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June 29, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/R. Soderling
6-4, 7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon. Roger Federer for you. Questions, please.

Q. Were you convinced that was going to go into a fourth? The way the serves were coming down, tiebreaks all around.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I had one little chance early on in the third, you know, to get the break. Then I think maybe things would have been easier in the third.
But, you know, it was sort of a serving contest out there today. Not many rallies, so maybe not as much fun for the people.
But I stayed calm, waited for my chance, and thank God I came up with a good forehand when I had to in the breaker. It was always gonna be hard for him to keep serving those big second serves when they really mattered. That's why I wasn't particularly surprised he hit a double-fault at 5-All in the breaker.

Q. A letter has gone out from the club about some ball-boys being sent home with flu-like symptoms. What have you been told and are you concerned about it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was told about it a couple days ago. For sure not good news, you know, especially, you know, for the players traveling around the world, meeting so many people. It's obviously not a good thing.
But I'm sure the club, ATP, ITF, they're trying their very best to protect us as much as they can. Being careful I think is very important right now.

Q. There's obviously a lot of pressure on Andy Murray this fortnight. Is it helping you, the fact that all the eyes aren't on you for once?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we're playing not on the same day, so I don't really feel it's that way. Doesn't bother me anyway. Either way it is, you know, it's fine.
Important is that I keep on moving in the draw, that I'm playing well. I thought I played a great first week. Today was different just because there's not that many rallies. It was a different type of match. Could be the same again the next round.
So I'm excited I'm through to another quarter.

Q. Do you prepare any differently for a match against someone you know you have that 10-0 record against?
ROGER FEDERER: It definitely changes when you play a player for the tenth time or for the first time, just because when you play someone for the first time you go ask many other players, many other people, you know, How does this person play on big points? What's their strengths, their weaknesses? So, you know, you try to scout out as much as you can, obviously with your coach.
When you play a player like Soderling, for instance, you know, who you've beaten already ten times in the pasts or you just play them very often, you know, it just shoots through your mind. All the information is right there, you know, stored somewhere.
I was expecting more baseline play, for instance, today. But I think you prepare particularly well for these kind of matches. You know, again, he's got nothing to lose. Grass is more dangerous than clay, let's say, that's why I knew there was danger all over.
If I was able to serve well and play well, I knew I obviously had a good chance, because I've got some confidence against him.

Q. You said you've been quite pleased with how you've played, how you've made it through to this point. What have you been most pleased with so far in your game?
ROGER FEDERER: Just being relaxed out on court. You know, no signs of panics, what I maybe had, you know, six months ago when I played. I would just feel uneasy. I wouldn't be exactly sure what the right plays were.
Now I feel perfect. You know, so from this standpoint it was great. I think I'm moving well, serving well. My rhythm from the baseline is well. So, you know, I'm just really, really pleased from this aspect.

Q. Is there a way to explain a period where you go through and you say you feel uneasy, unsure of which shot to play, after so much success, is that just basically the human mind or the human brain at work?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I think every tournament is, again, so different. Every player makes it so -- tries to make it hard for you, tries to play the way that you don't like it. The rankings sometimes don't tell the truth, you know. Even though I guess at the top they do, you know. But in the back, I'm just saying between 10 and 50, there is so many good players that it's so hard to really get the edge over every single player. It's just difficult.
Once you maybe start off feeling that great, very quickly you fall into maybe that hole where it's kind of hard to get out of. I mean, I didn't have the problem, you know, to lose first and second rounds.
So thank God for me I made it to the semis and finals almost every tournament I played so I still had enough confidence. I guess I'm just a good enough player, you know, that I don't need to worry too much about losing in the early rounds.
But still, the danger's always there, and that's why I play well.

Q. How do you prepare to play against someone against Ivo Karlovic?
ROGER FEDERER: Same as I do against other players. I like those sort of challenges, you know. I mean, it's maybe not the most fun match to go through. But I like to beat this guy, you know, because he makes it hard on us, you know, to beat him. He's become an excellent player. Not only just his serve, he's got to have something more otherwise he wouldn't be ranked where he is and he wouldn't be beating all those good players.
He's not to be underestimated. I've played him on all surfaces in my career: indoors, outdoors, grass, clay. I've even played him here, so I would like to play him.

Q. But in practice sessions...
ROGER FEDERER: I don't practice with him. No, nothing.

Q. I know, but when you practice, do you practice returning this serve?
ROGER FEDERER: No. That's why it takes a little bit get used to in the beginning. I've also played him eight times. Nothing new for me.

Q. Despite last year's final, do you still regard this court like home cooking? It's like coming home to this court?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think having been here so many years now, having had so much success, yeah, definitely feel like there's a sense of coming home here. The finals of last year doesn't change a thing actually.

Q. The first time you were on the Centre Court, was there a feeling of awe or fright? Rod Laver said he just wanted to leave as soon as he could; he was overwhelmed.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I had an especially interesting first Centre Court appearance with playing Pete obviously. That adds to the whole drama. I mean, normally you only make it on Centre if you're very good yourself or if you play a top player yourself.
So from that standpoint it's always very interesting, always your first Centre Court appearance. Obviously playing Pete, going for his fifth Wimbledon, quite ironic now looking back at it. Cold hands. Pulse was racing. Disbelief, you know, that I was actually playing my hero, but also being for the first time on Centre Court. So my head was spinning.
But took me a couple of games and I was in it. It's interesting how the mind then, you know, goes into focus; whereas before there's so many questions, so many things flying around all around Centre Court.

Q. I think tennis fans would find it interesting that you have sort of all the scouting reports in your brain ready to go. Is there an example of where you really have had to change a scouting report and approach against a major player?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I always talk about my matches with Severin, for instance. I would like to play the way probably the opponent would play, what his strengths, what his weaknesses are, what's been working in my game so far this tournament, and whatnot, you know, how to avoid playing bad.
You know, you just put everything on the table and you talk about how you would like to approach the match. And I've done it many times. There's times where, you know, when I didn't have a coach, didn't have a manager, you just walk out on court. I spoke to Mirka a little bit, because she knows also a little bit about tennis. Today I don't talk to her about it anymore, I talk to Severin. So it works really well.

Q. Does an example come to mind where you changed your strategy or approach with a particular player?
ROGER FEDERER: The more you play a player, the more you know him. It actually helps and makes it easier normally. Of course if you don't have a very good record you try to look into that particular player maybe a little bit more, but there's only so much you can analyze. Afterwards you got to kind of perform, you know.

Q. How have you been killing time away from the court? Do you stay around Wimbledon? Do you get to go into London itself?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, try to go to London sometimes, you know. Not very much just because Mirka needs to rest. So we like hanging around at Wimbledon. It's quite relaxing, especially the whole clay court season is tough. The traveling. It's nice to get one of those weeks where you just stay put.

Q. Verdasco might be your next round opponent. That match is going on now with Karlovic. What is your scouting report on him and the different type of challenge he would be for you?
ROGER FEDERER: I played him in Indian Wells this year. I thought it was a tough match. Had it under control. He came back. Was supposed to win the second set. I think he served for the set there.
But he's a great player. He's really improved I think the last nine months since he won Davis Cup and played so well in Australia. He's always been dangerous, you know. He's always had that. But just now he seems more stable in his game and his mind and everything. This is obviously a big test for him right now.

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