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September 1, 2011
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
R. FEDERER/D. Sela
6-3, 6-2, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You were certainly on cruise control today? Doing very well.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not much trouble on my serve, and from the baseline I also thought I had the upper hand. When it's like that, obviously it's tough for the opponent, but I just think I was superior today.
It was a good match for me in breezy conditions. It was a bit tricky early on to find the rhythm. That's why I was happy to get the first break in the first set.
Q. Is that why you were nervous when you came in? The commentator said you were nervous.
ROGER FEDERER: Did I say that?
Q. Yeah, you did. Was this because it's the first encounter with Sela?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I played him before. It's a day session match. I mean, it is a big stadium, after all. You're supposed to have a few nerves. If you don't, you don't care.
So I do care a lot. That's maybe why.
Q. Any sense of the court playing any different during the day than it was at night during the night?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's a different opponent, right? Santiago Giraldo, he plays way back sometimes. Different type of player, so can't compare.
Obviously the points were kept short today, and for that matter obviously balls are pretty quick. But it's really the rough surface that if you have a lot of rallies kind of fluffs it up and slows it down. That never really happened today, so...
So when it's like this it's fine. Once you get the rallies going, you know, time and time again, balls obviously, then they considerably slow down.
Q. What was your reaction when you heard the news about Venus Williams and what are your thoughts about her career in general?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, yeah, I mean, all of a sudden heard -- was it Soderling who pulled out first? I'm not sure. I don't know if it's related at all, but there was rumors flying around that it's because of food and all these kind of things. I'm still not quite sure what Robin had or if it was because of injury or sickness.
Same thing with Venus. I just heard a little bit afterwards. But she was almost ready to play, right? So that's -- I mean, it's tough, you know, I mean, I guess especially for an American to have that happen at the US Open.
But at least if she knows what it is, it's a bit comforting. At least you know where to go from here, but it's terrible timing. I can only wish her the best. She's been a great player, a great champion. Hopefully she'll stay around for the women's game for a long time still.
Q. When you hear about other players missing slams, in the middle or at any point, what sort of perspective does that give you on how you've been so fortunate and durable to not just play, but do well in slams for so long?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, look, slams are not everything. If it happens, it happens. It's not the end. There are other tournaments to play.
Sure, if this is, in your opinion, your priority of the year, then it hits you hard. If it wasn't, then it's not the worst.
I think for her it was, for instance, just trying to get ready for this tournament. So at the end maybe she's not as disappointed if she would have gone in here as the absolute favorite, you know. So she's come from a completely different angle right now with all her injuries she's had this year.
Look, injuries do happen, and that's why when you're not injured you're happy you can just focus on tactics and playing tennis and enjoying it out there instead of having to wake up every morning and thinking, Oh, I'm still not feeling well. How long is it gonna take? That's when it wears on you.
She must be happy just at least to be back on the court again.
Q. Have you had a chance to read Rafa's book?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I haven't. I might read it. I don't know. I haven't come across it yet. He hasn't given me one yet. (Laughter.)
If he doesn't, I'll go buy one. That's not the issue. (Laughter.)
No, I haven't had the time yet. I don't know if it's gonna happen soon.
Q. Are you comfortable with the level of latitude that officials give players, or do you think it's maybe gotten too strict?
ROGER FEDERER: You mean in terms what we're allowed or not allowed to do?
ROGER FEDERER: What do I think? I still think we can push the boundaries. If you look at how much time we can take walking onto the match, onto the court until the first ball is hit, I mean, there are many times where it takes way too long between points.
I mean, I still think officials should and could be more strict. Sometimes I wonder if they're more strict on the outside courts than on the big courts, even though on the big courts you kind of give some leeway, right, to players, because you know they're not doing it out of not being fair, but just that's how they do it.
I've felt like this last six months they've been trying to speed up the warmups. You know, instead of saying, Two minutes they say three minutes and stuff when you're at net and stuff. I think that's good, because I think it's a bit of a waste of time, to be quite honest, this whole prewarmup and stuff.
Other than that, you know, crack a racquet right away, warning, right away money you have to pay. I mean, it's whatever it is, you know.
I think they try to understand the players, too. Some don't; some do. It's a tough call. I don't know. I think it's important also that we are good role models and so forth. Otherwise it gets out of control again and people use too many things trying to win, which is unfair, as well.
I guess it's okay to some degree, even though a bit more leeway could be not bad, you know.
Q. On that subject, would you be surprised to learn only half of the top umpires in the game are actually officiating at this championship and half have stayed away?
ROGER FEDERER: Okay. Why is that?
Q. A little bit to do with money, conditions, unhappiness with the tournament. There's no Graf, Maria, the people you'd see week in and week out.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know about that. Look, I think the tour and the ITF, ATP they're all trying to make this work. It's a tough job being an umpire. I think players know that too.
Unfortunately, I think sometimes the unhappy players are the ones that are on the lower, on the smaller courts. They don't have Hawk-Eye and they're battling with strong winds, you know, tough spectators sometimes and no supervisor, and all they have is maybe the one umpire who maybe doesn't have so much experience, you know.
They play, I don't know, 50 matches a year and they have all the experience. So it becomes very tricky for everybody out there. It's the same thing soccer isn't it. You don't have professionals sometimes as umpires the whole time, right, so that makes it also very complicated.
It's why I just think at least on the big courts you do have Hawk-Eye now, you know, so if someone does miss a big call, I mean, the umpire doesn't have all the power like he has in soccer, which I feel is also quite wrong.
So that's the only advantage I think of the Hawk-Eye. But even before that I don't think an umpire could decide outcomes of matches, to be honest. I think that's a good thing.
But, no, I wish that all the best umpires would be here, but it is who it is, and I hope they can resolve the issue.
Q. Can you give us your thoughts on your next round? Obviously Marin and Bernard are going to be playing this afternoon.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think it's a tough match between the two of them; 50/50 who's gonna win at this point, I think.
I think I'd like to play Bernard for the first time because I've never played him before. I like, you know, playing the new generation coming up. I've played Harrison at the beginning of the season in Indian Wells, and then I practiced with Dimitrov, Raonic, Berankis, all those new guys coming through. I've never actually hit with Tomic before, so that would be nice.
And if it's Cilic it's a good match anyway because he's the seed in my section and he's a good player. He's beaten Murray here before in the past.
So I played him as well in Monaco. It was a tough match, so I know what to expect from him more.
Q. What do you think of Bernard's style? It's quite sort of unusual, I guess, in some ways.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I guess I would have to play him to really tell you. I have never hit a ball against him, but from the way it looks, I agree it's slightly unusual playing style just because he's tall. Again, he likes to play from the baseline; doesn't quite maybe use his serve yet as much as he could like Del Potro in the beginning.
I think he's going through an evolution right now as a player, and it's interesting times for him. He's learning basically -- every day that goes by on the tennis court he learns something, and it's fun to be that age right now.
Q. Although you cruised in straight sets, do you feel he was out of sorts or out of character today?
ROGER FEDERER: Like I mentioned, I did struggle a little bit with the rhythm just because it was quite breezy. On the one end, on the right-hand side of the umpire's chair you had sort of an uphill match, you know, with strong winds against you.
From the other side you barely touched the ball and it would fly on you. That's why you would make sometimes big errors of, you know, 10 feet and so forth. So that would -- that was tough.
But that's why I said, you know, nerves settled down once I had the lead. And I quickly realized I actually had a good rhythm on my serve. So from that standpoint it was normal to make errors. I don't go into a match telling myself more than 10 errors is a terrible match because I expect myself to hit errors because I know I will hit a lot of winners, too. It all matters when they happen.
Q. When you have a bad day, and you don't have many bad days...
ROGER FEDERER: I do have bad days.
Q. But when you come home to the twins, do they put things in perspective to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don't need my twins to put life in perspective or my tennis life. I've always been at peace with the game or without the game, and my kids are the best anyway. It's changed our lives forever, obviously.
Very thankful, you know, that we have been so fortunate and that the girls are such nice, cute kids. It's just more fun on tour, I guess, you know.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports