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July 6, 2012
R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6‑3, 3‑6, 6‑4, 6‑4
THE MODERATOR:¬† Questions, please.
Q.¬† I want to know about how this affects your confidence maybe moving forward?¬† And also, what does this tell you about your game, where you're at, from being still one of the elite players on the planet?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, I've played a lot of tennis lately.¬† I'm maybe the guy with most matches played this year, so it's not like I've been on the sideline.¬† I think that helps, you know, building confidence and momentum really.
Obviously you want it to pay off in the big matches against the best of the players.¬† Didn't happen for me in Paris unfortunately, but it was a tough tournament overall for me.
Then it's nice that, you know, it worked today.¬† Obviously I'd love to win the title.¬† I have one more match to go.¬† I'm aware of that.¬† Still it's always nice beating someone like Novak, who has done so well here last year, the last couple years.
We've never played on grass.¬† It was obviously a big occasion.¬† These matches only help my confidence.¬† I hope I can use it then for the finals.
Q.¬† I can't imagine you felt you had anything left to prove about your career at this point on this stage.¬† I'm wondering, did you feel when you walked onto court, was there a statement you wanted to make, a point you wanted to make with your play?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, not really.¬† All I hoped for was a good match from me, to be quite honest, to give myself a chance to be in the finals, have a shot at the trophy again really.¬† I missed being in the finals here the last couple years obviously.
It was big news when I lost to Berdych a few years ago.¬† Not that I started doubting myself after last year's quarterfinals, but I played so well in that quarterfinal against Tsonga it was a hard one to sort of accept to lose.¬† But Jo did great.¬† You have to wait another year for your chance, and now I am finally back in that final.
So it's great.¬† That's what my goal was going into the match, not looking ahead of trying to prove a point or anything like that.¬† Because I felt like I've played, like you said, plenty of tennis over the years and had so much success that I don't think I really need to do that.
Q.¬† What was the difference?¬† Was there a single thing you felt was the tipping point in the match?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, I think the surface obviously does make our match quite different, to be quite honest.¬† We barely had rallies in the first couple of sets, which was surprising for me to see, as well.¬† We did a lot of first‑strike tennis; a lot of service winners out there.
That obviously changes momentum of the match.¬† Doesn't make it maybe as physical.¬† It's more explosive.¬† Maybe a touch unpredictable. ¬†I thought when I missed my chance early on in the third I might pay for it dearly.¬† Almost did towards the end of the third set when he had breakpoints.
So I think overall the surface made the match play differently and potentially in my favor.¬† I was able to be very aggressive, particularly once I did get into the third set where I thought we both played our very best.
Now looking back, that was obviously the key to the match.
Q.¬† What were your thoughts before the match about the roof being closed?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Uhm, honestly I tried not to think too much about it.¬† I spoke about it with my coaches.¬† I asked them is it better for me or not.¬† Nobody knew (smiling).
I mean, now I guess it was.¬† Who knows.
But it's really the things ‑‑ like now for the Murray and Tsonga match I didn't know it was open.¬† They barely knew 10 minutes before the match.¬† You just go through it.¬† There's another rain delay, you wait it out.¬† It's just what we do as tennis players.¬† We adjust at the very moment.¬† It was the same again today.
Q.¬† How would you describe what Pete Sampras' record and legacy mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, everybody knows what a hero he is to me and how much I admire what he's been able to achieve in tennis.¬† I mean, I don't think he ever lost a Grand Slam final here at Wimbledon.¬† He won seven out of seven, which is just incredible, particularly in the times he played against all these big servers, when things were a bit more unpredictable, let's say.
So I'm very proud to have a shot of equaling Pete, but right now the focus is obviously resting and preparing for the next match.
Q.¬† His example, how he achieved it, how has that affected the way you've approached your career and your play at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, I particularly remember obviously the end of his career, because before that I was honestly following more Becker and Edberg.¬† But I admired, you know, how he stuck around, how he tried to win maybe one more, maybe two more.
Obviously was a big surprise and a shock that I was able to break his five Wimbledons in a row here.¬† I went on to do it myself.¬† It was quite odd actually.
But for me it was an inspiration for sure, as well, you know, to see somebody while I was coming up dominating the game and breaking the all‑time Grand Slam record.¬† I'm sure that inspired me in some ways.
Q.¬† Can you talk about your two prospective opponents in the finals.¬† Andy's record in Grand Slam finals is consistent but not great.¬† Is that a source of hoe for you?¬† And Tsonga, presumably you have unfinished business with him at Wimbledon after last year.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I've played him many times since.¬† I lost to him in Montr√©al after that, then beat him at the Open, and then beat him I think three straight times in two weeks at the end of the year.
So we've played many times since, which I think helps me, to be quite honest, because I was still affected by that loss, I do believe, in Montr√©al, because he came out and, again, played amazing.¬† I know he can do it again.¬† That's why I also respect Jo in a big way.
And then against Andy, obviously I have I think a losing record against him.
Q.¬† Not in finals.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Okay, fine.¬† That's something for you to talk about.¬† But for me I know how good Andy is.¬† Finals are or finals, I've had my tough losses with him as well.¬† I remember the losses I had against him, in the finals particularly in Shanghai where he crushed me, and in Toronto I believe it was.
I had a good win against him in Dubai which was on a quick court.¬† Honestly, we haven't played much in the last couple of years because of us being ranked 3 or 4 for sometime now.¬† We always ended up in Novak or Rafa's hands and one would win but not both usually, so then we wouldn't see each other very often.
But if I do play Andy it's quite interesting, because we haven't played each other very often lately.
Q.¬† Having just beaten the defending champion in a high‑caliber match, do you have to build yourself up again for the final and guard against any complacency?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† No, not for me.¬† I'm aware that the tournament's not over yet.¬† I didn't break down crying and fell to my knees and thought the tournament is over and I achieved everything I ever wanted. (Laughter.)
Honestly, it happens faster than you think it does.¬† Then all of a sudden you come out the next match and you're not the same anymore because you're emotionally too drained already and you think it's been a great tournament.
I know it's been a great tournament, but we'll assess that once the tournament is over.¬† Right now I want to try to play the best possible final I can.
Q.¬† You said before that nobody told you if the court was in your favor or not with the roof.¬† But do you hope the final will be played with the roof or not depending on your opponent?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Outdoors, I hope.¬† That's what it's supposed to be here.
Q.¬† How do you explain the fact that the first two sets, the serve was dominating the match, and then suddenly you start to play a lot of rallies which you were losing?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, we didn't have that many long rallies in the first couple of sets.¬† It's always hard to find rhythm maybe, let's be honest.¬† Well, I mean, it's hard to fire bullets the whole time, so you try to also find some range.¬† If he tees off first, it's hard to defend obviously.
It is grass, after all.¬† It's just not as easy to take that many balls out and, you know, come up with amazing shots time and time again.¬† That's why I kept on attacking ‑ particularly I started to return much better as the match went on ‑ because I played a decent first set in return.
In the second set I wasn't very happy and I tried to take some adjustments, particularly on the second serve, and all those things worked really well.¬† Then I was able to be the aggressor once I got into the baseline rallies, which wasn't the case in that second set, for instance, and maybe a little bit of the first set, too.
Q.¬† The crowd clearly wanted you to win today.¬† Who would you rather face in the final?¬† If it is Andy Murray, do you think the crowd will be as supportive on Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I thought it actually was very respectful towards both players today.¬† That's the feeling I got, particularly the first set, first couple of sets.¬† I don't want to say there was that much to cheer about, but the points were awfully short.
The guy that had the break was in control.¬† There wasn't that nail‑biter feeling quite yet.¬† That started to come along in the third and fourth set, I thought.¬† But I did feel big crowd support towards the end.¬† You felt like they really wanted me to win, which is obviously a nice feeling.
Now for the finals, of course I'd love to play Murray.¬† I always say in whatever country I am I like to play the local hero, I kind of call them, and Andy is exactly that here at Wimbledon.
So I hope the match comes along, even though I like Jo very much.¬† Here it would be very special playing against him.
I don't know.¬† I hope I have some crowd support, but it's not the very most important thing right now.
Q.¬† What is your biggest challenge going into this match, considering you've been here so many times before?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Uhm, I mean, I wasn't nervous at all today before the match.¬† I was almost a bit surprised I wasn't more nervous.
But then again, I think that's good sometimes.¬† That means I'm in a good place mentally.¬† And you got to be that for the finals, as well.
Of course, there's a lot on the line for me.¬† I'm not denying that.¬† I have a lot of pressure, as well.¬† I'm looking forward to that.¬† That's what I work hard for.¬† I've worked extremely hard since I lost that match point against Novak last year at the US Open.¬† My run has been extremely good.¬† Now I have a chance at world No.1, at the title again all at once.
So it's a big match for me and I hope I can keep my nerves.¬† I'm sure I can.¬† Then hopefully win the match.¬† But we'll see about that.
Q.¬† You spoke a moment ago about Andy being the local hero.¬† What have been your observations over the years on the weight of Murray mania and the country's attention to this tournament and this player?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, it reminds me a little bit of Australia maybe because you don't have the amount of players you do have from, say, from France or from America.¬† So the focus is more on one player or maybe a couple.
So I think this is what is so particular here in this country is that there's so much attention on that one player, which is Andy Murray.¬† Let's be happy that he's such a great player that he lets that sort of hype last because he always remains in the tournament for so long.¬† I think that's what's particular about it.
He's only going to get better as time goes by.¬† That's what he's been proving.¬† It's going to be interesting to see if he's going to make it to the finals.¬† I'd love it, you know.¬† Yeah, so I think he's actually handled it very well from what I've seen from afar.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports