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July 9, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. Can you walk us through that match and how it felt from the first set onwards.
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, obviously the start was, you know, absolutely perfect. I played fantastic, didn't miss any shots and everything. Then it was over in a hurry. That was perfect for me, obviously, because I had momentum on my side.
I tried to make a difference early in the second set but couldn't do that, you know. Fell back with a break. I was lucky enough to come back and break back when he served for the set. That was maybe key to the match, because after that I also played a very good tiebreaker, and was up then two sets to love.
From then on obviously was hard for him, but I thought, you know, was getting harder and harder for both players to break serve. That was the case till early on in the fourth set when I started to -- when I broke him once and I sort of took control of the match.

Q. Did you have any purpose in playing your backhand in that first set? You looked like you were playing more slice, more towards the middle. Was that purposeful to reduce the amount of errors?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, he serves, you know, pretty good. All you try to do in the beginning is just try to get the ball back in a position where maybe he can't hurt you too much on the first shot, you know. That's what I was really trying to do. I mean, it worked for the first set. After that, obviously, the nerves, they loosened up and he started to play better and also started to serve better.
So, you know, no, but the purpose was to really get the ball back deep and try to make it hard for him.

Q. Do you have your sights set on number five already?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really (smiling). I'm looking forward to next year, obviously, but this was a very tough match for me. And, you know, to come through for another year, it's just an incredible feeling. You don't put your eyes right away on the first-round match next year, no.

Q. A lot of people felt there was a tremendous amount of pressure on you coming into this situation. People were talking about Rafa beating you on other surfaces. This was your place, your house. In a way, it couldn't have been easy for you to deal with all that. What was your feeling on that? Did you feel that pressure?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm very well aware of how important this match was for me. If I lose, obviously it's a hard blow for me. He wins French, Wimbledon, back to back. I was twice in the finals. That already hurt alone, but it was still great tournaments for me.
It's important for me to win a finals against him for a change and beat him for a change. At Wimbledon I knew it was gonna be the place for me to do it the easiest way. Turned out to be tough and it shows how much he's improved over maybe an entire year.
But maybe, you know, I had the pressure he had at the French Open, you know. I was trying to break his clay court streak there. He tried to break my grass court streak here. I think it was kind of tough to play each other again.

Q. Is a part of you a little disappointed to lose a set in the final?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, no. As long as I don't lose three, it's okay (laughter).

Q. You said on court that you had doubts early on in the tournament. Were they more than usual? Was there a particular reason why you had doubts in the earlier rounds?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think, you know, coming from maybe the loss in Paris and then struggling all the way through to Halle, even though I thought I played pretty good, then I looked at the draw. Everybody was talking about the streak from Bjorn Borg. I equaled and can beat it and all this stuff. I thought, I mean, this draw looks like this streak might come to an end very soon, you know, sort of, not because I might play bad, but because I have really dangerous players.
So, you know, these things go through your head. And I didn't think once, you know, that maybe I hold the trophy again. It only came once I beat I think Ancic in the quarters.

Q. After two sets, did the plot seem kind of familiar? Very easy set first set and then he came back second set: French Open final.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, little bit, yeah, obviously. There I won the first set 6-1. I think it was 1-All, 40-15 for me in the second set of the French Open. And, look, I mean, I thought it was an unfortunate game I played there. I think I served pretty good and he got back some good balls. And, uhm, yeah, I mean he covers the court very well. It was a pity I got the break obviously early on. Again, momentum was on my side.
But, you know, just with such good players, they can sometimes decide on their own, too, when they want to break. He had a good game there, so...

Q. Was there anything about Nadal's play today that made you come up with shots or do certain things that kind of surprised you or forced you to be much better than you thought you could, or was it kind of easy all the way through?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no, it wasn't easy. But, yeah, I was sort of surprised how hard he started to hit the ball in the end. He started to really go flat-out, sort of end of the third. And then in the fourth set, you know, he sort of decided to, you know, stop with the spin balls and more just swing his backhand especially more freely. Makes it more difficult, too, because all of a sudden he's more dangerous, too.
But, look, I had to -- I could have maybe won in three, but I also could have been down two sets to one at the same time. So very, very pleased, actually, the way I played today because I thought I made it hard for him to really get a rhythm from the baseline. I served well. Those were important things I really wanted to do before the match.

Q. What was running through your mind actually as you won the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, it's just, you know, sort of disbelief. You can't believe you did it again. You know, I came into this final with a lot of confidence, playing so well. Came in very relaxed, too, you know, because I wasn't physically tired. It's just, I don't know, great feeling once again. Just really anxious to go and hold that trophy once again.

Q. Do you think Nadal put up a tougher fight at Wimbledon than you did at the French in the final?
ROGER FEDERER: Similar, I would think. Yeah, I mean, he had his chances today, I had my chances at the French, you know. Maybe both times you could see that maybe the other players were just a bit more confident or just got a bit of better feeling on that surface, on his surface let's say. I think that's what came out today, too.

Q. With this degree of success, this degree of fame and money, everything else, what is it now in the next couple of days that would really make you happy?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I know a vacation will make me happy (smiling). I plan those, so...
I mean, I would have had vacation no matter if I would have lost first round or won the tournament. So obviously I'm looking forward to that. I mean, I'm so happy that, again, many, many friends and family came to watch me here. So we're gonna enjoy obviously tonight, the champion's dinner. That's, I think, always very enjoyable. And then, yeah, I'm looking forward to go for a vacation.

Q. As the best player in the world, how important is it for you to have a rivalry or challenge from somebody like Nadal who's burst on to the scene now?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me, you know, I look at the big picture, you know, trying to stay healthy and trying to play well, you know, every tournament. And he's not always playing the same tournaments, you know, so obviously that's why I don't really look at the rivalry too much.
But I think when we play so often in finals, I think it adds something to the game, you know, because people sometimes miss it and sometimes they don't have it and they want it, and when they have it, they don't want it. It's kind of very strange how that goes.
I think now it's great. He's up-and-coming. I used to be the youngster. Now I'm, you know, sort of getting older. But, you know, he's so young that it's actually great rivalry I think we're having at the moment. Sometimes they absolutely can help tennis.

Q. From the fashion police, will you be wearing that jacket tonight and what will be your fashion statement next year?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we have to figure it out, what we do next year with Nike. But for tonight, uhm, I got to be chic, so I guess I have no choice.

Q. Do you think you might donate the jacket to the Wimbledon museum?
ROGER FEDERER: It will definitely make it there, yes.

Q. Did you sense that you were giving him more trouble with your sliced backhand? You were doing great in the first set, then just used it to break him by the second set. Were you waiting for that moment?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I was struggling to really get into his service games, you know, midway through the second and third, fourth set, was getting way more difficult. I knew that's actually what I expected from the start, you know. But I had such a great start, so you always hope that you're gonna break him one more, and another one. It's all going very smoothly.
But, uhm, the slice definitely worked well today, and I think that is obviously why I play so well on grass, you know. Other surfaces, obviously it's hard - especially on clay, you know. A good defense slice can help you out, but an offensive slice sometimes doesn't really give you everything, you know, on clay. On hard court it pays off more. That's maybe why my results are even better on grass and hard court.

End of FastScripts...

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