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


April 12, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger, please.

Q. Did he have you worried there for 10 minutes?

ROGER FEDERER: (Smiling.) Yeah, he did. Yeah, he did, of course. It's never nice to start the clay court season being down because you never know the reaction. But I told myself, you know, You can be down a break, but to lose a match, him slicing me off the court, you know, I just didn't see that. So I just waited for my chance, and once I got it, I took it, you know. Because the conditions were very slow so of course they were against him today. I took advantage of that. You know, his serve just didn't -- he didn't get enough free points. Even though he was maybe serving 220, 230, I still got the ball back quite comfortably today. I was a little surprised about that. Of course from the baseline, now I've got more of a variety. So for him it was tough. He wasn't coming in that much. He was relying very much upon his slice, and that is a tough way to beat me.

Q. Do you enjoy being back on the clay?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's good. I'm happy I came here. Get the matches in, you know, see where I am on clay. I haven't played on it for almost eight, nine months now, so it's been a while. But, you know, I feel like I can make the transition quite comfortably, you know, physically, I would say. The way I move on clay is very natural for me. But, again, the serve doesn't get that many free points as maybe on other surfaces and also, you know, you just have to be more patient mentally and physically. It's just a different game almost. You have to get used to that. Just need matches to get used to it.

Q. From the crowd point of view, do you think it's more enjoyable, this tennis?

ROGER FEDERER: Because of the points you play on clay?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, occasionally. I still believe, you know, you have sometimes the long rallies and in the end, you know, they finish by let's say an error, you know, quite often, you know. So I prefer hard court, you know, where I have the feeling that if you hit a good shot, the point's normally over. Where here, you get back, okay, you see great defense, but sometimes the end can be disappointing. It depends really on the opponents and, on the day, form.

Q. You are beating many records. McEnroe has got 83 wins, only 3 losses in the season. Is this record in the back of your mind? Would it be satisfaction to beat him?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it's not something I'm aiming for. You know, I'm more concerned about each and every week and match and tournament. Of course, you know, I'm, again, surprised, the way I started the season. Of course after a start like this, everybody starts wondering, "Who in the world is going to stop him?" But sometimes it happens very quickly, so I have to make sure I'm well focused. Now this is a tough season coming up, you know, big tournaments with dangerous opponents from the first round on. So I'd rather make sure I get through the clay court season all right.

Q. Greg was saying that for you to win the French Open, you may have to sacrifice Wimbledon, keep some in your reserve for the French Open and not concentrate so much on Wimbledon. What do you think about that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's his opinion. I'm not sure quite what exactly he means. But if you win the French, you know, and you feel great on grass, I don't see the point why you should leave the French after the first week and start preparing on grass. It's just a week more there. Maybe you are a little bit more exhausted coming to Wimbledon, but the last three years I haven't had that problem for Wimbledon. I arrived on the grass disappointed because of my losses at the French. So I hope that's going to change, so arrive on the grass actually with a great feeling. That hasn't happened. But, no, I don't quite get the point.

Q. I think the point he was trying to make, if you were to win the French, for you then to win Wimbledon, it would be better for you, for everyone, to have a bit more time between the events.

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah. Well, it's the same here. It's the same in Miami and Monte-Carlo; they're very close to each other, they're different surfaces. This one is even different continents. Of course if you play well at the French - doesn't mean necessarily win it - but of course the time is short for Wimbledon. But I still believe, you know, you've got one and a half weeks, one week at least, you know, so that should be enough because hardly anybody can practice more than that on grass anyways.

Q. What is the most difficult point to adjust when you move from hard court to clay? Is it the way you move or the bounce or...?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's just the way the points are constructed. You know, you feel like you hit a good shot but sometimes it can be the totally wrong shot because the guy's on the run, he slides, and he totally gets back into the rally. Sometimes you have to of course win a point not only once, but twice or three times. The way you can actually counterpunch on clay is quite extraordinary, you know. I can also do it myself sometimes. And, you know, it's a lot of fun, you know, but at the same time it's quite hard to do it over and over again for both sides. Some days it's extremely slow, like today. I think it's just tough because every different day, it's almost a different game. Because maybe tomorrow we have sunshine. Then again, the points, the conditions, the balls are going to be much quicker. To adjust to this every single day is quite difficult.

Q. The clay season is basically Monte-Carlo, Rome, Hamburg and Paris. What difference there are between these four tournaments? There is somewhere where you think it's easier, one which is more difficult for some reason?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the thing right away I realized when I hear this is that the French Open plays with different balls than the other three tournaments, which I find a little strange, but that's how it is. Rome, they say it's always quite fast, you know. But last year, you know, I arrived and it was incredibly slow. Suddenly I arrived, I played a match against Costa, and it was incredibly quick, you know. So it obviously depends on the conditions. Hamburg is the coolest one of all, you know. Here it's supposed to be the best weather almost, you know. But we'll see how it goes. You know, I don't know. For me it just depends what weather it is, and then it shows how quick the conditions are.

Q. You mean "cool" as in cold, not "cool" as in trendy?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I quite started to like Hamburg (smiling). They have good places over there, so it's not bad, don't worry. You can always find good places, you know.

Q. I saw you broke a racquet at the US Open -- excuse me, in the US cement...

ROGER FEDERER: In Miami. I tried. It didn't work (smiling).

Q. Was it a test for your racquet, a test for your nerves, was it just to show that you're a human being?

ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I was just really, really disappointed, you know, with all the occasions I missed in the second set. I don't even remember when exactly I threw the racquet. I was just getting so irritated that I checked out what it can handle, you know. The strings were anyway at its end. I had to change the racquet. I said, "Okay, this is the best moment to do it."

Q. In the Juniors you were quite a bad-tempered player. When you turned pro, you start to be cool again. Why this big change?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I feel a little ashamed to throw around racquets and hit around balls on the court, you know, get the booing sometimes. I'm not in the mood for that. So I changed automatically, you know, because of the respect towards the fans and the tournament and everything, I guess. That is one thing. I also started to realize that it's not good for my game so... Few simple reasons.

Q. We've seen some opponents of yours having some problems, Nalbandian, Henman. Which opponent do you fear more? It's Nadal or someone else, on clay?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, I don't play many tournaments, you know...

Q. But in your idea.

ROGER FEDERER: We'll see. I mean, the start of the season, you know. I feel there's plenty of guys that can play great on this surface, you know. Definitely one of those clay court specialists, because they just feel probably mentally much stronger than on other surfaces, you know, and they believe more in their movements, they believe more in that they can beat anybody, you know, and that they are a threat to everybody, that they can win the tournament, where maybe they arrive at other tournaments and say maybe they can play quarters or semis here. They believe on clay that they can win the tournament here, and that is already quite a change in the way they play the match. I think Nadal is tough on clay, the way he moves and his game is. But, again, he has to prove himself this year on clay. I hope he's going to stay fit all the way through, the last few years he missed the French. Then you always think, you know, Moya and Coria. They're going to be in the mix for the big events. But also Safin and maybe Ferrero. You know, we'll see. I can't really tell because there's enough guys out there.

Q. Is patience the big thing on clay?

ROGER FEDERER: In a way it is, but you're not allowed to play too much on just waiting either, you know, because then you're going to do the running as well. So you don't want to do that too much. I think it's just at the beginning, first few matches you have to get used to.

Q. If you have to play Safin on clay, is it for you worse than to play him on cement? Because he said he would rather play you on clay?

ROGER FEDERER: I would like to play him on clay also, but I prefer that (smiling). I beat him on clay, two occasions.

Q. Hamburg and Rome?

ROGER FEDERER: And Copa Davis, so three, thank you (smiling). I don't think he remembers. Remember him, okay (smiling).

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