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August 18, 2010

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/D. Istomin
5-2 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does an abbreviated match like tonight affect your preparation for tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, if there's the right timing for it, it's now, I guess, you know. Coming a bit tired from Cincinnati [sic] not having enough play. Gives me an extra day to sort get into it. Takes the pressure of not having to win that first match anymore.
So from that standpoint that's good news. But it's the last kind of way I want to win a match, see the other guy go down and then limp off the court and have tears in his eyes.
I feel for the guy. Makes a long trip, and now everything is in jeopardy, US Open for him. I saw him afterwards and told him I hoped to see him there and wished him all the best.

Q. Can I ask you about a serve that you didn't make tonight, but that's obviously being talked about a lot on the Internet. Is that for real?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, that thing? Yeah. Well, there's a lot of the debate at the moment, you know. You know how it is with magicians. They don't tell how their tricks work, you know. (Smiling.)
I don't do it that much, but, yeah, it was shot in one piece and it was -- the guy took a chance. (Smiling.) It worked out. I'm happy.

Q. Growing up, who are some athletes that inspired you to become a professional tennis player, or athlete if general? And presently who are some other athletes that you admire for their work out in the field?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, Michael Jordan was big. Larry Bird, and Michael Johnson kind of stopped Michael Jordan and was the next superstar in the NBA. The NBA got really big because of that incredible rivalry those guys had. Michael Jordan then carried that on, and he was big for us in Europe. It was all over the German channels which we were watching growing up.
From the tennis side, everybody knows it's Becker and Edberg that inspired me the most. Becker winning Wimbledon at 17 years old when I was seven years old, you know, sitting in the living room watching them play it out I think about three years in a row, Becker and Edberg.
Yeah, those were heros to me, important to me, also to strive to become like them or something like it, something similar. Never copied them, but, you know, become a good player as all. I never thought I was gonna be so successful, but I'm sure that those athletes kind of inspired me.

Q. Back to the video for a second, have you ever done anything like that before, knocked something off somebody's head?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, I had to do it before so I knew I could do it, otherwise it was risky for him, right?
But no -- what was the - what did you mean exactly?

Q. Knocking the thing off the guy's head.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it worked out. I've done it before.

Q. So it was definitely real?
ROGER FEDERER: Not saying that. A magician doesn't tell how his tricks work, so... (Laughter.)
Q. Talk about tomorrow's match with Kohlschreiber. What do you have to do well to win? Maybe some big threats, tools that he has to your game?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, he's a tough player. I saw him play really well last week already. Unfortunately he ran into Rafa; now he runs into me in the second or third round here in Cincy.
I hope I can come through. It's an interesting matchup for me, because he came to Switzerland to practice with me just prior to the American trip. So we spent some time there practicing, worked on our games, playing practice sets a lot.
So now here we are. You know, it's not gonna happen that you play each other; now it does. It's gonna be a tricky match because of what we went through the last couple of weeks.
I'm happy he's playing well. He's a good guy. He's dangerous. He's got the shots. He's beaten great players along the way. Roddick at the Australian and Djokovic at the French, and has played a close match against me -- a few close matches against me in the past.
Yeah, we'll see how it goes.

Q. Slower courts in Toronto last week. Much faster here. A lot of the other players say New York is right about in the middle. What's your preference speed-wise?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, once you get to into the tournament all conditions are fine. I like quick courts, you know, but they're really hard to manage early on in a tournament, especially that we have so few faster hardcourts out there that it's just like kind of hard to get the rhythm.
You're scared of those quick breaks because, you know, you doesn't serve it perfect, the ball comes back, and the next thing you know you're always under pressure. So we kind of lost that feeling for playing quick points sometimes, and that can kind of be a bit intimidating, you know.
But I've played really well here in the past. I've always had incredible success at the US Open. I wish we had more courts like this, but unfortunately it's not the case anymore.

Q. Talk a little bit about Paul Annacone has added to your game. I know you just started working with him, but talk a little bit...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's definitely gonna take some time. It's nice hearing a fresh voice, but Severin is still part of the game, and he's doing a great job himself. He's been there the last three years. We use everybody's experience here to make this the best team possible and the best success possible.
Haven't decided yet if I will continue with Paul, so that's still hanging around. He's not here this week, so we're in contact by phone. See how it goes.

Q. Making it the finals in Toronto sort of let's things start to die down. People were requesting whether you've peaked. Kind of the question you've been answering for a while now.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, isn't it strange what a final can do? Yeah, I mean, same thing. Murray hasn't won a tournament since November, now he's one of the favorites for the US Open; Rafa couldn't play tennis anymore until the clay court season came around; I lost the final of the Australian Open in five sets and I couldn't play tennis anymore after that. Still I ended up winning three slams.
So that's why I just think -- I know tennis is a fast-moving sport, and the best players get judged very harshly. But I think you don't always have to judge the present.
You have to judge one or two years back, plus how have the matches been played. 7-6 in the third doesn't always mean that you played poorly, let's say. You can also leave tournaments having not won them playing well. People forget that.

End of FastScripts

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