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August 2, 2012

Roger Federer


6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What goes through your mind when you watch the last ball clip the net cord and dribble over?
ROGER FEDERER:  You just feel bad really.  But relief because it's finally over, the whole big serving, not knowing what's going to happen next.  So obviously it was a big relief.
But I felt I hit the return actually well.  I hit it perfect.  I don't remember if I thought it was going to go over or actually straight in the net.  But I had a good contact.  I played well throughout.  So maybe I just got really lucky today.  I don't know how fortunate I am.
But overall I felt I played a great match.¬† So did John.¬† Conditions were tough with swirly winds.¬† It was hard for both of us to maybe find some rhythm.¬† But overall I think we tried our best, and it was obviously a nail‑biter at the very end.

Q.  John said after the match that it was his first match on Centre Court; this was one of the keys of the match.  Do you remember your first match on Centre Court at Wimbledon?  Do you remember if you won or lost?
ROGER FEDERER:  I remember very, very clearly.  I played Pete Sampras and I won in five sets.  If I don't remember this one I have issues (smiling).
I do remember, thank God.  I hope he does, too.  Because it is something very unique and special, having that opportunity in a lifetime of a player's career to be out there and play.
Obviously, this is not The Championships, but the Olympics.  I'm sure he will, during The Championships, also make it to Centre Court.
It's something if you have an opportunity to play on it, it's big news.  I'm happy for him that he was able to make it.  I didn't think of that before the match, walking out, that he's actually never been on Centre Court before.  Who knows, maybe that was a slight advantage for me as well.

Q.  It's been a great couple of weeks for you.  Can I ask you how do you feel your current form compares to your very best form?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I think I'm playing my best.  I don't know if you can play a whole lot better.  Especially today, obviously just trying to react to what's coming your way.  That's what you're doing anyway against every single player you play against.  You always have to keep on adapting your game, making sure you come up with a new plan, keep on playing well yourself.  There's a big focus that goes on your own game, too.
Overall I'm extremely happy.  Obviously being in the medal matches, at least I'll get two shots.  That's why I looked at this match as a finals.  You can imagine the relief and happiness I feel right now.

Q.  Describe the quality of your opponent and do you remember the last time you lost to an American?
ROGER FEDERER:  Andy Roddick in Miami, this year.  And John's a great player.  I lost to him shortly before that at Davis Cup in Switzerland on home soil.  So that was a tough loss.  I was able to get revenge against him in the finals of Indian Wells.
I think he's got a great game.¬† He's now a solid top‑10, top‑15 player, and I expect him to stay there.¬† He's got the game to go deep in every tournament he plays, every surface.¬† He's improving really honestly every month that goes by.
It's nice to see him improving, but it makes it so much tougher for us facing up against him.

Q.  How many matches have you had end on a let cord?  How many do you remember winning and losing?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I don't remember losing a whole lot like those.¬† But I do remember, first thing that came to my mind was a Miami finals, against Ljubicic.¬† I won 7‑6, 7‑6, 7‑6.¬† It was also in the tiebreaker maybe 8‑7.¬† He hit it hard to my backhand, and I chipped it over, the match was over and the tournament was over.¬† I also got extremely lucky on that one.¬† I actually did text him to tell him the same thing happened again, I can't believe it.
Yeah, maybe had a few more, but that's the one that really stands out for me.

Q.  A couple months ago Rafa said he thought whoever won Wimbledon would be favored to win the Olympics.  Can you understand where he was coming from with that?
ROGER FEDERER:  I said the same actually.
Where it comes from?  Confidence is a funny thing.  You sometimes underestimate how important confidence is.  You don't ask yourself too many questions.  You go out there, when it's important, you are able to thread the needle.  It's the weirdest thing really.  I don't want to say that I feel invincible right now, but I feel good.  Peace of mind with the decisions I'm taking on the court.
Obviously at the same time there's harmony around the game as well when you're not playing tennis because you feel like you're doing all the right things, you've put in a lot of sacrifice.
When you walk out, you just believe in it till the very last point that you can win.  Sometimes when you don't have that confidence, you just doubt that for a bit, That can make the difference if, for instance, your opponent has the confidence.
But then again, you know, every match is different, like I said.  I'm not the only guy with confidence right now.  I think Murray has that, too.  Djokovic, too.  Del Potro, as well.  It's a complete open tournament, I think.  Everyone has a very good chance of going all the way.

Q.  Through all these years with your quarterfinal stretch, have you ever had any extended period where you just didn't feel like it anymore?  You talked about Isner improving.  Looks like he's developing touch around the net.  Do you have specifics where he's improving?
ROGER FEDERER:  First of all, he's moving a whole lot better, which must be difficult for a player of his size, just to get the footing right.  Defensive skills, that's the last thing you should work on as a player like that.  You need a minimum of that, then he needs to work on the offensive.
I think he's gotten much more consistent at the net.¬† Overall I think his mindset on his own serve is much better.¬† You know, he seems like he's really giving away hardly anything anymore.¬† Double‑faults, you name it.¬† He's serving consistently, 180 second serve, between 200 and 230 on the first serve.¬† That's consistent.¬† He can do that day in and day out.¬† That's what's impressive about his game.¬† There's a lot of improvement and also in his consistency.
For me, no, I haven't actually had a period of time where I thought of, This should be it, just because I was winning, losing, traveling.  It never really came to my mind, even though I was asked a lot of questions about it.  I'm happy about that.

Q.  Can I ask for your reaction to reports from the media that morning that on the night before your doubles match against Erlich and Ram that Stan was out at Switzerland house until 2 a.m.?  Do you know if that's true and is it disappointing if it is?
ROGER FEDERER:  It would be, but I know it's not.  So it's all cool.  2:00 is not 6:00.  We go to bed late.  I know he didn't leave that Swiss house at 2:00.
I'm disappointed that the media reports wrong things about him.  Just take it from a source that that might not be solid.  Whatever, I thought he played a good doubles, and that's all I care about at this point.  That's all there is to care about.

Q.  Can you look ahead to playing Juan Martin in the next round.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I think this is the sixth time we're playing this season already.¬† Just came off of a tough five‑setter at the French.¬† Yeah, I mean, we ran into each other very often now this year already.¬† I'm not surprised he makes it to the semis here again.¬† He's played a lot of tennis this year.¬† Always had sort of a momentum going, good confidence.
I think he took advantage of a draw here and then, you know, was able to just come through, you know, convincingly.  I have my hands full with Juan Martin.  He's obviously beaten me in the biggest match we've played against each other, the finals of the US Open.  I'm aware of that.  He's a big player with a big serve.  That makes it obviously tricky on a fast court like grass.

Q.  How are you spending your time away from the court?  Is it similar to Wimbledon in terms of preparation?  Are you going to see events and feeling part of a wider movement?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I played singles one and a half hours, then I played doubles.  I didn't run, go see volleyball, then come back.  I wish I could.
I think I'll party till 6:00 maybe, then come back and play singles (laughter).
I don't want to say it's similar to Wimbledon, because in Wimbledon we play every second day.  At one point I had two days off.  You have more time to move around, go to the city.
Here, going to the Olympic Village, doing the press over there, I've been staying put in Wimbledon.  I've been super busy playing a lot.  Once we were supposed to play, got canceled with rain, all that stuff.  I was just hanging around.
It's just been very much tournament mode, getting things done the right way.¬† This is a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity for all the players.¬† As much as I would like to go see other sports, there's no time for that now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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