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July 1, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/I. Karlovic
6-3, 7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you. Questions.

Q. Are you sick of look at that guy's serves?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't play him every week, so it's okay. Otherwise, if all the guys would be serving like that, that would be tough.

Q. Is he the most boring player to play against? It's serving and walking from right to left, left to right.
ROGER FEDERER: Look, everybody plays different, you know. Like I said before the match, I enjoy the match playing Ivo. It's not fair to call him boring. He's got a phenomenal serve. The way he backs it up with his volleys, it's quite something. I think it's exciting actually to go see him play.
Sure it's not easy to return it, but it's thrilling because at some stage it's gonna get close, you know, and that's why I was very happy the way I was able to play against him today. I thought it was an excellent match. I'm relieved I'm through.

Q. Before the tournament started, you said you wouldn't start thinking, it wouldn't creep into your mind, about Pete's record until maybe the semifinals. Now you're here. What are your thoughts about Pete's slam record and your opportunity here at Wimbledon this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, first of all, I'm happy the way I'm playing, which is always most important, is to focus on my own game.
So from that standpoint, obviously everything is good. I just won, you know, my quarters, so obviously my mind has not started wondering yet. I think tomorrow, you know, I'll prepare for a tough weekend ahead of me, you know, heavily.
Against Tommy I have to play, you know, a good match from the start. And as we saw in Paris, it was brutal. Yeah, it's gonna be tough. But, you know, I'm happy to be back into another semifinals. 21st in a row. It's amazing. Means the world to me. Let's see what happens now.

Q. And your thoughts on the significance of that slam record or major record?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. I mean, we all know it. It would be writing in the history books of tennis, so...
It's not there yet. Still far away. Many points, many serves, many forehands. We'll see.

Q. Ivo said that as much as you're better than the rest on all surfaces, on grass you become impossible. What adds the difference on the grass?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I don't know. Maybe I like to play short points, you know. I don't mind playing one-, two-shot rallies. I also don't mind longer rallies. I think especially on grass, all my strength, you know, becomes even better. I become so much more dangerous.
Maybe I move better than many players on grass, as well. Obviously, I have a lot of experience, as well. I think grass is a surface you can't maybe learn to play on so much and you don't get an opportunity that often, and that's why I think it's maybe one of the reasons why it's so hard to beat me.

Q. No one touched Karlovic's serve during the grass court season. Today he hit some big bombs at you and you're just reflexing back winners. Do you see the ball better than most other players do?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know. I mean, I still got 23 aces, you know. Many of them, you know, which he missed probably would have been an ace, too, if he wouldn't have missed. I don't know if I have anything special from that standpoint.
But where I'm definitely good is like when it really matters, and you get maybe only a couple chances a match, you know. During a match, I'm there, and I know I will believe in it. The opponent knows it, too. I'm trying to create, to make it as difficult as possible for my opponent, especially if he's a big server like Karlovic today.
Then you got to pick the right side sometimes as well. But I think this is where I might have the edge over some other players.

Q. You're understandably a private man, but you're approaching this wonderful week in tennis history. At the same time, you're going through an experience of becoming a parent. Can you share a little bit of how you're juggling those and dealing with those.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I kind of went through it in Paris already. You know, going through semifinals, finals days, Mirka being pregnant, you know, it feels good, you know, because she's completely relaxed. That helps me in a big way, to not be distracted a whole lot.
But she's been very supportive, you know. I expected her to be a bit more nervous maybe or, you know, not feeling maybe so well. But she's been really terrific, you know, and that's made it easy for me anyway to concentrate on tennis.
We're just gonna try to, you know, push through this weekend, you know, and then after that she can completely relax, even though she is already. There's still obviously the pressure with all the big matches, and especially towards the final weekend.
But, yeah, I'm very happy the way things are right now. It's gonna be exciting, I'm sure, the rest now.

Q. You played Haas on clay, and maybe clay is not your favorite surface.
ROGER FEDERER: I'm a clay court specialist, if you haven't realized yet (smiling).

Q. May is not the favorite surface of Haas either. Do you think on grass he's even more dangerous than on clay? What do you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess talking about him, I mean, he's definitely played much more tennis on hard courts than on any other surface just because he kind of grew up a lot in the States. He played a lot of tournaments over there. It's definitely been his best surface, you know, for most of his career.
But then again, you know, I think you see more and more guys who can play well on grass can also play well on clay. They're dangerous on all surfaces. If you're a good player, you're good everywhere normally.
And he's talented. He's always been one of the best ball strikers in the game. I think he's really gotten his game together again after some tough injuries. I actually played him before he got his surgery in Paris, and then I went on to play the Shanghai Masters, I think 2002 it was.
So he's had a rough few years, you know, behind him. But it's so nice to see him back. We're very friendly. We're good friends. You know, I hope we can live up to the expectations and repeat a good match like we had in Paris.

Q. 21 semifinals is certainly a testament to your excellence, but it also means you show up at every major. Can you talk about your durability a little bit. Why do you think you're so durable when other players seem to break down at some point?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I think it's obviously not easy to, you know, play so consistent in all those four majors. But then again, you know, I have many goals outside of the majors: trying to win tournaments, staying healthy, you know, picking up confidence, winning matches and everything.
So it's not only the majors, you know, that count for me in my life. But it's nice, of course, to win on sort of the biggest stages. I can play my best tennis and stay in the tournament for a long time. Same as when it comes to the Masters Cup, as well. I've been very consistent there, as well.
It's fun, you know, playing the biggest matches. Especially I like playing best-of-five-set matches. And maybe this is where, you know, I'm best at, you know, because everything comes out. Not only your mental strengths, but physical, tactical skills. Tactical skills, you know there needs a lot happening, you know, that I lose a match over best-of-five sets, you know.
There's many good guys out there I know it can break down in a second against. That's why I'm always very happy when I'm moving forward in the draw.

Q. Is there any chance in the world that you'll be involved in coaching after your career?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not the plan right now.

Q. Can it be taught?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think I would have some good advice, but I'm not really thinking about it right now.

Q. Looking at the list of the final eight players, you, Roddick, Hewitt, Ferrero, all from your generation. Are you happy or surprised that your generation is playing great in this tournament? Do you feel a bit of not lonely anymore with all the young guns around?
ROGER FEDERER: To be quite honest, I'm very happy that so many guys have made it through, you know, to the second week, to the quarterfinal stages. Obviously we'll have Andy or Lleyton going through, you know.
Then also Ferrero. I'm very happy he's come a long way again, because sometimes he gets forgotten next to all the hype in Spain with Rafa, you know.
But it's fun, you know, to see also Tommy around after injury. You know, I like a good mix, 'cause it's not always just the young guys and me. You know, I mean, sure it's cool once in a while, but I still like to play the guys also who I used to play when I came up and who were my main rivals for many years.
So it's good to see. It seems like it's really exciting. I mean, we are also seeing some good matches right now.

Q. What is your sense of appreciation for the Williams sisters' dominance on the other side of the draw?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's been quite incredible what Venus has been able to do here at Wimbledon also, winning five times, just being so consistent for so many years.
Serena obviously having won, you know, the career Grand Slam already since a long time has always been one of the biggest contenders for any major, you know, in the last few years. I like to watch them because they're very powerful.

Q. What do you appreciate most when you do watch them?
ROGER FEDERER: Just that it seems when they're playing well that there's not much of a chance for the other guys -- girls.

Q. When you've been playing a guy like Haas for as long as you have, do you find yourself having to change strategies, and do you find the other veteran players changing strategies against you?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't get the beginning.

Q. When you're playing a guy like Haas or Juan Carlos or Hewitt or any of the guys who you've been playing for a long time, do you find that the strategies they use against you or you against them have changed over the years?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, we all evolve as players, so obviously there's always a little bit of a change from both sides, you know. I mean, if you look at how I played Lleyton when I was younger, I used to come into the net, you know, a lot, chip and charge him, try to serve and volley him, you know, not make the rallies last.
But once I got better I wasn't scared to enter into the rallies. And then all of a sudden you have many and different opportunities, you know, in your own game, playing offense, playing defense, which before you only played offense and no defense really.
It was exciting to play like that. I think it's helped me a lot over the years, if I look back, that I played serve and volley here, almost first and second serve against Pete in 2001, and today I hardly ever play it anymore.
But it's definitely helped me to learn an offensive game. Then, I mean, but I think after a certain amount of years you have a very solid base, and then you start working on the little details, and the details come out in key moments of the match. I think this is where every player tries to make, you know, a big push in their own game.

Q. Of all your accomplishments, how important is it to you, the 21 straight semifinals?
ROGER FEDERER: It means a lot to me. Just being so consistent for so long and reaching it again, it's amazing. It's hard to believe I achieved it, because looking back it's not just I'm looking back on a few weeks or a month or a year or so, it's really way back now.
And even before that, I was in finals, I won a major before that as well. I just had it interrupted by Guga there, I guess. But it's been quite a streak I'm on, and I'm happy it's still alive.

Q. Against Tommy at the French, what do you think it was that carried you through that match most of all?
ROGER FEDERER: Belief, I guess. Very simple. Because I was playing well, you know, the first two sets, but he was ahead. So it was maybe hard to accept, you know, for some. For me, especially.
But I stayed calm and I knew that if the match was going to swing around that it was going to be really difficult for him. It's exactly what happened.
But new match, new tournament. We'll see what happens.

End of FastScripts

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