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June 23, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/A. Mannarino
6-2, 6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good workout for you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I thought it was a good match for me. I think I was able to set the tone early and stick to my game plan. Sort of as I was trying to figure him out I was already in the lead, which is obviously helpful. It makes you be loose enough then mentally to move on really quickly, and I thought it was a good match.
I think I served great in the beginning and was able to sort of keep that going for the remainder of the match. From the baseline I think I was solid, so it was a really good match.

Q. You obviously played very well at the French. Are you pleased with how you've continued here?
ROGER FEDERER: I think I've played well for a year now. I think the French Open was just proof that I'm in good shape and physically and mentally in a good place.
Unfortunately, I couldn't win it, but I didn't get pulled down by losing in the finals. I hope I can make a run here.

Q. It's your second match on grass. Do you feel you've already made all the adjustments that you want, that you feel at home?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, like you say, grass court season can be over very quickly. That's why I'm happy I'm hanging around. I got through my first two matches here. Now obviously the draw should get a lot tougher.
You know, I'm through the first round, which is important with the body to get a feel for how to move, and then also, you know, the muscle pain creeps in because you haven't played a match in a year on this surface.
That's why I'm happy I'm physically fine and looking forward to a third match here.

Q. How do you feel about the ceiling?
ROGER FEDERER: The ceiling, I think it was nice. Honestly, from start to finish it felt the same, even though outside it was getting darker from the light perspective.
And then from the movement, it felt like it was outdoors. There's no humidity inside. It was a good atmosphere. I mean, if the crowd would be talking just a little bit during the points and so forth, I think it would resonate quite a lot and it would be loud.
But, like, this, I mean, they're very disciplined, the crowd. And then when the point is over they applaud really nice and it becomes a really nice atmosphere actually. So I think it was a special moment for me in my career, I guess, playing indoors here at Wimbledon.
I'm happy I managed to play a good match under the circumstances.

Q. In Paris you mentioned the importance of the mental side of the game. Talk about that. Is that something you've worked on and improved on?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if there's more improvement. I just think you adjust to new challenges and new situations.
But I think obviously it used to be more of a weakness. You know, I think I was talking Pat Rafter today. When we played at the French Open - he remembered the match - I was up a set and I was just 18 years old and I wasn't expected to win. I think I got broken in the second set, and I was like, Oh, God, what am I doing?
Next thing you know, obviously I'm losing 6-2, 6-0, 6-3. I was very mental. I had a lot of respect for the older generation who were already accomplished. Obviously stars like Pat were, for me, people I really looked up to, even though I knew I could beat them. Mentally I was not so solid.
I'm happy to see how far I've come. I've worked hard and try to put in a good effort day in, day out on the practice court, which helps you to do that also in a match situation, which obviously now I've proven over many, many years.

Q. Do you have special mental exercises that you practice?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't. Never have.

Q. On the roof, a lot of the other players who played under it said the conditions were slower. Did you not feel that was the case?
ROGER FEDERER: I think they feel slower because, you know, it's indoors and it feels like you can see the ball clearer. You don't have the element of the sun and the wind, which makes the conditions to me a bit faster.
Does the ball fluff up? I don't know. I didn't feel that way, to be honest. Maybe the way the ball resonates you feel it's a bit of a heavier ball probably by hitting it. I'm not sure.
To me it felt pretty similar. It's grass at the end of the day. The ball stays low. If you play it well, you can really use it to your advantage. I don't think the difference was massive.

Q. One thing people do say about the toss a little bit inside is that they're finding issues with the lights. Have you noticed anything like that?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Look, I've played in so many different places with the sun being so many funny places that this is easy. That was fine.

Q. You play now against David Nalbandian. You've played many times against him. This is not the same Nalbandian as years ago. But what do you remember from those moments and what do you expect for the match on Saturday?
ROGER FEDERER: We've come a long way from playing the first time. I guess it was the US Open finals in the juniors back in '98. In juniors I could play him. But then after that, when we came on tour, we had some really close matches, big matches actually against each other.
But he always had sort of the better end, at the end of the matches, just because he was so tough early on. He made the finals here in 2002. So he was sort of a bit -- I mean, plus he's a bit younger than me.
With his game he was more successful earlier just because I still had some work to do, some figuring out how I was really going to play. I used to panic and run to the net against him because I felt I couldn't hang with him from the baseline. That just made it difficult for me to play against him early on.
Later on I really started to enjoy the challenge against him because he's one of the cleanest ball strikers in the game. His backhand is obviously, you know, a shot like almost no other on tour. All the players admire that shot especially.
I mean, I'm looking forward to that match. I think it's a wonderful third round. I wish I could have had an easier one maybe, but I know the danger against him. He can prove his point. If he's weaker or stronger than three years ago or eight years ago, we'll find out.
But I'll be as well-prepared as I can be and hope I can beat him.

Q. At the moment, you can play till 11:00 with the roof. Do you think it would be fun to be able to play to midnight or beyond?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I think 11:00 is plenty. It's already tough enough with the schedule. If you finish at midnight, 1:00, 2:00 in the morning - which I have in the past as well - you go to bed at 4:30, sleep till noon, your whole schedule is messed up. Turnaround is pretty quick, even though you have a day off, even though sometimes you don't.
I think 11:00 is okay. I don't think Wimbledon should be having night sessions, all that stuff. I mean, it is an outdoor, day tournament. So I think that's where also with the roof, I don't think we should keep the roof the whole time open.
I know they're probably facing some criticism because they could have played through long stretches of many matches outdoors today. But they'll figure it out. Over the years, it will all be okay. In the beginning, it's normal. It takes some getting used to. The weather is really unpredictable at this point.

Q. Jimmy Connors the other day made kind of a Jimmy-Connors type point saying he felt the rivalries in this era were soft. Can you talk about that.
ROGER FEDERER: It's hard for me to talk about his generation because I don't remember him much from playing. I mean, I was hitting with a junior the other day, and he didn't remember seeing any matches of Pete. It's like, C'mon. The guy just played 10 years ago. That's how quick it goes, unfortunately.
I can only talk about it from hearing. But obviously the rules have changed quite drastically. So we're not allowed to do all sort of crazy stuff out on the court, otherwise we get penalized, fined, all that stuff. You don't want to be a bad sport either toward your opponent.
If that's what he means, I can understand some points with him. But it's not as easy as it seems. I think we play with a lot of respect for the game still, which I think is most important, to be quite honest, that we respect what has been done before, like, for instance, from players like Connors and McEnroe, Laver, back to when it all started really.
I think that's very important that we don't forget the roots of the game. Every generation is different. Our rivalries are different. They might be different in five to ten years. You have to enjoy the ones that are happening at the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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