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June 25, 2012

Roger Federer


6‑1, 6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You got a chance to work on your serve and volley a lot today.  How did it feel?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I was able to do that a bit more than I thought I could.  I was happy with the way things progressed during the match.  I was able to return well, almost break him every single time.
It was a good match for me, obviously.  I felt very good out there today.

Q.  The serve and volley, is that a case of experimenting because of the score?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† It was a little bit.¬† Obviously being up a double break very often or at least a break, up 30‑Love on your serve, you don't feel any pressure doing it.¬† It's rare to be up in the scoreline like today on a regular basis.¬† It is maybe why it is a good time to try it out.
Then you can use it in tougher moments, difficult moments, to throw your opponents off.  Who knows if I'll need it down the stretch.  We'll see.

Q.  It's a balance, isn't it, between how well the returner returns and the height of the bunts?  What goes into your decision to serve and volley?
ROGER FEDERER:  I guess it's the placement on the serve.  Very often today if you don't hit the serve close to the line you know you're going to get it back at your feet, let's say, or back deep if you're staying back just because the time of the players is too good.  Their reaction is very good.
Then I guess the court is too smooth really to miss‑hit it.¬† You know, with the racquet size and the strings and everything you just have more security on the return.
That makes it maybe a bit more difficult to serve and volley, but it's about getting used to it up there a bit, the movements, to read it, how the ball is coming at you, how to cover.  It's just that we don't spend enough time up there that it's at times a bit awkward at net.

Q.  Would you comment about your friend Tiger Woods who had a couple good days at the U.S. Open and then fell off.  Can you talk about his performance and the challenge there.
ROGER FEDERER:  Didn't see one day, one minute of it, so I guess I cannot comment on it.
But obviously, yeah, you try to start strong and finish even better.¬† Obviously the finishes are key, but the start can help you.¬† Obviously over the four‑day period that they play and the two weeks that we play, you can't compare it.
He knows how it's done.  Same for me.  Same for all the other great champions out there in sports.  Of course, other opponents, other athletes, have their say, as well.  It's not always about yourself.

Q.  How would you compare the racquet you play with now with the racquet you played with here as a junior in terms of the quality of the strings, the tension, the graphite, all that stuff?  How different would it be?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, it's somewhat different, obviously.¬† It was a smaller racquet head.¬† I guess it was a 98‑‑ sorry, 85 I was using back then that Pete and Edberg and maybe even Jim Courier, I'm not sure, were using.
Then in 2002 I changed to the bigger racquet head size.  I worked a lot with Wilson to give me just a little bit bigger racquet head really.
At the same time I did change the strings, and then we went through minor changes the last ten years.  It's been obviously a bit of an evolution, my racquet as well, over the years.
But I'm happy I could always rely on them.  They've been very easy and great to work with, and themselves very open for me to change to anything really.  Whatever I wanted to test, they would provide.  It was the best stuff.  That's been helpful, too, because I'm not stuck in one particular direction.
I think it's important to stay open.  Even though it is hard to change racquets in a big way, but I do still test along the way over the last years.

Q.  You have won here many times.  Is it still special for you, the moment you walk in?
ROGER FEDERER:  Sure.  Absolutely special, because you do realize the moment you walk onto the court that it is a different place here than any other.  Just the respectful clap, no music.  The whole thing is very much focused on the players and on the sport, which is beautiful.
Today obviously the court played perfectly.¬† It was virtually brand‑new in terms of the way the grass was.¬† That felt special in its own way.¬† I love playing on Monday.¬† We had a great atmosphere on Court1.

Q.  When you think about the last several years, the domination of the slams of you three guys, what do you think have been the biggest factors for that domination?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I guess mental, physical, and talent, putting those three things together.  It is incredible to what degree we have been able to not only win the slams, but also in the Masters 1000s.
I think you can include Andy Murray to those as well obviously because he's won a ton of those.  It seems like it's really hard for other players to break through really on a slam level or a Masters 1000 level.
It's interesting.¬† It gives great ‑ how shall I say ‑ it shows how solid we've been over the last years, how hard it is to break through, but how hard it is to stay at the top.
I put it down to hard work, talent, and again the mental and physical abilities to also win on poorer days.

Q.¬† You had not been on Court1 for a first‑round match here in a long time.¬† What was your reaction when you saw the schedule?
ROGER FEDERER:  I expected it.  Might not have the second round to Centre Court.  I figured if I won they would have to put me on Centre Court.  That's how I tried to understand the situation, but obviously I have no problems.
I tried to remember when was my first match on Court1 as a first round.  Maybe 2001 against Kafelnikov.  I'm not sure.  I don't mind it.

Q.  Were you surprised?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I actually expected it, to be quite honest.  You want to get to Centre Court.  If you make it down the stretch, you will get your Centre Court matches.  It was as nice on Court1 today.

Q.  I spoke before with Fognini, who is your next opponent.  You played him first time when he was a kid in Australia.  He said after that you became No.1 in the world.  What do you know about him?  What do you appreciate of him?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, I do remember the time we did practice together because I very often do practice with juniors coming through the rankings who are there in the second week.¬† So on the days off I practice with a lot of juniors, and then also maybe warming up for bigger matches.¬† They're around, they're excited, and so it's a win‑win situation for all of us.
I do remember him back then.  When they make it on tour, I'm very happy for them.  Not that I had anything to do with them, just that it's nice to see them again.  We had one match in Montréal.  He didn't have a very good match.  I beat him very comfortably.
I see he's very talented, a great shot‑maker.¬† That's why I was not very surprised he was able to beat Llodra today, which you would probably favor on a grass court.¬† He does have a lot of talent.
I thought I maybe I was going to play him in Davis Cup in Genoa, but they didn't play him then.  I played Bolelli and Starace I think it was.  Yeah, he's definitely got the talent to be a very tough opponent.  Better be ready for some good shots coming my way.

Q.  Can I ask you about our big home hope.  I don't think you played Andy since the final in Dubai.  Do you think he'll be there in the last kind of four?
ROGER FEDERER:  If he'll make it to the semis?

Q.  Yes.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I think he wants to first get through the first round, like all of us.¬† But absolutely.¬† I predict him to get there.¬† I haven't checked his draw.¬† Home‑court advantage, playing on grass, with his talent and his game, everything's right there for him.¬† It's up to him to make it happen.¬† I guess you always need a little bit of luck along the way.¬† Same for us.
Like every year, I'm very excited to see him play and get out there on Centre Court most likely every time and battle it out.
It's true, I haven't played Andy a whole lot the last couple years.  Obviously being ranked 3 and 4 for a while now, we didn't see each other that often in the draws.
I hope he does well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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