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September 5, 2007

Roger Federer



Q. 4-All in the second set tiebreak, you played a backhand service return. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Landed at his feet. He couldn't do anything about it. Do you practice those shots?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I was trying to chip it back for the entire match really. I just said, if he goes to my backhand and it's not perfect down the line, I think I have a chance to make a block return, you know.
I took a chance. Probably if he would have served to my forehand, at that point it would have been an ace. So that was just guessing, you know. I'm happy I hit it perfectly well.
Couldn't do anything about it. So it was a big point in the end obviously. Can't practice, no.

Q. Do you think that's the best tennis you've played thus far in this tournament? Is that what Andy brings out in you?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, I don't know if it was my best match or not. It's irrelevant, I think. There was nothing I could do on his serve for two and a half sets. I didn't see a breakpoint. That shows you obviously how good a returner he is.
Usually even against Isner I get myself into the service games on my opponents usually. So that was a tough thing, you know.
So I definitely played well on my service games. I think I was really consistent. I'm happy he couldn't convert his one breakpoint he had, I don't know when it was, in the second set I think. I played great in the tiebreak.
Obviously he had more pressure in the second tiebreaker than in the first one. And once he's down two sets to love in two tiebreaks, that's a hard thing, you know, to go against. Obviously against me, as well.
I thought it was a very high-standard match. I was very pleased with my performance. I thought actually Andy also played very well.

Q. There was a comment you made, sort of a throw-away comment: "Piece of cake." Andy came in and seemed to take offense to that. He said, "piece of cake, I hope he certainly didn't think this match was a piece of cake." Was that just taken out of context?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. You saw what we talked about or not out on the court? We were talking about my training, so it has nothing to do with the match. I didn't think it was a piece of cake at all. I could have been down two sets to love. No, no, not at all. Misunderstanding, I guess.
We were talking about my practice. Even in the end, threw in the word "piece of cake." I just repeated it because I guess he thought it was funny (laughter). So, yeah, I guess that's what it was about. Nothing about the match.

Q. How hard is it for you to sit in the dressing room, the women's match goes on, a third-set tiebreak, for a professional athlete to come out and be at their very best at 10:30 at night? How tough is that?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it's okay. Instead of going on the court at 8:30 you go on the court at 9:45, 10:00. For me there's not that much of a difference, to be honest.
This is also one of the reasons I like to watch matches till 2:00 in the morning if I have to watch Rafa against Ferrer. I loved the match last night. Not because Rafa lost, but just because I thought it was fantastic tennis, and I could be there tomorrow, the following day. I know I can sleep in in the morning.
So I don't mind. Any time of day I'm ready, so... I prefer later than early. That's the one thing I can tell you.

Q. Did you think this was fantastic tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: There was so much good serving that it's hard to say it was great, great tennis. But I thought it was a high level, you know. You couldn't allow yourself to make any easy mistakes, you know, because they would be costly.
So I think we really tightened up our games really nicely tonight, and maybe his last service game was a bit of a frustration, you know, and I played some good shots. Other than that, I mean, I thought it was great tennis, yeah.

Q. Were you particularly pleased with the way your second serve when you aced him I think four or five times.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah but that's because he was going to run around it. If he stays there I'm not going to do that. He didn't do that anymore. I saw he was starting to run around my second serve sometimes in the beginning. So I thought, you know, might as well take a chance. I was sure he was going to try it again.
Those second-serve aces, I mean, they were important, but it doesn't mean that my second serve was fantastic. It's always consistent, and that's what I expect from it.

Q. It exasperates the opposition when you can do that.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's good if you can read his mind sometimes. It does help, yeah.

Q. Speaking of minds, a lot of people think Agassi is one of the best tennis minds in the sport. He did a lot of commentary tonight. He said when a player can count on two things to be the best in the world, then you have a dominant player. But when it comes to you, you have closer to five things that are the best in the world. Do you sense you just are a step above in four or five different categories of the game?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I feel I can, yes, count on many things in my game to work. If my serve doesn't work, I know my baseline game helps me out. So if one thing breaks down I'm still okay.
For that to happen there's a lot for me that needs to happen because I do always usually feel good physically. Mentally I'm always aware of my opponent. I never underestimate. I think that's one very important aspect.
And usually I can play the moment very well, you know. So I think that's also one very important part of my game, is to understand the moment. Yeah, you put all of them together, I know that I have a beg repertoire of shots and things I can choose from.

Q. So just being able to go from Plan A to Plan B, that in itself is a skill set, would you say?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, knowing when to play, how to play, yeah. I can do that pretty well.

Q. Andy declined to answer when I asked him if he thought you were getting better. Do you think you're getting better?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I mean, it would be nice if I improve. I think I've gotten better over the years. I think my serve has improved again. I was struggling with my serve, I think it was during the summer, the clay court season maybe.
I mean, not tremendously, you know. But I wasn't getting the free points I was looking for.
Really since Wimbledon and here now again I'm serve-volleying my second serves consistently and I'm moving well. For a while I thought my movement was off sometimes. I was just picking the wrong shots maybe in defense. Now I feel really I can cover a lot of ground, you know, and even be aggressive still.
I'm happy actually where my game's going. I know, I mean, I can't play every season and win, I don't know, almost 80, 90 matches, hardly lose any. Obviously you're going to lose once in a while.
But I'm happy the way I'm maintaining this great ability of coming up with the important wins when I have to. I'm at my best always at the Slams. This is where the focus is the biggest.

Q. What are your thoughts on Nadal not being here?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, honestly it was sad to see the way he was fighting with his body last night. I mean, I felt for the guy. I never saw him go down like this physically. I mean, he sat down. I don't know what happened.
I mean, I played him in Miami in the finals when I beat him 6-1 in the fifth, and he was really struggling there physically. So it was kind of the second time for me to see him really struggling out there.
But you've got to give credit to Ferrer. He played unbelievable. I know he can play well. He's the best returner in the game at the moment, together with Nadal I think. I mean, it was still entertaining. I have to give also great credit to Rafa the way he swallowed it all, tried extremely hard. I was very impressed. I really liked to see that.

Q. Thoughts on Davydenko?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he played better than Haas today. He was the better player off the ground. He would miss less and play more aggressive, even though Tommy was trying to come to the net.
But I think he's a fantastic player. Totally underrated still sometimes from the media. Even though I have a great record against him, I'm aware of his ability. It was a very close match we did at the French Open this year in the semis. Last year I played out of my head in the semis, I remember.
Looking forward to a tough match. He's a great player.

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