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


January 27, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How ready are you for tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel good, you know. Few days off always helps to relax mentally a little bit. My match has been good here. I feel like I'm playing well. Especially the last match was fantastic. I didn't play that well the entire tournament. I hope I saved the best for last.

Q. Did you watch Fernando last night?
ROGER FEDERER: Three games only.

Q. You didn't meet Fernando in juniors. Do you have any memories from those times?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah. I mean, I know Fernando since we were 14. I mean, we know each other since a long, long time. Even though we never played, the year when I finished was No. 1 in '98, he won the French juniors whereas I won the Wimbledon juniors, but we never played that season. We had an unbelievable tough group of guys there that year.
It goes back a long, long way. To see him in such a big occasion playing against each other, it's actually quite funny. I like him.

Q. What do you expect to see from him tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's going to be a tough match, you know. Usually when you play against Fernando, you always know it's going to be dangerous because he's got the ability to all of a sudden steamroll. I've been able to beat him every time we played. You know, I know the danger playing against him. I just played him recently in Madrid and Basel, which is probably going to help me a lot.
But he's playing well this tournament. Especially the last few matches, he's been very consistent, very impressive. Yeah, I have to make sure I play a good match because anything else is not going to be enough.

Q. How much has he changed since junior days and recently? How much have you seen him change just this tournament alone?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think you can go one tournament and change your game. I could already see it coming last year. I could see he was starting to play better and better. Already when I played him in the quarters of Wimbledon, you know, a couple years ago, I already started to feel like he starts to be more patient from the baseline and everything. He starts to play better, a bit more smart, whereas in the beginning he was just coming out and swinging on everything on everything, you know, which might be a bit more dangerous. It's hard for me. If he's got and off day, he's going to beat himself every time.
He's been playing well now for over a year. That's also why he finished so close to the top 10 and everything. Now he's putting it all together on the big stage. I think he's a player that loves the big stage. The center courts he plays better than on the outside courts. I think the more his ranking goes up, the more he's going to play on the big courts, the better he's going to play in the future. It's a big occasion, that's why it's going to be a tough match.

Q. The backhand, has that been a strategy in past games, you could find a weakness in his backhand, but maybe not so much now?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, what he does is he chips a lot of his backhands and keeps the ball in play. He's a good athlete. He covers his -- he makes a small court just having an incredible forehand. To get to his backhand is sometimes not so easy. If you want to go to the forehand, you have to really go to his forehand.
He's just more consistent than maybe before. Maybe here, because there's not so much wind, it's a big court, he's confident and everything, he's playing it better. But I don't see a significant change in his game really over the last six months. I know what to expect. I just hope he doesn't have one of those days where he just plays incredible. We'll see what happens.

Q. Does it matter to you whether you have an unexpected finalist against you or a known quantity like Rafael or Andy? Do you have a preference? Do you find yourself more relaxed going in against one or the other?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm surprised to see Fernando in the finals. Not anything against him, but I thought that like a Davydenko or Nadal would have come through in the end. Ended up both lost at the same time. It was quite surprising.
I mean, I had it last year really. I thought Marcos was never going to make the finals. He beat all these great players. I end up playing against a player that I'm a huge favorite. This time around maybe I'm not that big of a favorite because Fernando has a very good ranking, whereas Marcos, he was quite low ranked back then.
I'm used to all situations, really, but I think it's great to see a new face on a big stage for a change again. Like Marcos last year, that was a great story. This year it's Fernando again. The only thing is he doesn't have all those great five-setters like Marcos had. He just came through and put everybody away right away. I think it's going to be a fun final for sure.

Q. Can you get used to preparing for a Grand Slam final? Are you less nervous than you were the last time?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think so. Yeah, I mean, I think that's the experience that helps. You know, you're totally relaxed. You know what you have to do. You know how to prepare, mentally take it.
I always said this is a tough Grand Slam because the finals is very late. You got all day to think about it tomorrow, which kind of makes it -- it's nice you can sleep in, but then you've got so much time to kill that it's tough, you know.
No, look, I mean, I draw out of experience, and I hope I'm doing the right things to be at a hundred percent for the finals.

Q. You said you only watched three games of Fernando. Is that usual?
ROGER FEDERER: It would have been probably two sets and three games if he wouldn't have finished it in three sets. He's been winning so quickly, so I haven't seen his matches (smiling).

Q. Apart from your first Grand Slam victory, what was the final you went into with the greatest trepidation or least amount of confidence?
ROGER FEDERER: Of my Slam finals?

Q. Of your career.
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, obviously I was really nervous the first Grand Slam final. I played against Philippoussis in Wimbledon. I knew this could be my time to make or break. I guess Wimbledon always makes me the most nervous.
Playing also against Andy the following year when he played so well, the rain came and everything. I remember that year was also very nerve-wracking. I could consider those two, yeah.

Q. Do you think you can exploit Fernando's nerves if you can get on top early?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if it's got so much to do with nerves. I think he's a big-occasion player, like Marcos as well. I tried to wait and see what Marcos was going to do last year. I paid the price for it because he was playing so well, he was so confident, he was serving big, hitting big forehands. That's exactly the same that Fernando is going to do.
I don't know how much I'm going to wait and see how he plays. I'm just going to go after my shots early. I will still have to make up my mind and see how it goes. But, yeah, I have to wait and see.

Q. What do you think about the Hawk-Eye system?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it's an old story. I still don't like it.

Q. Can you elaborate?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't like it. I'll never like it. I don't think it's so necessary to have all this electronic stuff in tennis because it's going to be never ending. You're always going to add more and more and more and more. It's going to be crazy in the end. Honestly, I don't think it's made that much of a difference this tournament.
I always say if the fans like it, it's fine. If most of the players like it, it's okay, too. But not everybody will like it, and I'm one of them. Yeah, as it's there to use, I'll use it as well. It's not key to winning or losing.

Q. Now you seem a bit more resigned to making a challenge, whereas at first it seemed like you had to be dragged kicking and screaming to make a challenge.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I just don't like the stats of the Hawk-Eye. People think we players are so wrong. We challenge so often because we really want that point badly, but we probably know that the ball is out. I don't think the stats show the real truth behind the Hawk-Eye.
Yeah, I mean, sometimes you have bad days from a lines person, sometimes you don't have one challenge. Not really necessary, I think.

Q. What do you hear from Juliette?
ROGER FEDERER: We're in Australia, not Wimbledon.

Q. You don't hear from her?

Q. Do you think in Davis Cup Hawk-Eye could be maybe more useful? In Russia it was sometimes useful to the Argentinians.
ROGER FEDERER: Wish we had it back then, too, when we played the Russians (smiling). You have to replay every breakpoint, match point, set point.
No, I think Davis Cup is a good solution to do it, yeah, absolutely.

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