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January 25, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/T. Berdych
4-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How tough was that today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was difficult, because the opponent was dangerous and tough and playing well, I thought. He put me under a lot of pressure, but thank God I was able to react, you know. He doesn't give you that many chances, so I was happy. I hung in there.

Q. At the end the second set, did you sit at your chair and think, Surely he can't keep playing as well as he's playing? His standard was so good.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was excellent. I didn't think I played a whole a lot worse later on, I was just able to play better and get a bit more length in my shots. I gave him an easy break in the first game and I never really recovered from that. I was kind of under pressure for a set.
I should have held my break, and then things would have been maybe a bit different. But letting him come back into the match in the second set, that kind of put me under quite a lot of pressure.
Then, obviously, in the breaker he played good tennis. You know, he was really aggressive, especially off the second serve as well. Seemed like every corner he wanted to hit, he got it. He was playing excellent.
To kind of weather the storm against him, it's not easy to do. Once I got serving and moving and playing better, I was able to turn it around. So that was nice.

Q. Did the seventh game of the third set turn it around?
ROGER FEDERER: What happened there?

Q. He had five game points and three shots I could have made, but not at that situation.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I don't quite remember anymore what happened. I remember I was against the wind and to get the break then was crucial. I think he was maybe up 40-Love on that game.
Anyway, I came back and I guess that really gave me momentum. I kind of never looked back.

Q. Did you feel flat at all in the beginning or did he just make you look like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. That would be him. No, I mean, I was feeling fine. I just had a bad start. I think if I would have maybe been only broken once in the first set, I think I could have challenged him a bit more.
He served it out well at 5-4. And being down two breaks against such a good player, that's not going to be enough. That was my problem. Once you start running behind against a player who can take such huge cuts at the ball, he was only getting more and more confident and that made that really, really difficult for me to find rhythm.
Yeah, it was tough for me today. I found a way. I'm very happy about my performance in the end.

Q. Since the Olympics, is there always a bit of a feeling that this guys goes crazy and it's going to be very, very tough?

Q. Berdych goes crazy and has a fantastic match it's going to be very tough for you or anybody.
ROGER FEDERER: The Olympics, yeah, way back. No, I mean, yeah, I mean, I know the danger of playing Tomas. He's top 3, top 5 guy with most powerful shots in the game. You combine serve, forehand and backhand, it's incredible how he -- the pace he gets with little effort.
That's why he's dangerous. Still in the fifth even though he looks like he's beaten. You have to be so careful. Even the last game you saw it. I make one stupid mistake and then all of a sudden he can hit three screamers.
I know the danger of playing Tomas. I wish he was higher up in the rankings so you don't have to play him that early. I think today he showed why he could be a wonderful player.

Q. Did you see a scouting report, because he seemed to be more in control when he played Stan the other night than he used to be in the past?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I didn't speak to Stan.

Q. You were extremely satisfied to come back from two sets to love down.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, it's great satisfaction. Doesn't happen every day. I don't play five setters every day so it's a very nice feeling. I guess especially coming back from two sets to love when you feel like everything is going your way in the end and the other guy is all of a sudden under pressure, you know, after you felt this way for one and a half, two hours, then to be able to turn it around and then be leading all of a sudden is a great feeling.
I was feeling still fresh if the fifth. I think you could see it. That's kind of the way I want to feel in a fifth set. That's why I worked hard. I worked hard for this victory today. This is great.

Q. What is your sense of anticipation for the second week here? I think from the neutral looking at it, it's got the makings of probably one of the most exciting second weeks of a Grand Slam for a long time, with the matchups and players and what have you and the levels they're reaching. Do you sense that as well?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, yeah, maybe. You know, you can make something up. But I think you're concentrating on your own section of the draw, and my next opponent is Del Potro now. I've only played him once and he played great at the Open. He almost beat Andy in the end in the quarters. I mean, that was really close and both were looking very tired. Who knows what would have happened in the fifth.
No, think it's going to be a nice match for me playing him. Like you said, I think there's many, many seeded guys around still, which makes it like we have great matchups. I think the only guy not seeded is Marcos now, but he's been in the finals here before.

Q. What do you think about Hawk-Eye?
ROGER FEDERER: What do I think about it? It's horrible. I don't like it, no.

Q. Why?
ROGER FEDERER: Because Tomas doesn't like it since today. Finally one guy understood. Look, it's there to be used. I don't care. But if I get a good or bad challenge, you know, I'd rather challenge too much and not have them left.
But I don't think you win or lose a match because of them. If it's 9-All in the fifth set, you know, you got to use it and there's a terrible call because the linesperson was sleeping and the umpire was drinking coffee, of course then it's good you have it.
But, God, you have four eyes looking at every line. You could really mess up. Yeah, the ball Tomas was questioning was out. But still, a system like this is in place it shouldn't happen, right? That could be the crucial moment for Tomas. It wasn't because it was clearly out. Still, it's not so much fun for him, I guess.

Q. What do you think about the last six months of Del Potro?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he's had a great run after Wimbledon was it? I think he won four tournaments in a row: Two on clay and two on hard court, I think. Yeah, kind of out of the blue. They were not the biggest tournaments in the world, but still, he was able to dominate some good players. I think he beat Roddick and other players like Tommy Haas.
On hard court, that's a great effort. Then he backed it up by playing well at the Open. For a young guy to cope with the pressure and make it to the Masters in the end, I think, was a great effort from his side.
So I think he's done really, really well. It's going to be an interesting match for me. I'm excited playing against him.

Q. You said that after three and a half hours you were still fresh and fit. There's a lot made of Murray and Nadal's fitness. Do you feel you're as fit as these guys?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, I've played five hours against Rafa on clay and against other players as well. These kind of tests don't come around very often. I had a time in my career I hardly played five-setters, like for two or three years, so I didn't know why where I was until all of a sudden that crazy match with Safin here in 2005.
Then I knew where I was. I was in pain because of my feet. That was a different issue. It's good to have five-setters to see where you're at. I don't know how fit Murray is. I'll take him on any day in a five-setter. He's younger so he's probably not so experienced, you know.
In the end it becomes very mental, and I know that this is where my biggest strengths always comes into play. That's why I'm always going to favor myself in a fifth set.

Q. Today when you were two sets down, is there a little bit of panic that comes, or do you start to ever to say to yourself, I'm in trouble?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what I feel. I wasn't thinking of losing, that's for sure. The finish line was still very far for Tomas. I knew that. You can still concentrate on playing just the points instead of thinking, Oh, my God, what's going to happen?
I didn't feel that way. I kind of felt after a terrible first set from my side that if I probably want to win this it's going to go to five sets. I just felt it. I knew Tomas was dangerous, and if I played even still a great set or three great sets it's probably not going to happen. He would squeeze one great set in there somewhere, second, third, or fourth.
That's why I kind of was prepared for five from the start. I think that's what made me be so determined towards the end. It was nice being in a battle with him. It was fair play. It was tough, good tennis towards the end. I believed in it all the way, and I think that was key in the end.

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