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August 14, 2010

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6-1, 3-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You know, early you came out charging. He came back. He got his foot in the match, and in the third set you were able to pull out another tough one. How does it do -- maybe you're not completely playing your best tennis throughout the match, but how does it build your confidence going forward knowing that, hey, I can sit back here and win these matches by being patient, waiting, and I can pull it out when it counts?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the great thing is that I'm coming out and playing great, you know. Because in the past, for some reason, you don't know. You just don't start very well or not very confident, and I've had a lot of those matches where I just lost the first set or had a slow start.
That's not happening anymore. I'm always winning the first set now and played great against Berdych in the first set. Everything worked. Same again today. That's definitely a good sign. I was really this close of, you know, getting on a run also in the second set and then taking advantage of that and then just bringing it home.
But there I think credit goes to Novak. He came up with some incredible tennis after that, some super down-the-lines. Look, he's a great player, so he was always gonna get something of a chance, and then he really took advantage of it. We had this very long game which he was able to hold midway through the second set. That kind of helped and I got broken twice serving against the wind. That was kind of tough.
But, you know, I kept trying, and I thought I had it all wrapped up at 4-1, but with that kind of match, that was always going to be a bit of a roller coaster. To come through obviously feels great. Playing against tough guys back to back is something that makes me very happy, and I got a chance now to win the title tomorrow, so I'm excited about it.

Q. For playing against Murray tomorrow, what do you think will be your strong point against Murray? You've played him a lot, obviously. Where do you think you'll have the edge against him?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, against the top guys, especially the best-of-three-set match, I mean, it's up for grabs really quickly. You can have a bad 5 to 10 minutes, and that can cost you the match, 5-All in the first set, 7-5, 2-Love down. The match is over some degrees.
So you have to just make it as hard as possible for the opponent to beat you, and you want to come up, come out and get a good start. You know, if I do that, I have my chances.
I didn't see much of the Nadal match today because I was in transport and then practicing, but I'm sure he must have played a great match playing Rafa on the run he's been. Rafa doesn't give you a match easily. I'm looking forward to a really hard run tomorrow.
I hope I won't be too banged up because of today's match for tomorrow, but I've gone through this kind of stuff multiple times, so I'll be ready for tomorrow.

Q. You have a history of turning rivalries around in your career. You've done that with Andy Murray, as well. You were 6-2 behind; you've won the last three. How have you turned it around? What has changed?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, there was a time when -- not to take anything away from Andy, but there was a time when I think I was coming back from mono. I think we played in the first round of Dubai. I mean, I played okay under the circumstances, but first round to play Murray wasn't a nice draw to get.
Then I played him many times in a row when he had the momentum, really. I think he got me three or four times in a row. That's his credit that he was able to do that, you know. It shows what a great player he is.
But then sometimes you get unlucky how rivalries turn out to be, and then sometimes you get stuck behind in the head-to-heads, you know, because you maybe didn't play him on your favorite surface or on the perfect day for you but on the perfect day for the other guy.
Yeah, I mean, he's been very good at a very young age. I knew that the very first time I played him in Bangkok in the final that he was one who was going to fight for world No. 1 and for Grand Slam titles. That's exactly what he's been doing.
Look, I'm happy I've been able to win the last few, but they were not easy. I expect something similar again tomorrow.

Q. It's interesting, you mention Bangkok. You've played him three times in finals. You've won every one: Bangkok, New York, Australia. Does that figure in your mind at all?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I guess once I make it to the finals, I know where my game is at. I mean, same thing for Andy tomorrow. But with my experience obviously I have, you know, I win more finals than I lose finals, and with the confidence, usually I come out and play a good match.
Rarely do I go through to finals and just play a shocker, you know. I think that's kind of good to know, but then again, it's not the same playing a guy ranked 40 in the world and world No.-whatever-he-is. 4? Yeah. So that then changes and he comes off a win beating Rafa.
We all know how hard it is to beat Rafa and me, but it's been done in the past, and that's why I have to be very careful tomorrow.

Q. Did the almost three hours you played last night play a role in your not being able to close the match early tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't think so. I was doing everything right. He just got -- put the foot in the door before I was going to close it. But no, he played well. He came up with some great stuff. He had some incredible pickups redirecting the ball, some massive forehands when he needed them. You know, credit to him that he came back so strong.

Q. A gentleman asked Djokovic before that he told you something at the end of the game, and the answer of Djokovic was, Ask Roger. So what did he tell you?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, he told me that he thought I should have won the match earlier, so I deserved the victory. (Laughter.)
I was like, Yeah, I kind of agreed. But look, I'm still happy I won either way, you know.
You know, he's a good sport, and we enjoy, you know, the tough rivalries through guys like him or Murray or Rafa, whoever it is at the top. Makes you a better player. I think we're, to some degree, thankful that the other guy is around, too. Sometimes, of course, we wish that they weren't there so the road maybe to victory would be a bit easier, but at the same time, it's great playing against such good-quality players.

Q. If I'm not mistaken, this is gonna be your fourth final of 2010. Do you think that this is the best tennis you've been playing since Australia, or is that a little difficult to tell?
ROGER FEDERER: I played great in Madrid. Maybe got a bit unlucky towards the end of the match against Rafa, but I played well in the semis, quarters, you know, in the second round. I had a really good Madrid, I thought. I also played some good tennis elsewhere.
Here again, I've just been a bit streaky but consistent. The other guys came back into the match, you know, because of great play. It wasn't just because of me handing it over, okay. I had a bit of a bad game against Berdych, you know, when he came back in the second set to win that set.
But all in all, I mean, I thought those guys played really good tennis. Hardcourt is what they like a lot, and they hit really tough. So under the circumstances, I guess this is definitely a very good tournament for me, so I'm happy. I don't know. It's always hard to judge and remember exactly how well you played before, but look, it's not been all that bad this season what people have been saying.

Q. What kind of relationship do you have with your new coach Paul right now?
ROGER FEDERER: It's very romantic. (Laughter.)
I don't know. Look, it's -- it's going okay. I mean, we don't go to candlelight dinner every night. I have a wife, you know.
So what to say? Yeah, I mean, we don't know yet if he's going to come to Cincy yet. We're debating that. Severin has just arrived in Cincinnati today, so we're, you know, looking at the schedule now that we know how this is going to end, you know, regardless if I win or lose tomorrow, and we take it week by week, and he's been able to help me, tell me good stuff, like I expected. He's a nice guy. So far it's been going well, so we will see how it goes tomorrow.

Q. I think it's fair to say most of the tennis world were disappointed that Rafa didn't come through because perhaps we would have seen the Rafa-Roger final. Do you feel any tinge of anything at all that you're not facing Rafa tomorrow? Is it relief or can you feel for tennis fans that they're not getting the final perhaps that everyone wanted?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think Scotland is happy, right, and many other Murray fans around the world. (Laughter.) And I think my fans don't care who I play in the finals, you know.
For myself, I think once you get to the semis that the top four guys are in the draw, you know that to win the tournament it's gonna be hard. You know, we were able to pass, Murray and myself, and we're excited I think playing each other now, but, you know, I didn't feel anything, you know, after Rafa lost.
It's unusual seeing him lose sometimes, especially when he's on a streak like that, but you could predict that Murray was gonna have his chance today because hardcourts is Murray's best surface, and he's beaten him in the past, in Australia, for instance, and it's just proved his point again that he'll be one of the No. 1 contenders for the US Open.
That's what he's proven, you know, at the Australian Open, at the US Open in the past, and for this reason I'm happy to be playing Andy. I've played Rafa so many times that, you know, we don't need necessarily to play more and more and more. I hope we can play at the Open. That's what I kind of hope for, because that's never happened before.

Q. What do you want to achieve in the sport? Maybe Davis Cup with Switzerland? What more do you want to achieve? What's your final, I mean, goal in tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: Winning tomorrow. This is -- it's going to make me so happy, you won't believe it. (Laughter.)
No, that's the short term, you know. Very short term is tomorrow. But, no, I mean, there's a ton of stuff I'd like to achieve, but I don't have one of these boards, you know, where I need to tick off everything that I've done.
It's all going to fall into place if I practice hard, if I stay healthy, and if I play well. And, you know, it's exciting that I still have so many years ahead of me, and I'm going to give myself many chances, I'm sure. So that's exciting.
Now, what would I take if I only had one more victory, that kind of stuff? I don't have to answer, you know, because I'll get many, many chances throughout the season to prove my point, and it's at the end of the career where you kind of look, what did I achieve and what did I not achieve? But at the moment, it's just focusing on what's next.

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