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June 27, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/M. Youzhny
5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. First time you dropped a set this tournament. Is it a sign that the games are getting harder as you go through?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, obviously. I mean, Nalbandian, I don't know if he's a lesser player than Youzhny. But, look, usually what happens is just that you get the players that are more in a groove naturally because they've played more tennis, you know, here.
I thought even though I lost the first set it was good tennis. He didn't have a breakpoint. I played a good breaker actually. Maybe got a touch unlucky with a net cord against me at 4-1 that could have gone my way. I turned that into 5-1, and I don't think I'd lose a breaker from there.
I thought overall we played a good match from start to finish. Good rallies, good atmosphere; it was fun.

Q. I heard on the TV saying you weren't used to No. 1 court yesterday.
ROGER FEDERER: It's like Centre to some degree, but open. Centre I have so many memories. I've played, what, maybe five times more on average on Centre than on Court 1. You never get an opportunity to practice anyway on all the show courts, so That just makes it just a touch more difficult when you show up on Centre Court on Tuesday when I showed up, or on Court 1 today. It's just not something you're a hundred percent used to.
But then again, there is a few center courts around the world that were somewhat built after Court 1 here at Wimbledon. So it doesn't feel completely unnatural. It's just that it's different and takes a bit getting used to.

Q. Do you have a preference among them?
ROGER FEDERER: What do you think?

Q. I could imagine what you think. I just need you to say it.
ROGER FEDERER: Centre Court. Very big surprise. I'd be in the wrong tournament if I picked Court 1. Even if that were the Centre Court, that would be fine, too.

Q. Court 1 is so much more modern.
ROGER FEDERER: No, it's just different. It's round. It's a different court, like all the courts are different around the world.

Q. He's by no means your imminent concern, but Bernard Tomic, have you seen his form? How do you think he'll go against Novak?
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly I haven't seen him play a lot. He played against Soderling on Court 1, but for some reason I missed that match. I guess I was practicing. It wasn't the longest match, so the next thing you know...
Yeah, I maybe saw like 10 points, and then I saw three games against Malisse today in the morning. Not much I can say.
But, look, he's doing well. I don't remember how old he is anymore, but he's still very young, I'm sure. It's great that he's doing his best runs at slams. I guess for him it's just important to back that up in other tournaments. But that's going to come naturally.
If you can do it in slams it shows that you're mentally and physically somewhat tough. Even though grass is a different surface, I learned 10 years ago when I played Sampras you don't play the points the same here as you do other places around the world. You have to play differently when the other surfaces come around again.
But, uhm, I guess if he's gotten this far, somewhat comfortable. I mean, I'm sure he'll have a slight chance against Novak, too.

Q. Do you welcome the Australians having a tennis player for a change after their great heritage?
ROGER FEDERER: You talk like Lleyton isn't around anymore. Be careful.

Q. He's around, but fragile.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, but still around. Could have beaten Soderling. We'd be talking differently.
For me, he still remains a great champion, always will be. He almost seems a bit injured to me. I'm sure he's never going to say what was actually the problem with him. But he can really battle through, you know, I think tough moments. That's why I admire, you know, him as a player and his work ethic.
Now, I think it's always good that the Australians have players. I just think that's key for a country that hosts, you know, one of the big tournaments around the world. They love their tennis. I think it's still the number one sport in Australia.
When we come there, they have someone to cheer for like they have Murray here, and obviously the French and the Americans there are plenty of. But maybe in England and Australia have a bit fewer players, so it's nice when a guy is coming along.
I don't know if he's going to be in the top hundred yet, Tomic, but I hope he will be when the Australian Open kind of rolls around so he doesn't need a wild card.

Q. You could say your take-away comment from Melbourne is, Let's wait six months and see where things are at. Now as you're advancing here, what are your thoughts? Do you think your comment is pretty justified?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, got to wait and see how this turns out to be. Because, again, it could be a repeat of the Djokovic/Murray final and then I was wrong. If it's not the case, then I was right.
At the end of the day, I don't care if I'm wrong or right. I know where my game is at. I know where Rafa's game is at. He was going for four Grand Slams in a row; he loses. It's a new year. I just struggle when it goes from one extreme to the next.
We've all been playing well, I think the top four or five guys really, for a long time. I think it's exciting for tennis. Trying to talk it down or talk about changes, I think it's nice that we're all playing good at the same time.

Q. Do you try to stay calm and within yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: Always. Yeah, I don't need to get into all that fuss. I just need to straighten the record sometimes, otherwise people go in a direction that's just ridiculous.

Q. What is your assessment on Tsonga's game?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he's a great player. He's proven it on numerous occasions. I played a really good match I thought against him in Qatar. I think we both played well in the semis there. He was somewhat coming back from -- I think he had an injury at the end of the year and he didn't play so much. I thought he played great.
Yeah, it's going to be good tennis. He was a guy I kind of expected to come through in that section. It happened, so it's going to be a tough match. I think he's got the weapons to be a huge threat on grass, make a run here. It's a tough draw, but I'm ready for it.

Q. You mentioned Lleyton. After his loss the other day he approached his children and they started squealing, Daddy, daddy. It was sort of a situation that sort of made your heart melt. What is it like to go back to your kids and you're just daddy to them?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, normally when you have kids, it definitely changes to some degree your mindset. For some who were maybe living in a bubble, that definitely pops that bubble and makes you think there's definitely something else in your life.
I thought I always had a very good perspective, you know, on life and on where I wanted to go, how important tennis is to me, how important other things are in life to me as well. I think I was always able to have a great balance.
So when the kids came around for me, it was natural. It was something I always wanted to do with Mirka. You have nine months sort of getting ready for it while she's pregnant. You sort of hope it all goes well, which it did.
Obviously it's busy, it's intense with twins, but I love every moment of it. I wouldn't want it to be any different. I don't regret having them while I'm playing. I'm actually very happy I do have them while I'm playing.
Yeah, maybe that day will come, too, when they will scream my name and come after me. Right now it's still just a bit early.

Q. If one of your children should say to you, I want to be a tennis player, you will be happy?
ROGER FEDERER: They won't. They can't string three words together yet (smiling).

Q. Would you be happy?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm okay. Sports is good. Any sports. Just not boxing maybe. I struggle to watch that stuff in the first place. Even though it's a nice sport...

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