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June 27, 2012

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/F. Fognini
6‑1, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Fognini, he was sort of frustrated.  Did you notice that?  Did you feel he didn't think in his possibilities?
ROGER FEDERER:  I thought he tried hard, to be quite honest.  Obviously grass court, it's hard to get into the match when you're down.  I was serving well.  You're not going to get many chances throughout a set maybe against me when I'm serving well like that and able to vary with my serve.
So obviously it's frustrating and you're trying, but even as hard as you try, sometimes you don't really get into it, right?¬† That's grass‑court tennis.
You have to be extremely patient and really focus on your own service games, focus on what you can control.¬† I guess maybe this is where maybe a little bit‑‑ I don't consider him a clay‑court player, but on clay, if you do play well, you will get your chances; whereas on grass it's not automatically the case.
He was down in the score quickly.  After that things get a bit complicated.  I didn't think it was that easy of a match maybe.  Really tried to focus hard and made sure I played sort of a clean match, which I was able to do again today.

Q.  You and Fognini both play at a fast pace.  Do you like that at a player, and do you think it's more enjoyable for fans?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's more enjoyable for fans.  For me, at the end of the day it doesn't matter that much.  I have to be able to play fast pace and then also slow.  Obviously you can vary that as you go along.  I think it's nice to speed it up a bit and not go on the end of the 20, 25 second rule that we are allowed to use.
Then also the same between first and second serves, going to towels, picking up balls, all these things, it's a bit of a waste sometimes I find.  I try to speed up as much as I can without losing focus.
Because to be quite honest, sometimes when you do play faster between points you sometimes do lose your focus as well.  I get the idea of taking your time, honestly.

Q.  You played on both show courts now.  Can you talk about what the conditions are like?  Mardy Fish said the balls are very heavy.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I think it depends a bit who you play and what day you play potentially.¬† Obviously my matches now were a bit more straightforward in terms of the scoreline.¬† Sort of I felt now that‑‑ I don't know, I served 13 aces today.¬† I felt like it's pretty fast out there.¬† Then again, if you're down in the score you feel like you can't hit a winner.¬† So it, I guess, depends on how the matches are played.
I was watching Roddick play yesterday, and he really struggled to get the serve going against Baker.  I think for me it's been the same throughout the last few years now.  This doesn't feel any different this year.

Q.  Speaking of Roddick, it takes a lot to keep coming back to a place where you've experienced a lot of disappointment.  Do you think it's hard as a player to come back to a place where you've been close, haven't been over the hump, or do you think it's more emboldening?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's more of the way you look at it.  I'm surprised you say it's only disappointment for him here.  Obviously he was so close, but then you can also turn it the other way and say this is where he's had the most success of any of the slams throughout his career.
I would think he comes back actually here with a good vibe and a good feeling.  That would be my way of looking at things.  Obviously things didn't always work out in the finals for him, and that can maybe mentally take its toll.  I don't think that's the way he looks at it.
He sees himself as the favorite, and when he enters this tournament I don't think he looks at the rankings, what he's able to do.  That would be my mindset anyway.  I hope it's his, too.

Q.  Do you have any sympathy for him?
ROGER FEDERER:  In terms of?

Q.  How close he's come.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Obviously, no, I mean, there's no doubt about it.¬† I was right there to shake hands with him after 16‑14, so you know it wasn't just all fun.¬† I mean, it was great for me but it was hard for him.
I knew it the moment he shanked forehand.  I knew this was a tough loss for him, and he deserved to win at least one of the ones he played against me.  He's obviously been close, and I hope one day he'll be able to make it here at Wimbledon.  Who knows, maybe this next couple of weeks.

Q.¬† Only three men withdrew before the tournament started this year, which is a big drop over the last five years.¬† Do you think the increased prize money for first‑round losers is factor in that?¬† Because it went up 25% for first‑round losers.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  Ask those guys.  Yeah, I mean, I really don't know.  I don't know the stats.  I don't know what goes through players' minds, when can you play, when can you not play.
For me as well, I've played very often not healthy, maybe a little ill, maybe a little injured here and there.¬† And particularly in a slam where you do get a day off, maybe could even rain‑out, you could get two, three days off, let's say, there's that dream or you believe in that luck that you might play the match and then come through some hell.
Maybe the other guy is not well either.  You win it and you come through, and next thing you know you have the best tournament you've ever played.  Obviously there's no good behind a guy showing up who knows he has no chance of coming through.

Q.¬† Do you think it's good that the money went up so much for the first‑round losers?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's important, if we do raise prize money, that we raise it across the board.  The last ten years it's been raised pretty much on the right side of the draw, not to the left.
So this spike was more to the left side of the draw, which I think is nice for those players who work hard throughout the years who don't get so much recognition.¬† Overall, they are professional tennis players, and they work extremely hard ‑ as hard as we do at the top, too.
I think it's fair that everybody gets an increase.

Q.  Gilles Simon has come out and said he doesn't agree with equal prize money at the slams.  Should it be talked about at the players council?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  Is this the first time I've heard this or is this an ongoing subject for years?  I mean, I don't know what to tell you.
I hope it doesn't become a big issue during Wimbledon.  It's obviously a debate that's out there ever since I guess the slams have made equal prize money.  There's nothing you can do anyway about it.
It's just a matter of who believes what, and then that is an endless debate.  So whatever you believe.

Q.  Probably nobody's played Rafa and Novak more than you.  Could you talk about their baseline games, their offense to defense, their weaponry?
ROGER FEDERER:  What do you want me to say?  Obviously Novak hits more flat.  Don't know if you recognized that yet.
Rafa is a lefty, so that changes things around a bit.
I think both do like to play from the backhand corner with their forehand obviously is their strength, even though their backhand is very consistent.
They return in very different ways, which makes them very different to play against.
They're some of the best, if not the best, movers out there in the game, but they do move differently to one another, which is very interesting as well.  It just goes to show how many different styles work on any different surface these days.
Like you say, I think they did turn defense into offense very quickly.  I think the transition game today is so much more important than it might have been in the past where great offense was enough or great defense was enough on clay, for instance.
Today, I think the way we all play, we need to be able to create transition very quickly from defense to offense, and both of very good at that.

Q.  How would you characterize the difference in their movement?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  Clay, I think they're very good, particularly Rafa.  I think he's the best.  Both slide with open stance on both sides, which was not seen before until maybe 10 or 15 years ago.  They're not the ones that created it, but they do it on a regular basis very consistently than on hard court.
On grass, I guess the left had, the flick hand at the end helps.  A great way of getting out of trouble and finding a good angle in a situation where you think they're out of the point.
So they're able to ‑ how do you say ‑ when the balance is not there, they still control their body and are able to flick it back and get back into the point, which is impressive.

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