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June 25, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. Why didn't you leave the trousers on, really make a statement?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was cold, but not that cold after all, so, yeah, that's why. Yeah, we both took them off.

Q. How did it feel to play out there in the new stadium?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was different, you know. There was always a constant breeze from the one end, like in many of the stadiums around the world. So that was not very different, it was just different for Centre Court.
I definitely prefer the old one over this one right now, but obviously it's a work in progress. We are all looking forward to next year. But it definitely does look and play a bit different this year.

Q. How do you feel about your performance? Were you happy with today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think it was okay. I was pretty pleased with my performance. I think it was solid. I was very concentrated on my own service games, trying to get those through, you know, then hopefully put pressure on my opponent.
It worked out. I think he also played a decent match. I had to come up with some shots once in a while. I think it was a good performance and I'm really happy actually the way I played today.

Q. Was that the kind of match you were looking for after not playing Halle this time around?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, I was of course a bit worried maybe before the first round. Look, I've got so much confidence, so much experience on this surface that I always expect myself to play good matches on grass. That's what happened today. Hopefully the next match can be similar as good.

Q. John McEnroe said on television he was surprised you changed your routine. He always kept to the same routine and he got to five Wimbledon finals. Today I suppose you proved he was talking rubbish.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I got to win the tournament to really prove that, I guess, that my decision was the right one. Only that one is going to be good enough for me and everyone else, too.
Look, for me, my body was hurting after the French, after the clay court season. What do you want me to say? I'm not going to go start risking injury, risking my body.
I'd rather play Wimbledon than maybe play Halle, lose there, and not play Wimbledon at a hundred percent. I had to take a tough call. I'm not superstitious like other players are. That's why I can take decisions like that.

Q. Where is your body now? Do you feel a hundred percent?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm recovered. It takes about four, five, six days sometimes to really get everything out of the system, all the little things that hurt a little bit. Of course, when you start easier again because you don't have competition again, you can go at your own pace, whereas if you play a tournament you have to go the at it a hundred percent otherwise you lose. That's a tough call of playing a tournament right after a Grand Slam.

Q. I believe there were some Federers listed as guests in the Royal Box today. Do you mind telling us if you had relatives here, and if that's customary for a first-round match?
ROGER FEDERER: My mom got invited into the Royal Box from the chairman, Tim Phillips, which was very nice. My dad actually, too, but he preferred to stay home and maybe come for the final weekend if I'm there.
My mom came with a very good friend of ours from South Africa. I hope she enjoys maybe lunch right now and tea later on. Excellent.

Q. Wimbledon is obviously a very important tournament for you. Do you remember your feelings when you first made it in the main draw here I think like eight years ago with Jiri Novak? Was it special for you?
ROGER FEDERER: I was very nervous going into my junior first round. I remember after the warmup I was going up to the umpire telling him, I think the net is too high, because I was so nervous. I felt like the net was double the height.
He actually went down and checked it. The net was, of course, accurate, so I kept on playing and won my match. I was so nervous then.
When I came back the following year I got a wildcard, which of course was very nice for The Championships to give me. I played on the back court right behind court No. 2 and lost in five sets to Jiri Novak.
I played a pretty good match. I don't remember being particularly nervous about it. I actually thought I would have a good chance because grass was supposed to all of a sudden be my favorite surface after winning the juniors.
I wasn't even that disappointed after because I played a good match and he was a tough opponent to have in the first round.

Q. Obviously the atmosphere out there is so different this year. Does the difference make you realize how special the feeling and atmosphere was at the old Centre Court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, every time you come back here and play at Wimbledon on Centre Court, you warm up, all you hear is the sound of the ball, your movement, your breathing, because people are so quiet.
They really only applaud for good shots. They never applaud for unforced errors. It's just a very respectful crowd. It's such a totally different feel to anywhere else in the world where I always play.
Maybe it's just that nice change to different spectators here at Wimbledon to other courts that make it so much more special to play here.

Q. We saw Valentino Rossi on the stands watching the game from your box. Is it great champions watching other champions?
ROGER FEDERER: I was very happy he could attend. He let me know already a couple of weeks ago he was going to be able to make it to come over to Wimbledon before his race in Holland. We met each other at the Laureus awards. Not this time because I didn't go, but the year before that.
Yeah, he's a very, very nice guy. If I can help him out with tickets, I'm very happy to do so.

Q. The rain stopped him yesterday. The same rain didn't stop you today.
ROGER FEDERER: Almost did, yeah. I guess we got a bit more lucky. It was nice he came.

Q. Did you ever have a wrist injury as serious as Murray's? How long did it take you to recover?
ROGER FEDERER: I fell once on clay back in '99 when I had Davis Cup in Belgium, in practice. I fell on my wrist and kind of tried to stop myself from falling. I remember I kind of jammed my wrist and it blocked. I felt it for about a couple of weeks. I really felt it especially on the forehand side.

Q. How long did it take to recover properly?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, quite a few weeks actually. It was really a pain 'cause there's so many little bones in the wrist. It's really a bad injury, I think. I don't know what happened really to him. Yeah, I think he probably made the right decision.

Q. Can you describe the different feeling going from the French, where every ball is coming up above your shoulder, coming to a slick grass court? How does that match up with your game?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, you definitely got to adjust. I can use the slice much more effectively here on grass. I can take chances on the serve, even on the second serve. You don't kick so much. You slice more the serve. It skips through the surface.
You can use the kick too these days, because of the slower conditions just to mix it up once in a while.
The ball obviously goes more flat over the court, which makes it faster. That's why the rallies are shorter. You definitely have to make big changes coming from Paris to here.

Q. At the start it seemed you were both a bit nervous about the surface. The conditions seemed cold and obviously damp. Was it tricky at that time?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, you're kind of worried about injuries, slipping. I warmed up well. I'm feeling good on grass. I felt I had the grip.
But then, you know, it really rained a little bit harder. Then you're like you see him slip, you touch the grass, you think it's actually pretty wet, but you don't want to stop. Once they put the covers on, you're going to lose again another 45 minutes.
It was good we stayed on. I don't think it got to the point where it was a big risk. It was still under control. You know, the players can also look at each other and go like this is crazy.
I think we took the right decision, both, to keep on playing. I maybe would have waited it out a little bit at one stage. I think it was okay the way it went.

Q. How actively are you looking for a new coach? Is it a disadvantage not having one at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, my plan was back in February not to come with a coach here anyway, no matter what happened. I was planning on having Tony earlier in the clay court season all the way through to the French Open, then I would go to Wimbledon myself. So that is not a change.
At the moment, having the French Open and Wimbledon totally occupying my mind, I'm actually not thinking much about a coach right now. Probably after I start really considering who are the options.

Q. You said the other day you're not the enemy of the past, but you really are the enemy of the past. The past doesn't seem to mind. What did you mean by that?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't like it when former greats talk bad about our generation. That's what I don't like. I guess that's what I meant.

Q. You're not their enemy. You feel some of them are your enemy?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I've heard, you know, comments that apparently it's easier these days. Some give us great praise. It's nice to hear nice comments instead of talking bad sometimes, which I think is a pity.

Q. You didn't make a Hawk-Eye challenge today. I think if you would have looked up and seen your mug shot you may have challenged that, because it was rather bad.
ROGER FEDERER: Which shot?

Q. The Hawk-Eye shots of your faces. Before you make the challenge, there's a picture of two players on the court. Yours was red and black and blurry. It's just not very flattering. Perhaps you could challenge the quality of the picture.
ROGER FEDERER: You don't like the picture? I'll speak to them (laughter).

Q. Do you think Hawk-Eye is accurate?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. Have they got all three-dimensional -- probably must be, otherwise Wimbledon wouldn't use it, yeah.

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