sort of ran out of gas at the end. I was able to take advantage. Would he have been fresh and everything, maybe I would have lost that match. Then he might have gone through some ups and downs, some injuries, some loss of confidence, which I guess is good that he went through that. Gave him a lot of experience. He had an incredible last six months. I think he’s got a lot to play for now in the next few months. I was very impressed about his work ethic. You know, he’s a really nice guy. On the court you see how calm he is. In practice he’s very serious, but still he’s a fun guy to hang around. I am impressed how the right way and how well he was practicing, you know. It was good fun to practice with him. I hope we can do it again in the future. But I think he’s definitely got top-10 potential, no doubt.

Q. Has your fitness become more of a priority moving forward in your career over the years?
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm, I wouldn’t quite say that. It’s changed just because you’re more careful not to get injured. So sometimes less is more. Quality is more important than quantity. Whereas when you’re younger, you got to put in the hours, you got to put in the work. Doesn’t matter if you’re tired, all these things, you just got to get through it, you know, get match tough, go through the grind. Eventually you have experience, you know what you need to get ready for a tournament, in the off-season what you need to do. So clearly I’ve, you know, made mistakes and made right decisions over the years. You try to put them all together, assemble all those pieces, make it work for the off-season. I mean, I definitely work a bit different. But at the end of the day I really believe in good quality practices now rather than too much. Yeah, I mean, I am 33, so things are a bit different today than they were 10 years ago.

Q. You said you will need a break. Does that mean you will not play Davis Cup this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Davis Cup is way after. I didn’t say that. I probably also will decide that once the Australian Open is over. I’ve been talking, you know. Clearly it’s hard to get out from the chair after finally winning Davis Cup. It was always a goal of mine, for Swiss tennis, the guys on my team, for myself, after playing for 15 years. Yeah, I’m just talking to the captain right now, see what the plan is for him, for me, for everybody. After that, I guess I just need a little bit more time. Probably make a call after the Australian Open.


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33 Comments for Roger Federer: I’m Serving Better Than I Ever Have

Tennis Fan Says:

Got to love this guy … how many years older than Nadal and he is still ahead of him in the rankings …


Wog Boy Says:

This interview was message to other players:
“I am so scary good, don’t you even think that you can beat me”.
Timing of his messages is next to none, #1 in mind games.


skeezer Says:

HR is still posting to put down Fed. How pathetic to feel the need to put down a 33 yr old. Lol, HR is still scared of old men. You should be concentrating on how to beat QF/Wild cards.
—–
“The question is confidence, forehand, movement.”
Agreed. You keep that intact, the sky is still the limit.
Vamos Fed!


Margot Says:

“Scum bag?” Dear oh dear, that’s a term of abuse I would use very sparingly indeed. New low stooped to.


Mr. Larvey Says:

Gotta love Fed’s positive attitude. With that kind of positivism you typically do well in life – not only on tennis court.


sienna Says:

yes to think comments of mine were deleted and still being moderated.

Can HR scumbag comment be deleted and the poster been put under moderation?

lets try to keep a dignified approach to commenting on this site.


Wog Boy Says:

“lets try to keep a dignified approach to commenting on this site.”

Look who is talking XOXO


sienna Says:

the difference between Federer and Nadal cannot be better portrayed as on this site.

Federer article possitive and full of confidence always silver lining. True leader in play.
Nadal article moaning, groaning and claiming underdog role.Following like a dog or rat to strike when opportunity nocks.

I like Federer the old lion who still doesnot bow out against younger rivals in prime.


Michael Says:

Roger’s passion, dedication and commitment at 33 is amazing. It is this extraordinary quality which has made him the Legend widely celebrated. He is highly optimistic about his chances and just wants more. Whether he wins or not, he wants to put forth his best and have the best shot. He has a difficult draw to contend with. But, is anything impossible for Roger ?


Daniel Says:

What I love about Slams is he the history weight they carry, specially this one with this great players searching history.

If Fed, wins, #18 and possibly ending GOAT debate for good

If nadal wns #15, double career Slam, winning a after a few months off and almost assure to pass Fed in Slam count

If Djoko wins it can propelled him for another multiple Slam year as he is more mature now and is actually winning a lot of finals lately. Almost guarantee he will pass the double digits Slam.

If Murray wins, third Slam only RG from a career Slam and getting back to winning circle to boost his confidence for future wins

Any new guy and will be great for the game as well, cementing the late shift that other players will start to consistently win Slams outside big 4.


Yolita Says:

@Wog Boy
It is true that Roger is always sending a message of how good he is. According to this interview his serve is better than it’s ever been, his backhand is better than it’s ever been an his concentration is better than it’s ever been.
But it’s up to the players to believe him. The media will run with his version of things, of course. But if the other players fall for that, it’s their fault. You also need intelligence in tennis. In those years, when he was “winning almost everything” as he put it himself, players truly believed he was unbeatable. That was their downfall.
I’m so tired of pundits bringing up the fact that he won more matches than anybody else. Yes, he did, but that’s not the whole story, he played more (smaller) tournaments.
Nobody mentions that Novak got more top-10 wins than anybody else in the circuit and also that Novak got the highest win-loss percentage in 2014, winning 88.4% of his matches whereas Roger won 85.8% of his.
Somehow those numbers are not important for the media. Who wants nuance? LOL


dari Says:

Wog boy how did you get that from this interview?!
Genuinely want to know, cause you are a dear and ever since that cat story you can do no wrong in my eyes and you still haven’t just curious about the process of interpretation


skeezer Says:

“I’m so tired of pundits bringing up the fact that he won more matches than anybody else.”

Fed has WON more matches than most pros have PLAYED, won or lost.

Winning never gets tiring.


wilfried Says:

Can’t believe he’s saying all this.
Was this interview perhaps taken before the composition of the draw was known ?
Confidence and words won’t be enough to beat his nemesis.


skeezer Says:

I realize there are some posters who think Fed is all about himself. You know what, he has earned to be all about himself. There is nobody in the Tennis world that is above his acheivements. If he wants or desires to say he is playing well, well, I want to go watch and see if he is. If a player says “My injuries still bother me” I really don’t want to waste my hard earn money to possibly watch a train wreck where there is possibly someone limping around the tennis court.
Fed is selling his game, and that sells tennis tickets.
—-
Regarding his improvement serving. I can tell you from personal experience your serve can get better with age ( 2 a point ). You learn how to serve smarter, not harder. Direction, timing, location, are attributes you can use to become a better server. Not just learning how to hit 145 MPH bomb serves,


dari Says:

That serve thing is true skeeze.
So to recap, Rafa is a pessimistic sad sack, Rog is an arrogant narcissist and Novak just scared everybody on twitter for like 10 minutes. I get it all now!


jane Says:

^ what did nole do on twitter dari? ha, i am so out of the loop.

i think it’s funny-interesting how fed and rafa are almost complete opposites in how they talk about themselves: fed talks up his chances and always believes in himself; rafa talks down his chances, and seems to always have doubts. has rafa ever said “i’m 100% no?” ;)

but it works for both of them, apparently.

and it also plays into the fed/nadal rivalry & story, too, because they’ve always been cast as opposites: in appearance, style, and demeanour. [cf. tennis vagabond's apollo & dionysus]


autoFilter Says:

Over the years Federer has said many, many things that I can understand why some might be inclined to interpret as arrogant rather than confident.

This interview doesn’t contain any of them.


Okiegal Says:

Rafa’s biggest problem is not having enough confidence in himself……with the exception of when he’s playing on clay and when he plays Roger. Having lost out early to lower ranked players, as he’s done lately, will add extra pressure on him when he plays his first match. He needs to take a page out of Roger’s book and try to exude more confidence, imo. Is there such a thing has being too humble??


dari Says:

There was some… Overreaction about his canceling his practice and calling a press conference. When in reality he has just postponed his regular pre tournament press and reschesuled his practice


rogerafa Says:

It is quite amusing to see the responses from some of the fanatics who dislike Roger with almost insane intensity. If he talks positively about his game, he is sending a message and playing mind games. Novak is the top dog now and Raf, Andy and others are hardly going to get sleepless nights reading Roger’s interview. They are no fools since the results show that Roger has just one major in the last five years. I am sure Roger would have been castigated by the same fanatics had he said that he was playing well below his 2006 level because that would be deemed as undermining others’ wins over him. Roger can never please these kind of posters no matter what.


rogerafa Says:

I personally do not agree with his assessment of his serve and concentration levels now compared to his peak years. He does not sound very sure himself. He has rightly pointed out the areas having question marks. Overall, it appears a pretty fair interview. Surely, nobody expected him to say that his game has hit the pits.


brando Says:

What a insufferable, aloof, arrogant, self centred, self obsessed, narcissistic, hair carrassing queen this Swiss cheese is………..the mantra of the cynics, not I, lol! Honestly: Fed here and rafa in the other thread have said nothing they have not said before for an age. It’s their respective personality and theirs nothing wrong with it: just different from one another. People need to let it be: something recent events have shown the world being quite awful at.


Wog Boy Says:

@dari,
Thanks for the nice words, I wish you can pass some of to my wife:)

Just to explain myself, I always speak my mind, whether it is Rafa or Roger, just to stick with these two for the moment. If you read what I said in my previous post, it is actually a compliment, what Roger is doing is part of the game and within the rules. Of course it is only my opinion and people have right to disagree but Roger never does or say anything that is spontaneous, everything is well planed and premeditated, sometimes I wish that Nole is not so transparent as he is but then again that is one of the reason I like him and most other (nonSerbian) fans like about Nole.
Just to finish, Roger always has a message for his oponents but one (it doesn’t work with that one) whether it is “I like to play with Nole because the matches are always on my racquet” or “How long since man from UK won GS title” two days before AO final, or now “my serve, BH, movement is better than ever” … all parts of his game that he struggled as of lately.
So yes it is jus my opinion so you can disregard it if you wish, BTW my cat is still OK (HR, I do have a cat) and I sm in the proces of finding new dog (after I come back from Europe this year, I just can’t get over the loss of my previous dog even he was the pain in the neck but I loved him..and he loved me too…the only person in the house that did show some gratitude to me for what I was doing for him.


Wog Boy Says:

It is not nice to call people fanatics just because they have an opinion, which they post without insulting player or his fans and you don’t like that opinion. I would say it is rather the other way around if you react like that because of the opinion you dislike.
In all honesty, there are more Federer fanatics on TX than any other fanatics, it always were, Federer fans simply have a numbers on TX.


skeezer Says:

Wog boy,
I respectfully disagree. Fed …..fans …are mostly here all the time. But when Rafa starts winning ….anything… They…. Come out in droves claiming he is the Tennis Messiah.
As I said before, there are Tennis Fans, and then there are fanatics who only post whem their fav starts winning. You’ve been here long enough to see that. Is it a bad thing? No. Just seein like it is.
Are u going to AO this year? My pick is Nole ;)


TennisVagabond.com Says:

Jane and Brando, good posts.


Wog Boy Says:

skeezer, ok, it was little bit of knee jerk reaction, all good.

I am flying tomorrow, so I will be watching Roger and Rafa tomorrow and who ever else is playing and enjoy little bit of Heineken and bratwurst and cabbage.
I will not say anything but I hope your pick is a right one:) Nole has to stay focused and not get iritated by big servers, what tends to happen to him when things are not going his way (Isner, Raonic, Karlovic).


Michael Says:

Skeezer @ 2.05 PM,

Great post !! Well framed and written !!

No contest !! Roger is the biggest brand Ambassador of Tennis right now who has increased the game’s charm and popularity by leaps and bounds. Rafa too follows him but somewhat behind. Honestly, he lacks the charisma of Roger who is a sensation. Roger’s popularity is much beyond Tennis and extends even in social sphere. By virtue of this, he is a total personality not only confined to his domain.


dari Says:

Wog boy, you’ve done it again with the emotional pet stuff, not fair. hope you and the cat find a dog to love and play with :)

maybe I am blind: i do see/hear roger’s confidence about his game, but i hear no extension of “try and beat me, guys” that you spoke of. contrarily, he spoke of confidence as the factor in question! i think thats just a bit of a leap is all.
and as far as the gamesmanship/messages, the murray one was simply hilarious, gamesmanship or not, but i tend to think rog doesn’t do the premeditated message thing because he is more concerned about his own business. im not in his head though, so i wouldn’t know. i take what he says at face value and if it happens to carry a message along, so be it.

AND- interesting you should speak of Novak’s transparency. yes, i agree, he often wears his heart on his sleeve, but i think he is a more…cerebral type than rog, which makes him more complicated to interpret in my eyes. many ppl who speak about roger remark how surprisingly simple he is.

anyhow, its just interesting how we think about these players sometimes. truth is, they are likely just answering questions and not thinking too deeply into most of time!

wish you safe travels and hope you enjoy the tennis. put up a sign or something maybe we see you on tv!


jane Says:

have fun wog boy – lucky!

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