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July 14, 2017
Wimbledon, London, England
R. FEDERER/T. Berdych
7-6, 7-6, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You've beaten quite a few bigger guys this week. You beat a big guy today. You have a real giant to face on Sunday. Do you feel like you're doing your bit for all us short guys everywhere?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, everybody's growing. Everybody's getting taller. I wonder how the game is going to be like in 50 years. It's going to be like we have to raise the net, push the lines in a little bit.
Yeah, no, it was a good match. He's got power, and so has Marin. So I'm in for a tough one. Plus we had a great one here last year. Also at the US Open, he played unreal there against me. So I know it's going to be tough.
Q. You said you were looking forward to the challenge of using different tactics to beat these big guys.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. Look, Sunday is going to be a different way. We don't know quite the conditions yet. We'll see when we go warm up how things are. That's going to help me to prepare even better.
But, you know, of course I'm going to try to play within myself. I have to play offensive myself. If you give Marin now time on the ball, you know, he can finish points nicely. The court is still playing quite fast. It helps on my serve, but it also helps him. I'm sure it's going to be a close match.
Q. You haven't dropped a set, but did you feel that was the toughest opposition you've had so far?
ROGER FEDERER: I just have to go through the matches. Yeah, I mean, I thought it was close. Even though I feel like it reminded me of the matches I've had this tournament on some occasions, you know, there were chances for the opponent. I was able to come up with the goods when it mattered.
The breakers, I played good in the breakers, or at least used -- if my opponents didn't play well in the breakers, I was able to close it out. Never played with any sense of panic, which is so important when it gets to crunch time.
So, yeah, it was the toughest match. I guess so, yes. It was close. I'm happy I won all these big points today.
Q. You talked about in your post-match interview on court how proud you were to have been given a Centre Court billing each match that you played this tournament. Do you think that has given you some sort of an advantage? If you were in the shoes of, say, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic, do you think maybe you would be a little bit disappointed that that situation had taken place?
ROGER FEDERER: It is what it is, you know, really. No, you know, you take it, you accept it, and you move on with it. I'm always ready that they put me on the second-best court or any other court they want. They decide, not you.
The only thing you can do is try to get your ranking up, achieve something to hopefully make you a draw card in the tournament.
I also didn't quite understand why Novak didn't play that day, you know, to be quite honest. But then they have their arguments. Security and safety is a huge thing these day, as we know. If that's what it is, you have to accept it and move on with it.
Yes, of course you always prefer to play on Centre Court over Court 1, or Court 1 over Court 2 and so forth. There's a lot of players, demands from spectators, TV, sponsors. We have no clue what is going on beyond those doors. That's why it is what it is.
Q. On Centre Court, you played a ton of matches there. Royal Box has often been filled with a lot of famous people from all walks of life. Anyone you remember particularly catching your eye during a match? Is it something you glance up at when you come on the court, or is it something you try to block out?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, yeah, I guess you try to block it out to some extent. At the same time it is cool to see who is there.
For me, very special is always when Pete Sampras showed up or Bjorn Borg showed up. I still remember that always being a thrill for me because I look up to those guys in a massive way.
When I know they've made a trip here to Wimbledon, which normally they wouldn't do, I know it means the world. Then having, you know, Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver again in the Royal Box, it's great. Then the Royal family, it's always nice when they show up and honor the tournament.
Yeah, that's what I get most excited about.
Q. To win eight Wimbledons would be a better record, but you are the only one who got 11 finals in the same slam. That's another record. Is that something that is important or not that important?
ROGER FEDERER: It's nice (smiling).
Q. Do you remember how many times you made to the final without losing any sets in Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: In Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Never before.
ROGER FEDERER: Twice before? You see, I don't know everything about my whole career.
It would have been nice to make this the first one actually. I'm a little bit disappointed about that (smiling).
Yeah, no, I mean, look, it makes me really happy, you know, marking history here at Wimbledon. It's a big deal. I love this tournament. All my dreams came true here as a player. To have another chance to go for number eight now, be kind of so close now at this stage, is a great feeling.
Yeah, unbelievably excited. I hope I can play one more good match. 11 finals here, all these records, it's great. But it doesn't give me the title quite yet. That's why I came here this year. I'm so close now, so I just got to stay focused.
Q. What effect on your feelings is the gap between your last championship here and now?
ROGER FEDERER: The question, excuse me?
Q. It's been a while since you won a championship here. What effect does that have on your feelings about this opportunity on Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel I'm ready for it. I've played good matches here since my win here in 2012. I played great '14, '15. '16 was special. And '13 because of injuries. But I played great in '14 and '15. I'm happy I'm up to that level again.
Because I've done so well here, you know, grass comes so natural to me, I don't know, I'm just very pleased to be back here. I mean, yes, you make it sound like the gap is huge. I don't feel like it's that long ago, to be honest. 2003 feels like ages ago, because of the ponytail, the beard, whatever, you name it. This one is different. I kind of look the same back in 2012, or at least I hope so.
Q. The US Open semifinal against Marin, is that one of the best performances an opponent played against you?
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly. I mean, if I say yes, it puts all the other great performances against me to shame.
But I thought he played very well. Conditions were fast. He was clocking returns and serves at will. He was doing a great job. I think I had a minor chance at one point maybe third set, I was up a break. I don't remember. Just the way he was playing. He was confident and feeling it and seeing it. I mean, it was very impressive.
To make it the number one great performance against me, it's difficult. At that stage of the competition, late in a tournament, it was definitely very, very impressive, yes.
Q. Do you think coming into a Grand Slam final against someone who is not named Rafa, Andy or Novak can change the mindset or how the nerves will feel on Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it definitely changes. Thank God I've played also guys who were not called Rafa, Andy or Novak in the past, like Baghdatis and Gonzales and others.
From that standpoint I don't want to say it's more relaxed going into it because I have a good head-to-head record against Marin, even though the matches were extremely close. But it's not like we've played against each other 30 times. You feel like you have to reinvent the wheel.
It's more straightforward, in my opinion. I think that's nice in some ways. It's a nice change, but it doesn't make things easier, in my opinion.
Q. Four of the five top players in the men's game obviously are no longer here. You've won three of the four big tournaments in the first half of the year. In some way, the whole sports world is astounded at this run. Are you surprised or astounded or impressed?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm just totally surprised by Australia, Indian Wells, and Miami. You know, I was hoping to be in good shape when the grass court season came around. Of course, the goal after Wimbledon last year, this time around, exactly today to the day almost when I lost the semis, was to hopefully be back strong for the clay court season and the grass court season leading into Wimbledon.
So the Australian Open was such an unbelievable surprise to me. Then to back it up in Indian Wells and Miami, that part I couldn't believe, you know, that I was able to sustain a great level. Then, of course, I got really lucky in Miami against Nick and Berdych and everything, but played another great finals against Rafa.
The first three, four months were just like a dream really. So this is something I was working towards, you know, Wimbledon, to be in good shape. I'm happy it's paying off here now. But the first bit was unreal.
Q. How many more years are you planning to carry on? Do you plan these things, or as long as your health allows you to play?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, health has definitely a role to play in my decision-making, no doubt about it. As I move forward, I'll be very cautious of how much I will play, how much I think is healthy.
Then, of course, it's just discussions I always have, continuous discussion, with my wife about the family, about my kids, is everybody happy on tour, are we happy to pack up and go on tour for five, six, seven weeks. Are we willing to do that.
For the time being, it seems like absolutely no problem, which is wonderful. Then success to some extent also is key for keeping -- staying out there really. This tournament, again, helps me to stay hopefully on tour longer, to be honest.
But I haven't made any decisions moving forward, how far, am I looking at the Tokyo Olympics or anything like that. I haven't.
Since the injury, honestly everything has been very much reset, that I just go sort of I'm planning till the end of the year, then I know what I'm going to play at the beginning of next year, so forth.
Maybe I think a year ahead, but it's just important to stay on track with the plan.
Q. You've got all this experience, all the titles that you have. Do you still get nervous? Were you nervous today before the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Not before the match, no. For some reason, I was much more nervous, like I said in the press, before my second-round match against Lajovic for some reason. I didn't know my opponent very well.
Today I felt very calm going out on court. Even in the warmups, the first games when I was serving, I was, All right, this is like another match. I'm just really happy it's a semis and not a second round.
Yes, I do get nervous. I'm happy I do get nervous for the big occasions.
Q. How does it manifest itself?
ROGER FEDERER: Sometimes it slows down your legs, your pulse starts racing, your head starts -- not spinning, in the sense that you have a million ideas, you have to take the right one. That can stress you out a tad.
I always say I'm happy I feel that way because it means I care. It's not like going through the motions like careless. That would be a horrible feeling, to be honest.
Q. If you can think back to the guy with the ponytail that you mentioned earlier, does your routine now between the semifinal and the final change much from back when you were first playing in Grand Slam finals?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't remember what I did back in 2003, to be honest. The team was much smaller. I didn't have kids running around, potentially waking me up at night. Today we got to, like, close down the doors, say, Daddy is sleeping.
You know, no. I guess you do the routine you've been doing here during this fortnight. That's what you're probably going to be looking forward to do. I just got to try to rest the maximum now. Just make sure I sleep well, even just tonight and tomorrow, really take it easy, so when I do come out on court or Sunday, I have all the energy and all the resources in my mind to play inspired and creative tennis. That's what I've got to do.
But I think where the past Grand Slam finals, the semi to final days helps me, is just to stay calm throughout the process. The good thing is that I'm not carrying an injury like I did a little bit in Australia, where I had a hamstring problem, or in other years, I don't know what I was having. But this year I'm feeling good, so that really relaxes you in a major way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports