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August 29, 2007

Roger Federer



Q. How do you feel you played tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was pretty good. Had a good start, you know. I could control the rallies from the baseline. I was serving pretty well. Of course, a little bit of a hiccup in the second set. The game I got broken, I should have never lost the first point. That kind of put me under pressure. He played a good game after that.
It happens, but the reaction was right there, which was a good thing. From then on, I kind of never looked back. So it was, yeah, a pretty much controlled match. It's nice to have it the first night session, for sure.

Q. Your next match against Isner, decent chance you're going to be heading into some tiebreakers. Your tiebreak record is 19-6 this year. Can you talk about your mental preparation for this, how important tiebreakers are, particularly at a major?
ROGER FEDERER: Actually, I'm not thinking about tiebreaks at the moment, even though I'm playing a guy that serves big and is hard to break. You concentrate more on the fact that you're trying to get the ball back, making sure you serve well, and take your chances when you get them. If you got to go into the tiebreaker, you hope experience pays off and start the tiebreaker in a good way. There's never a guarantee. That's the problem with the breakers. They go ISL seven points. It's never won or lost. That's why you've always got a chance.
It's a dangerous thing, no doubt. But it's best-of-five sets. It's a long way. Got to be really consistent, you know, mentally and physically at your best to compete at this level. So it's going to be interesting to see.

Q. Does a guy like that have an advantage in a tiebreak with a serve like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, not necessarily all the time. But usually the big servers do have. So big that you might think, maybe not again, not any more.
Look, he's new, new kid on the block. We don't have much statistics about him, so that's why we don't know.

Q. How much, if at all, have you seen him play and what do you know about him?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw maybe four games, five games today before I went on. So that's all I saw. Yeah, maybe a game against Nieminen. I don't know much about him, no.

Q. Are you going to ask Ivo to practice with you before the next match?
ROGER FEDERER: Doesn't need Ivo to get me ready for that match.

Q. Was there any hesitancy to change color since you've worn blue here ever since you won in '04?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I kind of saw the pictures and I realized they were all always blue. Got to change that. I'm just kidding.
We had the idea of maybe doing something blue at the day, black at the night. I really liked the idea. I thought it really looks cool. In New York you can do such a thing. Nowhere else in the world. I really thought it looked good. I hope the fans enjoyed it, too.

Q. Usually it's a fashion show for the girls. Guys are usually left out of that. You made a statement with the black.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, why not? It still looks like tennis attire. I'm not saying the women sometimes it goes overboard, but sometimes it looks more like a dress to go into the city than go on the tennis court. Of course, it's always going to look that way because they are dresses.
But for me I thought it was a cool mix with kind of the tuxedo kind of looks, all black. Why not? Especially at night. During the day you could never wear a black shirt anyway because it would be too hot. I kind of like to do sophisticated statements. Also at Wimbledon with the jacket, I kind of took a chance. I thought I was going to look like an idiot. But kind of people liked it. I thought actually it was a great idea. So I backed it up this year with an entire outfit, and here in New York with a black one. So it's good stuff.

Q. How can you not be thinking about tiebreaks with a guy that won five matches in a row 7-6 in the third?
ROGER FEDERER: Because you hope you're not going to be in it. You hope you break him early, yeah, break him apart and beat him. That's why if I go into the match thinking only about breakers, this is where we're going to probably be. Then I'm still pretty happy if I'm in the tiebreaker against him because it means I haven't been broken, and the chance is there to be taken.
In practice you sometimes play a tiebreaker here or there. But you cannot practice tiebreakers, like you cannot practice in soccer the shootouts. That you just have to be good enough in the situation itself and be able to be smart about how to play the points.

Q. You have a good record in tiebreakers. What's your strategy going into them?
ROGER FEDERER: Play tough, calculate everything that happened throughout the set, knowing where his weakness is, where his strengths are, go with my strengths. Yeah, take the right decision at the right time. This is what I'm pretty good at.

Q. You said you saw a few games of his. What did you think? Is it going to be uncomfortable to play against somebody so tall with such a big serve?
ROGER FEDERER: In the first round, it's rough, you know. Like I played Karlovic in Montréal. It was windy like crazy. I didn't see a breakpoint. He didn't have a breakpoint. There was no kind of rhythm. There I knew I was going to be stuck in breakers most likely. Now this is already third round. I'm into the tournament. It's a different feeling.
I saw he had a good serve. He's got a good second serve, too. It's going to be interesting to see how I handle that because the trajectory of a big guy like this, tall guy, it's always different. You maybe have to adjust a little bit in the beginning. It's going to be interesting to see how good he is from the baseline. I thought he hit the ball pretty well, but you never know until you face him.

Q. When did you find out he was going to be your opponent?
ROGER FEDERER: During my match.

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