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September 6, 2010

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Melzer
6-3, 7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It seems this year it's a little bit more of a subdued Open for you, you're not the No. 1 seed, not the defending champion this year. Do you prefer it that way, the spotlight a little bit off of you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I always feel the spotlight's on me regardless of what my ranking is and how I'm playing. I've still got to attend press conferences and all that stuff, so nothing changes from that side (smiling).
It's hard to read because I get recognized more than ever. Crowds are fantastic, you know, regardless of what my ranking is. That's about it.

Q. How do you feel compared to A-Rod who I think you met after the match as far as being recognized in New York?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I met him for three minutes. I didn't ask him if he can still walk the streets. That's like a journalist question. I'm not journalist.
It's just nice to meet another great athlete. Never been to a baseball game. So that's something on the 'to do' list for me. Surprising enough, he invited me. My schedule is busy, so we'll see if I can make it or not.

Q. What is your feeling about facing Robin, and how important do you think the surface is to the matchup with him?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think obviously toughest conditions for both players are playing on wet clay when it rains. That is what we had in the last match. No excuses there, but it's just tough conditions to play in.
We usually played each other on faster courts because we usually played the same tournaments, which are more on the hard courts or the grass courts. This is where we faced off quite often against each other.
So I don't think there's any really hidden secrets for both of us. He's been able to string together, you know, a few good years now on the tour. Before he was very good already, but he was a bit up and down. Maybe that's also maybe why his ranking was a bit lower.
Look, he's playing really well. We played each other last year here in the quarters, if I'm not mistaken, was the round. Started off well. Got off to a great two sets to love lead. He came back. We had two breakers after that.
I expect it to be really tough, especially now that he's gotten a taste of how to beat me. It's up to me to clean up my game and put in a good performance.

Q. What is most challenging for you about his game?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, like against any big server, trying to, you know, read the serve, get into good baseline rallies, try to move him around, just play a solid match and have no hiccups on your own serve.
I've been able to do that 12 times out of 13. So it's a matter up to me now if I can do it again.

Q. Mats Wilander said this summer the greatest development in the men's game in the last two years is Robin Soderling's head. Do you understand what he's saying?
ROGER FEDERER: He knows Robin much better than I do, him being a Swede. But, yeah, I mean, I don't know. Maybe he's more calm on the court now. Maybe he doesn't see all the other opponents as enemies, you know. Maybe he realizes that the tour is not that bad as it once was. I don't think he was enjoying as much, you know, a few years ago. Who knows, maybe his girlfriend also calmed him down, the whole deal.
Little things can have a huge impact. Just growing up, too. Took me a long time to figure out that staying calm was going to be better for my game than not. I only realized that only about at 20 years old. A long time coming sometimes.

Q. You're on the official car this year. How does it feel to see yourself on the move every day?
ROGER FEDERER: I can't sleep at night, it's so amazing, the feeling (smiling).
It's nice. But I'm not riding in those. Look, I think it's great - how do you say - that they obviously picked me to be on the car. I think it's great for tennis that cars like this drive around New York City and that people see that tennis is in town. Other than that, the feeling remains pretty relaxed to me, you know, anyways (smiling).

Q. You obviously didn't coast against Jurgen tonight. What sorts of problems did you have to solve the problems tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: He's a great shot-maker. He was always going to hit some good stuff, some dangerous shots. He was able to come up with some really good returns at times. That obviously got me on the back foot.
There's not many guys out there who can really crunch the return off a first serve like he can. So he's always going to, you know, get the occasional dangerous return into play. It's up to me to make, you know, little adjustments with my footwork, make sure I stayed ahead in the score on my own serve.
But it was hard today. Jurgen is a good player. Been on the tour a long time. Has great potential. For him it's also important for him to do that consistently week in, week out, which is not an easy thing to do. But he seems he's getting the hang of it.
From my side, I thought conditions were tough out there tonight. There was wind, which made it hard to serve well. He usually also serves better than that, but he was also trying to have a high percent on first-serve plays, making them, you know.
So it was just kind of hard to play. I don't think it was our best match, obviously. We only played twice. I just think we both can play a bit better. I just think we really tried to play the moment and play in a way maybe the opponent doesn't like it. That meant for him taking huge chances and for me trying to be as solid as possible.

Q. You were sorry for the second-set tiebreak and told him that at the net?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I know I got real lucky. Maybe I would have won the tiebreak anyhow, you know, also maybe not being lucky. That's the way it goes. I could see he had big frustration after the two let cords, the overrule, which gave me another first serve, and then got me a service winner. In the third set I broke him hitting three shanks. It was a good 10 minutes for me.

Q. On a much lighter note, in England, especially during Wimbledon, betting houses are all over the place. It's a big part of the culture to gamble on tennis. Here in the States, it's taboo. What are your thoughts about betting on tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: On a lighter note, you mean, right (smiling)? It's really a light subject, really relaxed. But go ahead.

Q. Are you for it or are you against it? Would you like to see betting houses in Times Square if some of the revenue might help subsidize a roof?
ROGER FEDERER: You think the money is going to come from betting for the roof here in New York?

Q. Anything it possible.
ROGER FEDERER: I guess so.
No, look, the whole betting situation, I know it's existing from many fans out there, you know, betting on players. Obviously in England, they sometimes even ask us or tell us what we think about the odds and stuff. Same in Australia. Here it's much more calm.
I prefer it when it's not so much out there because obviously also then trickles down into the press and to the players, all that stuff. I don't like to be aware of it. I didn't even know it kind of existed until a few years ago. I know it's naïve, but honestly I never even heard of it until a few years ago. Now I hear more about it.
Honestly, I have no clue how much is going on. So we have a very tough code on us that we're not allowed to do it, our entourage is not allowed to do it. We have - how do you say - tough? Regulations.
Yeah. We get fined, big penalties, then we can't play and stuff. It's not that light of a subject like you said it was. So we're aware of it. But, yeah, we don't like to see it in our game, especially from the player and media side and the entourage.

End of FastScripts

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