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January 20, 2012

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/I. Karlovic
7‑6, 7‑5, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How important do you think your acrobatics on that set point in the first set might have been?  It was an amazing get really in the circumstances.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, it was a tough breaker for me, just the way it all turned out to be, and him then having the chance to serve it out at 6‑5 definitely made it difficult.
Thank God, you know, he gave me a second serve and gave me a slight chance.  Might have had a little bit of a lucky volley, but quick reflexes at the net so that can happen.
Then running up there, I didn't know what to do anymore.  Probably left and right, going to go too slow and he's going to slam it home.  Let me try the lob, even though that's not what you're supposed to do against him.  I got sort of the angle right and was able maybe to surprise him, we're that close to each other, so it's hard to kind of react quick maybe up.
I don't know.  It kind of worked, and then I had a great return after that.  I was almost home.  So it was a good turn of events for me then.
Then after that, I maybe relaxed a bit.  I got a bit of a better read on his serve potentially and just, you know, also knew what I wanted to do also on my own service games.
It was a big first set, clearly.

Q.  How important was it have a tough workout after the walkover last round?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it was important to face throughout the whole three sets just the pressure of facing a guy like Ivo who can serve his way out of trouble, keeps you on your heels the whole time.  You're not quite sure what's going to happen.
If you miss one or two minutes of the game, down break point, he plays one good point or whatever happens, and the next thing you know, you're stuck in a fifth set maybe against him where you're down with more pressure.
So I think that was a good thing.  Now obviously it was not much baseline tennis out there.  That's why it's hard to judge where my game is at, but I was in control, I was making many errors.  But that's kind of to be expected from him from the baseline just because I have the athletic upper hand.
But overall I feel good, you know.  It's been a good match for me and a good last week or so.  No back issues at all today.  I didn't even think about it, to be honest.  So it was a good day at the office.

Q.  Do you enjoy watching other players play Karlovic just to see what they do?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I do.  Yeah, I mean, I watched Lleyton and Andy last night.  Just, yeah, I like seeing them sort of battle it out and see how well they're playing.

Q.  I mean see other players play against Karlovic, the approach they take.
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, he doesn't always play on center court.  If the TVs are no good, you know, you're not going to watch court 15.
I remember the match he played with Rafa at Indian Wells and it was really close.  I watched a bit of that.
Yeah, I mean, I do like to see how they play him or how he plays them.  He's an interesting type of player.

Q.  There is a difference to play Isner or Karlovic?
ROGER FEDERER:  A little bit.

Q.  Which one?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know how distinctive.  Obviously the way the trajectory comes in, it's obviously similar.  But then again, it's just a way ‑‑ I guess Ivo plays with his one hand, slice.  He maneuvers the ball differently than John does.  He steps in and takes it with a two‑hander so the point starts differently on your serve.
Maybe Ivo has the upper hand just in terms of how he serves.  Overall he's very accurate with his serving, and he's got all corners covered easily.  I think John has also improved, so that's why he's ahead of him in the rankings, I guess.

Q.  Do you think it would be better for tennis to have more one‑handed backhands and less two‑handed?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it would be nice to have a bit of both, because double handed can be really nice as some of the greats showed us, Borg, Wilander, and Agassi and so forth.
It's still a nice shot.  I prefer the one hand just because it's how the game has all started.  But I think it's good to mix even though the double handers are taking the upper hand throughout the years.  That's clear now.

Q.  I don't know if you saw the Nalbandian/Isner match the other night and the contentious way it came to a close.  Would you like to see there be a more uniform way of deciding if a player has taken enough time to challenge?  It seems to be a gray area.  I know you've got controversial views on Hawk‑Eye, anyway.
ROGER FEDERER:  Isn't is great, Hawk‑Eye, what happened, right?  That's why we have it, right, to talk about it because we don't use it?

Q.  Do you think there should be a time limit?
ROGER FEDERER:  I guess the circumstances, it was just crazy and there was misunderstandings and the crowd was loud.  You can't shout across the court and talk to the umpire.
You have to go up to him and the umpire could maybe understand that as stalling, right, and not to give it to him anymore?  I have had issues in the past where I think my opponents take crazy amount of time and then they decide to challenge.
I think it's both ways.  Umpires need to be super flexible and firm, but also the players need to be the same and help the cause that something like this doesn't happen.
You wish that you talk about how great they were serving and returning and playing instead of talking about this one stupid call.  Unfortunately it might have changed the outcome of the match potentially.
We all knew that this is exactly the type of point that needs to be challenged either from John or from David or from the umpire.  We need to see the call.  It can't be that there is no call.
So it was just so unfortunate.  I felt bad for David, but it was still a great match.  I guess the players and the umpires need to get it right in terms of helping each other.

Q.  Do you tend to be one who if you challenge they know instantly you're going to because you just go and challenge?
ROGER FEDERER:  Exactly.  I don't think we're on clay where you walk up to the mark and you're like, Hmm, that's an interesting mark.  Let's wait it out and challenge and then put the umpire in a bad spot.  The umpire can go, Three, two, one, no more.
He won't do that.  It's part of process I guess.  They need to figure it out.

Q.  Talking about one‑handed backhand, did you realize in the first set in 5‑2 you hit a two‑handed backhand?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I did.  I lost the point.  That's why I play one handed.  And I won't play double handed for a long, long time, I can tell you that.

Q.  Thank you.
ROGER FEDERER:  No problem.

Q.  Any thoughts on Hewitt and Raonic tomorrow night?
ROGER FEDERER:  Hmm, are they playing night session tomorrow?

Q.  I think so.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, doesn't matter really.  It's going to be a good match.  Obviously Raonic is on the rise, and Lleyton such an established player and playing with home crowd advantage, definitely you want to hope to see.
I haven't seen Raonic play in a while now because of injury or whatever happened.  I practiced once with him in Wimbledon, so I got a chance to hit some with him there.
Yeah, I think it's going to be an open match, because Lleyton doesn't give away anything, you know.  I've seen that happen so many times that I'll just pick Lleyton because he's playing well and he's playing at home.

Q.  You have attended probably 2000 press conferences in your life.  Have you never been worried about facing any of them in certain specific situations?
ROGER FEDERER:  I would be sad if I weren't facing you guys.  Is that the question?  (Laughter.)

Q.  I was just asking if you always come here relaxed, even after defeat, or sometimes you worry about questions that can be asked?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, no.  I mean, no.  It's just part of the job, I guess, is to face questions, tough questions, sometimes.  I think the worst thing you can do is go hide somewhere and hope you're not going to be asked any questions.
I think you guys have the right to ask tough questions sometimes.  Then also I guess sometimes you need to accept if I don't want to answer any questions on a particular subject.  I think it's only fair.  But I don't think I've ever tried to escape any press conference.  I remember getting fined not showing up.
I did try to get out of the press conference in my last match because I didn't play.  They still said I have to come to press because it's a scheduled match.  I was like, A scheduled match?  If the guy would have pulled out yesterday, the day before, I wouldn't have had to come.  There was better stories than me telling you about a nonmatch, so...
But anyway, look, as long as you guys are happy, that's all that counts, right?  (Laughter.)

Q.  Can you tell us what you think about your potential opponents in the fourth round?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I'll follow it as much as I can, because both are quite particular.  I've only played Bernard and Alexandr once each, I think, so I don't know them that well.
Tomic obviously being young makes him still somewhat of a mystery maybe just because he's changing his game as he's progressing along the way.
Also Dolgopolov is making his move up the rankings.  He's already in the top 15 and playing very solid already since some time now.  Still he's discovering his best game and his weakest game.
It's going to be a good match to watch.  Either player is gonna be a challenge for me.  I've just played Tomic on a tough grass court in Sydney a few months ago, and Dolgopolov was the first in Basel some time ago.

Q.  What did you think of Tomic in the Davis Cup?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, look, like I said, conditions were tough.  It was windy.  There was a lot of bad bounces.  We were slicing a lot.  I was extremely tired from playing my game Lleyton the first day, then the doubles and coming from New York, so I don't remember that much.
It was all just a blur for me, the whole Australia sort of Davis Cup tie.  It was a good tie for us which we ended up winning with the great win from Stan over Lleyton.  But I do remember it was tough and tricky.

Q.  Did you see Marcos Baghdatis smash four racquets the other night?  What's your view on that?  Do you do it?

Q.  Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER:  Have you seen me do it?

Q.  I don't think so.
ROGER FEDERER:  It's been a while.  (Laughter.)  I did see the highlights.  I was watching some of the match, but I missed that part, unfortunately.  I thought it was funny.  You know, he strings with the same guys I string with, you know, so I felt bad for them for stringing three, four racquets that weren't used afterwards, you know.
But, look, he was frustrated and it was a great match they were playing.  He could have been in the lead but was down.  It's just normal to get frustrated at times.  Some show it differently.

Q.  Do you get that agitated now or are you just better at hiding it?  Are there moments you want to do something like that, like McEnroe hitting some flowers out of...
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I don't know as extreme as Marcos now or maybe John in the past, but definitely you feel like you would like to do something crazy.  Then again, what?  Everybody is going to go, Oh, my God, did he just do that?
Especially now people with what don't think of me.  People don't remember me from ten, twelve years ago.  They only remember me from sort of seven, eight years ago where I never threw a racquet.
So that's also why I just know how to keep my act together, and, I don't know, guess be a good role model and just keep it calm.
Works well.

Q.  Back on Ivo, you and he have played many, many tiebreakers.  Is it something you expect every time you play him and it's going to be a matter of just getting a handful of points off his serve to win?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I guess so.  I mean, yeah.  I thought it was going to be at least one tiebreak, if not two.  So one is good.  It's okay.
He's a tough man to play against really.  He creates a lot of pressure by the way he serves and the way he plays from the baseline.  He always runs around your second serves.  He always tries to chip and come in.  You know, no point is ever the same.
He fights with what he has, and makes it really complicated, to be honest.  You can never really play relaxed points.  You can sometimes just serve and get into a decent rally, and then you kind of react.  Here you can't do that against Ivo.
I'm happy I found a way today.  First set was crucial, like I said.  Happy to be through in straight sets.

Q.  You are very close to 1000 matches on tour?  Does it feel like that?  How does it feel?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know how it feels to play 1000 matches.  I'm only at 999, right?  I played a lot of doubles and juniors and qualifying which all don't count.  Obviously these are all the tour matches I probably would think so.
Yeah, it's a lot matches.  How do I feel?  I feel good.  I feel healthy.  I don't know if I can play another 1000, but I feel like it's a lot of tennis.  I would like to play a lot more, but it's quite a number.  I'm aware of that.

Q.  Does one stand out in the 1000?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  Many, thank God, good and bad.  I've had my share of tough losses and also my great wins, so a bit of both.

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