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August 30, 2010

Roger Federer


6-1, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger.

Q. Is this year's shot better than last year's between-the-legs one?
ROGER FEDERER: What do you think?

Q. This one.
ROGER FEDERER: You think this one was better? I don't know. I would have to compare. Obviously the importance of last year's was probably a little bit more important just because I think it was Love-30 to go Love-40, two points away from the match, and it was a semifinal. So obviously that has a little bit of an impact, too.
But maybe in terms of difficulty maybe this one was harder, because I had the feeling I had to run a longer distance and I was further back somehow, I felt. I had to really give the last big push at the end. I didn't have time to set it up. So I felt like this one was incredible again. I turned around and couldn't believe the shot landed in the corner.
So ovation was fantastic. Crowds went wild. Yeah, you could see on my reaction I couldn't believe it.

Q. You practice that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know if you can call it practice. I don't go like, Feed me a few of those. It just happens or not, and you try to do -- you probably hit one max at practice. So rarely.

Q. You're undefeated at night matches here. I think this is 16-0. What is it about playing under the lights at the Open?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess I got off to a good start. I think the lights are really good. There are some stadiums around the world where the lights are not the same, but here it feels great. Obviously I have the experience to play under pressure and with so many people, high expectations, so I guess I can use that to my advantage.
Then court speed, surroundings, the event and everything helps my cause to really do well and play well here. I always loved coming here. Never had a bad US Open. Never had a first-round upset somehow. Just shows again, you know, I was playing well tonight. I'm happy I got to play a night session again.

Q. When you pull off a shot like that, how much does that reflect the confidence you're feeling in your game at the time?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, has not that much to do with it, you know. But I guess what you can read out of it is you have to be at the net to have to hit a shot like that first. So it means I'm playing offensive, which is a good thing.
If you really want to break it down to like the last detail (smiling). My approach was somewhat awkward already to start with, so I don't know what I was thinking. I tried to fake him out and it didn't quite work, but I still got kind of the reply I wanted to.
But he hit a good hustle ball, which was not an easy shot for him to hit - the overhead - running in.
Look, there's not that much you can read into confidence when you hit a shot like that.

Q. When you hit it, did you know it was good?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I knew I hit it -- I had good contact, perfect speed and hit and everything. I kind of like it when the ball like gets away from me a little bit, so I hit it with it's lower, because then I can generate more pace off it.
The thing is, by the time I turn around it's already in the corner of the court on the other side, so I'm almost looking for the ball first up. And then I just -- I'm not even sure if I saw the bounce or not, and then obviously the crowd gave me the answer, which was kind of good.

Q. You make a ranking in your career of all your best shots?
ROGER FEDERER: Best shots? No. I know on YouTube there are guys that are putting together best shots of me. I guess you can do that after a 10-year career. I've gone there myself to see them, you know, because some of them have been forgotten, you know, because it was a second round, I don't know, 3-All or 40-Love point in an ATP event somewhere.
Then those guys on the net, they find that stuff. That's fantastic that they put it all together. I've pulled up some incredible shots throughout my career obviously in terms of length, just sheer talent or sheer importance of the moment because it all kind of comes together.
Today was just great shot-making.

Q. Can you talk about marriage. Used to be marriage was considered bad. Borg and McEnroe got married and quickly dropped from being No. 1.
ROGER FEDERER: That's why I waited 10 years (smiling).

Q. Is there a feeling among male tennis players that marriage might distract you from your competitiveness?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I guess in soccer guys marry and have kids much faster than in tennis. In tennis I guess very often financially you're never quite safe, because for a long time at least, you know, because injury can hit at any time. You don't have a five-year contract. Who is going to take care of you and stuff?
So it's very much living day by day. You're young, you know. 25, either you're working or you're going to school, and we're not in one place like one place like maybe soccer players are. You have a tendency to marry later, and later also in your career you start to maybe not play as well.
I don't believe in all those statistics, you know, because, uhm, that's just the way our life is. We cannot get married that early. And if we do, you're not going to see the other person maybe for over 50% of the year. It's hard to keep up a good relationship, I find.
I was lucky enough that the last seven or eight years, I've been every day together basically with Mirka, and that has definitely helped me, you know, to be good.
I feel married since a long time, not just since last year. That's for sure.

Q. But do you feel like your competitive spirit might wane a little bit with marriage and kids now?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I have the same fire, the same drive. I thought it might have a little impact on my schedule, it might play less, have an impact on how I practiced, maybe early mornings so I could get back and stuff because I have to wake up early.
It's so well set up. Mirka takes such great care. I'm there anyway most all the time as well that I can place my practice whenever I want. I still have enough time with them.
Honestly, the transition was very smooth. I'm very happy about it, of course.

Q. In terms of trick shots, there's been a lot of skepticism about the YouTube video.

Q. Skepticism.
ROGER FEDERER: There's a difference.

Q. Some doubt that it's real.
ROGER FEDERER: They're not sure, those guys? They don't dare to try it (smiling).
One thing I tell you, that the shots on center court in front of 22,000 people is a bit more difficult than what I did at the Gillette commercial. That was just having a bit more fun.
No, I can't tell you if it's real or not. That's up for debate. Still up to debate, you know. I'm not going to answer that question.

Q. Could you hit one between your legs and knock the can off someone's head?
ROGER FEDERER: That's kind of tough, the trajectory going up. You can feel like the nose and everything being hit first. No, I wouldn't be able to do that.

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