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March 18, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/F. González
6-3, 5-7, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You spent some time working on your back in Dubai, but have you tried to make any technical adjustments to your serve at all?
ROGER FEDERER: You're talking about my backhand or serve?

Q. No, your serve. Have you made any technical adjustments to your serve because of your back?
ROGER FEDERER: No, and I haven't worked on my serve a whole lot in Dubai, because I try and save it. Only served it a little bit towards the end, so actually I was saving it.
But, yeah, I haven't had to adjust my technique yet, which is a good thing.

Q. Comparing last year, how confident are you on the Masters Series level of tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: Last year was a tough Masters Series, sort of kind of strange for me. I didn't win any. I played a few. You know, I wasn't 100% in shape, especially these two here, Indian Wells and Miami.
The clay is always particularly difficult, just because Rafa usually racks them up there. I think, you know, Novak and Murray and the other players did really well in the American hardcourt, you know, where I think I really would have had a chance to win a few maybe.
But I lost early both times where I should have won twice, you know. Towards the end I was hurt in Paris, so I didn't really get that many opportunities to really do well.
So I think that was my problem last year, that I very often entered a tournament actually not being completely ready for them. I hope this year I can change that a bit and get on a good roll again, because I've done so well over the last few years that I'd like to win a few again this year.

Q. This is a bit of an old topic, so apologies for asking. I haven't had a chance to ask you about it. In Melbourne at the final ceremony, many people felt your emotions were really poignant. They revealed the human side. Touched a lot of people. My understanding is you told Swiss television that it was embarrassing. What are your thoughts about that moment? Do you think it revealed something special, or what was it? Was it embarrassing?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, you can say embarrassing and then explain it, you know. It's not just right out embarrassing, because I don't mind it happening. I just -- what I don't like is that people think they know why it happened. It's very simple: You go out five hours and try everything you can and you spend three weeks in one city. You love tennis, and you get emotional because the fans are into it and you feel like you're so close, and all of a sudden you realize yet you're so far again.
So this is what brought out the tears, I guess. Then seeing again the old scenario of Rod Laver there, just Australian fans are so respectful and so knowledgeable of the game, that kind of created that kind of emotion. It had nothing to do with, Oh, my god, I'm never going to win this tournament again. Oh, god I'm so disappointed. I can't believe it.
It was just something I couldn't control. So it was nice to get it out. Instead of getting it out maybe in the locker room it happened in the center court maybe in front of anybody. That's the tough part for me to handle. But I could handle it, and I still believe it shows that there is a human side to, I mean, any player, you know, because we care about this game and try hard.
When it doesn't happen, you know, we're not -- we're not happy, we're sad, you know. That's what happened at the end of the tournament. Everything sort of kind of breaks out. It was -- it was interesting to go through it, you know. It was not the first time I cried, so... (laughter.)

Q. It was a reflection of how much you cared and how much you care for the game?
ROGER FEDERER: For the game. Not for the record, not because it was Rafa. It had nothing to do with all those things, what people wrote about.

Q. You were talking I think on the court about how you got some rhythm. Some players give you rhythm. Some players take it away. Is that correct, or is that a basis for how well you might do in some tournaments if you play the wrong guys early?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, we've got -- extreme case was Karlovic. If he's around, you know, it's just a slugfest. When I lost against him in Cincinnati, you leave the tournament, and go like, I guess, all right. You don't know what to say. It's all right. I didn't play bad but I'm out. You can't really prove how well you were actually maybe playing, and then you get judged on that. So that's a particular match.
Other than that, you usually get your teeth into a match, you know. Just because players these days, they tend to, you know, play a lot from the baseline and give you rhythm, so you have a chance to, you know, start creating a few things. Even though maybe it's not going well for a half an hour, you're still in it.
I felt like that started a little bit today, whereas the first two matches were just serve and returns. Today was a bit more baseline, even though I couldn't find his backhand. If you don't find his backhand the point is over quickly. He has such a massive forehand.
I'm looking forward to playing more baseline rallies against Verdasco. I'm sure that's going to happen. It's a good thing, you know, that I'm still in the tournament and facing an opponent who actually is going to extend the rallies a little bit. It's going to be a nice match, I'm sure.

Q. Was that fun today? Because watching it was a lot of fun. It was great shot-making from both ends of the court.

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I enjoy playing Fernando because it's so tactical. You know, but then at the same time it's so brutal, you know, so aggressive. You think you have a slight chance to win the point, and then you realize, no, there's actually none.
It's pretty interesting with him. And then 30-Love up he doesn't care if it's a forehand or backhand coming his way, he's just going to rip it anyway. So there is lack of rhythm at times. He can serve extremely well, as well, even though he's not that tall.
But, yeah, we know each other since a long time. We've played on many occasions so we know each other's games very well. I think that's always fun to play somebody like that.

Q. Change subjects. I understand you like other sports, as well. Can you tell me a little bit about your liking for cricket, where it came from and what you've seen?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I followed it mostly when I'm in Australia or when I'm somewhere in Asia, because they show most cricket on TV, you know.
No, I've never really played it myself and only met a few of the players at the sports awards or other places. But I guess, you know, because my mom is from South Africa and I've had many Australian coaches you kind of get into it a bit and I like the sport.
It's a nice, relaxing sport to watch on TV. Kind of the all-day kind of thinking, you know. So, yeah, I like it, you know.
And I don't know how I got into it. I just started to like it.

Q. Do you watch it during Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Less during Wimbledon. I think Wimbledon always has the Euro or the World Cup going on, right? It's a bit more soccer.

Q. I think this year is England/Australia.
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, is it? Okay. Yeah, I'll follow that.

Q. As far as playing under a roof at Wimbledon, are you looking forward to it? Do you think it will change the play significantly? Do you have any idea?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not -- I don't think it's going to change a whole lot, you know, but the good thing is there is going to be less wind on center court just because the roof is going to be back on.
The fixed roof, the sliding roof, is just going to save us all, you know, me, sponsors, fans, players. It's just going to make it easier for everybody. There's always going to be a match on TV. That's always a good thing, I think.
I'm actually used to playing grass indoors, because I always played Halle. Halle has a sliding roof, as well, and I've played there under the roof.
For me, it's not going to be something incredibly new, but I'm completely excited that Wimbledon made that big step, you know. Thinking about where they were 10 years ago and seeing that it was the Millennium Building and just the whole thing coming along, it's fantastic to see how they combine tradition with innovation.
So I think we're all very excited to see how the roof is going to be.

End of FastScripts

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