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March 1, 2012

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/M. Youzhny
6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Do you feel like you dominated pretty well today?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I thought, again on, my serve I was doing many of the right things.  It's quick out there, so you got to be really focused.  He was obviously taking a lot chances for one set and a half.  Maybe his energy wasn't quite up.  You know, at the end he really got pumped up a bit, but it was almost too late for him.
So it a difficult match to play and get any rhythm really, because he has potential to hit through the court on the forehand and the backhand and his serve a flat, and the results show it.
He actually likes to play here in Dubai ‑ so does Lopez ‑ so I'm happy to come through those two sort of tough matches and be in the semis now.¬† It's great for me.

Q.  Having beaten him 11 times, it is difficult...
ROGER FEDERER:  12 I think, apparently.

Q.  12 now; before the match it was 11.

Q.  Is it difficult to go out there for a 12th time andfocus...
ROGER FEDERER:  I wouldn't have known it was 11 going into the match.  I just reminded of that.  I know I have a great head to head with him.
Like I mentioned yesterday, you just try to, you know, I sort of guess get on a roll once you're a set and a break up.  And then that comes into playing because he might know how difficult it is to come back because he has never come back against me in a situation like this.
This is maybe where the head to head plays a little bit of a role.  Other than that, early on you just go out there and try to play another good match, and that's what I did today.

Q.  Have you ever kept a little black book or record about opponents?  You know, little things you picked up, weak points, or is it all just in your head?
ROGER FEDERER:  I never actually have written stuff down.  That was something I was considering doing earlier on in my career.  You sort of get into it, and the more you become a pro the more amateur you become and you just can't, you know, analyze everything and just overdo it.  (Laughing.)
I guess you have to let some things sort of be creative still at the end of the day.  Because I think it's important in tennis instead of being all robotic and thinking, Okay, 80% of the time he plays crosscourt; 70% of the time he serves to the backhand.
You know, all that stuff, it's good to know, but what if he doesn't go there?  It can also then really mess with your mind.  Then after that you're not the same player out there.
So that's why I kind of like the mindset of going out there well‑prepared knowing what his strengths and weaknesses are, analyzing the surfaces, but then also mostly focus on my own game, what have I been doing well and not so well, where does my focus need to go.
So I've never really kept a black book.  Thank God I've always had coaches who reminded me of some good stuff.

Q.  I was going to say, Severin or Paul will come in and bring up salient points.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yes.¬† Yeah, I mean, I speak to Severin or Paul, whoever is with me obviously every time before the matches.¬† And the one‑‑ if one of the two is not here, we'll mostly even speak on the phone.
I do take the time to obviously go through the matches.  Sometimes there is not much to say because it's pretty much straightforward, and sometimes it's much more sort of tactical depending on the surface and the opponent.

Q.  When you meet somebody you haven't played for a while or the first time you play them, do you ever look at videos of them.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't watch so many videos anymore.  I used to.  I just feel that I don't have the time and the patience and the energy no more.
But I used to do a lot of that early an.¬† I don't know if so much for tactical reasons, but more for just pleasure and looking at my own technique, seeing if I have to adjust anything.¬† Because the TV sort of gives you a good idea of ‑‑ maybe you see something you just don't like and it also feels awkward.¬† Then maybe you can adjust that.
So since my technique is in place, tactically it's all more in my mind, you know.  But it is true that when you haven't played someone for a long time it gets tricky.  But then again, you know, four games in the match you remember like it was yesterday.
So it really comes back quickly, especially against players like, I don't know, let's say Hewitt or Rafa or guys like that who play sort of from the baseline always pretty much the same.

Q.  To those player who lost to you have to you so many time in a row, do you feel maybe a little bit sorry for them for losing again, again, again?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, feel bad?  Not really.  I know they've given themselves so many opportunities and they've had, most likely, a great career themselves.  Because those who I've played 10 to 15 or 20 times, they've probably been around for a very long time and have actually played at a very high level.
But it is true that today at the coin toss I was thinking of it.  I have a great head to head against him.  But then I was thinking, Oh, I think he really wants to beat me today.  That was going through my mind than actually feeling sorry for the guy.
Yeah, so ‑‑ yeah, that's how I feel.¬† (Smiling.)

Q.¬† For the first time in this tournament you will play against a player with a two‑handed backhand.
ROGER FEDERER:  Crazy, right?  (Laughing.)

Q.  Do you have to make any adjustments?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, no.  Ah, maybe on the second serve potentially.  I anyway mix up my second serve all over the place:  forehand, volley, you know, kick, slice, backhand, whatever.
So, no, I don't think a whole a lot adjustments.¬† I mean, Tsonga to some degree plays like a one‑hander; whereas Del Potro has a very solid double hander.
So obviously that changes sort of the dimension of the point.  He might want some longer rallies.  I don't know how possible that is on this surface, because one goes hard, next one probably comes back harder, and eventually gets so hard that it's hard to control.
And the moment you want to sort of slow it down a bit, you know, you often mishit it or you just sort of bump it in the middle and the other guy takes an even bigger crack at the ball.
So it's first‑strike tennis here.¬† They're some of the best players in the game who can smack the ball from mid‑court ‑ and they both have an amazing first serve ‑ so going to be a tough match regardless who I'm going to play.

Q.¬† It's well‑known that you're not Hawk‑Eyes greatest fan.¬† I don't know whether you're aware, but in the earlier match between Murray and Berdych, there was quite a contentious point where the serve by the line judge was called long, and then Hawk‑Eye overruled it and the umpire didn't say replay the point and he gave the point to Murray.¬† It did take away break point from Berdych when Murray was serving for the match.
ROGER FEDERER:  Okay, I didn't see it.  But, yeah.

Q.¬† Do you think there an a woolliness about the whole Hawk‑Eye rules at the moment?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I mean, not at the moment.¬† There is always going to be those close calls like we saw in Australia with Isner and Nalbandian where maybe the one takes too much time or there is poor judgment by the umpire or those funky plays where ‑ you have them on clay, too, without Hawk‑Eye, by the way‑‑¬† where there is an out call, the other guy just sort of touches it on the racquet without the call.¬† Was the call during the hit?¬† Just before?¬† Just after?
It's tough for the players and for the umpires.  It's a judgment call sometimes.  So you just go with what the umpire says.
I mean, in soccer, let's say, the umpire has all the control.¬† In tennis he really doesn't have that much control.¬† So I think it's good the way it is with us, you know, that we basically have all the control with Hawk‑Eye. ¬†And then occasionally you'll have something like that happened today that I didn't see.
So I don't think...

Q.  There was a question of whether the point should have been replayed.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  It's a judgment call, I guess.  Are they going to make mistakes once in a while?  I guess so, you know.  Obviously it hurts when it happens on such a big point it seems like.  It's happened to me before, you know.
It's like I remember once at the French I think it was.¬† Big point in the quarters.¬† I don't know.¬† I run up and I think I hit it.¬† It was either a dropshot or‑‑ I think it was out, but I'm running from full speed.¬† I tried to hit it.¬† I'm hitting it, I'm looking at it, I think, Out, whatever.
Then he's at the net, so it goes bing, bing like a flipper, and he goes, Oh, it's too late.  But were my opponent to have stood back I would have had the time to challenge, you know.
This is where I sometimes disagree or agree.¬† It just makes it very difficult.¬† The Hawk‑Eye kind of plays into that.¬† But we have few problems because of it, which is a good thing.
What I liked without Hawk‑Eye is just the players challenging the umpires more often.¬† The umpires had to be very aware.¬† People today don't lose any energy over arguing with umpires anymore, which back in the day we used to.¬† I think also their mental strength came into play more often.
Now you just move from point to point to point so you don ' see that much character anymore.  That's kind of what I miss, because I just felt it was going to even out eventually throughout your career with all the good and bad calls.
But I get the point of Hawk‑Eye.

Q.¬† Do you think spectators preferred it when the players had arguments with umpires and there was no Hawk‑Eye?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Maybe 50/50.¬† I mean, I think some fans who have never seen Hawk‑Eye think it's amazing to see how accurate or inaccurate, whatever, it can be.¬† I mean, I believe it's pretty accurate.¬† (Smiling.)
So I see fans liking that, but then those are maybe the ones who don't remember the arguments back in the day with the umpires, which was the booing starting, fans getting behind you or against you.  I mean, those were the good days, too, sometimes.
I mean, you can still do it, but for what reason?

Q.  This week you have more than ten million fans followers on your Facebook.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes.  More than Switzerland has people.  (Laughing.)

Q.  (Indiscernible.)
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  I mean, I don't know if the ten million are on live score or watching my match, but I definitely feel great support by my followers and social network, how they're into it.
My website has been up and running since a long time.  They've been really so supportive of me since such a long time, and always present in the stadium and showing their colors and support.  And obviously I guess on Facebook or other websites and so forth I know that I also have a lot of the support.
So I try to be as good as I can with information.  I don't like to post too much sometimes.  I liked to do it when I think it's the right time.  So far, there's not too much complaint.  I guess you can always give more, but then it eventually maybe gets a bit silly if you post too much stuff.
I try to do what I feel is natural, and so far it's been fun.  It's got to be fun for me and not a must otherwise I wouldn't be doing it, I don't think.

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