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AUSTRALIAN OPEN


January 26, 2012


Roger Federer


MELBOURNE, VICTORIA

R. NADAL/R. Federer
6‑7, 6‑2, 7‑6, 6‑4


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  It was another great, great match, but also big loss.  How do you explain it?  Do you think it was a matter of few points or also legs at the end were a little tired?
ROGER FEDERER:  I thought Rafa played well from start to finish, really.  I started really well myself.  It was obviously a big set for me to win, and missed obviously the opportunities in some of all the sets maybe.
But Rafa did well to hang in there.  At the end was a bit better.  It was a tough match physically as well, but, you know, only beginning of the season.
I'm feeling all right, so it's okay.

Q.  You're having trouble with your forehand.  Was there any reason for that, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't think it was that bad.  I'm always gonna miss forehands because I have to go after the ball.  If I just put it into play he'll smack it.  So it's pretty simple.  I have to keep him driving it, and obviously at times I clipped the tape a bit too often.
But I hit flatter than Rafa, so it's always gonna happen, some of it.  I thought I retrieved well again.  Obviously the surface is not the fastest, but he does a good job getting a lot of balls back and staying in the points.
And then obviously he's got great passing shots and so forth.  You have to, you know, go after it and try your best there.

Q.  We have heard what Rafa thinks of the rivalry.  What's your take on it after a game like that tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  We have had good matches over the years.  I enjoy playing him.  The crowd really gets into it, which is nice.  We have a lot of respect for each other, which is good, too, I think.
I hope it inspires future generations or other players, you know, being nice to each other on the court and all that stuff.
You know, works as well at the highest of levels.  Yeah, we also kind of, you know, play well against each other.  I always think he plays a bit better against me than against other players, but that's good for him.

Q.  We saw his emotions after the match.  What were yours as you left the court?
ROGER FEDERER:  I didn't see what he was doing, you know.  I don't see much, anyway, because I turn around very often and I focus on my thing.
You know, I mean, I was slightly disappointed, obviously, you know, leaving center court, because I, you know, felt like my game was good, you know, and I could have done something in the finals potentially.
But I don't have to worry about that now anymore.  It's fine.  I feel okay now.  You know, it's in the past already.

Q.  How many times do you think you'll keep coming back here?
ROGER FEDERER:  How many times?  I hope often.

Q.  Still have a few left in you, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, I do.

Q.  I think you lost 11 points after the break.  Is there any frustration in having a timeout in the middle of an intensematch like that with the fireworks?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's not helpful, that's for sure.  Then again, I know I lost a lot of points in a row.  I probably don't want to say I would have lost the set anyway, but I was down in the score.
The important was to get back from that Love‑40.¬† Like you say, I lost many, many points in a row.¬† It was surprising to me. ¬†At the French Open finals there also is I think multiple interruptions.¬† You know, in many of the matches we have had that in the match.
Obviously if you're gonna play that many times, you'll always have some strange things happening during matches.  That was a different one.  I have had it in the past.  I don't remember sitting out and waiting for it, but I remember playing Lleyton here on Australia Day.  I don't remember if we sat down or actually played through it.
But they told us before, so it wasn't a surprise for us, and we could ‑ I don't want to say plan with it ‑ but kind of almost waited for the fireworks, you know, to start until our game was over, which is kind of nice.

Q.¬† The margins are always so fine and you had to deal with‑‑ if you win everything it's fine, and if you lose everything is sort of a disaster.
ROGER FEDERER:  Depends who you ask.

Q.  You cope with these victories and losses more than anyone on the tour right now.  How do you keep your equilibrium on occasions like this?
ROGER FEDERER:  You lookat that I haven't lost in five months or something, you know.  It's not that bad.  Don't feel too sorry for me kind of thing.  Obviously I would have loved to have come through and, you know, gotten a crack, a chance at winning the title here again.
It's been one of the most successful tournaments in my life here.  It's the ninth time I am in the straight semifinals.  Clearly I'm disappointed.
But then again, important is the reaction from now, you know.  Where do I go from here?  You know, start planning other trips.  Start planning the preparations, and, again, have, you know, a good reaction like I showed after the US Open.

Q.  Do you think there was a key moment today maybe when you had break point...
ROGER FEDERER:  There was many.  There was many key moments, not just one, in my opinion.

Q.  Do you think Rafa seems to play better against you than the other players?  Do you know why?  Do you have an explanation?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I don't know if it's true.¬† It's my assumption.¬† I feel he plays really good against me.¬† Now obviously I play a different game, too.¬† I have a one‑handed backhand.¬† He's played me that many times on clay, so maybe he always draws something out of those matches.
He's also got a winning record against me which maybe gives him extra confidence, I don't know.  Yeah, I think he has a clear plan and he follows that one very well.
Like I said, I think he just plays good, you know, and he's obviously improved a lot on all surfaces over the years.  Anyway, every surface is very similar today, otherwise we couldn't have achieved all these things on all these different surfaces so quickly, like him and myself.
He's a very good player, obviously.

Q.  It's always an event when you two play.  Did the sense of occasion feel significantly different today, given it was a semifinal and not a final?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Not really.¬† I mean, once I start a tournament I don't read much press ‑‑ or none at all ‑‑ so I don't know exactly how much the buildup was to it, you know, compared to a finals.
So I figured people got excited, because I was, and I was very happy with my game this entire tournament.  Even today, you know, I had good moments.
Yeah, so I don't know if it was ‑‑ for me it didn't feel any different, you know, a finals or a semis against Rafa.¬† It's always an occasion, like you mentioned.
Yeah, it was the same.

Q.  Did it feel different though walking off before a trophy presentation this time?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's nicer, yeah.  I prefer to walk off this way than having to go through the trophy ceremony after losing.

Q.¬† You now trail 8‑2 in Grand Slams to Nadal.¬† Is that in your mind when you go on court?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, not really.

Q.  (Question regarding Rafa's record against him in Grand Slams.)
ROGER FEDERER:¬† No, I respect it.¬† I think he's doing great against me.¬† It is what it is, you know.¬† At the end I care about my titles, if I'm happy or not as a person.¬† Head‑to‑heads for me, I mean, are not the most important.¬† If I beat Andre 10 times in a row or Lleyton many times in a row, at the end of the day I don't care.
I remember the matches on that given day, that I played well against them or not, and I don't remember the head‑to‑head that much.¬† All I know is that we've played many times, and either comes my way or his way.¬† Rallies have gone a little bit more his way obviously.

Q.  If you're down two sets to one versus Nadal, is that the worst feeling you can have against another player?  He's the player that worries more you when the match goes long, long, long, three hours and so on?  No difference?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, no.  You're in the wrong sport if you think that way.  I mean, Ferrer did great yesterday, you know, trying to plug away after losing first set, second set.  He could have gotten both.
You just keep on trying and keep on working hard, you know.  It's still a long way to the finish line.  And, again, it was awfully close in the fourth set.  Turned it around, and you never know how he feels in the fifth set.
I'm not worried going into five sets against him.  If I were, you know, I wouldn't be the player I am today.
It's very important to be strong mentally, believe in your physical, you know, capabilities, yeah.  So wrong question to the wrong guy.

Q.  Do you have a pick from the other semi?  What kind of game do you think Andy will play now since he's working with Lendl against Djokovic?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, look, they just started.  You have to give it some time, too.  I would assume.  I think both are playing really well.  I knew that or have the feeling that both of them are gonna have another very good season.
How good ‑ starting now ‑ we'll see who makes the finals.¬† But it's going to be an interesting match to follow.¬† One guy has to lose, so it's not so simple.
But I think both are playing good enough also again to win this title.  I think all four of us really.  But there's only gonna be one winner, and I'm interested to see who it's gonna be, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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