Roger's interview after his first match:
R. FEDERER/D. Istomin
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was that a rather straightforward day of work out there?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. It felt good from the start and was able to maintain that level of play. I never thought he got into the match, you know, at all. That gives you obviously even more confidence.
And, yeah, then best of three sets, we know things are over quickly.
Q. Guy you played in the final last year, John Isner, will no longer be the American No. 1 after this. You played him really early at the US Open. What do you think about how his year has gone and just American are tennis in general?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, obviously he hasn't had a great start to the season, you know, being injured and so forth. He's more on a little comeback on that front, so he's not thinking right away of winning a tournament here.
He had a tough draw with Lleyton. That was always going to be tough, particularly where he's coming from. As we know, there are no easy draws here, and that makes his achievement last year even bigger, I think.
Yeah, I think at this point it's all I can say. American tennis has been amazing for so many years, and it will be in the future, as well.
So doesn't matter the rankings, always, but obviously with Andy Roddick retiring and John not being so well and Mardy having the issues, obviously rankings don't tell the truth at the moment.
Q. You know, mentioning Isner, he made a quick rise, sort of starting to stumble a little bit. Having been in the game a while and stayed on top, was it harder to make the climb or is it harder to stay on top?
ROGER FEDERER: For me it was I think it was harder to get to world No. 1 for some reason in terms of mentally trying to get there. But then I did make it rather quickly.
Obviously when you win a Grand Slam and win a few tournaments you're in striking distance, and I had a couple of chances at the end of the season to make it, one of them I think being Montreal and Madrid maybe, as well. I had chances to really make a big step forward and crumbled under pressure.
I think that learned me to always have the right mindset, you know, change things around, become more professional.
Then the maintaining bit was actually pretty straightforward, you know. Obviously at the top you also profit from better draws, you know. Being in the top four seeds it's a help, you know, down the stretch at some point.
But you have to take advantage of it time and time again, and that's what I have been able to do. So for me the maintaining was the actually potentially easier part. But I'm not sure about that. I put in a lot of work all around.
Q. Are you interested to see how Rafa does tonight, or does it not matter? Will you watch or not watch? What will be a sign...
ROGER FEDERER: Probably will not watch because I will doing other things. I expect him to win. When I see the name of Nadal, I think of him as the great champion he is, and I expect him to win 99% of the matches he plays.
So whenever he loses early, before a semifinals, it's a huge shock, and I think that's how everybody sort of sees a match like this. We all know the danger of the first round and all those things.
Him not having played, for me, doesn't make any difference, really. I still expect him to be really difficult and tough to beat here.
Q. What will be a sign on a hard court that he's playing well? Anything in particular?
ROGER FEDERER: Progressing in the draw. (Laughter.)
Yeah, wins don't lie.
Q. Obviously the top four players have had this incredible dominance at slams for a good period now. But if you could take a moment and reflect on the other top players outside the four, like Berdych or Del Poe or Tsonga, Ferrer, maybe Raonic, who do you think are one or two with the best shot to break through and win a slam?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I would think the next sort of guys behind us, you know, obviously starting with Ferrer, who is in the top four.
And then as well Del Potro, Berdych, and Tsonga. To me, they seem to have the game to tear through a tournament, you know, every given week, you know. So for me, they seem the obvious candidates for that.
Then after that, between 9 and sort of 25 even I think it's pretty even, actually, you know.
I think the players ranked between 4 and 8 have an edge over the guys ranked behind them. That's why they are there in the rankings.
And, again, rankings don't lie in that case.
Q. In that 4 through 8 range, is there one you could give an edge to as having the best shot?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously Juan Martin has done it before. That changes things around a bit.
Joe Willy has been in some finals.
I think Ferrer has put himself in some really good situations. I expect him to give himself chances again in the future.
Berdych we have only seen one Grand Slam finals of him, and he hasn't won as many tournaments as we believe he could win. So then I feel he has the game to all of a sudden break through. Pretty evenly spread out.
Depends which tournament and which particular surface we are talking about.
Q. Last fall when the ATP rejected the prize increase here, you said you were going to investigate. I was going to ask if you did and if the issue has been resolved to your satisfaction?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it has been resolved. Important was communication. We know the reasons why it happened. It was that the tournaments can't just decide to have all the prize money for the winner and nothing for the first round loser, let's say, or vice versa.
It's about having the proportion of what normally happens on tour and not have Indian Wells be the exception. It's very hard to understand all of that. So I'm happy that's resolved.
The ATP I think worked really hard internally to make sure that we get through it. But we are very appreciative and thankful to the increase by this tournament, and I think important from now on is to look forward on how to build on a good relationship which we have with this tournament.
And if ever, you know, I can help in any way, I'm always open to listen and to help and speak. But there was no reason for me to get involved, actually. Brad Drewett and all those guys handled it together like men.
Q. When the weather starts changing and it's cooler, is it hard to stay loose or do you try to speed your game up a bit?
ROGER FEDERER: Yesterday was cold so the ball wasn't jumping as much and it wasn't traveling through the air as fast as it usually does here in the desert, and it was playing incredibly slow.
Today I thought it was rather slow, but that's what Indian Wells is. It's probably the slowest hard court almost on tour, but sometimes the ball travels faster in the air because of the heat and the desert sort of air.
And, yeah, you adjust. You know, you string your tensions maybe differently. You create the points differently. So you always got to be open to change and change it up a bit.
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