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June 23, 2012

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Roger, please.

Q.  What did you make of the draw when you saw it?  Looks to be favorable to you this year.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  It's always in the opinion of the ones who study the draws.
I think sometimes it's a good draw and the press says it's a bad draw and the other way around.
I think for the moment anyway, the top four, you know where they're going to be more or less.  The other four are very good players as well, so you know you're going to get one of those in the quarters.
Then maybe you can get a bit more fortunate with the lower‑ranked seeds if they're in your section or not depending on the surface.  Over all it's an even draw.  There are some great first rounds, which I'm very excited to watch.
For myself, obviously I got maybe a lot of lefties in my section of the draw, so that's what I'm going to start preparing on.  I've never played Ramos before, so I have to study or hear as well about what to expect from him.

Q.  At the present moment, what is more important for you:  to become No.1 again or win the gold medal?
ROGER FEDERER:  I guess trophies is what really gets you going.  No. 1 is a nice feeling every day when you wake up of, you know ‑ and into your day you think, okay, you're the best at something.  I've had that in the past and that felt great.
So obviously it's really titles that interest you the most at this moment.  They go hand‑in‑hand.  We're talking about the pinnacle of the sport.  When you can win a lot of titles obviously you're going to be high up in the rankings, and that's obviously important for seeding and so forth.
But I think it is really the titles that excite the players from day‑to‑day.

Q.  Raonic is one of the outsiders.  How close do you think he might be to a big breakthrough?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, could be very near.  Absolutely.  Never know.  Depends on the draws again here a little bit.  Obviously I guess you mean with a breakthrough, something at a Masters 1000 or a Grand Slam at this very moment, because he's proven himself in smaller tournaments and against some of the top players.
I think for him it's about stringing some wins together in a big tournament.  He's had some tough draws this year, I think.  A bit unfortunate at times.  Maybe should have won but lost.  I think that's normal at his age.  Still maybe looking at time for consistency, but I think he can go deep in almost in any slam.
Obviously with that serve anything is possible.  Then again, we know that many players do return well and serve well today, as well.  It's not that easy to come through.  But I give him good chances that this year something special can happen for him.

Q.  Now that you're in London, how would you describe a little bit about what the Olympics this year means to you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I haven't seen much of the Olympic buzz yet.  I haven't read the press.  I never do when I'm in London.  I was in the city once and I did see they were preparing a big square for the Olympics, which I'm sure is going to be amazing.
But it's really been all Wimbledon for me.  You know, just getting ready for this tournament.  Obviously we do say in the Village like so many of the other players.  That's really where the focus has been.
Olympics, I will tray to get into that spirit once this tournament is sort of over and I go back to Switzerland and start preparing.
Right now honestly it's just the Championships and not the Olympics quite yet.

Q.  Can you tell me what the Olympics have meant to you in your career?
ROGER FEDERER:  I just made the cut back in 2000.  I was still very young then.  I was only 18, 19.  I was obviously able to make the Olympics.  That was a big deal for me.
Ever since I've qualified, so it's amazing to me that this is already my fourth Olympics.  Always something special has happened at every Olympic Games I've taken part in, and obviously I learned a lot as well like living in the Village, carrying the flag, responsibilities, seeing huge press rooms, facing a lot of pressure, winning gold.
You name it, there were a lot of things that I was able to take away from the Olympic Games.  I hope it's going to be something similar this time.

Q.  Rafa and Novak have obviously played the last four Grand Slam finals.  Do you feel they have pulled away a little bit?  What you do need to do to fill the gap?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I think it's up to somebody else to break that mold.  I hope I can do that.  They've done amazing the last years, not just the last year or so.
Obviously Novak stood out the most because of his amazing streak last year, you know, him winning again in Australia and going for the Grand Slam, sort of the four in a row in Paris.
Obviously Rafa was able to defend his French Open title.  It wasn't a surprise, but it's always impressive to see Rafa do that.
So hopefully it's my time of the year now or someone else's.  Although I hope it's someone else's, because they are great for the game me.  If it is someone else, I hope it's me, of course.
It's exciting times ahead.  I fancy my chances here and at the US Open.  It's a exciting times ahead, but we'll see how it goes.  As long as they're No.1 and No.2, they face each other in the semis.  It's maybe a good thing for them; a hard thing for us.
At the same time, I'm very close of breaking that, and hopefully I can make a run here at Wimbledon and see how it goes.

Q.  What would a seventh championship at Wimbledon mean to you both in terms of that number, the history associated with it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, any one is a special one.  Doesn't matter if it was number five, number 2, number seventeen, or number seven here at Wimbledon.  So it's always particular.  You know, you spend a lot of time here.  Over a two‑, three‑week period a lot of things can go wrong or can go right for you.  If you come through, it's a beautiful feeling.
I am dreaming of the title.  There's no denying that.  But, of course, I've played two quarterfinals now the last couple years.  I want to do better.  I have to do better in this event because I could have gone further the last couple.  Maybe a bit unfortunate at times.  Maybe the other guys were just too good.  Maybe I wasn't quite at my best.  Who knows what the combination was.
But it's up to me to make that difference now and take it to the next step.  Then once hopefully I am there, I can reach for the title.  A seventh would be amazing.  I think that would be tying Pete, which I think would be absolutely fantastic obviously, you know, admiring Pete when I was younger.

Q.  Given your suggestion to Martina to come out of the retirement to play mixed doubles, was your wife offended?
ROGER FEDERER:  I've played mixed with I think three ladies:  Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis, and my wife.  I've been very fortunate when it comes to that.  She's never going to say, You never played mixed with me.
She was very excited when the idea came about that Hingis was a possibility because she used to practice a lot with Martina.  They like each other a lot.  Obviously she knew the talent of Martina.
I know it's a jokingly question, but it was serious, and my wife was more excited than anything else really.

Q.  Can you talk a bit about your preparation coming into Wimbledon?  Has your preparation this year been different at all?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I think every year is slightly different.  Obviously last year, for instance, I didn't play the grass court tournament in Halle.  Two years ago I did; three years ago I didn't, for instance.
Before that I think from that I played four or five years of preparation tournaments.  I came out of the French Open completely drained at times, so I had to rest almost for a week before even starting to practice here at Wimbledon.  Other years I came even after playing the French Open, Halle, I came here and I had a spring in my step.
This year things have been very good.  I haven't felt tired at all.  I felt good.  I've taken a couple of days off after Halle when we got here.  Been able to get the practices in even because of the rain.
I don't feel like I have to work on anything specific because I feel everything is working in my game.  Physically I have no lingering injuries.  I'm in a good spot right now.  Obviously every year does feel a bit different, but you have some sort of a routine once you get to Wimbledon, because it is very quiet to a degree because it's not the big city.  It's a small village.
But obviously then there is a lot of press and sponsorship and practice and treatment and things you want to do, so it ends up being a busy week leading into the Championships.

Q.  You spoke a moment ago about the quarterfinals and trying to improve.  How would you compare your confidence right now and your hunger right now with past years?
ROGER FEDERER:  My confidence is very good.  I've won very many tournaments, so many matches the last year or so that I feel perfect in this regard.  I'm not lacking matches.  I'm match fit.  I'm match tough right now.  I think that's also key going into a Grand Slam to be quite honest.
The hunger is obviously big.  I don't think I need to elaborate too much on that.  I've explained many times how hungry and motivated I am to be playing, playing at this high level, wanting to win the big tournaments.  This is obviously one of them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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