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August 5, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/P. Polansky
6‑2, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Are you a heartless guy?
ROGER FEDERER:  Heartless?

Q.  Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER:  Not really (smiling).  Normally not, but I don't know.  On the courts you've just got to block it out and just get it done, you know.  You never know when it can shift.
It's all happened before, you know.  You feel a little bad, and then you end up losing the match.

Q.  Are you pretty pleased with your levels tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I was happy.  I started well, you know, and that's always helpful to play more freely.
Yeah, I think I could have served better at times, but other than that, already in practice I felt I was moving well.  Didn't feel so good hitting the ball yet.  Wasn't quite getting used to the surface, and now the last few days have been much better and I'm happy that in the match it kind of all worked really well.
You know, for the start of a tournament it's never clear if that's going to be the case.  I'm very relieved and just really pleased.

Q.  I see over the years of watching you, you're looking at the ball when you hit, especially the forehand, you look at that place where the ball was.  You still look there.  When did you create that kind of a special kind of looking at the ball?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I actually did it when I was younger, of course.  It all comes from there.  And I actually did it almost more extreme when I was younger, I guess, because I did have more time.  Now I can't keep looking at where it was, because otherwise the next ball is on the other side.
I don't know.  It's just a total habit.  I don't remember my coaches telling me this.  It's just kind of like how I did it.  They never really told me not to do it, because I guess it is good for the movement.
I don't see many other guys doing it so much.  I'm quite surprised.

Q.  But were you coached like that?

Q.  That's your innovation?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, that's how I did it, you know.  I don't know if it's good or not.  Clearly it worked, you know, which is nice.

Q.  You talked about blocking things out, but the crowd is always so behind you.  They follow you in the practice courts and they're cheering for you even when you're playing against another Canadian.  What does that mean to you?  And does it ever surprise you still?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, actually today, even though when you know you're going to go into a tough match with the crowd possibly being for your opponent or maybe even against you, which is just not very frequent, you know, to be honest, in tennis people are nice or they're just going to support the other guy, and it only just struck me today one minute before I walked out when I saw the Canadian flag and Peter was there, I was like, Oh, yeah, this is not just a first round.  This is against a Canadian.
But I wasn't worried, you know, in any way that it was going to get ugly or too much behind him.  But clearly if the scoreline gets tight, they will make you feel they want Peter to either win a set or maybe even win the whole match, and that can make you nervous or make him play better.
So I have been around the block and I know how to handle it, so thankfully today is no problem, but of course I appreciate crowd support.  It's one of the great things to experience as an athlete is to feel like you're well liked or admired sometimes.
It just makes you feel more comfortable, and it probably motivates you, as well, to play really good tennis and to run for every ball rather than not trying so hard.

Q.  I'd just like to hear your thoughts on the rule that luck can play in tennis.

Q.¬† Yeah.¬† And has there been an instance in your career that it's ‑‑
ROGER FEDERER:  Helped me?

Q.  No, or hurt you on the other side.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, yeah.  You get burnt both ways a little bit.  At the end of the day, was that lucky shot or lucky net cord or lucky line call or mistake by the umpire really going to make the difference in the match, or did it just create something that you couldn't come from back from?  You don't know always.
I do believe that in tennis, the more opportunities you create and the more often than not usually the better guy does come through.  Plus we're not playing sort of matches anymore which is like one shot, one return, one serve decides the outcome.  That really used to be more on the faster surfaces where we used to have that back in the day.  Things are more in control today.
But I remember one match, for instance, the finals in Miami against Ljubicic, I won it 7‑6, 7‑6, 7‑6, and in the tiebreaker in the third I think like at 8‑7 for me he served a big serve wide and I chipped it back, and it just went on net court and it went over, and it was game, set, and match.¬† Who knows if I don't make it that I am going to lose in five?¬† I don't know.
There was definitely moments where you feel like you got very lucky.

Q.  In terms of being a parent on tour and now having four kids instead of just two, how much more challenging is it logistically for you in terms of your family?  And if Rafa and Novak each had four kids, do you think we'd see a different spread in the rankings?
ROGER FEDERER:  I still say they'd be very good.  Clearly it would definitely create a situation for them that is, you know, one you need to get used to.
I don't think it's been such a huge adjustment like the girls have been for me.  Having kids for the first time, I think it is always going to be the first huge impact.  The second time around I feel like we're so much better, not prepared, but just knowing what you're getting into, what you need to do.
I don't know.  This time around it seems much easier.  I know that in a year's time when they're going to start running around it will be crazy, but as of now it's manageable, I must say.

Q.  Are you digging the new paint job on the racquet?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, clearly I was part of the process, and I was very involved from day one.  It was something I really wanted to do since a long time, I must say, to change the racquet to a bigger head size, bigger frame, different paint job, as well.
It's something that I have been thinking about for five years maybe.  But because I was always making quarters or better at slams consecutively, it was just hard to make the switch sometimes.
Then once I really wanted to make the switch, Myla and Charlene were born, so that didn't allow me to really do it.  Last year I really felt like this was the moment, it's now or never.  So I pulled through with it.
I'm really happy the racquet is working so well.¬† And now finally it's out there for the public to buy it, too, and the goal clearly was to make it exactly ‑‑ the one I'm playing with you can buy it in the shop, and I think it's exciting for the fans.

Q.  There has been some talk in recent months about at Wimbledon, sort of the toweling off between points that has sort of become pretty common on the tour.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Like coming‑out‑of‑the‑pool kind of thing?

Q.  Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER:  I know what you mean, yeah.  (Smiling.)

Q.¬† Heading to Cincinnati and then NewYork ‑‑
ROGER FEDERER:  Are we going to have beach towels?  Yeah.  (Smiling.)

Q.  What are your feelings about that whole concept?  Has it become too much?  Almost like an affectation that players are doing even when they don't really need to towel off?  They're just doing it because they are biding time?
ROGER FEDERER:  Habit, maybe.  I see it more as a habit, you know, to be quite honest.  I don't want to say I was one of the first to start it, but I needed it to calm down, you know, to not throw the racquet or not yell.
I was like, Okay, go back to the towel and relax.¬† You know, like that was for me a thing I consciously tried to do back at the end of the '90s.¬† That was for me ‑‑that's why I did it.
I kind of kept that up, and I guess many other players started to do it, too.¬† I don't think necessarily it's about, you know, winning time all the time, but it gives you those‑‑ I guess you have right at the moment right after the point where you like, still in the whole thing of the point being over for a few seconds, you always have the seconds that lead up to where you focus for the next point, and you have that in‑between, in‑between when you have that towel or something with you.¬† I guess it's something, for some players, like a security blanket, comforting.
But it really is maybe calming for some guys.  Then of course has it gone over the top?  Sometimes absolutely.  And then if they do it, it just needs to be done in a timely matter.
I don't have a problem for guys doing it, but you don't want to do it on crucial points or to always go over the time limit.
Is it being abused?  At that point, I'm not so sure, but I think that was actually not too big of a problem for us.

Q.  So are you taking credit for the whole trend or the blame?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  Check it out, who started doing it.  I'm not saying I was the one, but I remember I did it when I was coming out of the juniors actually.

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