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August 10, 2010

Roger Federer


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel? You seemed to be a bit rusty, if I may. That's basically what you said to the announcer down there. How did it feel tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was a good match overall. It's always nice to come back after six weeks and get the win. I think that's really what counts the most tonight. It's normal that you're a bit rusty after six weeks. You have to work your way into playing matches again, even though you play a lot of practice sets and matches.
You know, it's just not the same out there when you have a crowd, so you sometimes take the wrong decision or you take the right decision, but the opponent just plays a little bit better in a match situation. So it's getting used to it again.
I thought overall it was a good match. I think I really did some good things out there and a bit of a pity I had a bit of a letdown at 5-2-up in the first set, because I think I really had things going my way then. He played well to come back into it, and after that I thought still I was able to dominate a little bit, even though the score line was more close, but I'm happy with the match after all.

Q. Obviously you mentioned the rust, but a couple of unforced errors obviously tonight. Was that a case of maybe you were just trying to play aggressive or was it rust?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, obviously I'm always going to make mistakes. I'm no guy who's going to wait for the error on every single point from my opponent.
It was going really well. I like to rush my opponents. By doing that, I also need to cut down on the length of the points, you know, and so then you'll always see unforced errors. But they need to be good ones and not terrible ones.
Once in a while you have those, too, because you mistime the ball and stuff. But it was important today to mix it up, and he was always going to be a player who was going to rely on my unforced errors, you know. That's why I think I did a good job by mixing it up and coming through at the end.

Q. At the start of your career you had a small team, and you were quoted saying that my team is Mirka and my parents when I first got to the top. I'm proud of that. That being said, I know you had other coaches and brought other people into the team, but with such a small team, are you ever hesitant bringing in a new person such as Paul right now?
ROGER FEDERER: My team is small today or it's big?

Q. No, I mean when you started your career it was smaller. Throughout your career, have you ever been hesitant bringing more people in?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I came on tour in a classic way with a coach and me as a player, and we traveled and did the same stuff that all the other players did, you know.
Mirka, my girlfriend back then, she was playing, herself, you know, for the first, say, two or three years, so, you know, she didn't travel with me all the time because obviously she was playing, doing her own stuff.
My manager doesn't travel with me all the time. Then I quickly realized, because I was playing about 60 to 80 matches per year, it was good to have a massage therapist. So I had that, you know, person traveling with me, as well. So all of a sudden the team grew.
Then I had a time where I didn't have any management group because I did have a management group early on but my manager wasn't traveling with me. Then I was all alone just left with Mirka, no coach, no nobody. My parents also rarely traveled because they were working until the day came that they stopped and they got into the charitable work of my foundation, and then a coach came in.
But I never had a problem adding people to the team, but I remember one time at Wimbledon, I think it was back in 2002 when I was one of the favorites, I had a massive team and big house and stuff, and they kind of just was a bit scary to me that all of a sudden, you know, you had huge expenses, and I felt like I needed to almost to play well because I had no, um, how do you say, no excuses, let's say, really if I lost, because I had the coach, I had the massage therapist, I had the manager, good house, had the good entourage. I felt great. I had good preparation.
Then I lost in straight sets. I was like, Hmmm, doesn't always work the way you want. That's why it's just a learning process in the beginning, and you have to feel with what you're comfortable with. And sometimes smaller is bigger and sometimes bigger is better. Depends on how you feel and where you are in your career and your stage of your life.

Q. You've accomplished so much over the last seven, eight years. I wonder if there is anything on your list that before you retire, whether it be another French Open or equaling Pete Sampras for the No. 1 top rankings, is there anything on your list that you think, hey, I'd like to have that before I retire?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, there's many things I'd like to do, but I don't -- I'm not gonna say that my career is incomplete if I don't get to it, you know. There's no secret I'd love to win another 10 Wimbledons and another five French Opens and so forth, and an Olympic gold in London, you know, and Davis Cup and whatever. You name it. I'd love to win many, many tournaments still.
But what I'll try to do is make, you know, the best possible career and then judge it at the very end instead of trying to run after things.
I think I did that enough with the Grand Slam count of Pete's 14 and the French Open, and now that I got those out of the way, really, I feel like I'm playing much more, you know, with relief, more fun, and a purpose, too; whereas before it was quite stressful entering the press conferences, always being reminded about those two things.

Q. Is it strange in any way for you to come here ranked No. 3, and, you know, not No. 1 and not No. 2? Does No. 3 make it any different than if, let's say, you're ranked No. 2? Does it make you more hungry or does it demoralize you in any way to come here as the No. 3?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, I look at what I've achieved in my career, what I still want to achieve, and, what I have done the last few weeks to get prepared again, you know, to hopefully get to a higher playing level than I was playing at the French, at Wimbledon. That's what you look at and not your ranking.
Rankings are what they are. You can't control them that much unless you win tournaments. That's not what I have been doing lately, so I know I have to try to do better there. Other guys played well, as well. So they deserve the ranking that everybody has. Rankings usually don't lie, so it's up to me to make a move now.

Q. What, if anything, tonight did you employ that you might have spoken about with Paul Annacone?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I guess today I could play in almost any way I wanted to, because Chela sort of allows you to. He doesn't have the biggest serve in the game. You know, he likes to rally. But then when he obviously has a shorter ball he can finish it.
So that gives me opportunities to maybe serve and volley, maybe chip and charge, to maybe come to the net, to, you know, create good points, but then again it's dangerous, too, because you sometimes get caught in the longer rallies or then you overhit early on.
So, I mean, I had many options. I wanted to play on my terms against a player like that, and that's what I was able to do today somehow.

Q. Maybe it's not a fair question, but...
ROGER FEDERER: I'm excited about this one (laughter).

Q. You obviously have a chance to win many, many more Slams, but if you could only win one more Slam, which Slam would it be?
ROGER FEDERER: I've won them all, so...

Q. So there's...
ROGER FEDERER: Probably Wimbledon once more. Why not? I'd also take the French. I'd take the US Open, and the Australian Open is beautiful, too. So really, they all have unique taste, really.
And thank God I don't have that problem, you know. I get four chances a year and still one left this year.

Q. You've had a period of time when you've had no coach. Can you say that you acted like a coach to analyze your own game?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I spoke a lot with Mirka, you know, because she was a player, too. She understood my game. She came to every practice back then and watched every match.
I don't -- I don't call her my coach, but we just chatted about it. And I had a friend also helping me out a little bit. You know, he was working at Credit Suisse, at the bank, and he played a little bit before, too, and he would just occasionally come and say hi and I would speak to him about it, too. And he put me in a really good mindset as well sometimes.
He just said, You're a really good player, play on your terms, and do what you do best, use your forehand, whatever it was.
And he was just giving me reassurance that I was thinking the right things, too, and I had incredible success. And I was obviously, you know, playing great tennis week in and week out, and that was a tough thing to do, because I used to be famous for being inconsistent in a way. And all of a sudden I was becoming super-consistent and maybe one of the most consistent players of all time.
So it was a very interesting period of my life, and, you know, and obviously had to start taking decisions myself, which I used to not enjoy at all, and today I like it that I have that power to take decisions on a tennis court and also off court, and that's something I'm very happy I went through.

End of FastScripts

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