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June 26, 2013

Roger Federer


6‑7, 7‑6, 7‑5, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you just explain your emotions when you came off the court, what you were feeling.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, it's always a disappointment losing any match around the world, and particularly here.  I've had some great moments here, but also some tougher ones.
Yeah, can't have 'em all.  It was a tough loss today.  Appreciated all the standing ovation and all the ovation I got leaving the court, no doubt about it.

Q.  I think your fans will be mourning the end of the amazing 36‑slam sequence.
ROGER FEDERER:  It will be okay because I'll be okay.

Q.  Is that in your mind now?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, I guess it's a great number.  I'm very happy about it.  I wish it wasn't going to end here today.  But I don't think that's something fans are going to mourn about or myself.
It's a great number.  I can be proud of it.  But moving on from here.

Q.  Essentially 137 straight matches in these early rounds.  Was there something different about today?  Did you have a sense it was a tricky one today as the match progressed?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not really.  I mean, I felt okay now every day now for the last few weeks.  Didn't feel any different today, like I felt something coming.  It's not how it goes.  Even though sometimes you might feel a bit off and you crush your opponent and vice versa, you know, you feel too good and you don't play so well.
Today was a normal day.  Normal warmup, normal match really.  Clearly I was hoping to win the match today, but I couldn't do it.  So it's clearly disappointing.

Q.  You played so well in your first‑round win.  The All England Club asked you to change your footwear.  I'm wondering whether that had any effect on your movement.
ROGER FEDERER:  No, it didn't have any effect.

Q.  What is the challenge now for you to live up to the standards that you've set?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, what do you do after something like this?  What do you do?  Do you do the 24‑hour rule?  You don't panic at this point, that's clear.  Just go back to work and come back stronger really.
Somewhat simple.  Hard to do sometimes.  But usually I do turnarounds pretty good.  I'm looking forward to what's to come, you know.  I hope I can play a good summer, a good end to the season.  This is clearly not what I was hoping for here today at this tournament.
Unfortunately it does happen.  Looking forward to next year, that I can do better next year.

Q.  Coming off court we could hear some fans saying that to them it felt like the end of an era.  Can you see their point of view?  Does it feel like that at all to you?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, because I still have plans to play for many more years to come.  It's normal that after all of a sudden losing early after being in the quarters 36 times, people feel it's different.  You guys hyped it up so much, me playing Rafa, and we're both out.  So there's a letdown clearly.  Maybe it's also somewhat a bit disrespectful to the other opponents who are in the draw still.  I think it sends a message to you guys as well that maybe you shouldn't do that so often next time around.

Q.  What were your biggest issues today on the court regarding his game and your game?
ROGER FEDERER:  He was uncomfortable to play against.  I think he served and volleyed really well.  It was difficult to get into that much rhythm clearly against a player like that.
But I don't mind it, to be quite honest, playing an opponent like that.  I mean, I think he did really well.  I struggled maybe on the big points, you know, this time around again, like I have for some time this season.
Didn't get particularly nervous or worried about it, to be honest, you know.  But by missing opportunities, I don't even remember when they came, but clearly I was put in a tough spot early in the fourth, at the end of the fourth.  Maybe I shouldn't even be down two sets to one, but I am.
It was tricky.  But credit to him for closing it out under enormous pressure.  He was better in the more important points today than I was.

Q.  It seemed like you played better than you did against Tsonga in France in that loss.  How would you compare those two?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's totally different.  There's nocomparisons really.  He was serve‑volleying.  This is Wimbledon.  The other one was the French Open.  That was a quarterfinal; this one is a second round.  Not really a whole lot, you know, to compare one another from other than both were losses.  That's the only thing that comes to mind.

Q.  In this era of baselining, he came to the net 96 times.  Was that a strategy you expected?  What does it say maybe about serve and volley as a future tactic?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, I expected it.  I knew he was going to do that.  He does it regularly.  So he's comfortable doing it.
I mean, I believe it is a tactic you can use, you know, if you play it the right way, if you have a big enough serve, you move good enough.  Clearly also got to be good enough from the baseline on the return because you need a break once in a while.  That's exactly what he was able to do today.  I was impressed.
I don't think from this point on I'm going to start serve‑volleying, but hopefully other players will in the future.

Q.  Are you surprised you couldn't figure it out and figure out a way to win?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm very disappointed about that, that I couldn't find a way, like I did against Jo‑Willy at the French.  I thought I had my opportunities, had the foot in the door.  When I had the chance, I couldn't do it.  It's very frustrating, very disappointing.
I'm going to accept it and move forward from here.  I have no choice.  Looking forward to the challenge what's ahead now.

Q.  You probably heard about the controversy regarding the condition of the courts.  You slipped a couple of times.  Have you noticed a difference from last year, for example?
ROGER FEDERER:  I didn't slip once today, so for me there was no problem whatsoever.  Sergiy slipped maybe once or twice.  I remember Murray slipping last year, too.  I mean, it is grass after all.

Q.  Not just tonight, but looking back over the past six to eight months, how would you assess where you are right now?
ROGER FEDERER:  Right now, you know, this is a setback, a disappointment, whatever you want to call it.  But then overall I think I played great eight months ago at the World Tour Finals, I played great at the Australian Open.  You know, if things would have gone my way, maybe I could have done a bit more.
I didn't play so much as of late.  At the same time that gives me more flexibility with my schedule moving forward and next year as well.  Particularly an early loss like this gives me extra days to rest.  I have more options now than I did have one year ago when I was running around trying to chase down every possible tournament and every point to get back to world No.1.
Maybe that also, with the Olympics last year, took its toll.  I don't know.  But overall I think I've been playing actually not so bad, like some have portrayed it.  Season's not over here.  Only just in the middle.  Still have a lot of tennis left.  That's what I try to use for a good end to the season.

Q.  A tough question, but can you in any way compare the emotions and feelings you have after dropping a tough final in a competitive situation to today where it's an early‑round shock?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I guess.  It's nicer to be able to leave the court quicker than go through the trophy ceremony.  That's the nice thing about today.  I still have to do the press conference.  That's never going to go away (smiling).
But other than that, yes, I'm very disappointed.  You know, losing at Wimbledon always has been that way, will never change.  So just got to get over this one.  Some haven't hurt this much, that's for sure.

Q.  When do you think you'll really be able to appreciate what you've accomplished with that streak of reaching quarterfinals at majors?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mentioned it the other day.  When I'm retired.  That's not right now.  That's basically it.  I mean, while you're on it, while it's ended, it's all great, you know.  But I think that's one of those streaks I think I'll look back on a little bit later.

Q.  There's a lot of talk about that streak.  Does it free you up at all?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not really.  I wish it did.  Doesn't feel that way right now.

Q.  You talked about having an appreciation for the other players that maybe don't get as much press.

Q.  Respect.  What would you say to those guys who are going to get to a quarter maybe for the first time or go places where you've gone so many times before?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, I think there was a time where some players didn't believe they could beat the top guys.  So maybe there's a little bit of a thing happening at the moment.  I'm happy about that, that players believe they can beat the best on the biggest courts in the biggest matches.
I think it's very important, that belief.  We're missing the teenagers overall, so it's up to other guys to do it like we've seen this week, at other places as well.  All we can do is give it all we have, be a professional, train hard, do all the right things, what you're supposed to be doing.
I hope they are also doing it if they're lower in the rankings.

Q.  You hit the ball directly at him a couple times.  How much of it was tactical and how much was psychological?
ROGER FEDERER:  I guess I was trying to win the point.  It's nothing personal.  I know the guy well.
I think against guys who come to the net, rush the net, it's a play you have to use sometimes instead of always trying to chase the line on the sides.  One time I didn't mean to hit him at all or go after him, but I think I got the backhand volley out of the air, which was the closest for him.  Sometimes it gives you an angle after the first volley.
It's more tactical, I guess.  I knew coming in he was going to come.  I knew sometimes also I was going to go after him just to try to win the point, not to hurt him.  This is not the juniors here (smiling).

Q.  Is there anything you might want to change in your routine or organization at this point?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, not really.  Like I said, you know, just got to reassess at the end of the season.  If you do it during, there's got to be a good reason for it.
You know, I've been playing okay, you know.  I'm healthy again, you know, which is a good thing.  I'm happy about that.  I'm not playing every other tournament with some issues.
So I'm looking forward to playing hopefully injury‑free for the rest of the season, then we'll go from there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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