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July 2, 2019

Roger Federer

Wimbledon, London, England

R. FEDERER/L. Harris

3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've spoken about being a little bit nervous before the first round before. Is that what you felt in the first set?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think it's a combination of a few things. I mean, I didn't feel necessarily nervous at all during the day before. I think once I got going, just legs weren't moving and things were not happening.

You know, it is always, yeah, slightly unusual first, let's say, two to three matches maybe, here at Wimbledon, they're always so different to any other court in the world, the way the ball bounces, the kick goes or doesn't go.

I just felt like it was slow. I couldn't really have any impact. He was doing a good job of returning me. I don't think I had an ace in the first two sets maybe. I had two in the first three sets. It wasn't like I was serving poorly, you know. I guess I wasn't hitting my spots, and he was reading my serve, or he was just doing a good job, so...

I think in that connection, I just struggled. As my legs weren't moving, it's hard to see the short ball. In defense you're weak. The next thing you know you're struggling. That's what I had going.

But I think with my experience I stayed calm. I know I have other things in the bag that I can come up with, other tricks. I just took a bit of time.

Q. I'd like to know what is your reaction to the fact that Zverev, Tsitsipas, Thiem have all lost first round? It's two, three years that we are all talking about them as your successors, if I may say that. Do you feel it's strange?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, surprising, of course. It's not like they are unseeded, you know. I think any seed that loses, any top 10 seed that loses in the first week, with 32 seeds, is on the more surprising side, I don't care almost who the opponent is. It's almost always going to be a bit of a story.

For that many guys to lose early, yeah, you add Thiem to it today, yeah, it's just too many. But I guess it happens. Margins are slim. I don't know how Rafa is doing, but he struggled early on today. I struggled early on. It can happen.

Like I explained, I think this first week at Wimbledon really tests your, you know, different skill set and your nerves a little bit to that extent, too. Let's be honest, maybe also especially Sascha and Dominic, it's not their favorite surface. So that they can struggle maybe is a little bit normal. Dominic did have a tough draw. So it can happen.

But it's definitely surprising.

Q. Were you also surprised to see the string of resignations from the players council this weekend? I know you and Rafa met up earlier in the year and said you might step back in. Do you feel that stronger given the disarray there appears to be in the political scene?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I knew from Robin that he was contemplating to pull the plug in Indian Wells. I motivated him to stay on, to keep doing it, feel like he can add value, because I thought he did. Some others, too, I guess.

It doesn't come all that surprising, especially if you really feel like you have no impact. It's definitely not a good situation. And I think also it's not like the tour is in a bad place. We have record numbers in terms of I'm sure prize money, attendance. Things are going well. Just seems on the political side we're struggling a little bit to figure that part out.

Q. Earlier in the year you were talking about speaking to Novak about the situation. Have you actually managed to sit down and properly thrash it out, understand his side of things? Clearly he feels differently, he's talking about changing the structure of the ATP.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, they had a long meeting. I don't know what was spoken in those seven hours. I have not spoken to Novak since, or yet, so... I don't know what to tell you. I'm honestly not in the mood to talk politics. We're on the second day of Wimbledon, and that is your last question you had about politics today. Other guys would like to talk about maybe forehands and backhands. But I respect your questions. No problem.

Q. When you think about your work ethic, the time and dedication it takes to be where you are, do you think you've sacrificed anything along the way to be here?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, in the beginning I thought - it sounds bad - but sacrificed my childhood. I don't feel like I did. In the beginning, you get a lot of questions about, Do you feel like you regret so many things because you left school at 16, went on the road, couldn't party like a rock star. I don't know.

I'm like, It's not like I never partied. It's not like I hated my life on tour in the beginning. It's definitely a bit of a more unusual route to adulthood.

I definitely made a lot of sacrifices, I believe, especially leaving home at 14. I think that was maybe the two years that marked my life in the biggest possible way, because I was still very young. I didn't speak French in any way. I was staying at a different family from Monday to Friday.

I would do it again. That shows to me that it was all worth it and it was all okay.

Q. Yesterday these youngsters were all very emotional, close to crying. Do you relate to that? Do they put too much pressure on themselves?
ROGER FEDERER: I had the same impression. It was a very emotional press. I understand. I was Mr. Emotional, so... I come from that same side. I would cry after losing matches throughout my junior years. Some take it harder. Some take it more relaxed. Some take hours to get over it. Some take days.

It really I think matters on what your personality is. I just feel like when you lose at a tournament like Wimbledon, it means the world to you, super important, you're so, so down, so sad, take two hours if you have to, take four hours, I don't care. Go back, come back. I don't know what you do. Take a super shower. Leave all the tears in the locker room. Once you come here, you feel like you get it done.

I don't know how much time they took, but I just feel like maybe taking extra time when you're young, when you're so sad, which can be the case, is maybe the way to go. I'm not sure. I just felt also it was quite rough for them, which is not nice to see.

Q. You mentioned the court was slow. Other players made similar comments. Is it the slowest you remember in the recent past? Do you think this could be a disadvantage given your game style? Is it just a matter of getting used to it?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was also thinking during the game if it was the slowest ever. But then I was, like, probably not. It's probably me that is moving like a snail out here (smiling).

Over time, I get nine aces at the end, I know Lloyd maybe wasn't moving all that well anymore. I started to pick up my rhythm. Things started to become more normal.

I mean, one thing is for sure: the people who do the job here on the grass courts, they do an amazing job. They make this court so perfect. It actually becomes a bit too simple to play off the baseline.

I do believe, and I felt for years, that the ball is not a very lively ball. It's more of a heavy ball. It doesn't really just go 'whew,' unless it's really hot, then the ball goes a bit. We are in England. It's not like we have the super heat over here, unless we get the African super wave coming.

I feel like it's a bit of everything. I have to get used to it. I definitely think Wimbledon has not been the fastest overall. If you look at rally length, US Open is shorter rallies on average than Wimbledon. That tells you the story a little bit.

Q. Yesterday we had an extraordinary development with Coco's marvelous win. You know her. Talk about her game, her person, and her potential. What did you say to her at the Australian Open after her loss the year before last?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I know her a little bit. It's not like we're going on vacation.

No, she's very cool, very cute. I think she played great yesterday. I watched the entire match. I was having treatment. Perfect, so I could watch it all. I think it was an amazing situation, to play somebody 23 or 24 years older. That stuff doesn't happen every day.

I thought it was super special for Coco. I thought she handled it great. She wanted to be on the big court. She wanted to play against her idol. That's what good players, that's where they shine, I'd say.

But I don't feel like I've had a major impact on her career in terms of speaking to her in Australia. You know me. I don't mind picking up some people along the way, telling them, Don't panic, don't worry, all these things. But maybe it leaves a profound impact on these players. I'm happy it does.

I really can't take any credit for anything. I also didn't want to go see her before the Venus match, because this job was done by her parents and everybody else. I'm too far away from it all. I was, of course, very happy for her that she had the dream day she did have.

Q. How much do you know about your opponent in the second round? Every year when you walk out on Centre Court for the first round at Wimbledon, do you ever think to yourself how many more years you're going to be doing this?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, no. Not when I'm walking out. I wonder if it's more when you're leaving. I don't know. Honestly, I don't know.

In terms of my next-round opponent, I don't know him very well. I've seen him around. I watched the end a little bit. I've played Noah Rubin in Australia last year, I believe. I know him a little bit better than Lloyd. Not a whole lot, though.

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