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 3, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger came back from a two-set-to-love deficit for the third time in his career. This is his sixth career ATP Masters Series title, and his fifth ATP title of the year. Questions for Roger.

Q. You're two sets to love down, 1-4 down in the third set, how are you feeling at that moment? What's going through your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I'm hoping it's not going to be over in two games. That's really how I felt, because I had the feeling, you know, I was really missing my opportunities to actually get back in the match, especially in the second set. In the third, you know, it's tough being down two sets to love. You know he is confident, has got nothing more to lose anyway already before the match. I really was hoping just to, you know, stay with him, at least maybe just one break between us. But then I got back, you know, played a few really good games. I pushed him to the tiebreaker. This is when I was in trouble again. You know, that I came through that set, I think, was crucial in the end, of course.

Q. Another state-of-mind question for you. The final point, after all the misery you had gone through in this match, the unforced errors, blown volleys, the crazy overhead off the frame of your racquet, there you were at 15-40, a chance to put the match away, had you cleared all that stuff out of your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: By then, of course, yeah. By then I'm the most happiest person because I know I'm in the situation that I want to be in. You know, it's one thing to come back from two sets to love and then start the fifth and then in the end losing, you know. So I'm really happy that I came back, because, you know, like you said, I've hardly ever done it in my career. This is a big moment in my career. Especially in the finals against a player of this caliber, you know, to really come back, this is not the normal thing I'm doing usually.

Q. Early on you were obviously having some problems with your feet. You took off the strapping. Would you tell us a little bit about that.

ROGER FEDERER: No, that is just a regular foot protection I have for each and every match. So this is nothing extraordinary.

Q. Too tight?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it was just, you know, because I sweat so much in the feet maybe, I just wanted to take it off because it was moving. I didn't want it to move in the wrong place and then I have a problem maybe after the match. I just wanted it off. Of course the feet burn out in the hard court against Nadal. But I wasn't playing with pain like at the Australian Open, so that's good.

Q. We don't often see you throwing your racquet. I understand in your junior days you were better at that. What was going through your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was so happy. I was really so happy because... no other reason (smiling). Oh, you mean..? The other way around (laughing). I was happy it looked good on TV, you know, the first throw. The second throw, I was really angry, you know, so I threw it out (laughing). My God, where are we going here (smiling)? No, I was very disappointed, you know. I was missing one opportunity after the other. I really felt like I'm climbing uphill all the time, and I had an opportunity and I missed it again and just had enough, you know. So I threw it hard and, I don't know, maybe - who knows - it did me good and I kind of woke up maybe. Who knows? But, yeah...

Q. Was it broken?

ROGER FEDERER: I checked. No, it wasn't broken. But the strings were used, so that was why I changed racquets. Not because of the frame, really.

Q. At that time did you have a doubt that you could win the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was very worried today. Especially the first set, I don't lose sets very often 6-2, you know, so this really shows you that I was struggling. But I think it's got a lot to do with his game, you know. He's left-handed, I had to get used to, and couldn't quite do that. Maybe played a little bit too aggressive in the beginning, you know. So until I maybe got to actually understand how to play him, I was down a set and a break. Then the reaction was good, you know, but in that set I missed so many opportunities to actually level it, you know, at one set all. But, you know, to come through in the end is unbelievable, so I'm very, very happy.

Q. What was the thing about his game that impressed you the most and gave you the most trouble?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, he's an outstanding athlete, you know. Of course he moves totally different to most of the players, you know. Of course he's fast, you know. But because he's a lefty, you know, it kind of changes so many things, you know. His forehand is huge, you know. Even on the run, you know, can hit it with the spins, you know, backhand to the court, make you hit another tough shot, you know - anyway for me. His backhand, hits very close to his body, but he still kind of gets it back well, you know, and hard when he's under pressure. So I mean, that's the thing that he does well. Especially he's a good defense player as well, you know, not only does he have a great forehand. We'll see, of course, very much from him in the future. So for me this was a big match because I know what a great player he will be one day.

Q. Do you think you did anything different this year than last year when you lost to him on the same court?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it didn't look like it in the beginning (smiling). But then I started to actually maybe understand little bit how to play him and it kind of relaxed me that I could break him back twice in a row. And I think that gave me belief that I could actually turn this match around because, like I said, I don't lose sets very often 6-2. But I had a similar feeling out there in the first set, like last year. So maybe it was, being best-of-five, gave me a little bit more time to get used to his game.

Q. Were you surprised at how well he played in the first game?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I wasn't surprised, you know. I know how good a player he is. Of course, you know, every match I go into, I'm this huge favorite, you know. When I lose sets, it's like crazy, you know. So I knew the danger of Nadal today. Yeah, that was till the very end.

Q. From a distance it looks like there's a curious spin to the ball. How does it look on the court? Is it different?

ROGER FEDERER: It bounces very high, you know. He doesn't play it very long, but short so it bounces high. Until you actually realize that you can actually attack the ball, it's too late and it gets up high on you. From then on, it's actually a very risky shot to go for something. But I really had the feeling my forehand started to work extremely well, once I got back into the match. Yeah, it's just the whole game changes, you know. We don't have many great lefties in the game right now, so it's good we have one again.

Q. When do you think the smoke went out of his strokes?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, middle through the second, you know, I already had the feeling he wasn't hitting the ball as hard anymore. But anyway he ended up winning it. Couple of points, you know, he can put unbelievable pace on the ball. Of course, you know, in the fifth set I started to feel like, you know, maybe his legs were getting a little bit tired and he couldn't quite use the game like he wanted to. But you always have to watch out with him because he can hit winners off every forehand.

Q. Was his lack of experience playing best out of five, Nadal's nonexperience, you had an advantage because you had played so many?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, my record, I think, in best-of-five matches is, in the fifth set, is not the best. I wasn't worried or concerned, but I was just really hoping that I would maybe get it this time, you know. This is why I fought so hard today. But if it's experience, it's tough to say, you know. This will give him an unbelievable experience, so he'll draw definitely something positive out of this match today.

Q. Did you speak to Tony before the match about playing a lefty?

ROGER FEDERER: I did speak to him, yes.

Q. What did he say?

ROGER FEDERER: Ah, you would like to know that (laughing). No, he told me a couple of things, you know, because I didn't see him play much, you know, the last few - ever almost. Because he was injured and he plays different tournaments sometimes. He saw the match against Roddick in Davis Cup where I didn't get to see anything, so I just asked him if he knew anything about him. He just told me what he knew, so... It worked great in the first two sets (laughing). No, no...

Q. Is there a special satisfaction having to win this final the way you did, and also the fact that you beat Agassi in the semi to come into this?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, and Henman before, as well. I actually didn't think about that right now. But, yeah, I'm very happy and extremely proud, you know, to beat all these guys back-to-back, because they're one of the most dangerous players out there right now. That I could actually beat Henman and Agassi the way I did, playing really great, and coming back from two sets to love, this is one of the tournaments I'll remember probably most throughout my career.

Q. In preparation for the only Slam you haven't won, is there a special training regimen because the French Open relies so much more on endurance?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the points are just maybe little longer than on other surfaces. So exactly like you say, you know, it's more endurance. I'll definitely work, you know, my physical part as well, you know, again. But there's only so much you can do before, before the French. You always have to watch out, as a tennis player, I think, to have everything. My potential relies also very much on my explosiveness; I've got to use that on clay as well. But I know I got the game, and I know I can hang tough now for five sets without a problem, where in the past maybe that wasn't always the case. So I'm looking forward to the challenge. It's very clear. But to be honest, I haven't thought too much about the clay yet, you know. So we'll see what happens. But we'll have tough players waiting there as well so...

Q. You said you realized at a certain point how you should change your game to play against him. What exactly did you change during the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I just relaxed more off the baseline, you know, because I had the feeling I was under so much pressure every ball he played, and I kind of muscled it over all the time. I just started to relax, took a freer swing at it. It started to work. I was like, "What the hell was I doing in the beginning, you know, trying to force the issue too much?" Yeah, so somehow the points turned out differently, and I started to actually serve better as well maybe, especially from the third on, because the sun was really in my eye for quite some time, you know. So that was important, too, of course, to serve well - especially in the end, I served great so...

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