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July 4, 2015

Roger Federer


6‑4, 6‑4, 6‑7, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I was wondering if you could compare your 2008 final with Rafa and the one with Novak in 2014?
ROGER FEDERER:  Great question, yeah.  Go ahead.

Q.  In terms of match quality, excitement, and which was more memorable for the fans, in your opinion.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, for the Novak fans, the one last year, and for the Rafa fans the one in 2008 (smiling).  My fans probably want to forget both.
I don't know.  Probably there was more at stake in the '08 final.  I was going for my sixth, and Rafa for his first, I think.  Novak was already going for his second, I think.  I'm not sure.
There was probably a little bit more on the line in terms of, you know, milestones, let's say, in '08.  Coming back from two sets to love, in the dark at the end, it was a bit more epic.  But last year also was very thrilling.

Q.  You don't talk much about your records or things like that being all that significant to you.  Is there some meaning for you to the pursuit of an eighth Wimbledon title, something that's never been done, given this place, the history of this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, not much, to be honest.  No, this one doesn't give me extra something.  It used to be more the case, you know, trying to equal Pete, that stuff.  Weeks maybe at world No.1, also what Pete was holding.  Much more talk about that.
This is more something like you talk about for a couple weeks, it's gone again, then you have to wait a year if you don't do it.
I just take Wimbledon as such, what a huge tournament it is, what an opportunity it is.  Of course, I would like to relive those moments I have done so many times here.

Q.  What do you think the Williams sisters' rivalry with one another has meant to the sport?  What are your thoughts about Monday's matchup between them?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I'd say the players themselves have been great for the sport.  I don't know if the matches themselves is what people remember that much.  I think it's more actually what Serena has done and Venus has done in their own ways.  Venus here in particular, and Serena everywhere really.
They've been unbelievable for the sport.  I've said that many times.  Their head‑to‑heads, I don't know how much that has to do with it.  I think it's more their individual play.

Q.  Often when I see matches of yours on TV, the commentators say that you don't like Hawkeye.  I think you said some comments about it early in its history.  How do you feel about it now and its role in the game?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's funny they say that.  That's why you have to be careful about something when something is new.  That sometimes sticks with people a bit too long.
No, what I struggle with is I don't think it's 100% accurate.  Let's say 99%, fine.  It's still not 100%, in my opinion.  I still see calls I don't quite understand.
But I still think it's fine to have it.  It's even good to have it, you know, because you don't want matches to be decided maybe.  When so much goes into it, don't want to lose at Wimbledon maybe because one bad call or a missed call by someone.
So today I'm totally fine with it.  What I don't understand, on the other hand, is like if we have Hawkeye, why do we keep playing in the nighttime when Hawkeye is not available anymore?  That's where I disagree with supervisors or tournaments, that they push it too far every single time.
We've seen it happen every single night in the last few days when I've been watching tennis, Oh, Hawkeye is not available, but the players keep playing.  That's exactly maybe when it comes to the crunch, you need it, in my opinion.

Q.  Should it be on every court then, by the same principle?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, you could argue that.  But I'm not arguing for that.  I just think play should stop when Hawkeye is not available anymore.

Q.  You've talked a lot about how content and happy you are off the court.  Does that change much when you step on the court, not so much winning or losing, but in terms of how you react to certain things, compared to 10 years ago?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I've always been happy to play tennis.  So I think, regardless of how you're feeling away from the tennis court, once you step onto the tennis court, to some extent good or bad, you just have to focus on enjoying yourself on the court because it's a privilege, it's fun, it's what you at the end of the day really enjoy doing.
It's not always easy to put it all away.  I've had my fair shares of tough moments during my career where I couldn't block it out, what was happening in my personal life, what was happening around me.
So I feel like obviously when things are smooth within the team, you know, with your family, whatever it is, you're in a good place, it clearly is going to help you playing good tennis on court.

Q.  You talked before the tournament about the extra week being good for your preparation.  You seem very much in control this week.  Your play has confirmed that.
ROGER FEDERER:  Maybe.  The other players also have a week more.  It's not only me.  You make it sound like I'm the only guy who has an advantage of it.  Maybe I've been the most vocal about it because I really truly believe it's a big deal, to have an extra week.  It's going to help a lot of players to improve on the grass, in my opinion, in years to come.  Maybe not right away, but let's look five, ten years down the road, I think that's going to be a good thing.
For me, yes, I feel I've been able to confirm that.  I'm not coming into Wimbledon not quite sure about my game.  I've played three matches now, no breaks faced, it's great, which I couldn't do in Halle.  Halle was more all over the place in the beginning.
Now I'm in a more solid place potentially.

Q.  I know you have very tight schedule, but I heard that you have promised to come to Helsinki in November.
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I'm very happy to be helping Jarkko.  I know him so long.  We played doubles together at the Junior World Championships at the Orange Bowl back in '98.  Always stayed in touch on the tour.  Council member, as well, at least three years.  It's been great fun having him around on tour.  Sad to see him go, of course.
I've never been to Finland myself.  So when he asked me to come play an XO there, I thought that was a very cool idea.  I was happy to do that for Jarkko because I know what it means to him.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about how your relationship with Stefan has evolved?  It clearly must change as you go through different phases.  What do you talk about, how you get along, that sort of thing.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't want to say I'm less nervous, but I'm more comfortable around Stefan.  When you spend time with someone you've looked up to your entire life, it's a bit awkward in the beginning.  You're not quite sure what you're allowed to ask, what you're allowed to say, all these things.
I think those fears are somewhat gone, even though every time he steps into the house, I'm like I can't believe it quite still, so it's very cool.
But clearly I'm more comfortable.  He knows especially the routines much better.  He knows all the tournaments, again, because he hasn't been to so many tournaments for so many years.  I had to show him around a little bit.  This is a locker room, this is a practice court again.  It's actually been quite fun showing him again how it's done (smiling).
Then, I mean, obviously for him it's important for him to be comfortable in the team, in the beginning getting to know everyone, my wife, my physio, my agent.  It's been good fun.
And now, you know, it's just very straightforward.  We know when to speak about it, when not.  Whereas in the beginning, you force a little bit more maybe.  Maybe he tries to say a little more than he should, and I request more than I should.  Eventually now he knows exactly when to say what, which is comfortable.

Q.  What, if anything, do you have to change about your game when a guy is serving that fast at you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, the only thing I really have to change is my returning.  The rest, you know, the service games, I can control them myself.  Once the return is played, then it's about reaction, especially when he's serve‑volleying.  You get to the next one, hit a pass.
Really, I think it's about keeping a short backswing on the return, trying to see it.  And then also sometimes guessing the right way at the right times, remembering patterns where he's gone to, where he's been successful, and where not.
The same for me, what to do on second serves, what to do on first serves.  It's a constant reminder what has been going on the last five minutes and what has been going on the last two hours.
I think that's the biggest effort for me anyway when I play a big server, understanding those patterns.

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