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January 21, 2010

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/V. Hanescu
6-2, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you warned beforehand that there may have been a Royal visitor tonight during the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I was warned.

Q. Did you expect the reaction that came with the flashes and the cheering and stuff like that?
ROGER FEDERER: For him when he walked on?

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: Of course. I think I've had situations where someone walked in and there was big round of applause. I'm used to it because I play a lot of primetime matches where there are very important people watching.
This one tonight was obviously extremely special. It's a pleasure, of course, playing in front of him.

Q. What would be the most intimidating person that's come to watch a match of yours?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, used to be my friends and parents early on. Then it goes other athletes, actors and musicians, Royal Highness. Just moves on. So I've had plenty. Obviously depends on the situation. Obviously having legends of the game watching, for me, is very nice always.
But then, of course, where he comes from, you know, he knows tennis, and Wimbledon's big, you know. So for me it was very -- I mean, a big honor that he came to watch me.

Q. Was that game perfect for you for the next round?
ROGER FEDERER: We'll see. I mean, I'm happy the way I played today. I think the opponent was very different to the one I played in the first round. He played much more on the baseline, so there was many more half-volleys and the rallies were shorter.
So it was different kind of a match. Got off to a good start and kind of never looked back. Very happy with the way I played. Moved well and played some amazing shots. It was great.

Q. Back to the Prince, he visited -- sorry.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. He doesn't come around every day.

Q. He visited New Zealand on his way here. What about your memories of playing in New Zealand in 2000, and also do you plan to visit again?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember playing once. I think it was also the time when America's Cup was held there. Didn't win a whole lot of matches. Played on the outside court and lost first round to Ferrero.
But you never know. Right now obviously the Middle East swing for me works very nice. But you never know in the future. I might always switch around my schedule. Never know. I'd like to come back.

Q. Will you get a chance to chat more informally to William later, maybe see him later tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw him briefly just before the press conference. Got a little chance to talk.

Q. What did he say to you?
ROGER FEDERER: What did he say?

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: He was happy he could make it. Yeah, I mean, I'm not gonna tell you everything he just said to me. You've got to have a little bit of a secret.
No, he looked really happy coming to a sports venue. I think he's had a very busy schedule the last few days. He shook a lot of hands, and I knew mine was one more. From what I've heard, I think he met Serena and myself, and came to watch my match.
He said he was happy that I played a little bit longer, because the match could have ended even shorter. Yeah, so it was nice.

Q. Have you met other members of the Royal family before at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the ones on court at the trophy ceremony. Do those count for you, or not?

Q. Yeah. (Laughter.)
ROGER FEDERER: Because those you should know. I mean, but not...

Q. But chatty-wise?
ROGER FEDERER: Chatty-wise, no, I don't recall. No. Chitchat, no. English breakfast tea? No, not yet.

Q. Just a question about Rafa. He's had a lot of problems in the last 12 months, although he...
ROGER FEDERER: Depending how you look at it.

Q. Although he's your major rival, is there part of you that wants to see him back to his best?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he's ranked No. 2 in the world. Okay, maybe he hasn't won a tournament for a long time. He's given himself opportunities over and over again. He struggled lately against the top 10 players from what I've heard.
Still, he's not the type of guy that anyone in the top 10 wants to play against. He still has and will always have the mental strength and toughness and that physical game that he has, you know.
So I expect him to win a tournament very soon, of course. The end of the season it's always harder for him to win tournaments because the surface speed gets faster and faster as the season goes on. You can't expect him to win every tournament at the end of the season. I didn't win many either lately. So it's not easy.
There's a lot of competition at the moment. I think once he gets his edge back, which he almost got in Doha by having a few matchpoints against Davydenko, I think he'll get back on a roll again.

Q. Have you given any thought to how many years you can stay at the top of the game?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It's something that you just hope it's gonna last as long as possible. It's amazing being world No. 1 and playing in front of sell-out crowds every match I play.
It's something I hope to have as long as possible. If you lose your ranking, you hope to get it back. You know, what I've achieved nobody can take away from me. That's obviously something that's very satisfying. It's also something I like doing.
You know, where I'm gonna spend my vacation, how I'm gonna spend time with my family, how I'm gonna practice and which tournaments I'm gonna play. It's something I like to talk about. It's not something I'm trying to run away from, which is obviously a good sign for me.

Q. Do you prefer playing any time of day or not, or doesn't matter to you? Supposed to be 36 degrees in the next couple days. Or is it all the same? You just go out there and play your best?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, sure, it changes playing at night or playing during the day, also with the crowds. Obviously there's as huge focus, you know, the whole tournament is focused on center court at night. So I would lie if I told you I didn't like playing at night. I have also a great record playing in night sessions around the world and at many tournaments.
But then again, you have to be play also all conditions. I don't mind the heat. I think the hard work has paid off finally after many tough years in the heat. That's why I wouldn't mind playing in the heat. That could actually be a bonus for me.

Q. Do you think you're becoming a more patient player? You seem to be taking a patient approach and waiting for your opponents to make mistakes.
ROGER FEDERER: It's still early on in the tournament. You sometimes don't have to force the issue every single time. Because against, let's say lower-ranked players outside of top 10, you do sometimes in the rally get a second chance; whereas against top players it's pretty obvious how you gotta play.
That's how my two opponents played. They know they have to step it up and not give me a chance in the rally. That's why it's dangerous for me to play against all these guys. They take huge cuts at the ball and nothing to lose. And if they win they're heros, and if they lose, it's an incredible experience.
From my standpoint, it obviously depends also on how the opponent plays. Today I was willing to go for more points and rallies where I decided I not to miss and only go for it if I'm perfectly set up. I think the tactic worked tonight.
For the next round opponent, I definitely have to adjust my tactics again.

End of FastScripts

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