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August 29, 2009

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. As of 2014 the US Open will be the only Grand Slam without a roof. Do you think the Open should have a roof?
ROGER FEDERER: Is French Open confirmed? Not yet? So it might not be.
Well, I mean, is it necessary? I mean, if you look back in history, maybe not. I don't know. But because it's normally summertime here, but last year -- was it a Monday final? Yeah, it was. Those are just things that are unpredictable, and with a roof you can make it more predictable for fans, sponsors, TV, for players. You know, that's why it's a good thing to have. That's why I'm obviously for it. I think especially, you know, in America we have so many wonderful stadiums, I mean, you figure it's kind of normal that they would be taking the lead with something like this.

Q. What's different about your mental approach to your first Major since you set the record?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's always a bit of a more, to me, relaxed part of the season, because I've come off five weeks of, you know, being at home, whereas prior to Wimbledon, French Open, it's a very busy time I feel like through Europe with the clay. I'm just getting this time more relaxed. I've won already two Slams this year. That takes away pressure from maybe having to do well here, like the feeling I had last year, not having won a Slam last year, trying to get the first one.
This year is different. I feel like I'm playing great. That gives me obviously a lot of confidence and relaxes my mind.

Q. What's been the biggest common denominator for your dominance here in the last several years?
ROGER FEDERER: I was very successful I think in 2004 and 2005 and hardcourts in general, especially here in the States. I won Houston, Masters Cup back to back in '03 and '04. I won I think almost every Masters Series I played on hardcourt, so the US Open was sort of part of that great run. I was on on hardcourts.
I had an incredible record as well against top 10 players. I think I didn't lose against one in 24 straight matches or something like that. That obviously is going to push you through also at the US Open. Now I used to struggle here a bit more just because conditions were really difficult, but then I started to embrace everything, and I enjoyed the wild city, you know, New York, the way crowds are and how loud it is and everything.
And now I love everything about it. Especially the city and the fans here. I mean, that's definitely helped especially last year, for instance.

Q. Is there a secret to win here?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's one of the toughest tournaments to win out there, because everybody is going for the last Grand Slam of the season. Everybody can play on hardcourts. Nobody has excuses that they never played on hardcourts, because that's the majority of the surface. That's where I think it's really difficult to win here.
Secrets, I don't know, belief, being a good enough player. You rarely see surprises at the US Open, and I guess just because we're into a full season, this is what everybody's match tough and fit, fit to go, and it makes it difficult to win here.

Q. Last year everyone was coming from Beijing. What difference do you expect from sort of the field, not having to come from the Olympics?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I said, just more relaxed, you know. Less pressure, but as eager to do well. Last year I felt like I had to win, but it would have been, you know, disappointing not to have won a Slam last year, not having defended my title from the year before.
I guess everything fell into place, and today I find myself No. 1 in the world, and you know, defending champion, thanks to how great I played last year.
I'm looking forward, I'm feeling well, playing great, playing offensive tennis. That's also what made me win last year, but the feeling is good, you know. I feel physically and mentally really fresh, which is great to feel after so many matches played already this year.

Q. Do you have to make sure you're not too relaxed?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, because I guess I'm relaxed in between. I think that's more -- I'm not thinking tennis, you know, nonstop when I leave the site and stuff, which in the past, occasionally happens I guess. But I feel like my game is exactly there where I want it to be, so don't have many open questions. I think that's the relaxing part.
Once walking through the tunnel to Arthur Ashe things change, you know. Pressure arises, and I hope I can handle it.

Q. Have you spoken to Andy about the Wimbledon final since that match? What was that conversation like?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. That's not stuff you do, really. Maybe you do that in 25 years' time, you know, play some exhibitions as old guys. You don't do that really like when it's still so fresh.

Q. Obviously he wanted to win, he's an opponent. Is there any part of you that feels a little bad for the guy because of the way it ended, 16-14?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I think it's always tough in tennis that there are no draws, there is always going to be a winner, even though both have played great throughout the event, let's say. But at the end unfortunately there's always going to be one winner, both sides. I've walked off tennis courts as a loser many, many times. I wouldn't ask for the other guy to feel sorry for me or the fans. It's just part of the game. Same thing here.
I'm happy it was a great match. I think that's what we look back on.

Q. You are a facing 18-year-old Devin Britton in the first round. You were 18 years old once probably facing people higher ranked than you. What kind of advice do you have for a young kid in a situation like that facing the No. 1 in the world?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I went through maybe something a little bit similar when I played Agassi when I was 17 in Basel, in my hometown where I used to be a ballboy. So that was a big deal for me to get a wildcard into the main draw. I played Agassi. That was disbelief. I thought people were kidding me when they told me I was playing Agassi. There were a few guys in the draw I didn't want to play. I knew I still had a lot of work to do from the baseline, and I was playing maybe one of the best players of all time in that match.
I was in shock, but you try to enjoy it and try to put in a good fight. This is a bit different, this is a Grand Slam. Best-of-five-set match, maybe something Britton has never played before, but I think it's a good thing in tennis is you always have a chance. Doesn't matter who you play, where you play. If you think the guy's not to make a game is absurd. That's how tennis is. You have to be very careful. I have to make sure I put in a good performance.

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