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July 30, 2012

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Benneteau
6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How does it feel out there?  What is the difference between a Grand Slam, a normal tour event, and exhibition?  How can you describe an Olympic crowd?  They gave you a standing ovation when you came on the court, didn't they?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not sure.  I didn't check.  It sounded very nice, at least.  Sounded like they were excited to see us play.  I had a good time on court.  I thought the atmosphere was good.
I think you can also tell when the weather's nicer they get more into it.  I really truly believe that.
Yeah, what else?  I thought the people here, the way the tickets have been distributed, I think they all feel very fortunate to maybe come see tennis.  Obviously there are many areas that are reserved for athletes or VIPs or athletes, so it's a bit of a different feel on Centre Court out there during Wimbledon where you feel every seat is taken at all times.  That takes some getting used to.
There are many differences, but it's a nice change and I'm really enjoying myself.

Q.  I'm from China.  The number one question, your backhand is very cool.  How do you train this?  Then between Olympic Games and your professional games, which is your favorite?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, it's nice to hear something good about my backhand because it hasn't always been like that.  I've worked very hard at it.  Thanks to many players on tour, my backhand has gotten very good over the years, I do believe.  You do play the weakness of your opponent.  That used to be clearly definitely my weakness at the beginning of my playing days as a pro.
This obviously is a bit of a change, like I mentioned, playing here at the Olympics than regular tournaments we do play.  But the organization is very good.  I really think it's working well now, whereas maybe the first couple of days we all had to get used to where you walk in, where do you go, where are you allowed to go.  Same things I think for the fans.  So now it's up and running, it seems like it's a great atmosphere out there.

Q.  In China, four years ago in the Beijing Olympics, there is a huge interest towards you.  Is it here a little more calmer than Beijing?  A lot of people around the world are saying you and Grigor are like Twins.  Will you agree to play with him in doubles in some tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  Maybe, yeah, sure, I'll play doubles with him maybe at some point.  I said the same with Nadal and I never played with him.  I still believe I have to play with Nadal first before I play with Dimitrov.
I've seen he had a good game.  I think he could have a great run here at the Olympics.  I think grass suits his game.  Hopefully he can do well over the years.  I'm sure we'll see each other plenty of times.
Now about the attention, it's hard to know, obviously.  British and Chinese are very different in personality.  The British do see me much more often.  I'm coming here for Wimbledon.  Now the World Tour Finals, as well.  Now the Olympics.  Whereas the Chinese, they're never sure when they can see you the next time.
It's maybe true the excitement is a bit bigger from Beijing four years ago.  That's purely maybe me showing up a bit more frequently here in England.

Q.  You and the other top players on tour have been talking about these Olympics for more than a year now.  Was that common?  Did that happen in 2007?  Or is it because of the venue?  Heather mentioned you were playing cards this morning.  What is your card game?
ROGER FEDERER:  What's the card game?  Very simple, so everybody can play who is around.  Can't be too sophisticated.  I don't know how to explain it.  It's very simple.  I can show you in five minutes and it works.
It's really that all my friends who come on tour can join in very quickly.  You don't have to be four to play it.  You can be three or eight, whatever.  It's very simple.  It's something we got sort of into a routine before matches because you kind of get into the same routine because it's most easiest to get ready for the matches.  You're relaxing a little bit before something serious like a tennis match.
Well, honestly, we've been asked a lot, as well.  It was a big deal for us when the bid was finally decided between I think it was Paris and London at the end.  For us it was either the French Open or Wimbledon.  It was a big deal for many of the players.
So, yeah, I mean, I guess just that combination between Wimbledon and the Olympics made it so special and unique.  Everybody knew that this is obviously a really, really big thing within the Olympics, having tennis at Wimbledon.  It can only increase the importance of it.  I'm happy to see that basically everyone's here.

Q.  What would it mean Olympic gold for you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Dream come true, I would say, because I definitely get inspired by the 1992 victory by Marc Rosset.  He won the Olympics.  That was huge news in Switzerland.  I definitely felt like I was inspired by that on an Olympic level.
Then I just remember following all the great Olympians for many years.  I also hoped one day I could take part in the Olympics.
So when I got the call in 200 to be part of the Sydney Olympics 12 years ago, I got there, I stayed in the village.  I was there for over two weeks.  I had the best time following sports, being there with the athletes, playing so well.  I almost overachieved in that tournament.
Ever since it's been something very important in my life.  I'm happy to be back here healthy and having a chance to do great.

Q.  If I could ask you to look ahead for a moment.  With this tournament wedged in here the way it is in the schedule, what do you think the impact is going to be on the US Open?  Will it be more unpredictable?  Will guys be running on fumes more than they would otherwise be?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't think so.  Points here are not too tough, I don't think.  I mean, well, tennis players don't usually take much vacation as far as I know.  So I don't think this changes a whole lot.  If people wouldn't have played the Olympics, they would have played something else.  I do believe everybody at the US Open will be fine.
It's more maybe Toronto and Cincinnati, it will be interesting to see how there players will feel.  Hope we're not going to see any injuries coming because of the surface change.  That's the stuff that I think all the players should be careful for.
I think for the Open, everybody will be in great shape, is my opinion.

Q.  How much change the spirit of the tournament from the colors and the T‑shirts?  Is your aim to win doubles and singles as Nicolas Massu did in Athens?
ROGER FEDERER:  Sure, why not?  I entered in both events hoping I could do well in both.  Nobody believes it's possible at this moment.  You're happy to be in the tournament still.  But I'm still very far away from all the medals in singles and doubles.  Let's not get carried away too quickly.
I'm happy with my level of play.  I hope I can keep it up in doubles in a few years.
The changes are big, I talked about it in my last press conference, with the colors, getting used to the Olympic flair here at Wimbledon.  You almost have to forget there was this amazing Grand Slam a few weeks ago and this is something actually completely different.  I've made the switch and I really enjoy it.  It's very special to be part of these Olympic Games here at Wimbledon.

Q.  The idea to play the slams in the same venue and the Olympics, do you think it's nice, good?  Also, let's say tomorrow in United States, would you play at Flushing Meadows, or California?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's a nice combination.  But you're right, there is a lot of talk and comparison, trying to compare the two, which I guess for one day is interesting, but after that, I think you have to kind of move on, right?
They've done it their way, let's accept it.  We know that Wimbledon will be Wimbledon again next year.  But right now, it's the Olympic Games.  It is supposed to be different.
But then again we have seen great sites come about, like in Sydney, where they play the tournament now, the Sydney International.  Then the same thing in Athens.  I mean, unfortunately we don't have a tournament there.  It's unfortunate we can't use that site because I think that would be nice.
Beijing was also a great stadium.
It has its benefits as well for tennis, that they still use the Olympic sites after that.  They don't use it in Barcelona, I don't think either because I was just there recently.  But you'd hope that they would because they do build something big.
Here, the costs are low.  I also think it's important to keep the costs down when you do host an Olympic Games, in my opinion.

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