Q. I want to know about how this affects your confidence maybe moving forward? And also, what does this tell you about your game, where youíre at, from being still one of the elite players on the planet?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, Iíve played a lot of tennis lately. Iím maybe the guy with most matches played this year, so itís not like Iíve been on the sideline. I think that helps, you know, building confidence and momentum really.
Obviously you want it to pay off in the big matches against the best of the players. Didnít happen for me in Paris unfortunately, but it was a tough tournament overall for me.
Then itís nice that, you know, it worked today. Obviously Iíd love to win the title. I have one more match to go. Iím aware of that. Still itís always nice beating someone like Novak, who has done so well here last year, the last couple years.
Weíve never played on grass. It was obviously a big occasion. These matches only help my confidence. I hope I can use it then for the finals.
Q. I canít imagine you felt you had anything left to prove about your career at this point on this stage. Iím wondering, did you feel when you walked onto court, was there a statement you wanted to make, a point you wanted to make with your play?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, not really. All I hoped for was a good match from me, to be quite honest, to give myself a chance to be in the finals, have a shot at the trophy again really. I missed being in the finals here the last couple years obviously.
It was big news when I lost to Berdych a few years ago. Not that I started doubting myself after last yearís quarterfinals, but I played so well in that quarterfinal against Tsonga it was a hard one to sort of accept to lose. But Jo did great. You have to wait another year for your chance, and now I am finally back in that final.
So itís great. Thatís what my goal was going into the match, not looking ahead of trying to prove a point or anything like that. Because I felt like Iíve played, like you said, plenty of tennis over the years and had so much success that I donít think I really need to do that.
Q. What was the difference? Was there a single thing you felt was the tipping point in the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think the surface obviously does make our match quite different, to be quite honest. We barely had rallies in the first couple of sets, which was surprising for me to see, as well. We did a lot of first‑strike tennis; a lot of service winners out there.
That obviously changes momentum of the match. Doesnít make it maybe as physical. Itís more explosive. Maybe a touch unpredictable. I thought when I missed my chance early on in the third I might pay for it dearly. Almost did towards the end of the third set when he had breakpoints.
So I think overall the surface made the match play differently and potentially in my favor. I was able to be very aggressive, particularly once I did get into the third set where I thought we both played our very best.
Now looking back, that was obviously the key to the match.
Q. What were your thoughts before the match about the roof being closed?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, honestly I tried not to think too much about it. I spoke about it with my coaches. I asked them is it better for me or not. Nobody knew (smiling).
I mean, now I guess it was. Who knows.
But itís really the things ‑‑ like now for the Murray and Tsonga match I didnít know it was open. They barely knew 10 minutes before the match. You just go through it. Thereís another rain delay, you wait it out. Itís just what we do as tennis players. We adjust at the very moment. It was the same again today.
Q. How would you describe what Pete Samprasí record and legacy mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, everybody knows what a hero he is to me and how much I admire what heís been able to achieve in tennis. I mean, I donít think he ever lost a Grand Slam final here at Wimbledon. He won seven out of seven, which is just incredible, particularly in the times he played against all these big servers, when things were a bit more unpredictable, letís say.
So Iím very proud to have a shot of equaling Pete, but right now the focus is obviously resting and preparing for the next match.
Q. His example, how he achieved it, how has that affected the way youíve approached your career and your play at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I particularly remember obviously the end of his career, because before that I was honestly following more Becker and Edberg. But I admired, you know, how he stuck around, how he tried to win maybe one more, maybe two more.
Obviously was a big surprise and a shock that I was able to break his five Wimbledons in a row here. I went on to do it myself. It was quite odd actually.
But for me it was an inspiration for sure, as well, you know, to see somebody while I was coming up dominating the game and breaking the all‑time Grand Slam record. Iím sure that inspired me in some ways.
Q. Can you talk about your two prospective opponents in the finals. Andyís record in Grand Slam finals is consistent but not great. Is that a source of hoe for you? And Tsonga, presumably you have unfinished business with him at Wimbledon after last year.
ROGER FEDERER: Iíve played him many times since. I lost to him in Montrťal after that, then beat him at the Open, and then beat him I think three straight times in two weeks at the end of the year.
So weíve played many times since, which I think helps me, to be quite honest, because I was still affected by that loss, I do believe, in Montrťal, because he came out and, again, played amazing. I know he can do it again. Thatís why I also respect Jo in a big way.
And then against Andy, obviously I have I think a losing record against him.
Q. Not in finals.
ROGER FEDERER: Okay, fine. Thatís something for you to talk about. But for me I know how good Andy is. Finals are or finals, Iíve had my tough losses with him as well. I remember the losses I had against him, in the finals particularly in Shanghai where he crushed me, and in Toronto I believe it was.
I had a good win against him in Dubai which was on a quick court. Honestly, we havenít played much in the last couple of years because of us being ranked 3 or 4 for sometime now. We always ended up in Novak or Rafaís hands and one would win but not both usually, so then we wouldnít see each other very often.
But if I do play Andy itís quite interesting, because we havenít played each other very often lately.
Q. Having just beaten the defending champion in a high‑caliber match, do you have to build yourself up again for the final and guard against any complacency?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not for me. Iím aware that the tournamentís not over yet. I didnít break down crying and fell to my knees and thought the tournament is over and I achieved everything I ever wanted. (Laughter.)
Honestly, it happens faster than you think it does. Then all of a sudden you come out the next match and youíre not the same anymore because youíre emotionally too drained already and you think itís been a great tournament.
I know itís been a great tournament, but weíll assess that once the tournament is over. Right now I want to try to play the best possible final I can.
Q. You said before that nobody told you if the court was in your favor or not with the roof. But do you hope the final will be played with the roof or not depending on your opponent?
ROGER FEDERER: Outdoors, I hope. Thatís what itís supposed to be here.
Q. How do you explain the fact that the first two sets, the serve was dominating the match, and then suddenly you start to play a lot of rallies which you were losing?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we didnít have that many long rallies in the first couple of sets. Itís always hard to find rhythm maybe, letís be honest. Well, I mean, itís hard to fire bullets the whole time, so you try to also find some range. If he tees off first, itís hard to defend obviously.
It is grass, after all. Itís just not as easy to take that many balls out and, you know, come up with amazing shots time and time again. Thatís why I kept on attacking ‑ particularly I started to return much better as the match went on ‑ because I played a decent first set in return.
In the second set I wasnít very happy and I tried to take some adjustments, particularly on the second serve, and all those things worked really well. Then I was able to be the aggressor once I got into the baseline rallies, which wasnít the case in that second set, for instance, and maybe a little bit of the first set, too.
Q. The crowd clearly wanted you to win today. Who would you rather face in the final? If it is Andy Murray, do you think the crowd will be as supportive on Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it actually was very respectful towards both players today. Thatís the feeling I got, particularly the first set, first couple of sets. I donít want to say there was that much to cheer about, but the points were awfully short.
The guy that had the break was in control. There wasnít that nail‑biter feeling quite yet. That started to come along in the third and fourth set, I thought. But I did feel big crowd support towards the end. You felt like they really wanted me to win, which is obviously a nice feeling.
Now for the finals, of course Iíd love to play Murray. I always say in whatever country I am I like to play the local hero, I kind of call them, and Andy is exactly that here at Wimbledon.
So I hope the match comes along, even though I like Jo very much. Here it would be very special playing against him.
I donít know. I hope I have some crowd support, but itís not the very most important thing right now.
Q. What is your biggest challenge going into this match, considering youíve been here so many times before?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, I mean, I wasnít nervous at all today before the match. I was almost a bit surprised I wasnít more nervous.
But then again, I think thatís good sometimes. That means Iím in a good place mentally. And you got to be that for the finals, as well.
Of course, thereís a lot on the line for me. Iím not denying that. I have a lot of pressure, as well. Iím looking forward to that. Thatís what I work hard for. Iíve worked extremely hard since I lost that match point against Novak last year at the US Open. My run has been extremely good. Now I have a chance at world No. 1, at the title again all at once.
So itís a big match for me and I hope I can keep my nerves. Iím sure I can. Then hopefully win the match. But weíll see about that.
Q. You spoke a moment ago about Andy being the local hero. What have been your observations over the years on the weight of Murray mania and the countryís attention to this tournament and this player?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it reminds me a little bit of Australia maybe because you donít have the amount of players you do have from, say, from France or from America. So the focus is more on one player or maybe a couple.
So I think this is what is so particular here in this country is that thereís so much attention on that one player, which is Andy Murray. Letís be happy that heís such a great player that he lets that sort of hype last because he always remains in the tournament for so long. I think thatís whatís particular about it.
Heís only going to get better as time goes by. Thatís what heís been proving. Itís going to be interesting to see if heís going to make it to the finals. Iíd love it, you know. Yeah, so I think heís actually handled it very well from what Iíve seen from afar.http://freedomtennis.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/roger-federer-july-06-2012/#more-570