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July 7, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Roger Federer for you.

Q. Do you have the same de'ja vu feeling last year, reaching the final with Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, kind of, I guess. You know, it always feels -- but it's pretty similar when you meet each other again. It's like the French Open, you know, when we met again in the finals. You get a same feeling.
But the way we got there this year was totally different. You know, last year I played incredible well all the way through, didn't drop a set, had an incredible tough draw. Played Nadal and came in with a huge amount of confidence.
It's similar this year. I played well. But maybe less dominating as I did last year. But still I'm feeling good. I've put myself in the opportunity to win this tournament again.

Q. How would you best describe why you're so successful versus everybody, including Nadal, on grass, and he is so successful against everybody, including you, on clay?
ROGER FEDERER: I think we're very consistent in the first place. We're physically and mentally tough. On top of that, we have a very solid game. We don't allow too many hiccups when we have matches.
Over five sets, that is anyway a bigger advantage for us against the lower-ranked players, I would think, whereas the best-of-three matches are lost quite quickly. I think that's why we play so consistent at the slams lately.

Q. But why the difference, you so much better on grass, including against him?
ROGER FEDERER: Because I tend to play more flat than he does, so it favors me on the quicker surfaces.

Q. Do you think Rafael is much better on grass than he was one year ago?
ROGER FEDERER: Tough call, you know. He had a couple of scares here, you know. He could have lost two matches. Came through. So in the end it looks like he played incredible again. But I think he was struggling a little bit.
I don't know if he's playing better. The draw's been different for him. But he's tough as always, consistent. Gave himself a chance. He totally deserves to be back in the final.

Q. Bjorn Borg saw you play today. How much do you think about matching his five-in-a-row record? How do you compare your achievements at Wimbledon to his?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, I mean, it will be an incredible, awesome feeling for me to achieve this goal because never, ever - and I think the same for him - we thought we were going to win Wimbledon so many times.
Now I'm in the position to equal his great record. I saw him sitting there today. Thank God only in the second set so I could concentrate on the first set first.
It is tricky when you see him sitting there because he is a living legend. I have so much respect for him that it is great that he's here. I hope I can do the job tomorrow.

Q. Marion Bartoli had James Bond inspiring her yesterday. Do you think Bjorn being there inspired you that little bit more today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it is a boost, yes, but it can also be a negative thing if you put too much pressure on yourself. In the end you've got to block it out, whoever is sitting there.
I used to have much more trouble, especially playing back home in Switzerland when I had friends and family. In the beginning, when your father is watching you're nervous. Later it's when your girlfriend is watching. Later it's somebody else. It becomes more and more crazy, you know.
But after a while you start to relax and just concentrate on tennis. If there's somebody special watching the match, it's a boost usually for me.

Q. Today in the press conference with Bjorn Borg he said if there's anybody to do five in a row, I want it to be Roger because he's such a nice guy. What kind of relationship do you have with Bjorn today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, we never played against each other. I never saw him play, to be honest. Of course, you know, with so many rain delays I got to see many more matches of him.
I read a lot about him. I know many of his records, especially having Peter Lundgren as a coach beforehand. I had the Swedish connection going, as well.
Our relationship, how is it? We've only met a few occasions, not too much. When we met, we didn't speak so much because, of course, time is not always there. But at the special moment when I was able to play tennis with him in Dubai, that for me was in a way a dream come true.
He came to watch the Dubai finals two years in a row. I only saw him from center court. We didn't get a chance to speak. I see him more than I speak to him, let's put it that way.

Q. How conscious were you of Gasquet's foot problems? How much did you try to work him out?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't feel it too much, to be honest. I knew he had to be tired, no doubt. You see him warming up, just walking around in the dressing room and he's hurting to tie his shoes.
Once the body gets warm sometimes you don't feel those problems. I knew the danger. I think he played actually pretty good under the circumstances.
Now, maybe he let his head hang a little bit, which is maybe also a bit normal, being physically in a tough position playing against me, being down a set and a break. It's not an easy situation for him.
I think he played a phenomenal match yesterday. I enjoyed it so much, to see him play that way. He had over 80 winners. That is just incredible tennis. You saw some shots again today.
I really hope he's going to be at the very top of the rankings soon.

Q. This might put pressure on you, but Borg was saying today he feels you're capable of winning Wimbledon, three, four, five more times. How do you react to that?
ROGER FEDERER: It's kind of obvious, to be honest. I've played so well the last few years you would always put me as the favorite here at Wimbledon. So of course you think that right away.
It was the same thing when Bjorn won his fourth or fifth. You would think he would also go on and win five more. It's not that easy, you know. Pete Sampras did it. That's why he is an awesome, incredible athlete, incredible talent.
This is where maybe also mental strength comes more into it. Can you do it day in, day out?
Bjorn left the game maybe a bit too early. Who knows. At the same time it was a unique career he had. Let's see first what happens tomorrow and then we go from there.

Q. Nadal said there were lots of players who were more complete than him, better than him, and at the end didn't give you trouble. What does he have? Is it the mental, physical, the way he runs for every ball?
ROGER FEDERER: Like every good player, he has a good serve, good forehand, good backhand. Nothing to do with physical, mental, whatever at this stage.
People forget it's not enough just to be able to run and be focused. You've got to be able to hit a tennis ball, and he does that pretty good.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about you being the favorite, reaching the final, winning for the fifth time. What is the feeling like to be in the final again?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it went kind of fast, to be honest. All of a sudden back in the final. Just played my semifinal match. Don't have too much time to look back of what I've achieved so far. Have to start right away focusing on the match tomorrow.
I'm very excited. I think it's an incredible moment for me, especially also playing Nadal in the finals. I think it's very fitting. Now I'm just hoping for one more good match, you know.
That was my hope for the beginning of the tournament, to be back in the final. To achieve this goal is already fantastic.

Q. Will you look towards the finals of the French or last year's final against Nadal for how you might play tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: If I'm going to draw from that how I'm going to play?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess on grass it's a bit different, obviously the approach, than on clay. On clay I always feel like he is in the driver's seat, whereas on grass I feel like I'm in the driver's seat.
I felt he totally changed his game for last year's final. He played way more aggressive. He hit his backhand, his forehand. I was very surprised, you know, but handled it pretty well.
So we'll see also what kind of an approach he's going to come out with. I know I've got to play aggressive, serve well, play the grass court game I can. Hopefully that's going to be good enough.

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