16. June 2012
Q: Roger, talk about the match?
FEDERER: I thought Mikhail started a bit slow. Obviously the two double faults hurt him a lot in the game at 2-1 down. Then the key of the match for me was coming out of the 0-40 whole then holding and going up 4-1. That was a big ten minutes for me. Then, once in the lead, I played a bit more aggressive, just continued my stuff. He was missing quite a few shots and made it a bit easier for me. But overall I thought I played a really good, tough solid match and it was nice coming out and playing some decent tennis after yesterdayís shootout really.
Q: How do you feel your game is today versus the first time you reached the final here?
FEDERER: I donít remember even how I played back then. I remember the emotions I have but I donít remember how my forehand, backhand felt. Obviously, today I feel as a much more complete player, I expect myself to win more which can be helpful at times whereas maybe when I came here you donít know really what to expect. So, I think itís been always a very successful tournament. I donít think I lost early in the tournament. I always reached the quarters here or better. Iím happy itís been such a great hunting ground for me, not only the Centre Court and the atmosphere there but all the surroundings, the Weber family. So many things make me play well here that Iím always very happy to come back. But this year I think Iíve been playing really well. Itís been a good tournament so far, a tough draw in particular with Mayer, Raonic and also Youzhny. They are all very good grass court players on any given day. Thatís why itís a great effort for me to make it to the finals.
Q: In view of what you said can you think back on the emotions the first time you were here in the final?
FEDERER: Yes, because itís always special winning a title not far away from home. I remember my parents came up to watch me play. Itís a long way. I think I rode back with them to Switzerland and then I would go to Wimbledon. I always played very well here in the final actually. I never had a bad final. I hope it can be again something similar tomorrow.
Q: You were serving and volleying a lot more ten years ago. Are you trying to build in more serve and volley in the game given how much more fierce the returns are of guys like Nadal and Djokovic are.
FEDERER: I didnít want to start serve and volleying off the back and then knowing that maybe Wimbledon played a bit slower, particularly in the second week. Then when you stop playing from the baseline you completely lose that rhythm. So, I wanted first to start my game here this week with a solid baseline game, with a good serve, good forehand, good backhand, take time away from the opponent to make sure I get into the tournament first before I start trying out things. Today obviously I did throw in the occasional serve and volley but thatís more something Iíll practice again next week. This week, Iím just trying to make sure I move well, serve well and return well and then the rest will automatically lead me to the net and depending on who I play I can maybe serve and volley a bit more. Obviously itís something particularly on the grass I should be using more often as I go deeper into the tournaments.
Q: Two years ago you were slightly injured against Hewitt. When did you stop having the back problems because they were with you for some eighteen months, werenít they?
FEDERER: I donít think it was the back. I think it was my leg that was hurting but I was still able to play. I should have won on 0-6, 4-4, 0-40 and then he hit a net cord on one of his forehand. Itís a pity because I was in control, I was playing well, I created the opportunities I wanted. I donít think he would have broken me at 5-4 and then he played really well I have to say in the third. He started to return me really well and he just got into another gear which was great to see. But it was still a good final for me. But my back has been under control for maybe somewhat over a year now. Obviously it always flares up from time to time like for any other player. When you change surface maybe you feel it a bit more but itís not like you cannot play. But sometimes it gets too bad like for me in Doha or maybe for Murray in Madrid, he didnít come. I mean youíre able to play somewhat okay but itís just not a whole lot fun playing with it. Iíve been very happy with my back for about a year now or so.
Q: Youíll definitely play a German now in the final. Coming back to your score against the Germans: it was ten years ago when you last lost against a German. If you win tomorrow you will have won the fiftieth time in a row against a German. What is it? Is it that you are that god or are the Germans that bad?
FEDERER: No. Of course, Iím surprised. Not to lose in ten years thatís awesome. Somebody told me in Paris after I had beaten Kamke. Then I beat Mayer and thought about that in the back of my mind. Of course, that this cycle wonít end tomorrow (laughs). Iím looking forward to the final against Kohlschreiber or Haas. Itís going to be great. Itís interesting how four one-handed-backhand-players made it to the semis here on grass. They are both good friends of mine. Of course Tommy and I share many years together on the tour and also our families are close. Iím happy for both of them that they made it so far and beat such top players.
Q: Did you think that Tommy would show such a great performance the whole week?
FEDERER: Yes, I did. But thatís no guarantee, especially on grass. Everything is down to a few shots. Itís different than on clay or hard court where the difference between the players is bigger. So I hoped that heíll find his way into the tournament and will have a good run. Heís very dangerous on grass. So, it wonít be an easy final for me. And Kohlschreiber won the title here last year and I played him once in the final here. Heís really good, too.
Q: Did you think that it would be that easy today?
FEDERER: I always prepare for a tough match. I have enough rackets with me, enough t-shirts and two pair of shoes. Iím prepared for everything (laughs). But if suddenly the match is over within an hour, I donít really mind.
Q: Nicolas Kiefer said yesterday that you had promised to become Number One again. Is that right?
FEDERER: No, I didnít promise that (laughs). I was happy to see him here. Sometimes he writes to me whether itís about football or tennis. Itís nice to keep in touch with your former rivals. It would be nice and Iíd be extremely happy. Iím aware that Iíd be very close if I won one of the next Grand Slams, Wimbledon or US Open. But first I need to play well. Now, the focus is here in Halle and not anywhere else.
Q: Does the number 77 tell you anything?
FEDERER: Not a lot.
Q: John McEnroeís tournament victories. You have 74.
FEDERER: Yes, I knew he had won 77 but Iím not always aware of that.
Q: Is it a goal to overtake him?
FEDERER: I hope that I will otherwise my next years donít look too good (laughs). Weíll see. Tomorrow I can make another huge step. But John McEnroe is a huge legend. I think he also won 78 doubles titles. So, Iím glad that he is still in tennis by working as a commentator or by playing exhibitions. He knows how to move the masses. It would be great if I caught up with him but itís not one of my main goals.
Q: What about your management? Tony is no longer with IMG. Will you stay with him or with IMG?
FEDERER: I intend to work with Tony. I will decide and organise things when things are more peaceful. But my goal is to work with Tony.