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July 4, 2012

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/M. Youzhny
6‑1, 6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  It looked very routine again for you.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes.  I have a good matchup I guess with Youzhny for some reason, because he is a good player and makes it hard normally for players.  I had a tough one with him here last year.
I'm obviously excited about this result here today.

Q.¬† When you have such a good head‑to‑head record against someone, does it help you going into the match?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, obviously I think it helps, particularly when you've never lost against someone or you have such a one‑sided head‑to‑head.
You feel that maybe it's up to him to change things up a bit.  You just do what usually works against him; if it doesn't, then you just adjust to it.
Then again, every match is different.  I don't take these matches easy.  I prepare for them like I do for any other big match.
Today things worked out great for me, so I'm very happy.  Yeah, it was nice to play with the roof open.  It was a great match for me.  I played aggressive and served well again.
I'm really pleased with my performance today.

Q.  Your 27th matchup with Novak but your first on grass.  What are your thoughts ahead of that game?  What in his game do you think you need to watch out for on grass?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, obviously things are not that drastic of a change anymore from clay, hard court, indoor, to grass.  But it is interesting that this is our first grass court match.  I'm looking forward to it.  I haven't put too much thought into it, to be quite honest yet.
I'm just happy that I'm around further than I've been the last couple years.  So it's been a good tournament so far for me.  I'm happy I'm feeling good again.  It gives me confidence going into a big match against Novak.
I'll give a thought now today, tomorrow, and the next day then how to play him on grass.

Q.  What has struck you most that he's improved on to be so competitive with you and to take recent matches?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I think it's consistency, you know, just across the board, I think.  He used to maybe have a bit of, you know, a match where he wouldn't play so well at times or lose early in a tournament for, you know, some reason.
He also had some health issues early on with his breathing I thought.  Little things like that obviously play a role, you know, in the everyday grind on tour.
So I think he's been able to put a lot of these things aside, and he seems a very complete and happy player out there right now.  I think all these little things create quite something at the very top, I think.

Q.  When you've had him on the edge in some matches, how would you describe his ability to come back even from being almost out?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Uhm, well, he's always been the same.¬† He's been very good and very dangerous, you know, from the first time I ever played him in Monaco ‑ I played three sets against him ‑ until today.¬† It's been 27 times; it's been a lot of matches over the years.
I don't feel that any match is over against a top player like Novak is.¬† With his ability of his shot‑making, you know the match is never over until the umpire calls the score.

Q.  What is the personal relationship like given a few years ago you made some forceful comments about him from Davis Cup?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I thought that was more brought up by you guys.  Not that you guys are to blame, but you guys like to put something between the top players.
I was just upset at him calling the trainer out for no obvious reason against my buddy, Stan, in a five‑setter.¬† That was it.¬† We had a quick chat about it in Madrid after that, and things are cool since a long time between me and him.¬† I've always respected him.¬† Have I gone out for dinner with him?¬† No.
But had many meetings with him at the council, and then now with the Grand Slams.  He's been nice to work with.  You know, we've met on several occasions because of other things together.
Yeah, I have no issues with him, and I hope you believe me.

Q.  You had some treatments in your previous round, but there didn't seem to be any recurrence of it today.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I'm happy that things were fine out there today.  Like you mentioned, today I didn't have to call the trainer.  It was straightforward.  I could focus on tennis again, on tactics I wanted to play, instead of focusing on, you know, how to manage little issues or big issues, whatever you want to call them.
So for me it was a good match and I'm happy where I am right now.  My back is holding up.

Q.  Do you still require treatment between rounds?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, regardless how my body is.  I think every player goes and gets treatment multiple times a day almost (smiling).

Q.  Athletes focus on one match at a time.  We're now getting down to the business end, two matches to go.  What would it feel like to win here?
ROGER FEDERER:  Obviously it's a big deal.  No denying.  Obviously it feels great being back in the semis, like I mentioned.  Haven't been here in the last couple years.  So this is nice to be back to a place where I've been so many times before.
Usually once I get to the semis, I'm playing some of my best tennis usually for the last couple rounds.  Obviously I'm aware that Novak is the defending champion and the world No.1.  That's not going to make it easy to come through.
That's the focus now instead of taking it two steps at a time where I know I'm holding the trophy.  I know it's possible.  I know I'm playing really well.  I am aware things are going to get complicated in the next match.  I better prepare well, because it's going to be a tough match.

Q.  You feel your game is trending in the right direction?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes.  I've been playing well for a year now.  I've been playing well for many months.  I'm happy that going ahead into the semis I'm not tired, I'm not injured, I'm not anything.  I'm fresh and ready to go.  That's how I want to feel before a semis.
It's been a better tournament than in Paris for me anyway.  In Paris I struggled all the way through, which I think here I did have some great matches like the last one.

Q.  Mikhail appealed to the Royal Box for some advice at one point.  What advice might you have given to your opponent?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think he was talking to Andre Agassi actually.  That's what Andre told me afterwards.  I did see him afterwards.  It's nice to see some legends coming back to follow us.
Anyway, just jokes.  Mikhail is a great guy.  He's always a great fight out there.  You could see it with his outbursts, trying to get some energy going and just getting pumped up a bit, you know.
Then at times when things are not going so well, you know, he takes it easy, too, which is great to see.
Yeah, we got along very well.  It was pretty funny, you know, him speaking to the Royal Box, I thought.

Q.  You go out there with a game plan knowing there are certain things you can go on grass which you can't do on other surfaces or things you can't do?
ROGER FEDERER:  Absolutely.  Obviously, it's much harder to defend on grass, you know, time and time again than on any other surface, you know.  But it's hard to set up sometimes.
Yes, it's unusual, you know, maybe the ball coming flatter at you and then sort of playing it up a bit, but also going flat through the courts your playing little with margins.  We're used to playing with much more topspin and giving ourselves margin over the net, but then also into the court at the back.
Whereas on grass I think it's worth it to go closer to the lines, use a lot of the down‑the‑line shots, which aren't easier to pull off on other surfaces.
It's a question of confidence and a question of playing a lot of tennis on grass over the years for me.  I think I've played over 100 matches on grass now, so I know how it works.
But it is obviously slowing down, like you said.  But I still believe the aggressive player can be rewarded if he plays the right way.

Q.  Considering that Novak won here last year but you've won here so many times, does one have a mental edge over the other on Centre Court?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not sure.  Obviously it helps that he won the last couple against me.  Again, it is our first grass court match.  We don't know quite what to expect.  I feel it's a bit of an even ground.  You have to ask him.  I feel good about the match.  I'm excited.

Q.  You always seem so in control of your emotions, so collected.  We're all human.  What makes you angry, tennis or otherwise?  What is your pet hate?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not so much off the court.  I'm pretty relaxed, you know.  On the court, I don't know, missing 15 forehands in a row would get me upset, but I still don't think I would crush a racquet any more these days.  Who knows, maybe one day it will happen again.  I hope it's not going to happen.
It's true, there needs a lot to go wrong for me to lose my temper.  Maybe I am the way I am today because I used to be completely nuts on the tennis court before.  So I was able to turn that around and now, yeah, I know it's just a tennis match.

Q.  You're a machine then?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I'm not at all.

Q.  You mentioned the Royal Box.  Does that make it rather a special occasion having that there compared to other places?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, very much so.  I really actually do enjoy seeing legends coming out, follow today's game of tennis.  Royals coming out, I think it's inspiring, too, in some ways, believe it or not.  It's great for the event.  It's great for Wimbledon.  It's great for the club.  It's great for the players.
It's just nice to see that the Royal Box is always full, as well.  It's not ever empty for us.  And if it is, you know they're going to come back shortly.  They're not here just to drink champagne and tea in the back.  They really do come for the tennis.  We feel that on Centre Court, and I do feel that.  That's probably one of the reasons why I play well on Centre Court.

Q.  Will you happily sit there one day?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  First I'll have to get an invitation and then we'll see.

Q.  Did you meet William and Kate after the match and what they might have said to you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, I did meet them.  I met Kate for the first time.  William I've met again after Australia.  They were very nice, very friendly.  I was very happy to meet them.
Yeah, had a bit of a chat.  What exactly, it's not so important I don't think.  But it was a nice conversation.

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