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August 15, 2011

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your thoughts or your upcoming match with Del Potro? The last two times you played you played him he beat you in 2009 at the US Open finals and the year-end Championships in London.
ROGER FEDERER: Good reminder. Yeah, you're right. I thought both matches were really good, right? They were both very close. There was a lot on the line in both matches, qualifying for the semis, was it, in the World Tour Finals? It came down to games, that whole crazy scenario, with Murray involved.
And then US Open obviously having all the chances, you know, it was a tough one to lose, definitely one of the bigger losses in my career, I think, because I really think it shouldn't have gone away.
But, look, it's in the past. He's gone through a rough patch. He hasn't played at all almost after that London match, so... he's probably got what, 15 matches since? I've played like 80 I would just assume.
So it's been different roads, but here we are. In the first round it's obviously unusual to play such a good player in the first round, but we're going to try to be as ready as we can be.

Q. It's been about a year now since you brought Paul Annacone on your team. Talk a little bit about the biggest impacts that you've received from his counsel.
ROGER FEDERER: His experience, you know, and his tactical thought process of how to play the other players, and you, know, what he thinks -- how I should practice, which tournaments I should play, when I should practice during the tournaments.
Also, a coach brings in all different kind of angles if you want them to. So I'm obviously happy to hear what they have to say, and it's been a good relationship with Paul so far.

Q. Do you think you're one of those players that's good as not pressing the panic button when things aren't going exactly as you want?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, definitely not going to do in it the press room. I am obviously aware when things are going better or so-so. Yeah, I mean, I think you have to be aware of those moments. It's no good to have illusions so you can tell yourself, Nah, you're playing great, but you're actually not, or your playing badly but you're actually playing well.
So I think I'm obviously aware of where my game is at.

Q. But even when you're struggling it seems like you don't press the panic button, you don't try to make wholesale changes in your game. You stay the course. Is that fair to say?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, look, I guess it's also just come through a lot of success. Just stick to your plan. It maybe doesn't look like I'm making changes, but I'm definitely making adjustments.
Anything drastic is going to maybe show too much of a weakness to your opponent in the first place. You're not going to be feeling comfortable. Sure it can work for certain players if they start swinging freely or they just go for it. Some players might need to do that.
For me, I think it's tweaking little things here and there in a match when it's not going so well. If it's not working, then you have the practice go back to and get ready for more.
That's my approach, really.

Q. Martina Hingis said earlier in the summer she was asked by a member of your team about coming back to play mixed doubles in the Olympics with you. Talk about how that idea came about and when someone asked her, who asked her, and so on.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it was weird in the first place to just have the Olympics -- sorry, the mixed in the Olympics, because nobody had ever asked, right?
The next thing I know, they're like, Oh, we have mixed in the Olympics. I was like, Oh, that's weird that the ITF just does it like that and decide whenever they want.
But then I was like, Well, might as well just see if she is available. I mean, if I played with anybody, the mixed would be with Hingis just because she's been an amazing player and I had my first kind of success at the Hopman Cup with her and practiced and played with her before.
So I knew that even if she is retired, she might think about it at least, or see what she says. I've approached her already a long time ago, and I guess she just mentioned something to the press and it took a life of its own.
But I haven't spoken to her myself yet. We'll see where it goes. I know it's a lot on your plate to play singles, doubles, and mixed. I need to decide if I want to do that in in the first place, and then see if she will come out of retirement. Still have a lot of things to go through, but haven't spoken yet. I don't know what's going to happen.

Q. Since you guys would have such a great chance at a gold medal if you were playing together, have you thought about just picking up the phone and actually trying to win her over, to do something to get her on your side?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think I need to win her over. She's a champion herself. She's in retirement, not me, so she needs to do all the hard work. I've be on the tour playing and ready to go basically. So she has the whole thing to go through. Because what I'm hearing, she just doesn't want to come back for a week of doubles, which I understand that.
There is much more to it. At the end of the day, that's her decision.

Q. You don't think talking to her directly would help her make a decision that would help you?
ROGER FEDERER: I said I will talk to her.

Q. Talk about the growth of this tournament and also the women joining it for the first time this year?
ROGER FEDERER: And you want me to say what about it? What I think about it? Yeah, I mean, look, it's always nice in a time where I've been in the game for what, ten, twelve years now to see the game growing.
Not that it's, how do you say, something I was -- you know, that I influenced, but I still think it's nice to see prize money increases and sites getting bigger, they're being more professional.
We have a nice press room now. We have other things that are nicer for everybody. It's bigger. Do all the players like the idea of having combined events? I doubt it, because it's very busy and it's hard to get the practice courts and there are many players complaining. But that comes with bigger tournaments.
But if it works for the fans and the media, we're happy to go through that. But I'm sure that the tournaments who have combined events have to keep on getting bigger and better, really, because there is tons of players here and it is hard to manage. But so far it's been good. Let's see when sort of the tournament really gets underway the next two or three days, which is obviously most intense.
But, look, I'm happy for this tournament. This has a long history, and I think they've done really well over the years to deserve this position.

Q. With respect to so many big forehands out there right now, any thought about using a slightly different racquet going forward?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, I always think about, you know, thinking about what I could change with my racquets. I work very closely to Wilson. Should I change racquet head size? Should I change strings? It's always something that is in my mind.
Why not use the great technology they have instead of just saying, I'm so happy with what I have; don't even talk to me. I'm not that kind of guy, and that's why we've had conversations constantly over the last years.

Q. You've had some pretty spectacular seasons, but are you the at all surprised or amazed by what Djokovic has done this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it comes as a bit of a surprise because how he was struggling with his serve and really just not getting it right for long periods of time. So that, for a top player, that's awfully strange to see someone struggle so much on a -- I know serve is not a simple stroke, but I still think if you hit serves for 20 years you should still be able to hit decent serves, which he does, but he still hits way too many double faults.
So to see him turn it around and go on a tear which he did after sort of losing the US Open finals, which could have been really a big -- which I thought was a big blow for him, to be honest.
To come back and react the way he did I think shows what a great player he already was and is today. The streak obviously is fantastic. It's something that's very hard to do. I've been in a similar position, and I know how hard it is.
But once you're on that wave, it's hard to come back down again. He's just taking advantage of it and doing really, really well.

Q. Do you think he'll go into New York with more pressure on him? When you've had spectacular years and gone to New York, has that made it easier for you?
ROGER FEDERER: Easier, sure. I mean, look at my record. I'd rather have it like that than not have enough matches and not feeling quite right.
At the end, I think we all prefer to be overconfident and overtired than feeling so-so, just because you can go with the flow. Sure, you have to pace yourself and you have to be mentally strong and stuff.
But, look, he's been there before. He's been at the top for three, four, maybe more years now. It's not like he's just shot out from nowhere. He's had time to adjust to the new situation.

Q. Do you feel any pressure coming into this tournament as the defending champion? I know that after the last couple losses, not me, but other people are going to say you have a lot of pressure on you to come in here and win this. How are you feeling?
ROGER FEDERER: Pressure, yeah. I think defending champion should always feel a bit of pressure. There are a lot points you're trying to defend. You know, you don't want to lose in the first round kind of thing. It obviously goes with the business.
But I'm happy I feel that. If I would feel, Who cares, let's see how it goes kind of attitude, I think that's completely wrong. So I feel like I'm in the right place. I'm excited, nervous of what's to come this week. That's kind of how I feel before every tournament.
It's nice coming back to a place where you did play well. So that gives you confidence, even though, let's say, I haven't played, let's say, a lot the last few weeks and months. You can draw from the year before and the year before that maybe even where you remember you played so well here. Crowds kind of like to see you here.
All these things can have a positive effect on your game. But important is to get through that first round. This is not just a simple first round, so it's going to be big for the remainder of the tournament, I think.

Q. I wanted to know how you would rate your performance in that match against Tsonga? And how long does to take you to get over a match when it's what hard-fought match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I thought the match was okay. Definitely felt I could have or should have even won the first set; didn't do that.
Obviously he had less pressure, but was still able to come around. And then in the third set my game, instead of getting better, it got somewhat worse. I wasn't serving so well. Just maybe started to doubt just a little bit, you know, my shot-making.
He's a tough player to play against. It was quick court and he was hitting the ball extremely hard and well. I thought he had one really good game to break me, and I had one poor game to give him the first break. That was it really. We all know how quick it can go.
But, you know, I definitely worked hard the last couple days trying to make sure that I iron out all those mistakes a bit and have a good rhythm on my serve and so forth.
I guess I'm still adjusting a bit to all the changes of balls we have over the last few months. Because the French was very different to Wimbledon, and then Wimbledon was crazy different to Davis Cup. Of course I've been practicing, but it's been tricky to know exactly how to play again.
So it's been good to be back on the tour again for ten days to get a feeling for how are the other guys hitting the ball, how to play on hardcourts again. Because, I mean, the clay and grass courts do sometimes give you a wrong sense of security almost, how to play the points.
So still just getting around that. I hope this week is going to all happen for me.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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