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March 11, 2012

Roger Federer


6‑4, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Was that maybe the perfect start?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  I mean, look, I'm always relieved and happy when I am able to find my way into a tournament, see some of the matches, and, you know, where you're at, sort of.
So it's a good start for me.  I didn't know Kudla very much, or at all, really, so it was a good win for me.
I'm looking forward to what's next.

Q.  You must know Raonic a bit more.
ROGER FEDERER:  Little bit more.  Yeah, I've only practiced with him once at Wimbledon last year.  I have seen a little bit against Hewitt this year at the Australian Open, and he's obviously a good player and up and coming, and just had, again, a great run in the American hard courts, you know, early in the season.
So this is sort of the same area of the world, similar surface, and I expect it to be a very tough match, obviously.

Q.  There were some pictures and reports that you maybe hurt your arm in practice when you were practicing with Gasquet, or is it just nothing?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I just fell down.  But no, no problems at all.

Q.  No injury at all?

Q.  Have you been at all worried about the illness that's been going around, the players in the area, the virus?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I haven't hung around much at all, so worried, yes.  I guess everyone is, yes.  But, yeah, we're fighting something of our own in our family, so it doesn't matter where it's coming.

Q.  Someone with you has it, or...
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, we have tons of stuff going on at the moment.  (Laughter.)

Q.  Is it just a cold or is it a flu?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I have a bit of a combination.  Not terrible temperature, but I have some things going on.  But I'm best off from the family, so thank God I'm the tennis player here.
No, the rest of them are struggling much more.

Q.  With you and Rafa and Novak, Andy, and a lot of other outstanding players in the men's game at the moment, if you think back, would you consider this to be "the" greatest or one of "the" greatest eras of men's tennis?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  Just because that's not up to me to call that shot, anyway.  Two years ago we had a not very strong era, so now all of a sudden it's supposed to be the strongest.
I'm always gonna disagree with journalists who never thought it was ‑ except the top two ‑ it was a weak era back then and now all of a sudden they think it's a great one.
I always thought Novak and Andy and so many players are great, great players.  But it's just an opinion anyway from people.  I mean, I am amazed how deep we go in every tournament, the four of us, since a long time now.  That's what I've been most amazed of.
But then again, the surface sort of allows us to do that, too.  It's just a different time.  And we're very good players, but like I said, it's a different time back then, so can't compare.

Q.  You get Raonic in the next round, whom I gather you have not played previously.  When you're playing a guy for the first time, do you try to give it that little bit extra in order to impress upon him how masterful you are?
ROGER FEDERER:  How?  Match?  What?

Q.  Masterful you are.
ROGER FEDERER:  Oh, no.  I mean, look, he's obviously got a good serve, so there is not that much you can do on his serve.  Let's say against a guy maybe, you know, who allows you to play much more from the baseline you can come into a match and maybe impress a bit more by playing really aggressive.
But your focus serve with my own serve, not to make any mistakes there, and then try your best on his serve.  But that's because he's known for his big serve and his big sort of one‑two punch.
Against a guy like this you're obviously going to try to make it as athletic as possible.  I'm looking forward to that match.  He's a good player.  Sometimes you can help and some it cannot help to never have played a guy before.

Q.  Robin Soderling is struggling to get back from fitness.  It's somethingthat you know about from suffering from the same thing.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, not so bad.

Q.  Have you reached out to him, or is there anything that you can say about his condition?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I mean, we're just hearing stuff, really.  I have never been that close to Robin.  You know, sort of reaching out, I don't have his number and so forth.
But it's terrible news always when you see him not coming back, not feeling well, rumors going around like with Del Potro that these guys were never going to come back.  One has a mental problem and the other guy has a big, massive health issue.
You don't know what's really true until you hear it from him.  My hope for these guys like this is they can come back and be as good as they were before, but it's always going to throw you back a bit, in particular when you've been out for so long like Robin has now.
Yeah, because I don't think he's probably carrying around a whole lot of pain so you feel like it's possible to come back but then every time you try you don't feel well, and it's a tough illness to have, I guess.  Yeah, let's hope for the best for Robin.

Q.  Tennis is such an individual sport.  It's so mental.  You're basically out there with your strokes and in your head.  In big matches, say, when you're struggling, what goes through your head?  Do your thoughts race?  Do you stay calm?  Do you get angry at yourself?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I guess it depends upon where you're at in your career.  Depends upon where you are in your season potentially, because you could be ‑‑ when you're down and you're confident, you don't, you know, panic as much.
But if things are already going not so well and then you're down again in the score you might get nervous about the situation.  So depends a bit how things have gone lately.
But then I guess with experience also you just know you have to stay, you know, your course.  You have to keep working hard and not just completely change up your game just because you're down in the score.
Sometimes the score doesn't tell the whole story.  As you know, five minutes can make a massive difference in tennis, and you don't have to play particularly bad.  You just get unlucky or things just kinda don't work out for you and you're down in the score.
So it's important to stay calm and focused on what you've been doing and what you want to do.  It's not an easy thing to do sometimes.  But, I don't know, you get the idea.  Sometimes depends obviously on how the opponent allows you to come back in the match or not.

Q.  Can you think of a particularly mentally strong performance you have had, and maybe a weak one?
ROGER FEDERER:  I have had many in both ways, I'm sure.  One that stands out is, I guess, the one in Miami where I came back from two sets to love and a break down against Rafa.  I just thought that was a really difficult situation for me to come through, and at the end I played some of the best tennis in the fifth set.
So that one for me was a major match, sort of breakthrough almost, because I really struggled throughout the match and found a way.  Those are the nicest ones to come through.

Q.  You won the French Open, but if you have to choose one just one moment, what is your best moment in Paris?
ROGER FEDERER:  In Paris?  At Roland Garros?
Hmm.  I don't know.  So victory is not the one I can choose?

Q.  Just a big moment.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I guess it's after match point when I go to my knees.  It's when it sunk in and it's reality and it's not just this incredible title I'm chasing anymore.  It's done.  I got it, you know.
Obviously you probably know as well as I do, you know, the great tournaments I played before that and how difficult that particular tournament was in 2009.  So to come through all those matches with Del Potro and Tommy Haas and so forth, it was just an amazing victory for me against Soderling in the rain.  So it was great.

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