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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 16, 2012


Roger Federer


CINCINNATI, OHIO

R. FEDERER/B. Tomic
6‑2, 6‑4


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You mentioned last press conference about some of your charitable work.  Can you elaborate on some of that work that you do?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, the focus is on Africa, so we had the big match for Africa with Rafa; one‑and‑a‑half years ago in Zurich we were able to raise over $3 million on the night.
Then the following night we went to Madrid and helped out Rafa's foundation.  I don't know how much he raised, but that was very nice to do, as well.
And then obviously my charity supports a project in Africa and also in Southern Africa for kids to have an education.  Obviously we also try to integrate sports to some degree, but it's really the education that I am focusing on with my foundation.
Education is something you can't take away from someone, and I think that's a good starting point.  Yeah, it's been a pleasure doing it.  Obviously it's something that's very close to my heart, and I try to find many ways to create money for the people who are so much more in need than we are.
It's been a pleasure doing it.

Q.  The match today went pretty much the same way as the Australian Open went earlier this year.  What are your thoughts on it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, different conditions.  Obviously it was much faster here than in Australia.  We had much longer rallies; it was much more intense physically.
Today, okay, it was humid, but the rallies were never as long.  He was also getting in a few more service winners than he was getting at the Australian Open.
So it was more a first‑strike tennis, and I think I'm just a bit better at it still today.¬† I was able to mix it up well and not have too many hiccups on my own serve.
Then I was able to create some opportunities and take advantage of that and get the win.

Q.¬† Were you surprised that it was reasonably one‑sided throughout?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Well, I mean, he had opportunities.¬† Some of them, you know, I think at Love‑30 in the first game, to come back after being broken; he had a good spell I think in the second set on his serving.
Even last game holding he held that to love and served well.  So I never felt I was quite through until the match was over because he is a good return player, and he anticipates extremely well.  He can make it hard for you or make you nervous.
I mentioned the other day, the scoring system in tennis is such that you're never really safe.  Overall, you know, I definitely felt in control today, but not as much today as against Bogomolov where I felt I had even more of a cushion.

Q.  With respect to your XOs coming up in South America, have your opponents been determined yet?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, some of them.  I don't want to make a mistake.  Maybe you should speak to my manager.  I'm quite sure who it is, but I think three quarters of the opponents have been decided, yes.

Q.¬† What about playing Mardy Fish in the next match?¬† Head to head is 7‑1 in your favor, but Mardy was saying earlier that you have had some tight ones in the last two or three matches that you've played.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, I mean, I try to remember when we played.¬† I guess here the finals a couple years ago, and then at the end of the last year we played at the World Tour Finals.¬† That was also a three‑setter.
I was already through, and I think already knocked out maybe, so it was a bit of an odd situation potentially for both of us.
Then obviously he crushed me at Indian Wells years ago that one time when he beat me.  So I know he's always been a difficult player to play against for all players on tour, because he has everything a player needs:  he's got a great return; he's got a great serve; he can move forward, and now obviously he moves obviously much better than he has at the beginning of his career.  That's nice to see.
I'm just very happy for him that his health is back to somewhat normal from what he told me.  I really wish him well to come back on tour, and I'm happy now to see him.
So now to play him, it's nice, and I'm looking forward to that match.

Q.  These conditions over here, do you think they favor either one of you or pretty even?
ROGER FEDERER:  We'll find out.  (Smiling.)  I would think he likes this kind of surface and conditions.  So do I.  I think it's a good place to play each other.

Q.  You have had a lot of success at the US Open obviously.  But if you could change one thing about the US Open and make it your absolute dream US Open, what would that be?
ROGER FEDERER:  What I would change?

Q.  Yeah, change one thing about the US Open.
ROGER FEDERER:  That would be good for me?

Q.  Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER:  It would be good for all of us or for the semifinals and finals if we had a Friday and Sunday semifinals and finals and not have the first round spread out over three days.  That makes sense.

Q.  Is it possible since your victory at Wimbledon that you're maybe hearing a little less about your age?
ROGER FEDERER:  Potentially, yeah.  But it's gone away a little bit just because I have been winning a lot of tournaments.  I think journalists and fans are anyway tired of me being asked every single week about it.  My answers don't change that much anymore more eventually.  You kind of know the answer you're going to get.
I kind of felt that it was just going to be a thing that people were going to ask me over a certain period of time and then eventually gonna let go.  The same thing Agassi and the same thing with Pete and same thing with guys who hit 30 and then keep on playing eventually just give up.  I think that's what's happening right now.

Q.  Is it possible something like that makes you feel younger?
ROGER FEDERER:  It doesn't make you feel older when you're being asked every single time in the press room.  Now that they don't ask me so much anymore the success I had, it's just normal, back to normal I'd say.

Q.  I guess the victory, to win Wimbledon again, does that possibly make you feel younger?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not really.  I'm happy where I am.  I don't need to feel 25 again.  I'm very happy to feel my age.

Q.  How do you think that win will define your career, though?  Wimbledon.
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, look, I'm obviously very respectful when I win towards my opponent, but you can imagine I was ecstatic winning Wimbledon again, particularly over Murray in Wimbledon with so much on the line for me.
It was one of those incredible moments in my career.  It was obviously a climax starting outdoors, finishing indoors, getting through the rain delay, hopefully getting things right with your coaching staff throughout that period.  Then coming through at the end, it was just amazing.
So I'm aware of that.  Don't know yet what it's going to exactly mean for my career and my legacy, whatever you want to call it, but it was one of those very strong, strong moments in my life.
And then obviously the moment with my kids at the end at the trophy ceremony was very special and can never be repeated.  That's one that's going to stay with me forever, obviously.

Q.  I know you said the focus for you right now is on the week here in Cincinnati.  You've got two match wins on hard court under your belt.  Where do you set your game at the early part of the hard court season?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's all right.  I'm happy.  But then again, I can't overjudge these two matches because conditions play fast here.  Who knows, you might come out next round and not play well.  However the opponent just plays good and you never find your rhythm and you leave the tournament because you're out.
But overall I'm happy where I am, and I feel my movement is there.  I think I'm seeing the ball well, even though balls are bouncing much higher and you can play with spin again which was not that much the case during Wimbledon.
I feel like things are working really well for me.  Regardless of what's going to happen, I'm feeling good, I'm healthy, I have no issues.  I'm happy I got over the jet lag, and so the risk is less to get injured and all those things.
So I'm in a good place right now.

Q.  Do you ever pay attention to the speed gun ratings?  Do they mean anything to you or do you think that's more for the fans?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, a little bit.  You know, I mean, I do check the gun from time to time, and probably when I hit a serve I can tell you on a couple of miles per hours close how fast my serve was probably.
Then it's just to sometimes to check, like if I serve an average of, I don't know, 100 miles an hour my second serve in the first‑round match and all of a sudden I realize I'm serving at 93 the whole time, I know I have some margin to serve faster but maybe I chose not to, depending on my opponent ‑ and same thing with the first serve.
Sometimes it's helpful, but it's not match‑decisive.

Q.  Could you talk about how you think the polyester strings have changed the game?
ROGER FEDERER:  Very much so.  I was thinking that on the court today.  I looked at Bernard's and he had a blue string in it.  I was thinking, We didn't have that 10, 15 years ago.
I definitely think the stringers and the racquet companies have made a big, big change for the players of this generation.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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