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August 18, 2011
R. FEDERER/J. Blake
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. The match from the scoreline looked very easy. How did you feel out there the break chances that Blake had that he couldn't convert?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he did convert in the second set. I mean, I thought there was -- I mean, against James it's always a fast-paced match from start to finish. You hope you get on a roll and he doesn't. I was able to counter his attacking style. I was able to play clean on my service games.
In the second set he didn't play so well, and the scoreline shows that.
Q. Did they ask you on TV about the pace of play? How big an adjustment was that for you? Do you like playing at that pace?
ROGER FEDERER: You mean the time he takes between points?
ROGER FEDERER: It's very quick. It's always quick against James. That's why it's very tricky that you don't sort of lose three points on the trot, and next thing you know it's like four and five and six. A few games go by and there's nothing you can do.
Sometimes with his shot-making it anyway can happen. Top it off with the pace he goes, he can run through a couple of service games where maybe he would be in them, you would take your time. But at times you can't really, because you have to play the pace of the server, right?
On your own service games you can take your time, but I choose to play my pace, and it adds up and we don't take much time. I kind of enjoy it for a change, because those long-lasting, you know, whatever, things some players go through, it is a bit annoying for everybody. It is what it is.
Q. You're conscious of it as the match is going on?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, we were speeding out there today, I mean, otherwise the match wouldn't have been, what was it, 50 minutes, something like that?
Q. You mentioned yesterday the Paris Bercy was very quick back in the day. When did you really notice a change in the court speeds slowing down, especially in the hardcourts?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure. Look, I don't quite remember. 2001, maybe 2000 even, because I wasn't hanging around enough. I was doing my old first- and second-round losses, you know. So you kind of just practice and you feel like everything is not working anyway. Conditions are messed up anyway, so you don't leave the place anyway with a good sensation. It's.
But only since maybe 2002, 2003, where maybe I'm playing more attention to court speed and so forth. I feel like this is when things started changing a bit, maybe in 2000. I'm not sure.
But I think the indoors changed a lot. They went from the sort of rubbery carpet to the wooden ones. Even though it's nicer to move on, you obviously have taken away sometimes the lower bounces and the quickness.
Today everybody just paints the same speed all over the place, which players like because it's continuity, which is good, I guess, for the body. But at the same time, you make it a bit predictable for fans, for players, what are you going to get?
I guess that's as well in Davis Cup. Instead of being able to pick a lightning-quick indoor court, there's all that's rules and regulations in play now which don't allow you to do that, which I think is a bit unfortunate.
Q. When you come to the U.S. for these stretches, what interests you about the culture here? Obama? Wall Street? The Kardashians?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't watch the reality shows a whole lot. To be honest, I don't watch as much TV here. Maybe it's just in the last few years since I've had my kids. Life has changed a bit.
But, you know, I've always been interested in more geographics, you know, knowing more about the cities I'm in, you know, all the states. I'm still trying to get all the states right and stuff. It's hard. I'm telling you, it's like tell me all the European countries out there. I couldn't tell you. It's tricky, and I've been to not all the States here in this country.
And then obviously I did follow the presidential race with Obama, for instance, quite closely, because this time around I thought I was old enough and interested enough; whereas the last time I just heard it somewhat and I couldn't believe the length of it and the brutality of it, you know.
So felt like every president should be extremely tired becoming the president, you know, and this is actually when the job starts. So it's pretty fascinating to watch, I'm definitely going to follow it the next time around the same thing again.
Q. With the two good wins you've had so far here, do you feel like you've raised your level since MontrĂ©al? Do you feel like you're playing a little bit better?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if I'm playing better, but I'm feeling better. I just didn't think against Tsonga -- I thought it was okay, but, you know, the sensations I had out there were no good. I didn't feel like I was moving particularly well and returning well; my serve left me in the third.
So at the end it was just a disappointing end. This was very different. Tonight and the other night with Del Potro I felt everything in my game I was happy with from start to finish. Sure, there were things I could have done better, but overall, you know, I'm not giving away much right now and just being very focused on what I want to do.
I think the took the right lessons out of MontrĂ©al.
Q. Do you think there is something particular about Tsonga's game that matches up well against you? Any thoughts on that?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think actually my game matches up well with him. I didn't play well in MontrĂ©al, and Wimbledon I should have never lost. Couple tough matches to lose, but he did play well. He did play well when he had to and was able to come up with some great shots.
But I do feel my game really matches with his game well.
Q. Along those lines, your next opponent, Berdych, you've had a little bit of difficulty with him recently. What do you think about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he's a dangerous player. Look, he hits the extremely ball hard and he can go through matches and dominate from the baseline. I have to make sure I get into his service games and play aggressive myself and see where it takes us.
We've had some tough matches over the years, and I expect something similar tomorrow.
Q. At the end of this tournament last year you faced Mardy Fish, and he's really gone far this summer. What changes have you see in his game since this time last year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he was playing great last year, so...
He's playing still great, so nothing has changed.
Q. He's been on a whole new roll.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think he had a great summer last year, too. Didn't he win also Atlanta? He defended his title this year.
So I don't think there's a whole lot change. I just think he's been able to string together a solid year. I don't think you become top 10 or number - what is he now, 7, 8, 9 --
ROGER FEDERER: -- like that, except if you win a Grand Slam. If you make a semis maybe, which he didn't, so he had to do something very strong and solid for a long period of time, which he was able to do so.
It's always nice seeing the Americans taking advantage of the American summer or the American tournaments. This is where they're most dangerous, you know, and I'm happy to see that he's doing so well.
He's a nice guy, and I hope he's going to do well against Rafa.
Q. The subject of your racquet comes up a lot. The racquet that Wilson sells that's supposedly is close to yours has several versions since you started using it. Do you use one closer to the more modern version, or which generation racquet?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I've had somewhat of a similar racquet since 2002, you know, when I changed to a bigger head size, and I'm always continuously, you know, testing racquets from Wilson, seeing what new technology they have. I just think it's important to do that. Wilson gives me that great ability to do that.
I think they work extremely hard. When I ask for something, they can do it. That's why I think it will be a mistake from my side just to be happy with what I have. I wanted something also that's for sale for the fans, what I'm playing with.
I remember years ago the racquet wasn't for sale because they thought, Well, the racquet is not good for any player, or for some reason they didn't think it was important.
I tried to change that, and that's why you can buy basically the same racquet as mine.
Q. You went through a period a few years ago where you lost a few times in a row to Rafa like Rafa has now to Novak.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah.
Q. Is that hard not to let that affect how you feel about your game generally?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's maybe like a side train, you know, following what you're trying to do in the meantime. Because sometimes these losses have nothing to do what you're trying to accomplish on this very day.
Just saying like today, the Verdasco match has nothing really to do with Novak, because, I mean, completely different player. From the same country so he's got his work cut out from that alone.
Now I definitely think next time he would face him, there is some after-effects. Then again, he's beaten him enough to know exactly what he needs to do.
Maybe for me the advantage was I did go through periods of time before that already with Nalbandian and Henman and Agassi and other players where I felt like, I don't know what to do against these guys, you know, and then I was able to turn it around.
So when the Rafa thing I don't want to say happened, there was obvious reasons. We were playing a lot of them on clay, so that was one thing. It wasn't over multiple surfaces I thought anyway.
I never really felt I had to panic, even though the head-to-head speaks in favor of Rafa. I think a lot that has to do because of all his clay court wins he has against me.
So for me, the Rafa issue wasn't very big. Maybe people might have thought it was. For me it was harder in the beginning with the sort of Nalbandians and the Henmans and all those guys who were getting the better of me early on. I didn't know what to do at some points.
I think Rafa is a great champion. I don't think it's rattling him badly, badly. Should have some affect on him, because he doesn't have losing streaks against many players, or hasn't had, because he was such a good teenager really, which I wasn't as good as him.
Q. What kind of things do you like to do to relax when you're not playing?
ROGER FEDERER: I like spending time with my kids right now, my wife. That's always nice. I would like to go to the movies more often, but I don't have the time or energy to go it, even though it's not really physical going to the movie, right?
It's just the effort getting out of house and doing all of that and being three hours away from the kids, it's kind of tricky. But, you know, I like spending time with friends. I'm rarely all alone. I like hanging out and having a good time with friends and family.
Q. Do you play other sports for fun?
ROGER FEDERER: I used to. I used to play a lot of -- any ball sport really, starting with basketball to soccer to table tennis to whatever it is. So used to do a lot that. Today I kind of stopped doing that. I used to ski as well.
I just said, You know what, I can do all of that when I'm done and still be young enough to enjoy it for many more to come. Right now I'm sort of saving it all, I guess.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports