Federer on Harrison Slight, Davis Cup, Turning 30
by Staff | August 3rd, 2011, 1:55 pm

Roger Federer held a press conference via the USTA prior to his debut on the 2011 North American summer circuit next week at the Rogers Cup in Montreal:

Federer on the Canadian fans possibly celebrating his 30th birthday next week:

“Well, it’s not going to affect anything really. Honestly, very often, I did come to Canada, it was my birthday. Canadians always make a big deal about my birthday. It’s not
going to be very different this time around. This time it’s even a bigger one sort of because it’s a round number. But I always like enjoying my birthday I don’t want to say in public, but at a tournament maybe around that time. So for me it’s not something completely different or new. I’m looking forward to turning 30. Excited to see how the Canadians are going to celebrate my birthday this time around. Sometimes they start singing ‘Happy Birthday’ during a match. I’m not going to play on Monday, but you never know if they’re going to do something crazy another day.”

Federer on his current physical state:

“I’m not having any back issues. This time around [getting back into practicing] I didn’t go through any aches and pains except muscle pain in the early stages when I started my practice again. But that’s completely normal. Now I feel really eager to go. I’m almost a bit tired. But with the tired, not too crazy days when I get to Canada, I’m going to be in perfect shape for the tournament to start. I’m in good states [sic]. Do you wish you had more time off sometimes? Yes, you do. It’s in the middle of the season. Two and a half weeks is really plenty of time to work on your game.”

Federer on winning a Slam after age 30 like Rod Laver:

“I think I don’t want to say I’m a special case, but I’ve won so much you feel like if you put yourself in the right position, you do all the right things, you’ll definitely get a shot again of winning any big tournaments, or any tournament really for that matter. I always said, inspiration for guys that play for a very long time, like Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Ken Rosewall, Rod Laver, it’s very inspiring to see what they’ve been able to do for a very long time. My planning is always in the long-term, as you know. That’s why, yeah, I’m looking forward to see how much I can achieve from this point forward, for sure.”

Federer on American Ryan Harrison saying that Federer plays with a swagger against everyone except Nadal and Djokovic:

“The only reason why I kind of heard about it was because Ryan wrote an apology to my manager to me saying he was misquoted. I like Ryan as a guy, as a player, as a kid. Everything gets blown out of proportion. I think that’s his opinion. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter much to me because I know what I need to do to beat those guys. He didn’t even need to write me a letter, but he did. So that was very nice of him.”

Federer on his goals:

“Well, I think first of all it’s important to stay healthy and see how long the body allows me to play because the mind is there. I love my traveling. I have no problem. That’s a good thing. I still think, because I’ve been so fortunate to be so successful, you just want to get back to those winning ways, get those feelings as many times as possible, trying to win all those tournaments that mean a lot to you, it almost doesn’t matter which one it is. I’ll probably be picking the tournaments I like to play the most at this point because I’ve achieved so much. That’s a very nice situation to be in. It’s important that I work hard, I practice well, I do all the right things. Olympics is obviously part of that. We’ll see how things go in the next years.”

Federer on playing Davis Cup for Switzerland:

“I just played a Davis Cup tie in Bern now. I go tie by tie at this point. I’m looking forward to seeing how I’m going to fit it in the schedule or not. That’s still up in the air. I haven’t decided about Australia yet. I hope I can do that in the next week or so and then go from there really.”

Federer on now having to chase Nadal and Djokovic:

“It’s what it is. I’m aware that Novak had to do something extremely special to get past me. Same thing for Rafa. I think we all had to do something very special to get past each other in the rankings. I think that’s a good thing. If someone wants to become world No. 1, 2, even 3 or 4 for that matter, you have to do something really good. Either you’re extremely consistent or extremely successful at the highest of level. You have to win a massive amount of tournaments. I’m at peace with myself because of it. There’s nothing else I can do. I had my chances to do well or not. From that standpoint, I’m very laid back about the situation. Sure, I’d love to be world No. 1 and not No. 3. I still think No. 3 is a good ranking. It’s not number I don’t know what. I’m at peace with that. Do I approach the tournaments differently? Well, maybe a little bit obviously. I think when you win 90, 95% of your matches you go into a tournament slightly more confident. Other than that, there’s not a huge change because I know my abilities. I don’t want to say I’m overconfident, but I also know what I can do and I also know, how do you say, my limits. Hopeful that allows me to play the best tennis I can each day.”

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38 Comments for Federer on Harrison Slight, Davis Cup, Turning 30

green900 Says:


madmax Says:

Ummm, I hadn’t heard what Harrison had said, previous to this. I think he needs to be careful. He is so young and has so much to learn. Every tennis player should have a bit of the swagger when they go on court and if anyone has earnt the swagger, it’s roger. I’d say he does have that against Novak and certainly there was plenty of it at the FO this year in the first set as well as the WTF in November.

Be careful what you wish for Ryan. I know that he is up and coming, but I think he needs to make sure he doesn’t go over the top with his comments, does anyone have the exact translation of what he was supposed to say? That might help.

It’s sure good to hear about Fed’s goals though. This ‘quiet time’, I don’t like so much.

Humble Rafa Says:

Ryan wrote Fed’s manager a letter. Seriously. Facebook, twitter mean nothing. I am sure it was handwritten.

Humble Rafa Says:

does anyone have the exact translation of what he was supposed to say? That might help.

What he really meant to say:

I am a smart ass up and comer. I throw my rackets because I have fire in my belly. If Fed had some fire, he would be beating Nadal and Djoker. But he is mellow, not me.

dari Says:

Interesting that fed says the body is the issue, not the mind.
I thought the opposite.
I didn’t think Ryan’s comments were that big a deal, neither did fed, so all is square.
Good move for him to write the letter, cover his a$$ a little. He has learned from this and will move on.
Go Roger!

Brando Says:

Harrison needs to wake up. If there is any 1 player out there with confidence and swagger on court, especially now against djokovic, then IT IS federer. I’ll never forget the manner in which he celebrated the djokovic FO win- just looking at everyone in a manner that almost says ” well what else did you expect to happen?” this is coming from a nadal fan, I personally think this is what nadal needs against djokovic more than anything else. The belief that he can beat djokovic

steve-o Says:

Good to see him so relaxed and cheerful. Federer, like good wine, gets better with age.

He had a great fall hard-court season last year, and I hope he can top it this year.

Patty Says:

When Harrison lifts his first slam trophy after beating a top player then he will have earned the right to swagger. Until then he’s just a grunt trying to make it in the mens game.

tinica Says:

With the young kids, there’s a certain amount of “fake it ’til you make it”. They often have to drum up self-confidence out of thin air. If they all approach the tour thinking they’re unworthy losers, than what?

Once upon a time, even Fed was a newcomer with a bit of an attitude problem.

Lytton Says:

Federers overconfidence will be his downfall

madmax Says:

Lytton Says:
Federers overconfidence will be his downfall

August 4th, 2011 at 3:22 pm

How so Lytton?

Every athlete has to have the confidence to walk on a court and believe in themselves that they are going to win, otherwise, why bother?

Kimberly Says:

Every athlete has to have the confidence to walk on a court and believe in themselves that they are going to win, otherwise, why bother?

absolutley agreed…..from their (roger, rafa, novak)level down to us silly USTA players (me).

viper Says:

Every athlete should be as humble as Federer. He handled this interview very well. Over confidence – not so sure…but we will see in the years to come. He has never really hit me as this…

We will see….hoping Federer can produce more magic – very enjoyable to watch…

tennisfan Says:

Federer is a great player and the way he answers the questions, one feel like listening to it forever. However my pick for US open would be Federer and Serena Williams. Both are looking promising.
Found this nice article on her & Steffi Graf:
Steffi Graf,Serena Williams-A Lesson To Learn From The Champions! http://bit.ly/qPmwb1

Nice to go down the memory lane and remember the old great

Michael Says:

Who is this little Harrison to advise the Greatest Federer ? Federer has achieved so much in his sport and he knows how to beat every one including Harrison. He just needs no advise least of all from Harrison who is yet to prove anything. I am sure Federer has the fire still left in him to get atleast two more majors. What he needs is a little bit of luck and a favourable draw where he just meets either Djokovic or Nadal in the finals and not in a consecutive manner. He definitely will fancy his chances against other players including Murray. In 2008 too Federer was written off after his loss to Nadal at the French and Wimbledon, but be bounced back at the US Open. May be 2011 will bear resemblance to that. Let us see.

killerc Says:

Well watching FEDERER get bashed around the court by Nadal and Djokovic — of course he has no swagger anymore against em. Nadal’s known the formula to beat FED for years now… Djoko has athleticism and a hell of a backhand to punish Fed any given day too. Harrison is correct for the most part but it came across as spiteful; Thus he wrote the apology.
Federer’s game plan has to change with the times, I’m American so I say attack more! Get to the net more… Controlled aggression. Also serve well (like he did to be djoko @ the FO) Avoid getting into extended bh to bh rallies, control the T and net crash. Easier said than done though.
I believe Federer has a few more Grandslams left in him, if he stays healthy.

margot Says:

killerc, what r u talking about? The last two times Nole lost was to Federer. were u sleeping?

jane Says:

Murray will be doing the draw in Montreal; also the top four will be practicing tomorrow and the public are invited to come watch. Wish I was there:

“Rogers Cup presented by National Ban Tournament Director, Eugène Lapierre invites fans to come out to Uniprix Stadium tomorrow to watch the practice sessions of the top 4 players in the world, Rafael Nadal (10 a.m. – Centre Court), Roger Federer (12 p.m. – Centre Court), Novak Djokovic (2 p.m. – Centre Court) and Andy Murray (TBC).

“We invite all tennis fans to come watch these players for free and have the opportunity to see them up close,” said Lapierre. “It will start the tournament with a bang and we hope everyone will enjoy Family Weekend. We also invite fans on site to watch the official draw ceremony which will be held at 4 p.m. at the Scène du Casino de Montréal.”

Scheduled for 4 p.m., the draw for this ATP Masters 1000 event will be conducted in the company of officials, ATP representatives and two-time defending Rogers Cup champion, Andy Murray”

jane Says:

Roddick will not be playing in Montreal. On Twitter he said

“@carmela_avs: @andyroddick when’s your next tourny?”. Hopefully I’ll be ready for cincy in 10 days or so…. Fingers crossed

madmax Says:


margot Says:
killerc, what r u talking about? The last two times Nole lost was to Federer. were u sleeping?

August 5th, 2011 at 9:31 am

You are on form today girl! On ALL threads!

absolutley agreed…..from their (roger, rafa, novak)level down to us silly USTA players (me).

August 4th, 2011 at 4:43 pm
Kimberley, from what you have said in the passed, you seem to be a pretty decent tennis player yourself!

madmax Says:

Notes: A rash of withdrawals hit the tournament Thursday: Robin Soderling (wrist), Andy Roddick (oblique), Jurgen Melzer (quad), Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (appendicitis) and Xavier Malisse (personal).

But Roger Federer and family have arrived, although he cancelled an early-evening practice session. His spot was taken by none other than Rafael Nadal, who ran through his repertoire for two hours with occasional coach Francisco Roig. … Murray arrived in the early evening. … All three, plus world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, have scheduled practices Friday at Uniprix Stadium. Nadal is first at 10 a.m., then Federer at noon and Djokovic at 2 p.m. Murray’s time is to be determined. Admission is free for fans to take all that in. … The draw, which will be held at 4 p.m., also is open to the fans.

Seth Says:

Federer is my favorite player and has been since about 2004. I’ve rooted for him during the dominant phases and during the times he’s struggled. It’s fair to say I’m a pretty big Fed fan.

However, I don’t take umbrage at Harrison’s remarks in the least bit. In fact, I agree with him. Fed, at this stage, could use a bit more demonstrable fire in the belly. Not necessarily of the sort that leads to smashing racquets, but a bit more passion on the surface would only help him at this stage in his career. He could stand to telegraph a bit more to the guy across the net that he is still Roger Federer and he’s still in the match, dammit! (See the Wimby match vs. Tsonga for the antithesis of this.)

Kimberly Says:

madmax, i like to think i can hit a few! But I have the will, fitness, power, athleticism but not really the correct techinical moves (roger would not approve)

the rogers cup wildcards always make headlines, i wonder why. Doesn’t every country give wildcards to their own players to create opportunity for them and for the fans? I remember the Ivanovic scandal last year and couldn’t really decide whether she deserved the wildcard or should have been forced to earn her spot.

grendel Says:

I didn’t read what Harrison actually said, but this is the interviewer’s comment:”He said about you that Federer plays anyone else than Rafa or Djokovic, he plays with this swagger, where, ‘It’s my match, I’m going to win it.’ But he thinks it’s more uncertain when you go out and play Djokovic and Nadal”

I cannot for the life of me see what is wrong with this. It is an observation followed by speculation, no more, no less. Noone questions the observation, but the speculation seems to draw ire. And yet it is a banal one. I should have thought that it is obvious that Federer’s mien against Djokovic and Nadal – the two best players in the world as of now – would differ from the one he employs against the rest of the field. Nor, b.t.w., do I think it is a matter of choice. The level of swagger a player has will be a function of his success – unless his name is Fognini, perhaps, which is why we all tend to laugh at Fognini.

No, I think Harrison’s trespass is to forget his place in the pecking order.

madmax Says:


I think you are probably right. I haven’t read the exact translation of what Harrison said,but did you not think that fed had the swagger against novak when raising the finger at the end (in the nicest possible way), and then let out that huge roar. It was the same at the O2 last November against nadal, once again, the swagger was there. He executed his tennis on both counts in a clinical way, something I had not seen in a while.

I think the Dubai final this year against Novak, set the tongues wagging and federer has admitted that, in many of his recent interviews, that the Dubai final was the one that he played ‘poorly’ at. He used these words.

But Fed’s swagger agains both Players is still very much ‘on’. I do think that Harrison needs to be careful though. He does come across a brash wannabe (am sure he will be a ‘willabe’ one day).

The pecking order comment you made, I agree with though.

madmax Says:

*at the end of the semi final of the FO?*

grendel Says:

madmax – I thought the “huge roar” after beating Djokovic was in the nature of a release. Federer had very badly had something to prove in his own mind. He said afterwards that the match had been like a final, and I was disturbed to read that comment. Had he, in his own mind, peaked? Was he really going to go into the final with Nadal with the same utterly determined caste of mind which had enabled him to dominate Djokovic?

Particularly given his history with Nadal, I thought Federer’s comments were ominous.

madmax Says:

Yeah grendel. You are probably right. I have been chewing over what you have said (and a few others) about Federer needing to have that fire in his soul, his being, his racquet…I suppose because the thing that is bothering me now (on reflection), is his latest interview, sayig ‘he is “at peace” with himself.

I am not so happy about that. Surely, he should be “burning” with desire to get that No. 1 back (however unlikely; that one week away from matching Sampras, two weeks away from being a stand alone stat), but then I keep reminding myself, actually to be “at peace” is a good thing, because with Peace, comes Freedom and the freedom to play – it just doesn’t always transition that way on the court.

And to try and read Federer’s mind is impossible. Sometimes though, I think he talks in riddles. However, eloquent he comes across, and he does, and for the most part, I believe him.

I am enjoying more reading about Pagnini’s comments about having worked with Federer since he was 18 years old. He knows him inside out and is comments make complete sense.

I’ll try and find a few for you and you’ll see what I mean.

jane Says:

grendel, even after Fed beat Nole, he said he had given a “gift” to Nadal and that he was “happy to be in the final.” He just didn’t sound like someone who intended to win it, and what is sort of odd about that is that with the form Roger had at the FO (excellent) and the somewhat shaky form Rafa had shown there, in a way it was Fed’s best chance to beat him in a final there. Maybe Fed has too much respect for Rafa, or it is just that mental block. Maybe the answer is obvious, but I just read this article today:


Kimberly Says:

My two cents on the fed, I can’t believe second best or third best is good enough for Roger, surely with all he has accomplished and all of his weapons and variety he believes he can win any tournament he enters, which he can if he plays his best. But he’s got to:

1. Bring his high level to each match in the tournament especially all of the later stages and keep a reasonably high level throughout each match(age could play a factor in doing that consistently)
2. Care enough to do #1.

I think he’s done so much and has other things in his life, so that his motivation may not be as much as Nadal or Novak, who really have nothing other than tennis and their hot girlfriends. Federer is a parent. This is an awesome responsibility/distraction. People can say it doesn’t make a difference but I believe it does give you a different perspective on what is really important.

But the match he does bring his best, he can beat anyone, as we saw at RG.

grendel Says:

yes, that article is on the nail, jane, I think. Confidence absolutely is all in this case. This comment of Federer’s (quoted from the article) is unusual and telling:”against Rafa, in particular, I don’t want to say you don’t believe 100%, but you’re kind of in doubt with your game. He takes advantage of that. It’s happened to me maybe a couple of times”. Oddly, I have heard Djokovic make similar remarks vis a vis Federer. Djokovic has clearly gone a long way to solving that particular problem. Any chance Federer might follow suit?

jane Says:

Fed could follow suit, perhaps. Maybe it depends upon how badly he wants to win more titles. Now that he is older, has children, has achieved milestones most tennis players could only dream of, how much does he really care if Rafa is one (or a few) up on him? Hard to say. But now that he is turning 30, if he wants more big titles, he has to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, in any semis / finals he reaches. There is not time for second-guessing. Some may disagree, but I just think it is only going to become more difficult with younger guys like Tomic, Raonic, Dolgo, Dimitrov, Harrison, etc, hungry to win too.

madmax Says:


your posts I think are bang on.

I finally found what I was looking for. ‘That’ comment from Harrison:

‘The recent observation by 19-year-old rising star Ryan Harrison.

“I think if he (Federer) had a little more fight right now, it would help him get back to the top,”

Harrison told reporters in Los Angeles last week. “With all players except for Nadal and Novak Djokovic, he plays with a swagger, but not against them. Against them he’s a little more uncertain.

If he walked out with a little more fire, then I think it would help him.”

After having read this, I don’t think there is anything wrong with what Harrison said. More importantly, what was the precise question and really, what is a reporter asking a ‘kid’ about his opinion on the TMF? I think that’s more telling.

Jane, in terms of the ‘grabbing the bull by the horns’. I agree. This is what Federer must do. He says very confidently that he can win more slams and believes in himself.

Now is the time to back up that statement.

It’s the general “I’m at peace” that bothers me some.

Jack Says:

What as axxole mr. Jr. Harrison is.
Little Ryan is none other than an occasional top 20 player and regular top 50 player in his future. He and his team needs to learn how to talk in media , behave on court , respect greatest players ……otherwise his younger generations will throw shit at him the day he retires with no slams in his scorecard.

Sock Says:

HARRISAN also told reporters when asked about his racket throwing habit, federer also did that. What a son of a bidch will say this other than this cocky kid. If all racket throwers will become federer, ther are lot more kids in us throwing rackets and calling f?ck words. Lots of federate , lots of next big thing coming from us. Idiots. Fix this kid mental head. Check with a mental help before he drains out. Sincerely,
By a well wisher of Ryan

Laine Says:

It is easy for you guys to write negative comments about Ryan Harrison, I guess you guys have played professional tennis and have never said anything bad or ever gotten mad.. It must be nice to be so perfect!!!! Who is the jerk writing things about people you don’t even know?? Good luck Roger and Ryan for wonderful careers!

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