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WIMBLEDON


June 27, 2016


Roger Federer


London, England

R. FEDERER/G. Pella
7‑6, 7‑6, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling physically after that game? Have you been enchanted by the story of your next opponent, like everybody else?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I have followed it actually before I even saw him in my section of the draw. I heard more about it. I think it's one of the best stories in a long time in our sport, other than Djokovic winning slams, you know, Rafa doing a good comeback, and Murray playing great.
This is the kind of stories we need in our sport. I think it's a great, great story. I'm very excited to be playing him actually. It's not something that I get to do very often. I'm looking forward to that.
About my match, I was very happy with the way I played actually. If I would have used my chances earlier in the first and second set, maybe things would have been a bit easier. But I think Pella did a good job of playing really good himself.
Yeah, I mean, it's an intense match. It's the first round. It's new grass. It's always going to be a tough match. I'm happy I made it in three straight sets.

Q. You talked at Halle about really wanting to work on your movement and consistency from the baseline. Where do you feel you were at today?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, yes, it definitely plays easier here than in Halle and Stuttgart. Plus we talked about it, it was so wet, the spring, throughout Europe. This was the best court I played on in some time. Even the courts were great there, but they were slippery just because of the nature of the weather.
Thankfully, I felt like I was getting to the dropshots, getting some good defensive plays going. But most important was that I focused on my own serve. I didn't have any hiccups there. I don't think he even had a breakpoint. That's what I wanted over two hours.
It was a good test. I'm happy I was able to do that against a lefty.

Q. What are the biggest questions you had about yourself physically as you began this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: How fast I was going to be. How explosive. I mean, I haven't played five sets, you know, with the new knee. With every day that goes by, I get away from the back problems I had in Madrid and Rome, it's a good thing.
Time heals a lot of problems, a lot of issues. It's another day, another step in the right direction. It gives me confidence as I hopefully move forward.

Q. In all your time, have you ever played anyone at a Grand Slam who is still playing club tennis and coaches amateurs for 30 an hour?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure that I have. I just met someone I played at the Beijing Olympics who was also ranked very low in the second round.
Yeah, so it sometimes does happen, of course, with wild cards, so forth, in some events. But those are not usually the kind of guys who get wild cards who are usually coaching. You give it to guys that are truly professional.
Yeah, this is definitely the first on this level. I've played a lot of, like, very young players, maybe their rankings were very low. At the US Open, I remember playing, like, two or three guys. I've kind of been there.
But this match is different. It's picked up on momentum. People will hear about it. People will know about it. Naturally they're going to support him ‑ rightfully so, because I think it's a very cool story myself. It's going to make the match difficult.
I saw him play today. He plays well. It's not like he couldn't play. Otherwise he wouldn't be where he is.
It's going to be interesting. Plus he is serve and volleying, which I love to see. He came up with some great, great shots. To beat a guy of Berankis' caliber in straight sets shows you how tough he is.

Q. What did you make of his game?
ROGER FEDERER: A little bit more old school, using the slice, chipping the returns. Dangerous off the back. All of a sudden, you know, he goes back. Nice first serve, serve and volleys. Saw some nice touch at the net.
First couple of days, it's tricky to play anybody here at Wimbledon. It's just been like that throughout.
I think his game is perfectly suited for these kind of conditions right now.

Q. You played Andy before where most of the crowd have been supporting him being in his own country. Do you think it will be any different with Marcus and the sort of football atmosphere that happened today out on court?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. It's always a bit different on the bigger courts. It cannot get so extreme, I'd say, on a Centre Court. It's more, I don't want to say reserved, but more classic, let's say.
There will be probably a lot of international fans as well, to some extent. People that traveled far to support me, who know me, really hoped to have queued maybe, which will be great they're happy to see me.
I just hope for great atmosphere. If he gets more support, that's awesome. If I get more support, that's nice, you know. But I hope for a good match. I hope he can play as good as he can and that I also can play a good match and everybody enjoys themselves.

Q. His story has been compared to the movie 'Wimbledon'.
ROGER FEDERER: Which I didn't see actually.

Q. He said he didn't either.
ROGER FEDERER: So we've got something in common, that's good (smiling).

Q. What is about his story so far that you appreciate most?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I just like the idea of him‑‑ it would be nice for him to tell me exactly how it went, the decision to enter pre‑quallies. What went through his mind really, why he wanted to quit tennis, take up coaching if he was only 26 years old maybe. It's just an interesting concept, you know.
At some stage you need wins at the normal levels, I'd say, because it was club tennis, prize money tournaments. Yes, it's nice to compete, but you need ATP points that drive you really. He's got that. I hope it's going to fuel him for another year. Who knows what's possible then.
Of course, it's not going to be Wimbledon every week. It's not going to be grass every week. But let's not care what's after this. He should just play everything he's got now, enjoy himself. That's what he did today.
It was cool to see how pumped up he was. That's how you are when you make a breakthrough. Unfortunately, you mellow out over time because you have to. You have to keep your emotions in check, your energy, all that.
There's a lot of cool things that are part of the story. Probably don't even know where to start, to be quite honest. I don't even know his coaching situation. I'm sure he's going to get help this time around. He can just go and check out all my matches and he knows everything about me. He's got an advantage there.

Q. Players often talk about injuries giving them a change in perspective. You haven't had too many injuries. Have you had that same experience?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, I worked as hard as I possibly could since February. So my big goal was to not miss Wimbledon, to be here, hopefully at 100%. Don't know yet if I am. But I'm definitely here winning in straight sets in my first round against a good player.
When I walked on, what was going through my mind was, I'm really happy to be here. I just hope it's going to go well.
I've worked hard and I think I deserve to be here. It was a different walk out to a first round than it's ever been here before at Wimbledon because of the nature of the injury that I had. So I'm super pleased to be here and happy in a different way to Marcus, but I'm happy myself to be here in the second round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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