home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 29, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Why was this such an emotional win for you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think after seeing, you know, he was struggling all of a sudden with the cramp on his calf muscle, I knew I was in very good shape, but I had to stay focused. So many things go through your head about the win already because you think, "Well, now nothing can go wrong." But as we saw, it was still quite a long way to the finish line. I was getting I think emotionally ready for that sort of, which normally you shouldn't, but I can't block it out. I'm also just human. And I guess, you know, when I won, I was so relieved that I got it through. Wasn't emotional in the first minute, except the relief. It only came out later when I was standing there with Marcos waiting for the ceremony. I was very relaxed. Once I got up on stage, it all changed. Why, I guess I just explained it.

Q. At any point, like at the end of the first set, in the second set, did the thought creep into your head, "I could lose this"?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah, many times. Well, I was struggling so much to hold my serve for a set and a half, I would say. And I was sweating like crazy, you know, because I had to fight so hard on my own service games, you know, that I thought, "Well, if this is gonna continue like this, I'll probably lose, and a miracle is gonna save me tonight." But I was impressed the way he played, you know, how he started off. Maybe I was a little passive, you know, in the beginning, not as aggressive maybe as I should have been. But I always like to give the credit to the opponent, you know, because it is a Grand Slam final after all. He was the better shot-maker in the beginning. He totally deserved the first set. The second set got tight once I came back. Didn't take his opportunity early in the second. Actually went very similar to the match with Kiefer. That that happened again surprised me, obviously, because I thought he had more left in the tank.

Q. The fact that he was unseeded in the beginning, an incredible story really, did that put even more pressure on you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think the whole fact of being such a huge favorite, you know. And if I lose, huge upset since I don't know when. Him having so much, you know, positive and good press, having the whole fans with him. What a great story. It would be basically perfect to basically win the tournament. I think, I don't know, I felt very nervous going into the match again. I was incredibly nervous, actually. I remembered when I was last time that nervous. I think that whole thing was building up. And waiting also all day for the night session, that is nerve-wracking on top of it. So those were the reasons why it was a really tough match for me mentally today.

Q. Do you think the fact that you've beaten Haas the way you did, Davydenko, then Kiefer, now this, the whole effect of the four matches from the fourth round onwards, does it make it that much more satisfying? Is that why you're churning more than you would actually?

ROGER FEDERER: I thought I played great from the first round on till third set against Haas, you know, basically. From then on, it was a bit of a struggle, you know. I think if I could have closed out Haas maybe earlier, the whole tournament would have been much more of a great run, you know, if I would have ended up winning the tournament. But that made me struggle to maybe lose two sets in a row. Looking back, I maybe never really played my best except the first two sets against Haas. After that, it was kind of gone for a while. It was hard, you know. I really had to battle. I was physically a little tired, you know, after a tough couple of matches there. I was happy the way I bounced back against Kiefer and also for the finals today. So it was a different type of Grand Slam victory, and I think that's why it was so emotional in the end for me.

Q. Would you consider this the most difficult of all Grand Slam titles?

ROGER FEDERER: Of all I've won? I mean, the first one, I had a totally blocked back. I didn't expect at all to win. There was other ones, I was down also against Agassi at the US Open. So I don't know. I put it up there with a few, actually. Also what I would like to say is, once I got out there, you know, I wasn't scared of the fans or anything. I went through them last year, so I knew what to expect. And actually once I got on court, I said, "Compared to New York, this is nothing," because, I don't know, we didn't even speak about it in the press room, what I went through in New York. So for me, when I was out there on court was very actually comfortable. Because in New York, it was really tough.

Q. Seemed very often, especially early on, you went right at him punch for punch. He often seemed to get the best of it. Was that surprising to you?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I knew he was a good counterpuncher. I knew he's a shot-maker. I knew that he will for sure do this on a few occasions. I was just as surprised that his backhand was so steady, and the way he just played in the beginning, you know. I was struggling on my serve. He was returning well, you know, hardly missing any returns. I was really trying to make that kick serve go in. But credit to him, he really played good in the beginning and didn't really allow me to play.

Q. He said he started thinking too much and then he lost it a little bit. Was there any point in the second set where you figured he was starting to play below par?


Q. Marcos. He said he started to think too much.

ROGER FEDERER: I thought the end of the first and beginning of the second, this was the time when I had to really weather the storm. I did, thank God, stay with him. I knew that eventually, you know, that's what happened. I told you this the other day, that in Doha, this is what happened. He played maybe a little bit of a loose game. And this is also what he did I think at 2-1. He got me back into the match and he went on from there. So that was obviously the key of the match, I thought.

Q. Did you feel you had to get to the net?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it only -- the idea of coming to the net, especially after maybe the second serve of his, only came at the end of the second really. I realized, maybe if I do that a little bit more often, cut down the points a little bit more, don't give him the rhythm maybe he's looking for, that might change a little bit. On top of that, he got a little bit tired and maybe a little disappointed he couldn't win the second after he should have. I think the combination did the trick in the end, you know. I think that was a good effort from my side to really change up my game a little bit more, play more aggressive, and it paid off. So that's really nice.

Q. Is there any added significance to winning here in Australia, given that Peter Carter worked with you at the beginning of your career, and his family was here with you tonight and celebrated afterwards?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, absolutely. It's always very emotional, you know, winning here, because of Peter, then Tony. It's very nice to share the moment with them, you know, obviously. So I think it means a lot to them, too. Very happy that they still enjoy watching tennis after how much he was into tennis, too. They could just walk away from the game and say, "Look, we'd rather not face it anymore, you know, because of how much he loved the sport." But I'm happy they come out and they really, really support me. It's very nice.

Q. Could you say how difficult it is when day in, day out, you're having to spend an entire day waiting around. It's likely to happen more and more because No. 1 seeds at US Open and here, there's more night sessions coming along. It's going to become a trend. How difficult is it to spend all day waiting to play, two days really?

ROGER FEDERER: Also the rhythm is just really difficult, you know, because the average going to bed was about 4 o'clock in the morning, you know, the last few nights, waking up at 12 to 2 in the afternoon. So it's a really weird schedule, you know, I'm going through. I wake up and all I do is rest and hit a little bit. If I feel like I need, you know, to do some extra stuff, I'll do it, but I didn't have to do it this time because I thought I was -- I had to save myself. I think especially before the big matches, like maybe Kiefer and now Baghdatis, it's hard, waiting in the room all day. So actually nice to get out here and get the first hit, take a shower, get ready, you know, sort of eat something and being active. Just sitting in the room, it makes it hard, but you don't want to lose energy either. So makes it hard, but I think once you get used to it, it's easier.

Q. Going for four straight in Roland Garros, there's going to be a lot of attention, obviously. Is there anything you can change or you would like to change between now and then in your preparation?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I would like to get even more fit. I have -- I'll have time for that, for sure. I'm not gonna change anything in my game very much. I thought I played the right way last year at the French. Maybe just I didn't play as great as I was hoping to, but I still gave myself a chance. I thought the match against Nadal was decent, you know, but maybe was my -- unfortunately, my worst semifinals I ever played. But, again, he deserved. He was better on the day. Best player by far on clay last season. He totally deserved the French. I hope he'll be back by then and I get a chance to play him again.

Q. Will Tony Roche maybe travel with you a little bit earlier, given it's clay court?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, he came to Hamburg last year, which I thought was pretty early. He might come a week early, maybe to Rome. We'll see about that. He's definitely coming for that trip again, I'm very happy about. I think he also knows the importance of the French and of the clay. I think the more time I spend with him, you know, the more information I get about playing on clay. Just, you know, being together and working together, it's very interesting.

Q. You've said in the past, like Wimbledon is normally your priority each year. I mean, has that changed at all? Would the French Open now become more important this year given that you could have all four slams?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, doesn't help I win the other ones, you know. Now I've won them twice each at least. Puts the pressure on the French. What can I do? I enjoy winning tournaments. I enjoy playing well at slams. Obviously, I know the importance of winning the French, what it would do to my career. But, again, Wimbledon is the one for me. And if I keep on winning Wimbledon and not the French, I'm very happy about that, too. So that's no problem.

Q. You said you are not as fit as you actually wanted to be considering the injury. You thought you had enough time to be 100% as fit as you wanted?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it's interesting, you know. I went through tough time, you know, because I came back from Shanghai, I took vacation, I started practicing again. I thought my ankle got pretty stiff. It got really, really solid, but too solid almost. So I needed flexibility back. I told you guys this a few times. I was wondering how it's gonna to hold up with the conditioning work with Pierre, then also the tennis with Tony here in Sydney when I practice every day four hours, how it's gonna hold up. Thank God nothing happened. Thank God it held up. Then obviously Doha was, for me, a big break, knowing that I can back up match after match and play well. Coming here, I was not very worried, but I started very slow in Kooyong, just to not take a chance. It was worthwhile doing it. So very happy that program I chose, I could keep it. Because obviously when it happened with the injury, I didn't know what the plan's gonna be, you know, for the next couple of months. But I'm happy I did Shanghai. I'm happy I won the first two events of the year. It's fantastic. It's actually more than I could expect.

Q. Roger, with each one of these you win, majors, as you etch your place further in the history of tennis, do you have a growing sense of your role in the history of the game with each one of these you win?

ROGER FEDERER: Obviously, yeah. I left my idols behind me now. That means something, you know. I'm very pleased. But they still stay my heroes from back in the day, Becker and Edberg. No, definitely on a great roll at the moment. I don't forget, you know, that it's been a tough road for me. I amaze myself every time I do well. It's been so consistent, too, you know, winning so many slams, seven out of the last eleven I think it was. You know, it's quite incredible. I try to keep it up, you know, stay healthy and keep enjoying it, because that's what I'm doing, and I think that's what makes me play well.

Q. Would you one day quite like to sit in a tennis court that's named after you and walk out there and present a big cup to someone like you coming along? ? Would that be nice?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it would be nice, I think. But I don't think I will get one, of a Grand Slam.

Q. Maybe in Switzerland somewhere, "Roger Federer Court"?

ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. But it's not the same like a Grand Slam, I think. I think it's especially nice from Rod, you know, to come out and do it, you know, because he doesn't need it. He doesn't live in Australia at the moment. It's a long way, you know. He's not the youngest anymore, so we really appreciate the players. Very disappointed, you know, not to have seen also Ken Rosewall last year in the finals, at the trophy ceremony. But I've seen him, you know, many times now at Tony's place. I know him well. But it's nice, you know, to finally met Rod. It means a lot to me. You know, I don't expect anything like a court named after me. I'm not playing the game because of that, but obviously it would be nice (smiling).

Q. Why is it that winning makes some people more hungry rather than less hungry?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, because you want the hard work to be paid off. I think once you get the sense of winning, you want more of it because it just feels great. Going through such an emotional roller coaster, every time it's different. I think that's what you're looking for.

Q. What would be the best single tennis advice you would give to a tennis player, beginner, intermediate?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you go through up and downs in tennis. It's a very mentally tough game emotionally, I think because you win a lot and you lose a lot, too. You lose usually more than you win in the beginning. You have to stay positive and enjoy it and get good support from family and coaches. Then, you know, be tough. When the days come, your chance comes along, you want to take your chance and don't choke on it (smiling).

Q. When are you going to make a decision about Davis Cup, do you think?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know how much time I have left, but probably next couple of days I'll let the people know if I'm in or out.

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297