|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
March 20, 2005
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
Q. Where are you going to put that trophy?
ROGER FEDERER: Not sure. Not sure if I get it actually. It's so big. I don't know how it is for traveling.
Q. Did you get the other one?
ROGER FEDERER: Not that I know. You get the Masters Series shield, Waterford Crystal. I guess this is for the pictures, that's my feeling.
Q. You're playing so well right now. What drives or motivates you to continue on from where you are right now?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I have no problem for motivation, of course. It's always been my dream to be the best, really. Now I am, so I'm enjoying it. The more victories you can get, the better you feel. I'm very happy with this week. You know, I've been playing great tennis. Didn't lose a set. It really shows. I mean, I don't want to say I bounced back after Dubai, because I won that event, but I was really struggling with the rhythm over there. It was tough. You know, back-to-back tournaments, Rotterdam and Dubai, I really needed a break. South Africa was very important. You can see it here. It paid off. Very happy it did. Now I'm looking forward to Miami, of course.
Q. It seems like, except for Safin, you don't have any great rivals right now. You've beaten Lleyton seven times in a row. He's only won two out of 27. He's a guy a couple years ago you had trouble. When you go out against the elite players, motivation-wise, what gets you going?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't quite agree it's only Marat, you know, he's got a chance just because he beat me last time. I have a great record against him, as well. Don't forget that, please (smiling). I think Lleyton wasn't at his best today. I felt that very clearly, very quickly, as well. I was definitely using that to my advantage. So who knows, if Lleyton would have been better off today, it would have been a very different match, I think. I have great respect for him, playing all the way through the match, because I really had the feeling he was hurting, and he had to change up his game to actually have a slight chance today, and he did. That's a lot of credit to him. You know, he's a great, great fighter. I like playing him.
Q. Do you know about his toe?
ROGER FEDERER: I haven't seen it, but I know about it, yeah. I didn't know it was the toe during the match, but I saw he was struggling, something with his foot or his leg. I don't know, that's maybe also something I'm good about. I see very quickly when my opponent has got some sort of a problem. It definitely changed the setup to the match, you know, because normally against him, you really want to go -- he wants to get into the long rallies with me, make you work extremely hard. Then he had times again when he's just teeing off, and that's not the Lleyton I know. I got that feeling very quickly, and I just had to really focus on my serve.
Q. Was it early in the first set?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Midway through the first set, I started feeling like he's got some sort of a problem.
Q. People have been very quick to talk about Grand Slams, greatest player. You've defrayed that pretty well. 17 tournaments in a row, a record by some margin, that has to be a record that means something.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, all the finals in a row, that's fantastic. I didn't have a great record in the beginning of my career in finals. I lost more than winning them. I remember I had a good record in Juniors, as well. I was very disappointed to have a bad one in the beginning of my pro career. Somehow I turned it around. Of course, now more and more I start thinking about it. It puts pressure on yourself. Plus, you know, always the last couple of finals I've played, except the Ljubicic finals, many other Top 10 players, like Marat, Andy and Lleyton, that added another pressure on top of it because I had such a great record against Top 10 players, and I still have. Today I was playing for a lot of things. To come through, it's very special, especially the first Masters Series of the year.
Q. Are you slightly disappointed not to have won that point, being a perfectionist?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm happy I lost it. No, it was a great point, one of my best in my life. During a final against Lleyton, you know, that is fantastic. That it ended up the way it did, it was a winner from his or my racquet, whatever, was great. That it didn't finish off in an error, I think that made it special. It was also a breakpoint, adding on top of it. We were both tired I think after that rally.
Q. The reaction of the crowd?
ROGER FEDERER: It was good. Standing ovation. It's fantastic. That was an unbelievable point.
Q. Do you realize during playing the point that it's an unbelievable one? Do you have two things in your mind, playing the point and realizing at the same time it's not a point like the other one? During the point, do you realize it's not a normal point, or you're so focused?
ROGER FEDERER: It started off normal, you know, just a regular rally, backhand cross-court, a couple of good shots. Crowd got into it. He starts dropshotting. You're like, "Okay, this is getting interesting." He gives me the lob. I just run back and I hope I stay in the rally. Hit a good lob. He gets an unbelievable angle on his, kind of an overhead. This is when you really know, "This is my chance to win the point." It starts all over again. You have to run back. I really got surprised the way I got the second one back, back towards the net. I really knew on the last forehand on the run, "This is my last chance because I'm not coming back after this forehand." It was a 50/50 chance for him, and he took the right side. I hit it well. He could have missed it. He did well. That was a fantastic point, a lot of fun.
Q. Playing with your back to the net, was that your --
ROGER FEDERER: He was moving backward. I had to put the ball over quick enough to get it low. I was surprised with the result. I know I can play that shot, so...
Q. Everything going so perfectly right now. Obviously you're avoiding the question about the Grand Slam records. Is there any unfinished business before you start focusing on breaking some Slams?
ROGER FEDERER: No, for me every tournament is important. Of course, Grand Slams are the big stage. But for me this tournament is huge, as well. Then you have tournaments close to your heart. Other ones you want to win. So definitely it would be nice, you know, to win the French and complete I would say the Grand Slam. But to get the chance to win all four in a row, you know, let's say in one year, you have to wait another few months. That maybe, you know, is good that we don't talk about that too much. That is not something I'm really aiming for, to break somebody's record on Grand Slams. If it happens, it's extraordinary. But if it doesn't, you know, I still believe I'm having a good career so far, still far away from actually hanging up the racquet against the wall and walking away from tennis. Still got a lot of tennis left in me. I just hope I'm still healthy. Then I can maybe break a couple of records, we'll see.
Q. What records are out there that impress you?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, like what Borg did at Wimbledon, how many times Pete finished No. 1 in the world, yeah. The best of the best, so.
Q. Are there any that you'd like to have a chance to chase?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really, no.
Q. Does Andre's record of winning all four slams on four different surfaces, how impressive is that? Is that something you'd like to achieve?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think the way he did it was quite amazing. You know, he never thought he will win Wimbledon with his game, because by then you had the big servers. I think it was his first Grand Slam he won, so that's unbelievable. And in the end where everybody thought it was over, he came back and won the French, being down two sets to love. Kind of maybe a little bit of a surprise to him as well that he actually won all four. But he did well by doing it. It really is something for the history books, you know, if you can win all four because you have so many - how should I say - experts on all surfaces, maybe except the grass really because we hardly ever play on it. But it's so tough to win always on clay or just on the hard courts. The conditions also make it tough, you know, to win them all. Sometimes just luck on one tournament, you've won it, and you never have to think about it again. Some, it never seems like it's going to happen. We'll see at the end.
Q. After winning a tournament like here, will you do anything different tonight? Will you go out to a restaurant where you wouldn't have earlier in a week? Is it just another day for you?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no, it's not another day for me. The pressure's off and I'm relieved. Because, I don't know, I didn't sleep that well overnight somehow because, you know, you know Lleyton is coming up, finals, big tournament, you can defend your title, hope that the streak is going to last. Once everything's over, it's a huge relief within myself. Then, you know, just have a nice dinner with my group, you know, especially my girlfriend, spend some time with her, then we'll leave tomorrow. I'm not the big party guy who goes out and goes crazy. I don't know if you have many great places out here anyway. Have to actually just hop on the plane and get to Miami for that.
Q. Highway 111.
ROGER FEDERER: 111 is good. Maybe after Miami, we'll see. Monte-Carlo is after that, depending on how I play there. Like to have a party once in a while, but not always a must after a win.
Q. You said yesterday that you don't like being controlled by the rules of television. If you're going to play a best-of-five final, is it right the semifinals are played on the day before the final or should it be like at a Grand Slam, except the US Open?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, it's the way it is. Seven other Masters Series, if you start on Tuesday, six matches in a row, with a best-of-five in the end. This is why these tournaments are so tough to win, because you don't get the rest. If you mess up early in the week by playing too many three-setters, it's going to come back and haunt you. Maybe that's what happened to Lleyton this week. But, you know, I still believe he had enough rest before his semifinal match. He's in such good condition, shape, he had no problem bouncing back from that tough three-setter yesterday. I think he was just maybe unfortunate with one bad movement for his toe. I think it's all right the way it is right now. And that's also again a reason why it's tough to play the Grand Slams, because we're not used to always having the day off. You know, the five-setters, it's not something everybody's used to. That makes it extremely tough. But, I mean, the rules are okay. I just think Lleyton got a little unlucky last night in his match.
Q. What would be the single important thing that you learned from Peter that is maybe outside of a game or connected with the game, but always you remember?
ROGER FEDERER: Peter Lundgren?
Q. No, Carter.
ROGER FEDERER: He taught me how to be I think a gentleman, how to act, you know, as a man, and his technique. He played even nicer than I did. I always I think tried to play like him a little bit, you know, especially his backhand. I think that's what I take away most from him because he was a great man.
End of FastScriptsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.