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June 30, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. A straightforward win today. Did you feel a little flat out there on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I didn't.
THE MODERATOR: Next question.

Q. You mentioned yesterday that you're trying to play your opponent's game. Mahut seemed to try and serve and volley quite a bit. You didn't seem to come in?
ROGER FEDERER: He's doing the extreme, serve first and second serve. I don't have that much of a powerful serve after all. I'd rather hit constant forehand winners from the baseline. I actually quite enjoy that. Yeah, so that was the reason I didn't do it. I definitely could have did it a little bit more often, but I realized early on that I actually wanted to be the dominant player from the baseline, whenever there's a rally from the baseline, that I'm in command. So for this reason I tried to stay back a little bit more often, and it worked.
It was a tricky match. It was really difficult.

Q. How did you find his service action? He seemed to throw very big serves at you.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was -- I mean, I expected a big serve, you know, but I didn't expect that big of a second serve. That was really what was difficult for me. Obviously, had many, many points that were over in no time, and you don't really get a momentum going. So the crowd obviously, you know, they're waiting for something to happen. Nobody really had too many chances on each of the other serves. That made it kind of difficult to play him.
I knew I had to wait for my chance. I was actually pretty relaxed all the way through. I think that was pretty important, actually not getting frustrated against a player like this.

Q. Was getting broken, serving for the match at the end, a lapse of concentration?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. I mean, I could have maybe served a bit better early on in the game so I don't get down in the game. But, uhm, you know, it just happened. I don't know. I have to see maybe the game once more.
Yeah, I wonder why it happened. But, look, thank God I bounced back well and broke him straightaway. I think that was quite important actually.

Q. Wimbledon is known to be one of the conservative tournaments on the tour. It's being criticized on a few issues like equal pay and the seeding system, being unwilling to change. Yet it remains probably the tournament most players want to win. Can you say a few words about what makes the tournament special to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's been around for so long, you know. It's always been at the same place. It's always been on this surface. It's always been white. It's not so easy to change things here.
I totally understand that because this is sort of, I think, where it sort of started, you know. So, you know, to change things makes it really hard. But I think they're more open now than ever, you know, to talk about different things. I think that's also important.
You know, the roof was unthinkable a few years ago. Now they're doing that. You could play sleeveless now. All this stuff, it wasn't possible before. Before it was only collar neck. I guess that's gone, too, now. They're evolving. They're not sleeping like maybe you think they are.

Q. With these sort of matches, are you playing pretty much at the top of your game or is there an element of trying to pace yourself through the tournament, just using as much energy as you need, both mental and physical?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know how it is against players like today. Basically you don't have too much to say, what your level of play is. The only time you can ever talk about it is really on your own service game because this is when you are in charge, otherwise it's always him, you know, deciding what's going to happen. He's taking so many chances, he's coming to the net, so forth, so it doesn't really allow you to play your game. You can't even say, I played good or bad.
Important in the end is that you didn't get broken, that you know you won the match and stuff. So that's why these opponents are always very tricky. You know, I enjoy the challenge, though, because you have so few chances. It's at that particular moment where you want to be playing well. I think that's what I did today. Once you're up, it's so hard for them to keep that up and stay positive because they are, you know, taking all the chances and not you.
It's actually easier for me.

Q. Can it be frustrating playing someone who is throwing everything at you, taking big swings and making some and not making others?

Q. You say you have no rhythm.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it can be very frustrating.

Q. Did you feel like that today?

Q. Players talk about the clay being faster and the grass being slower. You've played here since '97, '98.

Q. Is it your perception that the grass is different today than it was?
ROGER FEDERER: I was asked this the other day. You almost have to ask other players who are older than me, who played the tour now for, I think, at least 10 years because I remember '98, I won the Juniors here playing from the baseline. I came here in '99, I still played from the baseline. From 2001, 2000, I played a couple years where I came to the net more often. After that, I stayed again more at the baseline.
For me, the conditions always seem pretty much similar. But you have to ask really the other guys, you know, who said it was easy to serve and volley here, and in the end they had to consider serve-volleying on the first serve at least. Things have definitely changed, I guess, but I don't know why.

Q. Across all surfaces have you noticed any sort of change since you came on the tour or not?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the indoors has gotten a little slower than it used to be. I think clay's been pretty much similar because, yeah, there, I mean, I think it's similar. So maybe the hard courts also have slowed down. You don't have these American hard court tournaments which are just unplayable from the baseline, unreturnable. Everywhere you sort of get into the points. It's actually quite slow now. I think that's definitely slowed down.

Q. Speaking of players of the past, if you could choose to play an imaginary match against one of the older players, Borg, McEnroe, Becker, Lendl, whom would you choose?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, probably I'd like to play Boris because he was my idol growing up. That was the guy who got me sort of into tennis really. So obviously I think I would like to play against him.

Q. Do you remember his first win here, where you saw it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I did see it. I was very happy for him.

Q. He's here.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I know him well. I know he's here.

Q. Do you watch any of the highlights after the day's play on TV at your home, keep an eye on the competition? Do you just focus 110 on your own game and not watch any of your competitors play?
ROGER FEDERER: I enjoy watching other matches, ladies or men's. Obviously, the men's a little more. I'm watching a fair bit of it, you know, but not crazy because I also have another life. I also want to do something else than just focus on tennis all the time. Going to the city, go somewhere, do something else.

Q. Nalbandian and Blake have gone today. Can you identify who your key rivals are at the moment?
ROGER FEDERER: I think my draw is pretty tough. It's been tough from the early stages on. Next match will be difficult. It will be against either Haas or Berdych. I think that is for me a very tricky match already. I think if I would come through that, there's other good players lying ahead. I actually don't look that far down the draw. That would be semis, and we're not there yet.
I think it's quite a tough draw I have this year.

Q. Do you think Roddick and Hewitt are still up there with you?
ROGER FEDERER: Lleyton Hewitt has been struggling to my surprise, but he came through after all. That's what it's about in this game, coming through no matter how.

Q. How hard is it after having to stop play the night before to come back and play the next day? Especially in Hewitt's case, 2-2, come back and finish in a tiebreak like that?
ROGER FEDERER: You're not allowed to make any more mistakes like that. Back against the wall. It's tough. I mean, what was it, 4-All in the fifth, I think 15-30 or something. This is definitely the moment you don't want to throw in a double-fault. Usually you have margin. Moments like this you don't. This really shows who can cope with pressure and who cannot really.

End of FastScripts...

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