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Roger Federer
Roger Federer bio
Transcribed Interview Transcribed Interview

Start of Transcribed Interview

 

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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