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July 1, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you. Can we start with questions in English.

Q. Lleyton just said that you're a pretty bloody good player at the moment, doesn't know what aspects of your game he feels you've got to work on. When you're playing on grass, is there anything you think you can improve on at the moment?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, definitely I think I can come more to the net, but it's not so easy. You try it out sometimes, and every time you get passed, it's not really helping out your confidence very much. And especially against Lleyton, he's one of the greatest returners and passers in the game we have right now. Yeah, that's something I would like to do more, but it's not easy.

Q. John McEnroe said on commentary you would make the game a lot easier if you did that more. Was that a specific plan today to stay back on your first serve?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was planning on doing that, yeah, so... Rather come in on the second shot and be aggressive with that. Who knows, maybe next match I'll play a little different.

Q. It was pointed out that you've won 35 matches in a row on grass. You felt whether you felt unbeatable on the surface. Were you serious about that?

ROGER FEDERER: I never feel unbeatable. There's too many players out there. It's a new day. You have to feel great. It starts from zero, like a soccer match basically. You never want to fall behind too much because it's tough to come back. You know, today I was happy the way I started. The next match obviously is huge for me. I'm very satisfied, very proud to be in my third consecutive Wimbledon final. That really means very much to me. I hope I can seize the opportunity.

Q. You seem calm. Do you get nervous, uptight before the match, during the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I was a little tense before the match because I didn't quite know how Lleyton's going to play me this time. I've always got the feeling he's got options to change up his game. Yeah, I didn't serve well in the beginning, and I think that was clear. He took advantage of that. That was definitely because I knew I'm playing another great player. So I definitely felt the tensions, you know. I'm happy they still do come up, you know, because if they don't, I'm in the wrong sport.

Q. You get so many superlatives thrown at you like you're super human. How do you react to that sort of thing?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't hear the commentary, you know, when I'm playing. I don't read the papers either these weeks because I'm in an apartment and usually I only see the papers when I'm in hotels. I haven't heard or seen anything. But I've gotten many, many nice things said about me and my game and everything. Definitely appreciate that. They're very much easier to handle because of the success I had, whereas in the beginning I thought it was quite difficult to get all the praises. By then I still hadn't achieved nothing. Now it suits me better.

Q. You've won eight in a row now against Hewitt. What is it in your game and his game that gives you such an advantage?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I have the feeling, you know, I can always hang with him. I always have the feeling if I'm good from the baseline, I'll get a chance also to break him. You know, it seems like he's having a hard time to break my own serve, which always keeps me level with him. Eventually I think with the variation in my game, you know, I get the errors out of him, too. I got the power when I need it. I think that sort of made the difference over the last few matches.

Q. Do you think you have a psychological hold over him now?

ROGER FEDERER: I think it's obvious. It's not so easy to play somebody who you've lost to so many times, especially in a row. That definitely helps me in a way. But I also have to watch out, you know, that I don't be fooled by that either, where I just take it too easy.

Q. Do you think he's intimidated by you?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I think he knew he had a chance today. You know, I'm surprised it's straight sets because I expected four or five. Just hoped it wasn't going to be three for him.

Q. He doesn't shout his usual "c'mons" when he plays against you. Do you think he has too much respect for you?

ROGER FEDERER: I think it's important to respect each other. Didn't have too much to cheer about today, so he's obviously not going to scream around after he holds his own serve, because that's a normal thing in tennis. I think once if he's up two sets to love, he's going to be screaming enough in the future, so... Have to enjoy this while he's not.

Q. It's usual that what would be so-called the big match might be the second match on in the day. Were you a little surprised to be first up today? Given the circumstances, how much of an advantage is that for you?

ROGER FEDERER: Now that it rains, I think it's definitely an advantage. Gives me more time to relax in between, where I thought, what was it, the Ferrero match, I finished late and then I had to back it up with González quite early in the day. I actually didn't have that much time to recuperate. I was expecting to play first because of Australian time and American time for Roddick - they want him as late as possible. I actually expected 1:00.

Q. When do you remember the last time you broke a racquet because you were nervous?

ROGER FEDERER: Because I was nervous?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: When I'm upset I break a racquet, not when I'm nervous. I don't know if the racquet broke in Miami against Nadal. I think it didn't. Good technique on my throwing racquets. I'm also pretty good at that. I still have the touch, which I'm happy about. Yeah, I don't remember. Been a while.

Q. When you were a junior, you were quite nervous when you were playing. You were screaming a lot. I remember once in Florence I think you broke a racquet. You won the tournament afterwards. When did everything change?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, there's a few moments. I've had many, many people telling me to finally relax and concentrate on the game and not always commentate every point, which I just couldn't do. Because I was -- I just love the game too much, I guess, and I thought I needed it to get it out. And eventually, you know, there was a moment where I told myself, "Now it's time to change." Slowly I actually changed my attitude a little bit because I had the feeling I was wasting way too much energy on getting upset. But it didn't happen from the day I decided. It took me about another year or so to actually get the fire back because I was getting too quiet, too calm. It was tough times in a way because at times I didn't enjoy playing tennis so much. But I'm happy the fire came back in time.

Q. Are the emotions any different getting back to a Wimbledon final for the third time? Is it different from the first or second? Is it just as pleasurable any time you do it?

ROGER FEDERER: I thought the first one was the best one against Andy. There was a big hype before that match. He was sort of the favorite, which I was surprised to hear about because I had a good record against him. But I really thought I played a terrific match against him. Some (indiscernible) shots in that match. When I came through, I was so pleased. Obviously, it was my first Wimbledon finals. But still I'm still now excited about this one, even though already an hour has passed. So, yeah, this tournament really means a lot to me.

Q. Is there a reason for your breakthrough over Hewitt? He was winning pretty well before, then there was the Davis Cup match, then you've run ever since. Is there a reason mentally or physically that you can put your finger on for why that happened or is just an accumulation of good play?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think I've improved so much physically and mentally in the last, let's say, three years or so, it really started to play off. In the beginning, I couldn't hang with him physically, but also mentally. I think that definitely has changed around for me. Quite simple.

Q. It's been a month now. Your loss against Nadal at the French Open was pretty much mind-boggling. I was thinking about it one day. Besides the obvious, him getting to all the balls, the lefty spins, did you come up with any answer for that loss, thinking about that match?

ROGER FEDERER: It's not needed, no answer, you know. I haven't played him since. I didn't have to answer his call, you know. I got over it, you know. It was my best showing at the French, so I was happy about that. But wasn't happy with my performance. You know, it was an average performance. That's just not good enough against a player like him. But still thought I was actually closer than everybody was saying. I wasn't happy to hear that everybody said my forehand broke down. I had a game plan, and I thought it was in place and it was the correct one. I believed in it and I followed it. I played against the darkness also in the end which was also sort of tough for me mentally, I thought. I was disappointed after. But somehow I was so happy that the grass court season was coming around that, I don't know, it was all right (smiling).

Q. Do you believe this is your best performance, this Wimbledon so far? If so, why?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's hard to say. The matches against Lleyton are always different, you know, because of the tensions, because of No. 1, No. 2 in the world, because of all the matches we've played over the years. It's hard for me to judge, you know. I don't know if I played really great or if I played good. For me, it's hard. I just played I think right and good at the right moments. Yeah, I'm happy to be through, you know, in three because in the end it was getting tough. I had Love-30 games a few times. I could have even broke earlier I think in the third set. I'm just really relieved and happy the way I coped with it today because prior to the match, like I said, you know, I definitely was tense. To say whether it was the best or not, I don't know. This performance is definitely good enough to win Wimbledon, that's for sure.

Q. What do you think of Mr. Johansson's chances and how can he beat you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, he has to win first against Roddick.

Q. Do you have any tactics?

ROGER FEDERER: I have a good record against him. I have to remember what I did well then.

Q. So what was that?

ROGER FEDERER: Play good forehands and serve well. Hit my dropshot every second shot. Chip and charge, serve and volley.

Q. I don't have any information about Juliette.


Q. Why? Is your own animal. You don't have information about her? You deserting her?

ROGER FEDERER: You're the media guy. You have to find out.

Q. I'm not the media guy. I'm a novelist.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I can't give you any updates. I'm really sorry.

Q. You never take her to try with the Wimbledon grass, if she likes?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not really.

Q. What a pity.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

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