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THE ROGER FEDERER THREAD: Quotes, Articles, Videos, Pictures and anything else!

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By James A. Crabtree
(January 8, 2014) MELBOURNE PARK – A normal evening at a friend’s house might include the usual pleasantries. You would likely arrive promptly with a bottle of red, before being shown to the living room whilst your friend finishes up the cooking, agreeable smells wafting in from the kitchen.
During this time you would probably mooch round the living room, investigate photos on the wall; check out the DVD collection, feel envious of their flat screen TV or perhaps just cringe at their horrid couch.
Alas, the evening with Roger Federer didn’t include a meal lovingly cooked by Mrs. Mirka Federer, a bad couch or giggles over a glass of red.
At this particular evening with Roger you were rewarded with a LED key ring upon entry and a ticket that hid Federer as a silhouette thanks to its hologram capabilities. Quickly the new toy became a poor man’s light saber by every child and geek wishing to kill time before Federer’s arrival.
And we had to wait…
Old rival Lleyton Hewitt showed up in a suit (yes that wasn’t a typo) for a chat as did former Federer coach Tony Roche (not in a suit). A very tanned Pat Rafter (in more than just his Bonds jocks) followed for a quick hit up with Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Federer then hit up with a very spritely seventy-five years young Rod Laver (wearing Wimbledon whites) – yes that wasn’t a typo either….
Hold on a minute…yes you heard correctly…Two time Grand Slam champion Rod Laver hitting in his own Rod Laver Arena. Where do you put that on the list of accomplishments?
Federer and Tsonga then had a hit of their own before getting down to business for a very serious exhibition that felt more like an extension of their five set thriller from a year before.
Federer had a nervous start before finding his rhythm then dictating for a 3-1 lead. Tsonga rebounded to go 4-3 up as some wisecrack in the stand screamed out ‘C’mon Rafa’ earning a smile from Roger. The games went back on serve to a concluding tie-break that Tsonga took, disappointment the majority.
The seriousness eased for the beginning of the second set as both players paraded their array of skills for the sort of rallies club players’ dream of. Federer started swinging easy, his smile masking his competitive intentions, and raced ahead to snatch the important points and the set 6-3 like a thief in the night.
Tsonga changed his shirt to wolf whistles from the crowd at the beginning of the third set, and also his fortune, racing to a 4-2 lead. Federer responded winning the next three games, including a hard fought break on Tsonga’s serve that included the most implausible hawk-eye challenge that had everybody grinning. Federer ruined his chance to serve it out before Tsonga showed signs of fatigue after levelling at 5-5. Federer broke again quickly before controlling the outcome with a final point that included a bevy of smashes.
The LED lights were back in force for the final interview as lighters once did for rock ballads. Federer indulged the crowd with a light-hearted chat, telling the crowd he would choose Leonardo DiCaprio to play himself in a movie, and giggling that Serena or Novak would be a good name for his next child (if chosen to name after a current tennis player).
The Roger Federer charity event watched globally and attended by a capacity of fifteen thousand enthralled ‘Federer Tragics’, as one women referred to herself as, not only entertained those who watched it but ultimately benefited, inspired and educated the recipients of his foundation.
So far the Roger Federer Foundation has helped over 86,000 children, the majority being in Southern Africa, with the primary focus on improving education. The foundation plans to reach a million children by 2018 and nights like tonight will only make that process quicker. The event raised over one millions dollars.
There are not too many bad things you can say about Roger Federer. In truth, if you were to scratch your head deep in thought you might not think of any. Simply, there is no better ambassador for tennis, or for sport in general. Every day Federer goes out of his way to add to his already compelling resume of achievements, highlighted by triumphs on the court, but decorated by his exploits for humanity.
James Crabtree is a journalist living in Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @JamesACrabtree

Roger Federer 16-01-14
Thursday, 16 January, 2014

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Q.  One of the most dominant performances we've seen from you this year.  How do you feel?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, it was a good match, you know.  I'm happy on a hot day like this, you know, I got through because it's going to change from the next round on for us now, even though it's going to be hot tomorrow apparently.

So, yeah, it was a good first two sets I thought.  I played really aggressive and it worked out.  Third set I think he was more consistent.  He served better.

In the process, it got closer.  You know, I'm happy I got it done in three.


Q.  How did you find it playing on Hisense?
ROGER FEDERER:  It was nice, you know.  I enjoyed it.  It's not really different to Rod Laver Arena really.  Just dimensions feel the same.  I don't feel like you need to make an adjustment.  The crowds were really nice.  Great atmosphere over there.

Yeah, I was happy playing there.


Q.  Under the roof you felt comfortable?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, as well that was not a problem.  The roof is so high up here anyways on Rod Laver Arena and on the Hisense.  I actually did practice over there when the roof was closed last week.

Of course, I've been practicing, you know, outdoors now for, I don't know, since London really.  This was the first time almost playing indoors again.  You're just happy you get through.

But conditions don't change drastically.  Maybe it's a tiny bit slower.  The ball doesn't go through the air that quick.  It was a bit humid.  Overall it was really nice conditions, of course.


Q.  Lots of talk about the heat policy.  Do you think they got it right today?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, honestly I didn't follow it as close as probably you guys did.  I was just concerned about what they were going to do with my match, what the rules were, if they could start it closed and then open it later on or not.  I was more focused on that.

But, you know, I think today, especially at the beginning, it was very hot.  Even though they didn't allow me to warm up outside, because the officials were gone, everybody was resting.  So I had to go indoors.  I never actually experienced the heat as such today.  Especially if there's no clouds, it's extreme.

I would assume they did get it right today, yeah.


Q.  You seem in an attacking state of mind.  Is that something you discussed with your team?  Are you trying to be a bit more aggressive heading forward in the tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I think on these conditions and on the hard courts it's what we want to try to do, especially early in the tournament, without taking stupid chances, you know.

But I did do a really good job for most of the match today.  Of course, I was overly aggressive at times, but I'd rather be that than overly passive.  But the error counts started mounting as well.

Overall I started hitting good shots.  It was something I was trying to do a little bit today, mix it up, swing the serve around a little bit, also come in.  I was in command on my serve.  That was for me most important, is that there I'm rock solid.

Then on the return, you know, if you want to play with spin a few, you can do that.  When you hit flat a few, you can do that.  Or then you can chip a few.  Whatever you're in the mood for.  I think I did the right choices today, so I'm very pleased with myself.


Q.  What's the best part of being Roger Federer?  What do you enjoy in your life now?
ROGER FEDERER:  I like the check‑ins at airports.  Packing the bags is good fun.  What else?  Playing in 42 degrees heat (laughter).

I don't know.  I really enjoy myself out on tour.  There's clearly things you don't like as much, but the majority is so positive that it's so worthwhile doing it.

Of course, tennis is something I really enjoy, and doing all of that with my wife and kids is something that I'm very happy about, that it's all working out.  That we actually make it work and enjoy it, all of us, going to different places.

It's like a traveling circus in a way.  You put up your tents, stay there for some time.  Thankfully it's more than just for a few days like musicians do.  So we get enough time to settle in, and then we go to the next place.

We really look forward to whatever climate it is, whatever culture it is, whatever place it is.  We really look forward to each and every place.  That's what is so nice about the tour these days.


Q.  Maria Sharapova was concerned earlier today that players weren't being told what the heat policy actually entailed prior to the tournament.  Do you know what it does entail?  Are you confused by it at all?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not confused because I don't know.


Q.  So you weren't told prior to the tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  I know it's at their discretion, I think.  So if I want to know, the referee's office is right there and I go ask them.  But I didn't do that.  That's why it's up to me to go find out.

I just asked shortly before to know the rules.  I sent Severin, my coach, in.  Can you find out about the roof, once it's closed if it's going to open up again.  I needed to know for today's match.


Q.  Andy Murray said when he first started working with Ivan Lendl he wanted to impress him.  I know that Stefan was your hero.  Is there any of that for you?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I had that earlier in my career, feeling like I had to do that when they used to watch my matches.

Now, I mean, it's different.  I do feel very special when I'm able to play tennis with him because it's still, to a degree, disbelief that here I am playing with my childhood hero.

It will never go away.  Like when I hit balls with Sampras or Rod Laver or Boris Becker, for that matter, people who I felt were very inspiring for my game.

And then now playing in front of them for me ‑ I don't want to say it's not a big deal ‑ but it doesn't get me stressed out or I don't feel like I need to impress them.

Of course, if they'd all be sitting in a line, like 20 guys, it's a different story.  I'd think, I better improve my volleys a little bit because they all used to volley better than me.

So that would make me feel bad.  But maybe I got other things.  I don't know.


Q.  Coming in behind your serve, is that something you're hoping Stefan can bring to your game?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, sure.  It would be nice if I can take some good things away from that as well.  He was probably one of the greatest of all times in terms of serve and volley.  He moved so smoothly and he did it so well and he did it for his entire career at the highest of levels.

So, sure, if he can give me some input on the serve and volley and the volleys in general, that would be a good thing.  But I worked a ton with Tony Roche on my volleys as well, throughout my career anyways.

So I didn't hire Edberg just because of my volleys or because of the transition game.  Surely if he can help me there, that would be great.


Q.  A lot of guys on the tour are getting more physical, bigger.  Is it getting harder to keep up with that these days?
ROGER FEDERER:  Uhm, not necessarily, you know.  What's interesting about the bigger guys these days is that they play from the baseline.  Whenever you were over 185, you used to serve and volley back in the day because you would take advantage of your size, of your power.

And now it's all these guys over 190 are actually playing further back in the court because they have more time, their serve is as big as it is, and they don't need to kill themselves always running back and forth over hours and hours.  That I think is something that has really changed.

And, of course, when you're tall like this, the serving, it helps the serving.  But, you know, I don't think it's impossible for a smaller guy to succeed in today's game.  I mean, Rafa, me, we're not the tallest out there.  We're the norm, let's say.  And that works perfectly well.

But, of course it is good to I guess be over 180.  It just seems like it.  But nevertheless I still believe you can do very well at 175, 180 as well.


Q.  Andy Murray was asked a fun question the other day.  If there was an imaginary tournament of the player with the legendary coach, he thought that he and Lendl would win.  Hewitt said that he and Patrick would win.  How do you think you and Stefan would step up?
ROGER FEDERER:  Wouldn't win because these guys are already winning, so...

I don't know.  Who cares?  We would do well, I guess.  I don't know.


Q.  You moved very well.
ROGER FEDERER:  Thank you for the compliment.  Finally I get one (smiling).  It's been a while.


Q.  Are you happy with your fitness level, how you played today?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, no, I'm moving well, you know.  As I move along in the draw I hope it becomes smoother and coordination gets better and the confidence rises.

I did work hard, as well, on defense today to try to keep myself in a good position.  He didn't hit many winners, so I was really able to get to many balls.  Then I tried to cut across and move in and play aggressive when I could.

So, yeah, in terms of fitness I feel great.  I feel very healthy.  That clearly is a great sign, because I can really focus on how I want to play tennis, where I want to move, how I want to play the ball, not, Can I get to it?

But I will get there, and then how will I hit the shot?  So it's a big difference from six months ago.

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Q.  Essentially the perfect match.  Do you see it the same way?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I'm very pleased.  Don't think I got broken today.  That against a great player.  So, yeah, I'm extremely happy how things went for me tonight.

I was able to play my game, offensive, mix it up, come to the net.  Yeah, I was surprised that things worked out for me.


Q.  Really surprised or...
ROGER FEDERER:  To a degree (smiling).  I mean, been in the quarters before.  But, you know, still this was the kind of match I was hoping to play maybe against Jo in Paris in the quarters.  I got a hiding that time.  I struggled all the way through the entire match.

Okay, it was windy and Jo was playing well.  But still, you know, I would assume that I would find my way into the match at one point and I never did.  That's maybe where I felt maybe my game is off slightly.  The hit I took in Indian Wells was more than just a slight setback.

So this is nice being back in the quarters, because I haven't been in one, you know, for two now, Wimbledon and the US Open.  So I'm back on a streak of 36, so we'll see where it goes now (smiling).


Q.  You came into the net 36 or 37 times, and you won about 86% of those points.  Something you discussed with your coach leading up to the match?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I'm sure you talk about it.  The question is can you then do it.  Does Jo allow you to?  Is he serving too big?  Are you going to serve and volley?  How is he returning?  It depends a little bit how the match goes.

I was hoping I could play a little bit aggressive.  So I think it worked out better than I thought it would.  You know, I was good at net.  I was consistent.  I was solid.  I was quick.  I had the right mindset.

I think the plan definitely worked out well for me tonight.


Q.  Do you think the big match tonight, another big one coming up Wednesday night, do you think these are the occasions where Stefan can really add something to you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes.  I mean, it's not going to hurt.  Yeah, it could be very helpful.  I don't know yet.  It's not Wednesday yet.  It's not Tuesday yet.  That's maybe where we'll talk about it a little bit, the Murray match.

You know, it's just a different perspective.  He did things his way back in the day.  I'm sure things were different back then.  But still you can take so many things from his experience.  I want to say maybe try out a few things that worked for him, try out a few things that he thinks would work out for me this time around.

Sure, we'll discuss it, assess it, but he's here now more for just support, making me feel comfortable, giving me right advice, prematch, post match, discussing it with Severin my coach.

We're still going through the motions a little bit here.  We're still trying to get a feel for how we want it to be exactly.  How much should we talk?  How much is too much?  He's doing really a nice job, and he was happy with my performance tonight, which makes me clearly very happy, too.


Q.  As the higher ranked player is Andy Murray the favorite for this match?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think we're both coming into this match with a good feeling.  We're both coming into this match, though, with some doubts slightly.  I don't know how he's feeling.  I haven't seen him play much, to be quite honest.

I didn't see anything in Doha.  I didn't see anything in Abu Dhabi.  Hardly anything here.  But what I'm hearing is that he's fine.  That's very positive.  That's what I was hoping for Andy, that when he did come back, he was 100%, not halfway, limping, not feeling great.

It's good to see he took care of his draw, and here we are again.  I'm looking forward to the match, I must say.  Yeah, I wonder how it's going to play out.  Was it here the last time we played?  That was a great match.  So I hope we both can reproduce something similar.

It will be interesting, because we had an interesting year last year with some ups and downs.  It's a good start to the season for both of us already.


Q.  Many years ago Peter Lundgren said to push you to the net was like throwing you in the water with sharks.  I would like to know if now you changed because of Tsonga's backhand or because of the new racquet or because of Edberg's influence?
ROGER FEDERER:  I used to serve volley against Sampras in 2001 at Wimbledon.  That was like 13 years ago, man.  It's not like I've been standing way back in the court like some clay courter.  I've always tried to come in.

I was actually coming in a lot at the beginning of my career because I didn't feel I was good enough off the baseline against the great baseliners that were still in the game in my time:  Hewitt, Ferrero, Safin, Nalbandian, Agassi.

I always felt like, God, these guys have such great backhands.  They have such an easy time finding my backhand.  I'm coming in because I don't want to rally back there.

Eventually in 2003 I probably realized I can actually also hang with them from the baseline and beat them.  That's when everything changed.  Conditions got slower.  I improved from the baseline.  My movement got solid.  I was fit.  That's then when I went on a run.

But I've always enjoyed coming to the net.  Clearly as a junior you always think twice if you want to come in or not because you're little, you're weak.  It's easy to get lobbed.

As you grow, you need someone who tells you it's actually okay to be at the net.  That's why as a junior you shouldn't care too much about your results really.  You want to play how you want to play in the future.

I'm happy I learned a lot of volleys throughout my career with all my coaches, but I think Tony Roche taught me the most when it comes to the volleys.  That was a good stretch with him, talking about the volleys.


Q.  The other day Novak said he thought the mental aspect of the game these days was the most difficult to overcome.  Rafa said it was the physical.  Where do you stand on that?  Obviously earlier in your career you had a lot of emotion, and then you quickly put that away.  Is the mental side the more difficult to overcome?
ROGER FEDERER:  I honestly think it depends on the player's character, doesn't it?  Me, it took me longer, the mental side.  The physical side was something I think nobody should have any regrets because everybody can work hard.  That shouldn't be an excuse, a guy not being fit or for a guy not giving everything he has, running for every ball.

Sure, at times you need to pace yourself, all that stuff.  But everybody should be able to move well, because there is no such secret, like a certain way of practice that's going to make you fast.  Everybody does it different.

Spanish do it different to the Americans.  Americans do it different to the Australians.  I don't know what the Swiss do, but we do something.  Everybody does something different when it comes to that.

Then the mental part is something that only over time do you embrace the big moments; center courts; live TV; the pressure of being that next best guy and people thinking life is easy; you're going to be world No. 1 anyway; you're going to make a lot of money.

How is that to overcome?  I think that can be very difficult for some, plus the traveling and all that, the pressure.  But for me, I don't know, it was not crazy, but it did take a toll on me because I was supposed to make a break so early.  I was supposed to become world No. 1 at some point.

At the same age, guys like Safin, Roddick, Lleyton, they all did it before me.  So sure, I was questioning myself in the process as well.

I think coaching is important in the beginning to teach you the proper technique, because if you have flaws in your technique, that's something maybe that's very hard to change down the stretch.  So I guess it depends in phases where you look at it.


Q.  Back to tonight's match.  Your movement was sublime.  Your execution was exemplary.  You even challenged well.
ROGER FEDERER:  Who cares, you know?


Q.  Did you feel the energy flowing out there tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I definitely felt momentum was on my side, no doubt.  I started the match well.  Did I break first game?  I think I did.

I felt, All right, things are working for me tonight.  Let me try to run away with it in the first set.  I had some missed opportunities midway through the second set.  I think I had twice Love 30.

Thought I could have done a bit better, but Jo did well to hang around and serve well when he had to.

Yeah, so that second set was key, I thought.

Then the third, I felt like, Okay, if I can get off to a good start in the third, which I did, things were going to look good.  But with the scoring system in tennis it's just never quite safe.  I was looking all nice at 4 2, Love 40, and then here we are at 4 3, 30 40, and again I'm like, Ahhh.

You know, of course it's all turned around.  Maybe I'll be in the breaker or he'll break me again and we'll go into four sets.  Things were definitely going well for me tonight.  I'm happy I got the job done in three, because I did play for most of the match   almost the entire match.


Q.  Your opponent tonight from France, and America had a lot of players start the tournament but none are around.  Would you rather have strength in the draw or one or two players that could really go deep?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't understand.  Sorry.


Q.  A philosophical question.  Is it better to have strength in numbers?
ROGER FEDERER:  Strength in numbers for a country?


Q.  Correct.
ROGER FEDERER:  What are you talking about, world No. 1 or world No. 7?  It's a bit of a change.  If it's world No. 1, I'll take world No. 1.  But the strength in numbers is great because no matter if one guy gets injured, one guy moves out because of age or retires, you have somebody else.

But clearly you want someone who is able to win tournaments, 250s, 500s, 1000s, Grand Slams.

Sure, for Davis Cup it's great to have multiple guys so you can exchange and depending on the surface you can put whomever.  But if you're talking about world No. 1, I'd probably rather have that guy.


Q.  You mentioned doubts about you and Andy coming into this season.  Clearly beating Tsonga like that will take away some of them.  To what extent is Wednesday's match for both of you to address that?
ROGER FEDERER:  For me personally, I've overcome it.  I don't have doubts anymore.  I know I'm going definitely in the right direction.  I've had a great off season.  I had a strong end to the year.  I couldn't have worked harder in the off season.

Then Brisbane was good.  I played singles and doubles.  Here, this is the type of win I needed.  Clearly if I lose 0 0 in the next round I'll have doubts again, but I'm going to try to not make that happen.


Q.  The most significant test coming up?
ROGER FEDERER:  This is a big test for me.  I don't need Murray to have a further test.  The draw is a very testing draw.  I know it's tough.  It's not easy for anybody right now at this stage of the tournament, because you don't want to have any hiccups right now.

I hope I can continue playing at a high level.  What I've shown over the last three to four months to myself is that I'm more confident, that I know I'm most likely going to play okay in my next match, which wasn't always the case midway through last year when I didn't know how I was going to feel actually during the match.

I feel like I can think ahead.  I can think tactics.  I can think many things out there.  Everything else but my body, and that's very positive.  I've overcome a lot in the last few months.


Q.  What does it take for anyone to beat Murray, Nadal, Djokovic in a row?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, you need to be able to come through some matches quickly probably.  I mean, sure, you need to be mentally and physically ready for five sets, five sets, five sets, if that is the case, if you're talking about slams or Masters 1000s.

It's a tough thing to do.  Clearly you need to change your game depending on the players, because Murray plays different to Djokovic, Djokovic plays different to Rafa, and Jo and so forth.  You are always also a bit dependent on how good their form is, how good is yours.  Can you do it three or four times in a row.

It's a tough thing to do.  I don't know if it's been done before.  It's definitely a tough task.  Then again, if you don't embrace that challenge, you might as well not enter the draw.  You might as well stay at home and watch other guys battle it out.

That's what I like.  I like playing the best, for me personally.  And you need to take it to them.  You need to play aggressive against the top guys, me included.  You don't want to wait for stuff to happen.  I think that usually is good for success.


Q.  One of the TV commentators was saying that the new racquet was helping you for certain shots, like the return.  Do you agree?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I think so.  I did return really well tonight.  I had good timing.  I was also reading the serve well, not like other times.

Last year I had a really tough time in slower conditions against Jo.  Just couldn't get my racquet on it.  Probably I was maybe overall feeling bad.  I don't know.

But tonight things were just clicking.  It was smooth for me.  I do believe I have easier power with the racquet on the serve.  It might help me on the return, as well.  I hope it is the case.

I still need to put many more matches and hours on it, but so far so good.  It's a great start to the season with the racquet, with my body.  Everything is going really well.  I'm very happy.

Roger Federer 22-01-14
Wednesday, 22 January, 2014

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Q.  Did you get worried when you lost the third set after all the opportunities you had or were you feeling tired, angry with yourself?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, it's like one of those things where it would have been nice to close it out, it being that solid match that you played, you know.

The thing was not only that I served for it, but I had 6 4, 5 2 in the breaker.  Maybe could have won on one of the points and then probably would have gotten it home for sure.  There's so many things I could have maybe done better.  Maybe got slightly passive.

You sit down and you're still in the lead.  You don't know if momentum is still on your side or on his side now.  Only the next few games will decide that.  So it was important to get the lead straightaway again.

I could sense that, you know, he was struggling shortly after that.  But then again, you don't know how serious is it.  Is he just doing it now and he's going to be okay later when it matters.

I've been in these positions before.  For me it was just a matter of staying calm and forgetting about it a little bit because, you know, the match was great until that point when I couldn't get it done really.


Q.  Formulating the game plan is one thing, but executing it is another.  Are you impressed with how you've been able to execute the last couple games?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, no, I've been feeling really well.  Physically I know that I can do it.  And then because I'm feeling good physically, then I can really think about tactics I want to play, how aggressive or how passive do you want to play.  I have all these opportunities now.

I've been hitting the ball really well for some time now, so it's just nice that it all came together in a big match against Murray like this.


Q.  If there had been the odd subtle change in your game, it seemed you were able to turn defense into attack, reaching balls you may not have been able to reach a while ago.  Is that your back feeling good and the racquet as well?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, the racquet's not going to do the running for you.  But I know what you mean (smiling).

I definitely think that's what I used to do so well, you know, the transition game from defense to offense.  I definitely sensed that today, you know, I am back physically.  I'm explosive out there.  I can get to balls.  I'm not afraid to go for balls.

Of course, you know, last year at times you couldn't do it, but important is that I can do it now.  I'm looking forward to the next match.

It was a great game on many levels today, not just physically.  Also just mentally it was tough.  Then I really played some good tennis.  I was very happy.


Q.  How did you see the ball that you went in for?  Murray had a long debate with the umpire about whether the ball was up.
ROGER FEDERER:  A long debate is a bit extreme, exaggeration.


Q.  For him it was pretty long.
ROGER FEDERER:  Really?  I've seen worse.

Honestly, I don't know.  I thought I probably got it, especially the way it bounced on the other side.  It felt like I got under it.  At that point I might even have my eyes closed.  It's like it's so extreme that I really don't know.

They showed it twice I thought on the replay.  It looked good.  I just told the umpire, How can they show this and create this controversial moment potentially?  It's not really what you want to do.

I hope it was played the right way.  If it wasn't, I'm sorry.  But it's an umpire's call.  I've been burnt by these calls before.  I can't remember the score, but clearly it was a big one.  I think I ended up breaking him in the game.

I don't know.  We'll have to check the replay time and time again.


Q.  You have a new racquet, a new coach, a new level of fitness.  Could you talk about how they all come together?  It's not a new Roger Federer, but is it energizing and invigorating for you.
ROGER FEDERER:  It's really a big pleasure for me being back in the semifinals.  I think I've played semis here all the way since '03 or '04 maybe.

For me it's an amazing result for me again to be in the semis.  This one feels different because of the tougher times I've had in slams, Wimbledon, at the US Open.  It's nice to be back in the semis and defend my points from last year.  Not that it matters at my age.

But it's nice to play a nice tournament.  Plus what I really love is another Swiss is in the semis as well.  It's the first time in history.  So that's a big deal.  I was really happy for Stan last night, because he's been putting in an amazing effort for the last years and didn't always get compensated.  That's the big news for me.

I didn't think about it all the time when I was playing, but it was definitely inspiring tennis by him last night.

For me, it's as well a dream run, and I hope I can keep it up against Rafa.


Q.  What would you say about the all Swiss final?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, the moment you start thinking about that we're taking the same flight home.  So, yeah, look, I'm worried about my match clearly, but I'll definitely watch his first.  Hopefully he can make it.  Then he can put the pressure on me that way.

It's a great problem to have.  Geez, I mean, he played so well.  Not just now against Novak, but he's done it so well in this tournament.  He won Chennai.  Great season last year.  He's really also getting the respect he deserves in his country now and also on the tennis tour.

It's nice seeing it turning around for him.

And for me, yeah, I hope I can make it to the finals.  Clearly when you're in the semis you start dreaming.  There's no doubt about that.


Q.  When you're watching Stan's matches, are you just watching it quietly or do you find yourself occasionally coming out with a, C'mon?
ROGER FEDERER:  How much can I say here?  I don't know.  I'm not sitting there all quiet, no.  At the end I was standing up, hands in the air like him.  That's what it was, you know.

When he wins big points, yeah, I guess you do fist pump.  I high five with Mirka.  So it was good fun last night.  We watched the entire fifth set together.  Before I was watching more by myself.  It was amazing.


Q.  Given Rafa has had a good record against you in recent years, especially in slams.  Do you take any comfort in the fact that he is struggling a little bit with his left hand, which means he can't serve quite as well as normal?
ROGER FEDERER:  Then 210 bombs are coming my way again.  Who knows.  He's been tough to play against, no doubt.  I'm happy I get a chance to play him in a slam again.  I don't remember the last time we played.

The head to head record is in his favor.  I'm looking forward to speaking to Stefan, because when we spoke together, you know, when he came to Dubai and we spoke about the game, we clearly spoke about playing Rafa, as well.

He thought he had some good ideas, so I'm looking forward to what he has to say.  Clearly with Severin, he knows him inside out.  I'm looking forward to hear what the boys have to say.  We'll prepare.  I hope I can get a win.  We'll see.


Q.  You said before that you're physically back.  Do you think you're also mentally back?  Tonight you had 17 breakpoints and you transformed only four.  Why?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, the majority came in the fourth set, in the beginning.  I think I was 1 1 and 1 1 in the first two sets.

Look, yeah, it was a great match.  I'm happy.  I don't care about the breakpoints.  I really don't.


Q.  After losing the third set, did you think he had the form to take you to five?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, but you never know.  I mean, when you go deep, past the three hour mark, past three and a half hours   I don't know how long we played   you just don't know.  It's a bit of the unknown sometimes.  You go through phases where you feel better or worse.

I don't know if he's not feeling so well with his back or if he's not feeling so well because he physically couldn't train as much as he wanted to.  It's that unknown factor which is stressful.  It's difficult to handle.  Plus I kept missing opportunities.

But I tried to stay calm.  I've been in these positions before.  I think I did well at the end.  Would have been nice to get the early break and then hopefully serve and go up 3 Love on the first change of ends.  That was a bit of a pity.

But I guess I know exactly what he's going through, because that's how I felt sometimes because you couldn't work out sometimes.  You get tired throughout the match.  It's just not a good feeling to have because you start doubting yourself and then things get tough.


Q.  You mentioned age in a previous answer.  Do you think people get too obsessed with your age and they don't look at the player?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not sure.  You know, I don't read everybody's articles, honestly.  I actually don't read much at all so I don't know exactly what's being said.  I just sense it when I'm being asked questions time and time again.

The whole retirement question started like in '09.  Here we are five years down the road and I'm getting asked less.  So that's a good thing.

Then I think it's okay to talk about age because, yeah, I'm not 22.  But most of the guys now are between 26, 7, 8 now and have a lot of miles in their body now.  So I'm not the only guy.

Yeah, things don't get easier.  But at the same time they might become more enjoyable.  Maybe I can play with less pressure.  Maybe I just love it.  I still love competition.  Still feel maybe there's something big around the corner.

You know, I'm just trying to find out and see if that's the case.  I do feel it is.  But only time will tell if it's possible or not.


Q.  As somebody who has been an ambassador for the game for a long time and also on the Player Council, what do you think of the tournament not penalizing David Ferrer for shoving a linesperson during his quarterfinal?
ROGER FEDERER:  I didn't see it.  Speak to him.  Give him a timeout (smiling).  No, I mean, who cares?  It happens, you know.


Q.  You mentioned about Murray.  He thought you played particularly well in the first two sets.  Are there one or two points you can identify in his performance that gave you the clue that he wasn't fully recovered from the back operation?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think in the beginning he played well.  Physically he was fine.  It seemed like, at least.  Maybe at the end of the third only did I sense maybe for a second, but the problem was the scoreline was so difficult right then that you cannot focus on the guy's body or how he's feeling.

You're playing point for point.  Unfortunately I didn't serve well when I had to.  I sensed he might be struggling on some serves, but then again he did better when I thought he would struggle.  It was one of those things.

Once the ball was in play he played quite aggressive.  He actually played well.  Then right off the bat in the fourth set I realized, you know, he's not that fast maybe.  Things are getting a bit difficult for him now.  Not knowing if it was actually back or just fatigue because, like I said, maybe he couldn't work out as much as he wanted to.

You started feeling that as the match went past three hours, all that.  That's when I started to feel it the most.  In that Love 40 game at 1 0 in the fourth.  That's why it was so more disappointing not to take the opportunity there, because you don't know if it's like, Oh, maybe one game, then he's like back to normal.  You're like, God, I can't believe I missed that opportunity.

But he did struggle more or less throughout the fourth.  But he was dangerous, you know.


Q.  Was it just too good from Roger in the end?
ANDY MURRAY:  Well, I mean, I gave him the break at the end of the match.  That was disappointing.  In the first two sets I thought he played great tennis.

When he was serving for the match I felt like I raised my level because I had to basically, and obviously prolonged the match a bit further.

You know, just wasn't able to get ahead in the fourth set.  Yeah, I was disappointed with the game I played at 4 3.


Q.  Amazing resilience.
ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I was proud of the way I fought.


Q.  How were you physically in the fourth set?
ANDY MURRAY:  Well, I was okay.  I mean, obviously, you know, that's the highest level I've played at in a long time.  My serve slowed down a bit in the fourth set, especially the first couple points when I was getting up after the change of ends.

But, you know, I hung in well.  I pushed through it.  You know, almost got myself back in the match.


Q.  Are you pleased with the resolution that you've shown not only today but in the championships so soon after coming back?
ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I've come a long way in four months.  You know, I mean, obviously right now I'm very disappointed.  There's a few things I would have liked to have done differently.  There's maybe some things, you know, I would have done a bit differently if I was ever to have surgery again possibly.

But it's the first time I ever went through something like that.  I thought I did a good job getting myself in good shape to be competitive at this level.  Wasn't too far away in the end.


Q.  Was your back bothering you at all?
ANDY MURRAY:  My back was okay, yeah.


Q.  What would you have done differently?
ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I don't want to go into it.  There's certain things I would have done slightly differently.

I mean, I got myself in good shape, you know, to play in this event.  I was able to push very hard for three and a half hours.  Very high quality, high intensity match.

Obviously Roger plays a pretty high tempo, so the points are fairly quick fire.  The ball's coming at you quickly.  I dealt with that fairly well.

So, yeah, you never know.  With a few things that you can tweak here and there, maybe you could have found a few extra percent.


Q.  I'm guessing you'll reflect on a good tournament, given what's happened, given the buildup.
ANDY MURRAY:  I don't know how many players have come back from surgery and won the first Grand Slam back in their second tournament.  Very unlikely to happen.

I just need to use this as, I guess, a steppingstone to getting better and be happy that I've got through five matches.  The last two were particularly tough.

And, yeah, I'm playing at a decent level fairly quickly again.  Hopefully I'll be back playing my best tennis soon.


Q.  As well as Roger played in the first two sets, did you feel you were pretty close to getting that breakthrough?
ANDY MURRAY:  I didn't return well enough, to be honest, the first two sets.  He served extremely well.  As much as I would have liked to have returned better, he served very well.  Didn't allow me to do that.

When I had the opportunities, some second serve returns and stuff, maybe didn't make him play enough.  30 All points, could have done a bit better.  You know, there's a few points here and there where I hit tapes on returns and missed the shot by a little bit.

But, I mean, he started off the match playing great, great tennis.  Glad I managed to respond and made the match competitive.


Q.  You've played him going back to sort of 2008.  Where would you put his level at times out there tonight?
ANDY MURRAY:  I don't know, to be honest.  It's so hard to tell.  I mean, he started the match extremely well.  But, yeah, I mean, it's very hard to judge from match to match.

I mean, guys change and evolve; they do certain things differently to what they did a few years ago.  Obviously as you get older you're going to make adjustments to your game as well.

But I thought he served well tonight.  I thought he served especially well.  But in terms of compared with six, seven years ago, I mean, it's tough because sometimes I beat him six, seven years ago and didn't play as well as I did tonight.  Sometimes he's maybe played better than that and I could have won the match.

It's very small, small margins at this level.


Q.  Is your sense of frustration heightened by the fact you know from the way you played today that you feel as though you're almost there?  Is that the sense you come off the court thinking with?
ANDY MURRAY:  Look, it's frustrating because, you know, when you start the process, you're getting ready, it's basically been four months when you're lying on your back not being able to move or walk.  You put in a lot of hard work for this long period.

Then, you know, as much as you haven't played enough matches and stuff, a lot of work and time goes into getting yourself ready.  You want to give yourself the best chance to win.

Yeah, like I say, a lot of work went into this slam compared with other ones where you have a few weeks to prepare.  This time I had a long time to prepare, maybe just not enough matches.


Q.  Going down two sets to love, did you still feel you could pull back into the match?
ANDY MURRAY:  I just kept fighting.  I changed my tactics a little bit, started playing a little bit more aggressive, and that was maybe my undoing a little bit at the end, because I really started going for my shots to get myself back into the match.

Then when I got broken in that fourth set, I went for three balls.  Maybe one or two of them weren't there to be hit, so...

I tried to fight.  I tried to adjust the way that I was playing.  I was happy with that, because if I hadn't made those adjustments it could have been a bit quicker.


Q.  On court Roger was saying basically the difference between his play this year and last year was he felt more freedom of movement this year.  Could you talk briefly about the importance of movement and quickness.
ANDY MURRAY:  It's very important.  I mean, there's certain injuries and niggles that you'll have that don't hamper your movement too much.  They can just hurt a little bit, but you can still move absolutely fine.

But there's certain times where certain issues will hamper your movement, and that 5%, 10% at the top, top level is going to make a big difference 'cause the game is played at such a quick pace now.

You know, guys are moving so, so well.  Being able to retrieve those extra two, three balls in a rally can be the difference between winning a set and not.

You know, if you're moving freely, it's going to make a big difference.


Q.  Did you expect to be able to play the level you played tonight when you first came into the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY:  I didn't really know exactly what to expect.  Like I say, I've never been through this process before, so I don't know how long it takes.  I don't know, you know, what's normal.

Some people have surgeries and don't come back from them well at all.  So there's that in the back of your mind.  And some come back and do fine.

But it's obviously not easy.  Yeah, the only concern was I hadn't played enough matches.  I can do all the practicing and training I want.

Like I said, I trained for a good couple of months, although it was a bit slow at the beginning.  I trained for quite a bit of time to get ready, but I just wasn't sure exactly how I was going to feel playing matches at this level because it's different.


Q.  With your short turnaround getting back to full strength, how tough and challenging is this quick switch to clay for Davis Cup now?
ANDY MURRAY:  It's not perfect for rehabbing a back surgery.  Yeah, ideally I'd stay on the same surface.


Q.  The women's tournament is so surprising now.  Do you have any thoughts on it?  Agnieszka Radwanska is...
ANDY MURRAY:  I would like her to win, yeah.  If I could pick someone to win, I would like her to win.

Fed is still playing some good tennis.
His legacy was sealed a long time ago with outstanding play that some have seemed to forget.
Here's a little clip of a match but it wasn't an outstanding match compared to others back then, it was the norm for him in those days.
He's miles ahead of where he is now physically and mentally. Enjoy!!!  :king:
King Fed


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