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January 16, 2010

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger.

Q. Can you tell us more about what you're doing for the people of Haiti tomorrow.
ROGER FEDERER: I had the idea that we could do something, you know, to help Haiti after the tragic earthquake. So I spoke to some other top players. I got some connections, you know (smiling). They all said, Yes, we should do something.
So we're going to play doubles or mixed doubles tomorrow, also with top women's players, try to fill the stadium. This is where you guys can help. Maybe put it out in the press. I think there will be a donation at the door of $10 to come and see us play.
I think it's something as a tennis family we're very happy to do. I know it's on the eve of the first Grand Slam of the season, so it's for some not so easy maybe mentally to separate, you know, a few things. But I think it's a great initiative.
Happy we can go through it, have some fun tomorrow. Maybe nice day also for families to come and see some top players play.

Q. Chosen your partner yet?
ROGER FEDERER: I haven't chosen yet. I'll pick wisely (smiling).

Q. How has being a father affected your preparation?
ROGER FEDERER: It's been good. Flight to Australia was good. I was surprised. I was expecting much worse. The girls are feeling good. Mirka is doing well, too. You know, if they're all doing well, I'm always much more relaxed, as well.
We've been enjoying our time over here. Preparation's been going smooth, you know, the way I wanted. I could get the practice session in and also spend some quality time with them. So it's been a fun week.

Q. Although it doesn't seem like probably 12 months have passed since you were last in that chair, could you reflect to what's happened to you and your game, et cetera, in the intervening period.
ROGER FEDERER: The last 12 months?

Q. How different you feel coming back here.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I feel great, you know. New start to the season is in a way always refreshing and exciting. Everything sort of starts at zero, you know, except the rankings, which is a good thing, thank God.
No, look, I think the players feel great. Most importantly obviously I'm focused on my game. I think I put in a lot of work, you know, last year trying to get back to No. 1. Also in the off-season I try to work extremely hard. Because the year before, you know, I think I lacked that a bit through illness and everything. So I think I'm back where I want to be.
Also my game's following. I maybe wasn't as successful as I wanted to be, you know, the last few tournaments, but I was able to reach No. 1 in the world. But obviously the back-to-back with the French and Wimbledon was, you know, an amazing accomplishment for me.
On top of that, you know, on the personal note, that I was able to sort of handle everything at the same time was quite fascinating actually for me as well.
I'm excited now traveling the world, you know, as a family. It's a first for me, as well. Like I said before, it's going really well. It's really inspiring.

Q. You made some comments about Tiger. How difficult has it been for you as a friend to see him going through all that in such a public way?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, just following it from afar, you know. All I can say, I'm not going to talk about his personal life, but I wish him all the best, you know, getting back, you know, hopefully on the golf course, resolving his problems, and see how he goes.
But yeah, that's about it.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about him being a role model and that being a bad example. How do you take your position as a role model as a top tennis player? Do you feel you have to stay extra squeaky clean?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I just try to be myself, not change for the press or the public or the fans, you know. If they like me, that's great. If they don't, you know, that's too bad.
But, you know, I think most important is that there's a lot of fair play involved when I play the game, respect for the game, respect for the opponent, you know, be polite to every meet. I think those are key things my parents have taught me. You know, I try to do the same thing.
Sure, you know, I'm doing a lot of press conferences, and not being able to hide on the tennis court is not an easy thing sometimes. But I think I've done well over the years. I still enjoy doing it even though there's more enjoyable things than doing press conferences. It's just part of it, you know (smiling).

Q. Do you still get anxious before a big tournament? If so, on a scale of 1 to 10, how anxious do you feel?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think the first thing you arrive and you're, Okay, let's relax, get over the jetlag, practice a little bit. It's nice getting back on Rod Laver Arena, for instance. From yesterday to today on I feel it's moving closer. I do get, you know, the sense of now also knowing who I play against, when I play, sort of the mind goes into preparing. This is really when I feel I'm getting excited.
Yeah, I mean, I definitely do get very excited for many big events, many tournaments, trying to prove myself over and over again, and see if the hard work paid off. Playing in front of a nice crowd is always something special because in the off-season there's maybe two people hanging at the fence just walking by and seeing you practice. But, you know, this is where it's special and you can get some momentum during the match because of the spectators. That's really what I'm looking forward to live again this week or the next two weeks.

Q. Do you like this court surface? What sort of difference do you feel?
ROGER FEDERER: I like the surface a lot, yeah. I think it's very fair for every playing style. Slice stays low. Kick bounces up. You can play with spin. You can play from beyond the baseline. You can play in the court. If that's the case, I think we found a good sort of a court for a tournament, especially a big one.
So I think it's a fair, you know, surface. Also when it's hot, you know, the ball bounces more. When it's cool, it's a bit tougher to hit winners. But you have to construct the point a bit more.
Yeah, I think it's a very nice surface.

Q. You're a real fan of tennis and often stay up late to watch matches at the US Open. Having the kids now, is that going to cramp your style a bit?
ROGER FEDERER: We'll see. At the US Open actually it went fine, but they were still even younger than now. They're still very young. But, yeah, I mean, if they're up, I'll take care of them. If they're sleeping, maybe I'll have to catch some sleep, as well. We'll see how we figure it out here in Australia depending on their jetlag and mine.
But, yeah, I like watching the tennis especially from bed, the night sessions, you know, it's exciting. Obviously not until 4:30 in the morning like Lleyton likes to do the stuff sometimes (smiling).
But, no, I'm also anxious to see how everything's going to be these next couple weeks.

Q. The changes in your life, what are you going to do with the schedule this year? I'd like to get a comment from you as to some people saying you may not have the hunger now that you have a family to go after the big tournaments. What would you say about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the schedule is, what is it, the Australian Open, then we got Davis Cup, then I got Indian Wells and Miami, then we for to clay. We have Rome, Estoril and Madrid, the French, Halle, Wimbledon, so forth.
You know, similar schedule I had the last few years. With the clay sometimes I switch around a few things here and there. So that's about the plan. Not massive changes.
With the hunger, I mean, of course, there's always going to be speculation I think. Once you have a family, they look at the history and see, Oh, some players didn't win when they had family and so forth. But I think there's not much you can, you know, compare really because normally as guys you have kids later on, you know, because in the beginning you play, you travel so much, it's not so easy to create a family when you're traveling so much. But the hunger is still there. I'm working as hard as I have been.
I haven't been just baby-sitting, you know. I also like to go out in the morning, you know, put in the big hours. I feel my game's really where it's supposed to be. I can only put in the best effort I can and hope that the results will follow.

Q. When you said Davis Cup, did you mean Dubai?
ROGER FEDERER: Playing Dubai and not Davis Cup, yeah.

End of FastScripts

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