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August 10, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/V. Pospisil
7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for Roger.

Q. Yesterday in this room, Pospisil said he grew up idolizing you. How often does it happen now that the player across the net says something like that? Is it something that took some getting used to?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, definitely it takes some getting used to. It's happened on a few other occasions that the person said, I would be sad if I beat Roger, stuff like that.
It's unusual, but obviously in some ways you like to hear it. For me it was important to have role models and idols to look up to, such as Edberg, for instance, Sampras and so forth. So that was big for me.
Then to be able to also play Pete at Wimbledon was very big in my career. It gave me a huge lift to be able to play in a big stadium against a big player. I hope it does the same for him, that he learns from this experience and moves forward in the right direction, you know, wanting to work hard, getting better.
He's already made massive steps in the rankings, I've heard. Today I thought he was impressive. It was a tough match to play.

Q. When you're playing a player who said he looks up to you in that way, I think it was 5-All, he tried to hit a dropshot, it went straight into the net, then he self-destructed. When you're playing a player like that, are you sitting back expecting that moment to happen?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, because sure it could happen, but at the same time I don't think today you have any players who donate point after point, game after game.
I struggled early on with my own returning, which maybe allowed him to get into the match a bit better. He had good variation on his serve. He went through a few games where he couldn't make very many first serves, then he went through some where he wouldn't miss one. It's tricky to know his patterns because I've never played him in a match, but maybe just more difficult.
Now, should he have been broken in the second set? No. He had the overhead which he could hit in his sleep. For some reason he missed it. I ended up getting lucky and getting the break. It was I think a tough 10 minutes. I think this is where I was better than him today. I wasn't better otherwise. So it was a good match for me to win without playing my very best.
But it was tough conditions. It was quick. He had good crowd support. He had nothing to lose. It was a tricky match for me to play today.

Q. Roger, Pospisil talked yesterday of having hit against you once as a junior, the connection through his coach. Was this more than just playing another young underdog? Did you say any words of encouragement to him before or after the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I knew he was tall, but I didn't know he was that tall. When I was going out to the court, it was like, This guy has for sure a good serve, and I knew that was his strength, alongside with his forehand, let's say.
But then, you know, taller guys these days move actually pretty well. It's not how it used to be. Tall guys in the past used to always come forward, always serve and volley. Today it's all changed. It's unusual playing against these big guys with big reach on the baseline and don't actually mind staying back there.
He's a similar kind of player. He obviously has options with his size and his serve to completely change his playing style in the next few years. I think that's going to be important for him to decide what he wants to do.
I think he got unlucky today with the quick turnaround from yesterday, having to play that tough match. I think this match was supposed to be night session. But then with the rain, they put us at noon. That didn't give him maybe the break he deserved. That's the kind of stuff you go through early on in a career.
I think he looked very promising, with a lot of talent. Now it's up to him to see how far he can take it.

Q. Roger, with the integration of the two tournaments, you saw the crowd there today obviously behind him, but the integration of the tournaments together the same week, is it something you're pro, con?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, if you don't want to feel it, you don't feel it really. For us, the players, you really have to look for it a bit. I think for the fans maybe it's more interactive. But then again I think obviously all the fans and media to me, it seems like they come here because of the men's game. I think it gives opportunities to show, you know, on the TV. I think that's where it's most useful. Let's say it rains here but not there, you can still show live tennis.
I think it works well. So far it's been good, you know. Problems of combined events sometimes is lack of practice courts, just the busy-ness around the grounds for players. It's just too much sometimes. That's why Cincinnati, it's going to be a tough tournament for us.
This one seems very well-organized. They do anything for the players, which is very nice to see. We appreciate that. We try to put in a good effort, obviously, on the court.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. So it's your first match since you turned 30. How did it feel?
ROGER FEDERER: It felt good. I'm still able to move. The match was tough because I was playing against a player I don't know so well. It was my first match outdoors on hard courts, although I played Davis Cup. It was a bit tough.
I believe I didn't play so well, wasn't aggressive enough. But also I must say he didn't give me the opportunity to do that. He was playing well. So I'm happy I came out of it and I will have a second chance tomorrow.

Q. Your next match will be against Tsonga. Last time you played him in your backyard, Wimbledon.
ROGER FEDERER: I will not think about that Wimbledon match as much as I might think about the match we had here two years ago. Both matches were, so to speak, not normal matches. One, I was up 5-3 in the third and I should have won. I never lose those. In Wimbledon, I lost in five sets. Again, that doesn't happen often to me. So these two matches were strange matches.
In Wimbledon I was playing at my best level, so I have no regrets. Tomorrow we are going to play early in the tournament, so it's difficult to compare tomorrow's match with the other two. I still have some adjustments to make.

Q. What can you say about your opponent today?
ROGER FEDERER: He's tall. And, as expected, he serves well. He's young. He must improve his serve still by being faster and by mixing it up more. He must learn to do that consistently during a whole match and also consistently during the whole year.
Also I must say he moves well, especially considering that he's very tall. So now he must decide what kind of player he wants to be, either a baseline player or an aggressive player. But he certainly showed his potential. He had a very good mental attitude. He was positive. He was believing in himself. This is a very important factor in tennis.

Q. Jo is an aggressive player. This is also your type of game. How will that match be?
ROGER FEDERER: It depends on the conditions. We might play at night or during the day. In Wimbledon it was really a matter of our serves and forehands. He served very well, and I was serving well, too. It was a matter of a couple of points.

Q. So is it going to be the same match here?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe, yes. But it's even possible in a best-of-three match than a best-of-five. However, we're going to play each other earlier in the tournament. I'm still trying to find my game. Also here, the balls are faster than in Wimbledon. They are tough to control. We'll wait and see. I think it's going to be a different match.

Q. During Grand Slams you travel with many people. What are the good things and the bad things about that?
ROGER FEDERER: It depends what 'many people' means. I've been traveling only with my coach for a long time. Now I like to bring my family along, so we're five. But we're not 22 people, either.
For the time being, the way I travel suits me. I like to travel with my family, my two daughters and my wife. I rarely take along my trainer, but my physio is there. Given my age, I need him.
It's not like we're 10 eating every night. That would be a bit cumbersome. If I travel with too many people, it puts pressure on me because I know I need to reach the quarterfinals to break even financially. So the way I travel now suits me. I like it. We're not too many.

Q. Do you remember last time you traveled alone, completely alone?
ROGER FEDERER: I have no idea.

Q. Your opponent today said you were his idol since he was a kid. How does it feel?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not the first time it happens. It happened in the French Open and a couple of times after that. It's a change. It's nice in a way, but I remember when I played Sampras that I was able to beat him. So when someone says that, I'm concerned I will have a tough match. Besides, he was playing in front of his own crowd today. In that case, a player has nothing to lose. If he loses, it's normal. If he wins, it's incredible for him.
He just has to play his match. Maybe he was not so lucky to have to play at noon. I think he played well. He deserves respect for that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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