An interview with: ROGER FEDERER
Saturday, September 1, 2012
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. 26 out of 27 net points won today. Do you ever remember a statistic like that?
ROGER FEDERER: I had no clue my stats were that good coming in. Fernando did have some good chances for good passing shots. Looking back, I don't remember missing too many volleys and overheads, all that stuff. Probably half the time I didn't have to volley because it was hard to hit a good pass. It was windy. Usually when I do come in, it's probably on one I can be very offensive on. But I really tried to play offensive against Bjorn Phau in my second match. I did lose more points than I was hoping to. I think that gave me the confidence to move forward today and conditions helped that because it was quicker during the day.
Q. What are your thoughts on the Davis Cup tie against The Netherlands in Amsterdam? Will you be there?
ROGER FEDERER: Probably take a decision soon. It's obviously one that's an interesting choice of surface from their side, playing outdoors on clay. But then again, you know, it's an exciting tie because Dutch fans are always amazing. I remember when I played there 2004 maybe, I'm not sure how long ago it was, 2003 I think it was, we had a great time. I hope obviously the Swiss can win. But it's going to be difficult. Away ties in Holland are always very difficult.
Q. But will you be there?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know yet. Take a decision next 10 days. A lot is happening in my life.
Q. The Spanish media published today that Rafael Nadal may not play until next year. How do you feel about it? Did you ever have a conversation with him about his many injuries?
ROGER FEDERER: No.
Q. Maybe gave him some advice?
ROGER FEDERER: No, we never really spoke about it, even though we see each other. He sees me taped up. I see him getting taped up. We see each other warming up for matches and so forth. You never really talk about that. I think it's quite personal except if one guy goes up to the other. But we're both very open and honest, you know. When I ask him how he's feeling, he's not feeling well, he'll tell me, I'm tired, a little injured. There's no real secrets out there because he knows and I know when we tell each other that stuff it doesn't leave the room. That's a nice relationship I have with Rafa. It's based on a lot of trust. So it's obviously not great news but one that was a possibility. So I'm not shocked about the news. I'm still hopeful that he'll be okay for the rest of the year.
Q. Aside from doing all these press conferences time and time again, what is the toughest thing you've had to go through in your career?
ROGER FEDERER: It depends what 'tough' is. I don't know. I've had tough moments out there. I can't recall one. I've had so many nice ones that when it gets extremely tough, when you get tough questions, tough trips, tough matches, whatever that may be, you have to explain yourself, it's okay from time to time to have to go through that. You learn from it. You deal with it. You move on. You always try not to make the same mistake a few times. But it's happened to me, as well. Yeah, I can't recall a particular one.
Q. You're known for your game management. When you are having a tough time out on court, is the most important thing to stay calm?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it is actually quite difficult. You're always in the limelight out on center court. That's almost every match for me now. There's no hiding spot out there. Doesn't matter how long you're out there for. Might be five hours. Basically the TV is just waiting for something to happen. It will not go unnoticed. I don't want to say you always have to be on your best behavior, but that can be tricky and difficult sometimes especially when you're younger because you're not quite aware of it yet. It's a very respectful game towards fans and your opponents and all that stuff. I'm happy it's that way. But obviously it's not always so easy to be composed about everything that goes on out there because we also have many emotions. We don't always feel great every day. When something is hurting or when you're sick, doesn't matter what it is, when you're trying not to show someone, it's tricky because they zoom in on you and you know that. You just try to go with it and you get used to it eventually.
Q. When you started out, social media is not what it is today. Is that better for a player to be able to tell people in their own words or is it better to be judged by the outside world?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, yeah, it's true, social media didn't exist when I was coming along. I don't remember anyone doing it back then yet. Now it's got really big. Obviously now we have a lot of quick news, quick info, almost a bit too much for my liking at times. Sometimes you don't go in‑depth any more. It's finding out a lot of information as quick as possible. You definitely have to get used to that as well. So the question was exactly? I'm a little slow, you see (smiling).
Q. From the athlete's standpoint, are you happier being able to give out the information yourself, or do you want other people to judge you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I started using my website for that some time ago. Whenever I had an announcement to make, important, not important, at least it was a neutral platform. So none of the journalists would feel betrayed that I used one to announce. So I put it on the website and people did what they did. For me, the most important was that I could communicate with fans. The communication with the media happens for me here. I don't necessarily need social media to communicate more with you guys. I'm doing so much media all the time. For me, most important are the supporters and fans who travel the world with me. When I see them at practices or matches, this is when I want to interact with them. Of course, now there is this platform. Of course, from time to time I do write stuff, as well, but it's not my favorite thing to do. I do it because I know that the fans take pleasure. I don't actually post for anyone else but the supporters and the fans. People use it differently. I use it that way, still very casually, but it seems to work so far. We'll see how it goes in the future because things are changing.
Q. Stan said yesterday if you played more doubles you could be the best doubles player in the world. Do you think playing at the Olympics improved your singles game at all?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think so. But repeat yourself again. I just want to make sure I heard that.
Q. Has it improved your volley or your play at net? You played doubles four weeks ago at the Olympics...
ROGER FEDERER: If that helped me?
Q. Has that positively impacted your singles play?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, no, no. I played two matches.
Q. But you practiced.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we practiced. I think we had two practice sessions for it. We're very professional (laughter). No, I used to play a ton of doubles when I was younger. That helped me. I don't know how many doubles tournaments I played in my life, but I played a lot, particularly my first, let's say, five years on tour. Now obviously there's just too much happening for me to play too many doubles. But I do believe, for instance, when I played more doubles in '08 Olympics, where I went and played maybe five matches, we did play some more doubles tournaments before that, I really feel that that benefited me coming into the US Open that year. I was very good at net. So I do believe that you can take away a lot from doubles because you have less time on the return and at net, as well. But this time around, no, it didn't help me unfortunately.
Q. After the match today you mentioned as you were serving for it you had some memories of the semifinal last year. Can you talk more about that.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I thought it was a similar atmosphere. I guess against Novak, it was later in the day. Just an assumption I have. I'm not sure anymore. I just felt the atmosphere, Labor Day weekend, also at the end, semis or finals, that those day matches have a different atmosphere to the night session matches. Now I've played two night. Coming out during the day, when I walked on, it reminded me of the ovation I got from that particular match, and then when I got up to serve for it, I think it was the same end, when it was against Novak, just tried to serve this one through. Doesn't matter whether you think about it or not. It was funny that I thought about it in a third‑round match. But I'm happy that I survived it. I played a really good last game, so I'm happy.
Q. How do you feel physically after your first day match in New York's humidity? Sounds like you may have a bit of a cold. You're sniffling a bit?
ROGER FEDERER: No, just a lot of air‑conditioning in this country. I've been up and down for the last few weeks. You're right, I have a little bit of a blocked nose, but not bad. No, today honestly wasn't hot at all for me. Bit of a breeze. It almost cools you down a bit. I know when you're sitting there, it feels even warmer. For me anyway it was no problem. I enjoyed it. Had a great time out there. I was happy with my performance today.
Q. Can you compare the two quite different experiences of playing a big match on Centre Court Wimbledon versus playing on Ashe?
ROGER FEDERER: It's great. I mean, I've played in so many places. It's true, you have to get used to some of them. Some come totally natural. Some other ones, maybe you're lacking the energy or the fire or it's almost too loud, too noisy, whatever it might be. So it takes some getting used to. Also conditions. You mentioned the heat, the humidity, the wind. Obviously indoor, outdoor tournaments have a completely different feel to them as well. People do react when it it's cold. You can't clap so much. It's cold. You have an umbrella in your hands when it's raining. Atmosphere changes. You mentioned Wimbledon and the US Open. I don't want to say they could be more different, but there is a big change in it. Obviously you don't have the night sessions at Wimbledon. Now with the roof you might have some. It's not the same as here. Then you have, I don't know, advertising on change of ends. You have music, you name it, kiss cam, fan cam. It makes you laugh. The focus is obviously different. You try to find a way to handle it, and it can give you a lift when you feel the crowd is having a good time. But then also some crowds are really nice when all they care about is forehands, backhands, serves, nice tennis. There needs to be no other experience but tennis for them. Different countries, different cultures. That's what I enjoy a lot when you travel the world.
Q. You mentioned the great Dutch fans. What are the most intense fans that you played in front of?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I've had a rough one here against Andre. That was tough. And then where else? I mean, Australia, I guess, I've had a couple of tough ones, too. I've had a ton where people were cheering for me, really exciting. A lot of local home heroes throughout my career. Therefore, extra special, no doubt about it. When players have to play me back in Basel, it's also quite tricky for them.
Q. Do you feel as much pressure to win a slam now as you did before you won one?
ROGER FEDERER: No. This is way less pressure. This is ‑‑ I don't know how to explain it. You don't even explain because it makes so much sense. Before you're trying to break through, make your move, you realize it's so hard. You still have Agassi, Sampras, the older generation you saw from TV. Not so easy to come through that one. That's not even talking about your generation that also are pushing, trying to make their move. I remember I felt an awful lot of pressure because I was very talented and people always said, He's going to be the next No. 1, next Grand Slam champion, but it seems like there's something missing. You're like, Yeah, I agree. I agree I could maybe make it, there is something missing, but I haven't figured it out yet. So you do feel that pressure. Yeah, you panic a little bit. It's not so simple at times. Today obviously everything you have achieved, nobody can take it away from you. By virtue of that, you are much more at peace with everything that goes on in your life.
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