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July 4, 2008

Roger Federer


6-3, 7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. You seemed to be very relaxed and confident. At 2-All in the third set you hit one shot under the leg, another one behind the back. Is that what you really felt at that moment?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I was winning my service games pretty comfortably, you know, except at one stage in I think in the second set maybe it was.
But I was playing well. You know, I was feeling good out there on the court. It was perfect conditions to play. I was playing a good and tough match.
I'm always very, you know, relaxed, so today was no different really.

Q. Was it easy today?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, easy in terms of, you know, being able to control a really dangerous player who's got the potential to upset anyone, you know. So in this aspect, yes.
I mean, it was quite easy if you look at the score now. I was able to break him in the first game of the match and in the last game of the match. I think in between I was just really consistent, didn't really give him too many chances. It was a perfect match for me.

Q. Were you relieved it was straight sets, given that Rafa might have a quick one?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, we don't know how he's going to play yet. But, I mean, it's not going to come down to conditional -- you know, just to fitness in the final. We've got a day off, as well.
If I would have played five hours today, I don't think it would have mattered a whole lot. It would have been worse for Rafa, because maybe he couldn't have finished today.
So, no, I mean, I'm just happy to have won again in straight sets, beating a great player. You know, it's a huge thrill every time when I get to another Wimbledon finals because it's a big occasion.

Q. What were you reading from Marat Safin's attitude on the other side of the net? Were you expecting something else, other kind of attitude?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he's always very fiery as a character. You know, he's never really changed over all the years. So, you know, it seems when he does that he tends to play better - sort of like John McEnroe was like.
So it's always a little dangerous because he gets the crowd involved, you know, by doing that. The momentum can shift sometimes because of it, you know.
And thank God I've played him plenty of times and I've got so much experience that it's not going to worry me really a whole lot.

Q. Now that you're here in the final, how would you describe your whole route to get to this point?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, pretty simple: I mean, I haven't had many problems whatsoever throughout The Championships. It's been, you know, a perfect way to the finals, but there's one more left. You know, I need to win to get it.
But so far it's been quite unbelievable, actually.

Q. Assuming it is Rafael Nadal in the final, what do you think the match could turn out to be after that incredible last year?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, big question mark. You know, I think we always hope that we can live up to the expectations, you know, because by now we've had so many sort of good matches against each other. It's hard to live up to them all the time.
So Paris was sort of a disappointment, you know, in terms of living up to the expectations. But that happens sometimes. You know, for me it's obviously important to sort of bounce back from that loss.
You know, even though I'm not going to draw anything out of that match because Rafa plays so different on clay and grass. He plays so much closer to the baseline that I have to draw from my two previous Wimbledon finals.
So we'll see what happens.

Q. It's been a while since you've been in a Wimbledon final not as the sort of racing certainty favorite. Will that make life a bit easier for you in that you're not such a heavy favorite this time?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I wasn't an overwhelming favorite going into the Philippoussis final or into the Roddick in the first final in '04. Maybe after that I was always the favorite, but that's only been two or three times. So it's not been a whole lot.
Look, I mean, I don't think it matters really a lot if I'm the favorite or not. I'm on an incredible winning streak on grass. First somebody has to be able to break that, you know, before we start talking differently.
But, yeah, should be an interesting final. I don't know if Rafa's gonna win this, but it's definitely going to be an interesting match if it happens.

Q. Would you say you're playing better than ever this year, right now?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, my way to the final's been great. You know, I cannot do much better than this. But I've just been playing consistently well. I wasn't maybe pushed to the degree where I have to say I played my best tennis ever.
I just think it's been good tennis so far. You know, if I were to win tomorrow, on Sunday, then maybe I can say I've been playing my best ever.
But at the moment I think it's a little bit too early.

Q. Knowing you are a tennis expert, you like to do trivia tennis questions to your colleagues sometime, do you know anything about William Renshaw, the fact he won six times here in a row?

Q. Have you studied this?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I haven't studied. He was in the finals every time, so it was a little easier for him to win six in a row. A little different for us.
Anyway, look, that's like in the heyday, yeah. Not my focus at the moment.

Q. Does your tough loss in Paris, presuming Rafa gets into the final, put a little different complexion on the next match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's gonna be more talk about it, I guess, than normally, you know. But I think Rafa deserves, you know, the respect he has from you guys and from us, the players.
I mean, he's definitely had the best start to the season ever. He's been playing well, consistently well. Was a little rocky start maybe in the beginning losing quite comfortably against Youzhny and Tsonga in, you know, where was it, Chennai and Australia.
Then I think he really sort of caught himself and played really well. Had one more tough loss against Djokovic at Indian Wells. But from then on, he was playing I think really well, you know.
Clay court season was phenomenal again, you know. For me it's just a matter of sort of -- I mean, for me, anyway, that final is out of the picture. I hardly remember anything of it. It went so quickly.
Yeah, for me it's not really that big of a problem, maybe like you guys look at it.

Q. Is it sort of a pain in the neck for you or something that keeps things interesting that you have a guy so close nipping at your heels, challenging you all the time?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I enjoy the challenge. Geez, I mean, Rafa is a great competitor. I mean, he's got a winning record over me. Every time I play him I want to try to beat him. The thing is, I've played him so often on clay, it's more of an advantage for him in the head-to-heads.
At the same time, I mean, he's now become so good on all other surfaces as well that he's a real threat, you know, on anything, you know. That's not only for me, but, you know, for any player.
Now, let's see what happens now the rest of the season, because I think this is maybe my favorite part of the season, you know, trying to win Wimbledon and US Open back to back, and we got the Olympics stuck in it, as well.
So it's a huge, huge possibility for both, for any players right now. So that's why I think it's an exciting time right now for us.

Q. The women's finalists are obviously playing doubles together. Have you had any interaction with Rafa these last two weeks, or do you stay out of each other's way?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no, we talk. We see each other all the time in the locker room. So we were talking a lot on the rain delay, you know, when was it, when I was playing. Who was I playing last match?

Q. Ancic.
ROGER FEDERER: Ancic, yeah. We spoke a lot, for instance. So we always see each other all the time at the practice courts. We just get in and out. But, you know, during match days we sort of talk a lot, yeah.

Q. When you come to Wimbledon, do you keep the same routine in terms of where you stay, your restaurants, the time you eat? How superstitious are you?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not superstitious. I'm no Goran Ivanisevic. No, I'm not like that, you know. Give me a different dish every day, different restaurant, I have no problem. Or even a different bed.

Q. Have you ever thought to play doubles one day with Rafael Nadal just for fun?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he asked me a couple years ago in I think Madrid or whatever it was. Well, it's obviously intriguing, the same as I would love to play maybe with Roddick. Because I've played with Hewitt in the past; I've played with Safin in the past. I never played with those two guys.
It would be something I would consider doing, you know. But playing so little doubles these days, when I play, I want to play with my friend, Yves or Stan or something like that. That's why it's sort of hard. Maybe it will happen.

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