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June 29, 2011

Roger Federer


J. TSONGA/R. Federer
3-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you. Questions, please.

Q. He really seemed to lift his game after getting into the match a little bit. He almost like slammed the door on you and you couldn't quite get it open again. Is that accurate?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, maybe. I don't know. I mean, it's always a tough match to lose today. But, like you say, I think Jo played great. Really from start to finish I don't remember seeing a breakpoint after I broke him in the first game.
But I was close. You know, I had all my chances. He came up with some good stuff. So it was tough.

Q. What would you say went wrong and what went right for you today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, except the score, many, many things went right. I thought I played a good match myself. I'm actually pretty pleased with my performance today. It's kind of hard going out of the tournament that way, but unfortunately it does happen sometimes.
At least it took him, you know, sort of a special performance to beat me, which is somewhat nice. But, you know, like I said, I think he played an amazing match. Didn't give me many chances. There was some close ones along the way, but he always was able to sneak out on me. That made it tough for me.
But, look, I played well for myself, so it was pretty good.

Q. Was his speed a strong factor in getting balls?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, I mean, look, I've played Jo before. It's not like he's 16 years old and I've never seen him play before. I know what to expect from Jo. He can come up with some good stuff and some poor things at times, you know.
He had basically good return games along the way in the third, fourth, and fifth. I think especially the third set, the break I get is very unusual. He chips back a couple; they stay in. He ends up picking a couple of sides and he ends up breaking me in a way I don't think he deserves as much.
But, look, he hung in there. I was controlling the match. Next thing you know, he just continued serving great, which for me was important to get at least a couple of chances.
But the chances were slim. And then again, he only needed a couple of breaks to end up bringing it home. So he did a really good job doing that very well.

Q. Giving up that early break in the fifth, were you discouraged? Did you feel he sort of has you out of it? What was your psychological state?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he played well. Every time it got important on sort of my service games he played great. He took all the right chances. He believed in shots, you know, that maybe you don't hit as often. But exactly when he needed them, he was able to pull them off. That's a big credit to him, for believing that he can, you know, pull shots the way he did.
And for me it was tough obviously. He was taking huge cuts at the ball. When it got important, he went for it. It all worked out for him today.

Q. You've been invincible in matches in majors when you've had a two-sets-to-nothing lead. How would you describe what turned things around from the first two sets here?
ROGER FEDERER: Not much. I mean, I think we just played both well from start to finish. We didn't give each other many looks on our serves. It reminded me to a degree of the Roddick match I played here in the finals. It was that tough getting sort of Love-30, 15-30, 15-40 leads. They were very rare.
Whenever you would get a ball back somewhat decent, you know, the other guy slams the door every time. Forehand in the corner. You're trying to get out of that position, but it's hard.
I think we both did a really good job of doing the 1-2 punch. I knew he could do it. It was not really a surprise to see him do it for five sets. But it was good tennis. You know, I really enjoyed it. It was unfortunate at the end I wasn't able to come out of it.
From start to finish I felt also I was playing well. Didn't take much time between points. It was a quick match for both of us. Before you know it, all of a sudden you're down a break in the fifth. You know, things don't look so good, but you're feeling actually pretty good, which is a bit unfortunate.

Q. Whenever you come after a defeat in a slam, after five minutes you are in the press room. Is it because you just want to get rid of everything and go away and forget about everything or not?
ROGER FEDERER: No. They told me I have a chance now or in an hour. I prefer to do it now and then do doping after and then hopefully they let me go and I can go back.
No, why hang around? I have nothing more to do here, even though I like it here. Who knows, maybe I'll stay in Wimbledon for a few days. I don't know what I'm going to do yet next.
No, I mean, you guys don't like to wait, right? So I'm doing you guys a favor (smiling).

Q. How long will it take you to get over this?
ROGER FEDERER: This is part of the process. I mean, look, I think this one for some reason's gonna be easier to digest than the last year's defeat. Even though this one was in five sets and I was up two sets to love, I don't really feel like I lost from two sets to love up.
Kind of a strange feeling because I did play well myself. There's not much -- I can't blame my poor returning or my poor serving or my poor movement or anything like that in this match, and that makes it, I think, a bit easier to digest.
Who knows, maybe it's going to hurt me more in three days. I doubt it. I'll be able to move on quickly. Nevertheless, it's disappointing that I loss.

Q. In Australia you did say, Let's wait six months and we'll see then. Now you just came off the court obviously, but if you could reflect on your place in the game, what would you say?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I say, I think I'm playing well, you know. I thought my game was plenty good enough this year to win the tournament. Unfortunately there's only one that can win it, and the rest go home empty-handed. That's what happened to me today. I think Jo played an amazing match, like I said, so obviously it's disappointing.
But the game is there. I'm happy. I'm healthy. I feel much better than sort of a year ago. That's very encouraging really. Even though I took a tough loss today, I don't feel, you know, discouraged in any way. I think that's key right now, to not let anything get to me.
I'll work harder than ever, the way I usually do, and hopefully come back extremely strong for Davis Cup first of all, and then for the American summer again.

Q. You can still lift Grand Slam trophies with some ease?
ROGER FEDERER: Is it easy for anybody at the moment? I don't know. I don't think so. I think it's pretty tough for anybody right now to win Grand Slams. But one will win the tournament. The other 120-something players will not. That's what's tough in tennis. Knock-out systems are pretty rough.
But I think I definitely can, yes. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't the case.

Q. Is there any special significance for you in any way, either the Pete Sampras record or your record? Was it sort of like a routine Grand Slam event for you, or was there any special meaning to it this year for you?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, obviously it's the second year running that the talk has been about me equaling Pete's seven Wimbledons. I didn't feel that makes it particularly special. I love equaling any record Pete has made, but it's not the driving force behind, you know, my motivation really.
Look, I love Pete. It's always nice doing stuff that he did. But at the end of the day I'm trying to win a tournament. It always feels very special coming back to the grounds.
Just, like I said beginning of the week, I feel great here. I think I played some good tennis these last 10 days or whatever it's been. Yeah, I enjoyed myself here once again. Definitely feels special. Was there anything extra special? I'm not sure. There is always something. I always love it here, so...

Q. Does it feel like the end of an era, because we're so used to seeing you win here?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't think so. Look, I played too good to -- wasn't a shocker second-round loss in straight sets, some stupid match I played. It was a great match, I think, from both sides. To talk bad about this match would be unfortunate, I think. I really did play well, and I also thought Jo played an amazing match, as good as I've seen him play for such a long period of time.
You know, you can only respect that. I do that. That's why there's no reason to look too far ahead, to be quite honest.

Q. Your record speaks for yourself, but in the fifth set there is something strange. You played 29 matches and you won 16 and you lost 13 today. Just a little bit more than 50%. How do you explain it? A player like you, you're effortless, so you should win more in the fifth set than the others. How do you explain the record is not that great?
ROGER FEDERER: Because when I was probably losing four matches a year I wasn't even in fifth sets. I could have done nicely for my records probably and gone down two sets to one in every match and probably still would have won in five because I was so much better than everybody else.
These records to me don't really sound so right. Was it a physical effort today? I don't really think so. It was more just a serving contest. Good 1-2 punches.
Sure, it takes its toll. What was it, 3 hours 15 match? We can do it in our sleep, to be honest. I don't think five-set records come into play so much.
But, sure, it can show a few things. I don't think Jo has a particularly good five-set record. How come he played so well today? I don't know. It's all a matter of how you look at it, so...

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