home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


April 30, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/R. Stepanek
6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Last year, you had more difficulty with his serve and net play last year. This year you dealt a lot better with it. What was the difference between you for the two games?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think maybe conditions were just a touch slower today than they were last year, as far as I remember. It's a long time ago. I think his serve worked really well against me last year, and I couldn't get a real proper read on his serve.
This year was very different. I could read his first serve. His second serve was not a problem either. I didn't have a problem even to attack his second serve, whereas last year I was just trying to get the ball into play, and then obviously he was able to mix it up and make me doubt much more.
This year was good. I had the control from the baseline, and he didn't have the opportunities like he did have last year. I played well really when I had to, so I'm really happy with the performance today.

Q. My question was about the same Roger. I have been beaten so many times on this court when I was young player. When you walk into the court and you have close to you the guy that beat you the previous year, what passes through your mind? You're thinking about that, or you try to forget?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you think about it if you haven't played him again since, but I played him three times since the match here last year: US Open, I think, and Madrid and Shanghai. So I got three wins there.
I played very solid against him, and I, you know, really told myself I have to be very disciplined in my playing today, the way I play my tactical game against him and just the way I have to focus.
Last year I got a little bit unsure about my own game and he played well, and then I was not 100% sure of what I wanted to do. Sure, especially because it's the same court, you know, it's not a different center court. It's the identical court of last year.
Sure, when you walk on the court you still have sort of the highlights from that match. But, you know, you try to give it another shot. It's a different match. I'm still always going to be the favorite against him. I just tried and get off to a good start and I did, which is perfect.

Q. You played a couple of eccentric players in your first two matches here, players who it's difficult probably to get a really rhythm against. Having said that, do you feel as though you're striking the ball in the manner that you'd like to be after two matches here?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think today I definitely got some rhythm in, even though, like you say, he's still a player who likes to take the rhythm away or tries to take the net away, maybe tries to keep the points short at times.
It was still a good match for me. To me, I had to counter his pace because he's trying to play hard and flat. Who knows, maybe that's what I'll see against Gilles Simon as well.
I felt like I was hitting the ball well. Maybe from the movement side it's pretty slippery out there. I still have to find my footing just because I haven't had to do a lot of sort of defensive work yet. I think that's definitely going to happen in the next match.

Q. You mentioned Gilles Simon. He's a player who's had some success against you. What's been difficult about playing him for you in the past?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we only played twice. Once I was coming back from injury, and it was tough in Shanghai. He played well both times I thought against me. He's very patient and he's is fantastic counterpuncher and he moves extremely well on clay.
Honestly, I haven't seen him play a match yet, but I'm sure that the guys at the top today can play on any surface. He for sure grew up on clay, so it shouldn't be a problem for him. No, but he makes it hard for the top guys just because he puts the ball in play and makes you hit the extra shot.
When you're moving extremely well, you know, especially having a lot of confidence, that can create some great plays. That's what he's really been able to do the last nine months to a year now.

Q. Did you wait for Francesco Totti or Ilary Riasi to see you?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't see him. I missed him. I have to look at the telly again to make sure that he was really there. I didn't see him. I'm happy he came.

Q. When your first serve percentage was as low as it was in the first set, is there any conscious effort you can take, or just hope it gets better?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yes, you hope it gets better. After a while if it's still not getting better, then you try to change it up a bit. I, you know, tried to take some pace off my serve and use more spin plays.
Because I'm still leading and winning, I still had the opportunity to go after it. I didn't care how much how high my first serve percentage was, as long as I was winning, you know. But it's definitely something I have to make sure, you know, I do better in the next match.
Towards the end, I actually served well again, and also in practice actually before the match I was serving well. So it's just a matter of now make sure that it happens during the next match.

Q. In Rome, were you more unhappy when you lost to Mantilla when you were strongly favored, or when you lost to Nadal and you had two match points? What was the most painful defeat between the two in your mind and that you recall afterwards?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I don't know if I was big favorite going into the Mantilla match. I mean, I was still sort of young and, you know, unexperienced in finals of Masters Series tournaments. He was one of those guys that was always going to be hard for me to play against. Sure, he came through as kind of a surprise. But then seeing the players who he beat, I knew he was going to be extremely tough.
I don't know, it was disappointing losing that one because Mantilla wasn't a big name out there. Could have been a Kafelnikov in the final, or a Ferrero who was at the top of his game. But Especially after I think I beat Ferrero in the semifinals I was dreaming of winning this title. So I was -- I guess I was pretty disappointed in that one just knowing that I missed maybe a big opportunity.
Against Nadal, it was just nice being part of such a wonderful match. The moment itself, sure, I was not so disappointed, more angry that I missed such a big opportunity. But at the end the day, they both feel the same, you know. Just going through the trophy ceremony as the finalist is just not something that's a lot fun. You just try to get through it and try to take the positives out of it and move onto the next week.

Q. A lot of people write a lot of things and say a lot of things on TV programs about you and your career and your form. Do you listen to them or read it, or do you completely ignore it and get on with your own thing and let other people worry about what they talk about and write about?
ROGER FEDERER: Depends when. When I win, I read it. When I lose, I don't read it.

Q. Okay.
ROGER FEDERER: It's pretty simple. (Laughter.) Too often it's happened that I'm reading these funny things when I'm losing. That they know why I lost, you know, which is sometimes completely wrong. So I just started not to get carried away with it.
You know, too many friends are telling me like, It's going to be okay Roger. Don't worry. I'm like, What's the problem? There's no problem. Even my friends start to believe it, you know, so this is when I really know I shouldn't have a peek at the papers.
No, I mean, I guess it's something that I also have to get used to, just a bit more press that's just not always like in my favor. You know, just for the last five, six years I've been playing so well and I've been so dominant there was really little to write about in a negative way.
All of a sudden some people think when you're only playing semifinals and the finals, you know, then things are kind of getting really tough, which is not the case. There's always reasons why you play well and why you don't.
Important thing is as a player you know what's going on. I'm very confident I know what's wrong and I know what's right. It's just important that I work hard and get back to my best play. I know I'm very close to it.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297