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MUTUA MADRID OPEN


May 7, 2013


Roger Federer


MADRID, SPAIN

R. FEDERER/R. Stepanek
6‑3, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:テつ Questions, please.

Q.テつ Congratulations on your victory.
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ You need one more title to equal John McEnroe's 77 for the career.
ROGER FEDERER:テつ And 70 doubles titles.

Q.テつ Equalling McEnroe, what would that mean to you in in the context of your career, and do you think you could even catch up with Lendl and possibly Connors?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Look, obviously it's one of my big goals of my career, trying to win titles.テつ Leaving a week‑long tournament as the winner is an amazing feeling.テつ So that's what really we play for, besides the rankings at times or whatever you care most about in your career.
You know, which places you play, which center courts, which spectators, and so forth.テつ Obviously I've had a very successful career, which has been amazing already.テつ More than I ever thought I would achieve.
I would love to tie McEnroe at 77, no doubt about it.テつ He was an amazing player and brought a lot to the game, like some other great champions and legends have done and paved the way for us.テつ We can only be thankful for everything he gave to tennis, because he didn't just stop after he stopped playing.
He kept commentating and kept the game exciting for fans and TV and so forth and even plays seniors still a lot and keeps on promoting tennis.テつ It would obviously be a big deal for me.

Q.テつ Two months outside of the courts, how have you been?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Yeah, pretty good.テつ I didn't think I played incredible, but that's not what I was expecting myself to do here.テつ But I didn't play bad, either.
So I'm very happy with how things went today.テつ Stepanek is also a player who can cause a lot of difficulties in the game.テつ He doesn't look for rhythm necessarily.
He comes to the net a lot, too; uses slice well; tries to play aggressive; keeps the points short.テつ For that matter, you're also doing a lot of reacting than just sort of deciding yourself.テつ For that reason overall, I'm very happy, because he has caused me difficulties in the past.
Today that wasn't the case.テつ I thought I was pretty much in control.テつ Even though the scoreline seems pretty simple, I did have to fight for it.テつ That's a very good thing in a first round, I think, now that I've been able to win my first round here.

Q.テつ You held for 4‑2, and then you both went and exchanged racquets.テつ He was about to serve and you were about to receive.テつ That's the difference?テつ Why would you do it at that point?テつ I know it's fresh, the strings, but can you tell us about that a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Yeah, I mean, I think every play does it the way and at the moment he feels is necessary.テつ Some string only a few racquets for each match; some string six to ten racquets depending on how crazy you are about those things.
I'm pretty much changing racquets now, or strings, on the ball change.テつ Usually always one game before I serve myself.テつ Sometimes I keep it going, too, and I change a little bit later depending on how the match is going.
Because it changes as well, of course, if you play serve and volley player or a guy from the baseline that you have long rallies with.
But in that moment, it's always interesting when both players change at the same time.テつ Feels like a changeover but it's not.テつ Sometimes you just have to change because it's what your routine says.テつ Doesn't matter how well you played in the past.テつ You could be winning eight games in a row, and you're still going to change your racquet.
I know it doesn't make sense for the fan, but for me it does.テつ That's why I keep on doing it.

Q.テつ What do you think about the spectators, the fans in Spain?テつ They applaud you ever place.テつ Don't matter what you do.
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Applaud me?

Q.テつ Don't matter if you get wrong or...
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Oh, really?テつ I'm not sure.テつ They're very supportive, but I don't know if I can do anything here.テつ At the end of the day, I make a lot of mistakes as well on court and in my life as well.
I appreciate the appreciation I get here in this country.テつ I've obviously have had some amazing battles over the years with many great players from this country.テつ I don't try to avoid Spain in any way.テつ I try to enjoy it and embrace it.
I feel I get a lot of support and respect from them as well.テつ I think they seem very happy to see me, which is a beautiful feeling as an athlete to feel very welcomed.テつ I think it makes me play better tennis as well in the process.
Yeah, like you said, I think we get along very well, which is nice.

Q.テつ (Question off microphone.)
ROGER FEDERER:テつ I've played it once.テつ Won three games and left again.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ With the slower start of the season in comparison with other years, which do you think are your chances to regain the No. 1?テつ Is it a goal for you this season in the rankings?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Well, I mean, it's not going to happen any time soon so it's not the goal right now.テつ Down the stretch hopefully again, yep.
For that, I need to start winning matches and tournaments and so forth.テつ I'm focused right now on making sure that my return to the tour is a strong one starting here in Madrid.
Then we'll see how successful I've been once the US Open is over.テつ But for the moment, I'm just really focused on trying to play well, staying healthy, and give myself best possible chances to win tournaments.

Q.テつ Congratulations, Roger.テつ It was a great pleasure to see win again.
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Thank you.

Q.テつ Last year there was some controversy over the surface, and you, regardless of that, just swept through to victory.テつ I've heard very positive things about the surface this year.テつ I was wondering, I know you may have spoken about this in the past, but how do you find the surface this year?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ I think it's very good.テつ To all the players I've spoken to I think they're very happy.
Because I don't think the problem was only last year.テつ I know that added to the whole controversy, the color, because of tradition and so forth.テつ It was extremely slippery and the court wasn't taking the water well.
But even in previous years we had a lot bad bounces and difficult conditions to play in.テつ I don't know if you remember the match point against Nadal a couple years ago in the finals.テつ It came slow and it bounced unbelievable.テつ I even totally missed the ball.
So that's not going to really happen this year.テつ I think they dug down deeper, which makes it a better court.テつ They spoke to more experts from the French Open and Monaco, and you can tell it's a proper clay court now.テつ It's not just some court they laid down quickly within a few months and hoped for the best.
I think this time they really wanted to make sure that it's a good court.テつ They delivered that, and the players in the process are going to be extremely happy.テつ Which they seem to be.

Q.テつ You've been on the tour for a while now.テつ Since ten, twenty years, seems there has been less and less clay court players.テつ Do you have this impression?テつ Do you think that now maybe players play the same tennis on hard court and on clay court?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head.テつ I think there are no necessarily grass‑court players, indoor specialists, not really clay‑court specialists, for that matter.
So everybody can play everywhere now.テつ In the past people would miss entire clay or grass court seasons because they just thought, I'm not going to waste my time there.テつ I'm going to practice and return on a surface that I prefer.
It makes, it I, think sometimes easier then to dominate through different surfaces.テつ But at the same time, if you're on bad run, also that run can last longer as well.
I think it's a bit of a pity that we don't have more of the extremes.テつ You know, that you come into, let's say a quick hard court or a slow clay court and you have somebody who feels totally out of sorts.テつ Before I thought that was pretty funny sometimes to see a guy feeling so uncomfortable having to play the other expert, but trying with what he had to make the other player feel uncomfortable.
It's not so much that anymore now, because everybody hits a good forehand, everybody hits a good backhand, everybody serves well now and moves well and is fit.
So things have changed.テつ In the process, obviously we change our practice, you know, the way we train as well, and the way we play the matches, too.テつ It's more one dimensional now.

Q.テつ Radek and you both are over 30.テつ Last week Tommy Haas won a title.テつ Do you think you can play five or four more years?
ROGER FEDERER:テつ Look, everybody has different careers.テつ Let's say Radek, I think he made the breakthrough a little bit later.テつ He started with doubles first up and really made the breakthrough in singles, and in doubles he continued that great run. Maybe for that reason the beginning his career wasn't so intense he's able to last longer.
Tommy was injured for a few years of his career, which then now he can or is already adding towards the back end of his career.
I made the breakthrough early, but for years I've always looked at the long‑term.テつ I think that helps me to play for a long period of time, hopefully.テつ It was always my goal to play until 35 or more.
For that reason, I still feelI have many more years to go.テつ You always have to see how it goes in terms of injuries and those things, but it's definitely inspiring seeing all the other players, many guys over 30 years old, still playing on tour and playing well.
That's nice to have that generation of players next to you.テつ Because if I would be only guy over 30, it would feel a bit awkward, to be honest.
But I'm not.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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