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WIMBLEDON


June 27, 2015


Roger Federer


LONDON, ENGLAND

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How do you feel your game is at the moment as you bid for a record eighth Wimbledon title?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, the game's good, you know.  I've been playing well for a year now.  It's been a good last week, as well, in Halle.  Practice has been good.  So the body's fine, too.
Yeah, it's probably been the best preparation I've ever had for Wimbledon, for obvious reasons, because we have a week more on the grass.  I'm sure I'm not the only one saying that this year.  I'm sure everybody will say the same.
Winning Halle has given me the extra confidence I guess it's going to take me to win this title here.

Q.  This is the 40th anniversary of Arthur Ashe winning the championship against Jimmy Connors.  What are your thoughts about the meaning of Arthur Ashe's life and legacy?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, well, he was before my time.  Unfortunately I never got to meet him.  But I'm aware what an influential and important person he was in our game, especially for many other people as well.  He's been a leader.
So, yeah, it's too bad I never got to meet the great man.  But it's an honor always playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium of course in New York.
I remember the highlights.  I believe he beat Jimmy Connors in the final.  He was very clever with his game plan, I remember that.  Saw a documentary about it.
I was very happy for him that he was able to win here and utilize his fame for so many great things.  He's been great.

Q.  Has this extra week of preparation changed anything in the way you prepare for Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it's changed everything, to be honest.  You might think that a week is not a lot, but a week is so much for us players.  Obviously that week we have now, we have less after Wimbledon.  So let's talk about the positives right here.
The body might feel it after Wimbledon.  But, no, the good thing is you can heal problems you might have carried over from the French rather than taking chances right away running onto the grass, or not playing a warmup event.
Wimbledon comes around very quickly.  You come in with many more doubts into the tournament.  I could rest and relax and then really train and prepare properly for a change for a good grass court season.
Just the moving on grass takes some adjustment.  Also, in my opinion, some physical adjustment, which I had all the time to do.  That worked well.  I could go early to Halle, train a lot, rest again.
Same here.  Arrived two days after the finals.  Trained for three days, off today.  I can totally pace myself, which is huge in an athlete's career and life.

Q.  You hit yesterday with Taylor Harry Fritz, the American kid.  Your impressions of him.  How did he feel out on the court?
ROGER FEDERER:  He's a big guy.  I always enjoy playing with younger guys coming through.
Hits a great ball.  You know, I'm not sure if grass is his favorite surface.  Still I thought he played very well.  Plus it was windy.  Plus he might have been a bit nervous.  But he was super polite, super nice.
So I enjoyed his game.  Plus he's got potential to become way better because he still has to grow into his own body, because he's a big guy, you know.
I predict a good future for him.

Q.  When you think about what Serena is trying to do, having won the first two majors of the year, at this age, with all the pressure that's involved in trying to win just one major, what are your thoughts on what the accomplishment would mean and her approach to her game at this stage of her career?
ROGER FEDERER:  You mean trying to go for the calendar Grand Slam?

Q.  Yes.
ROGER FEDERER:  You take it one match at a time.  You know, the biggest mistake would be to think being in the finals of the US Open already.  That would be the biggest mistake, although it's totally possible.  When she plays on her terms, especially now, you would think Wimbledon and the US Open would be the easier ones to win, especially with her serve.  But that's exactly when you have a hiccup, you don't do very well.
So I think it's all about focus right now, sometimes just grinding through some matches.  Don't have to be pretty.  At the end of the day, you just hope to move on and give yourself the opportunity to be in the semis and in the finals.  Once she gets there, she's always going to be the favorite.
I think the danger would be the first four or five matches for her.  I'm not the expert of the women's game, so maybe ask some women players as well.

Q.  What are your observations about the level of her game at this stage of her career?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not surprised.  I just think she's a great talent.  She's worked also very hard.  I think to be mentally ready for the challenge when she wants to be up for it, I think that's what's so admirable about her.
Also Venus, I must say.  We don't talk about Venus that often because Serena has been so dominant.  Actually that they're both still playing is more of a surprise to me.
But that they are playing, it doesn't surprise me they're actually playing well.¬† It goes hand‑in‑hand.
I wouldn't imagine them still playing and playing poorly.  Let's put it that way.  They're too good for that.

Q.¬† This is going to be Lleyton Hewitt's last Wimbledon.¬† Talk about his legacy on grass and some of the stand‑out moments you've had with him.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, I mean, I played him in some places.¬† I played him in Wimbledon, 's‑Hertogenbosch, Halle, played him on grass as well in Davis Cup in Sydney.
Yeah, it's been always tough against him on this surface.  I think for a baseliner, he was the first guy really from the baseline to have such a major impact, as well.  Plus he's a smaller guy.  It was dominated by the big servers for a while.  Back then, Lendl, Courier, they had to really volley to have success.  They did it very well.
But, you know, Lleyton was really every point from the baseline.  For him to win Wimbledon and have the career he had on the grass is quite unbelievable.  It showed an entire generation how it can be done.
I practiced here again with him.  You know, it just shows why he's so tough.  He hits that flat ball, helps his serve, unbelievable slice, good at net, he's fast, low to the ground.  He's got so many things going for him.
I've always enjoyed watching him.  Playing against him has been cool at times, not always so much fun.  A feisty competitor, one of the toughest I always had to play against.
I wish that he can play a good match, a good tournament, that he can enjoy Wimbledon after for what it is, and I'm sure he will.

Q.  You haven't had many disappointments in your career obviously.  But last year...
ROGER FEDERER:  Lost 250 matches.  Where do you want to start (laughter)?

Q.  Last year's final, five sets, a heartbreaking loss.  Coming in this year, how much does that motivate you and how hard was it to move on from that loss?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not sure that last year's finals actually does anything to my performance this year.  If it does something, it goes to show that last year, I was playing well.  I wasn't playing great, and I made the finals.
Again, I did end up playing a great tournament.  I played some really good tennis.
I didn't expect myself to right away make the finals.  To be honest, I was still somewhat on the way back.  But things went faster than I thought they would.
Whereas this year I feel my game is better.  I've gotten used to the racquet.  This is not the first time I'm at Wimbledon with Stefan Edberg.  The work I've put in with Severin, my coach, I could really aim for Wimbledon this year.  Whereas last year, it was all about getting back.
I feel like more I see a big picture, not so much what happened last year.  If I do look at last year, I see more the positives than actually the heartbreaking loss in the final.

Q.  Everyone knows it's Lleyton's last Wimbledon.  Have you thought about how you would like to leave the sport having everyone know it's your last time playing at certain places or do you think you would like to say after tournaments that that was it?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  Stefan Edberg, I think he announced at the beginning of the year that he was going to retire at the end of the year.  He thought that was a bit rough.  Had a farewell at every single place he went to.  He said that eventually it was just a bit too much.  I don't think I am going to do that.
I haven't thought about it a whole lot, to be honest.  Yeah, I don't want to go there with my thoughts because the more I think about it, the closer I am to retirement.
But everyone has done it differently.  Yeah, in my case, you know, clearly I need to think about it eventually, but not for the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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