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U.S. OPEN


August 27, 2013


Roger Federer


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK

R. FEDERER/G. Zemlja
6‑3, 6‑2, 7‑5


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You did a really good job moving forward in the court.  Was that the game plan coming in?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, I saw quickly that he was hitting the ball hard and flat through the court.  You don't want to then move backwards and just try to make the shot because then he can really even go bigger on it.
You know, I decided also to play aggressive.  By doing that, didn't have many rallies.  It was more of a serving contest.
Yeah, so there wasn't much rhythm out there, but I was happy the way I played, you know, overall.  I mean, it's a first round after all.  There was a bit of a breeze.  Should have played at night.  Played during the day.  Overall I'm pleased to be in the next round.

Q.  Were you fazed much by having to switch schedule?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it didn't really matter.  The only thing I would have liked then to practice more yesterday.  But that's not going to, you know, make a huge difference, I don't believe.
They canceled I thought fairly quickly last night.¬† It was 11:30 by the time I got back to the hotel.¬† But it wasn't nerve‑wracking or anything waiting last night.¬† You know, it was 5‑All in the first set, deuce.¬† The match didn't even start yet.¬† So nerves were calm.¬† From that standpoint I didn't lose extra energy that way.

Q.  Were you pleased to hear they're going to put a roof on the stadium?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, I'm very happy for tennis in general.¬† For you guys, for the fans, for the players who are going to be able to enjoy all of that.¬† Because I think it's really the night sessions that can get washed out in a big way.¬† Everybody's looking forward to the big night match, and then all of a sudden you don't have much margin because you're not going to send best‑of‑five‑set matches out on court at 11:00, 12:00.
So at night with the roof you always have a guaranteed match.  For TV it's huge.  I think it is a future that we have to go.  We saw it again last night.  Everybody loses in a situation like that, I believe.

Q.¬† Some players are interested in the gluten‑free diet.¬† What do you think about that?
ROGER FEDERER:  Oh, no, I have extra gluten (laughter).
No, I mean, I don't.  I've always paid attention to what I eat.  I've always been a healthy eater.  Clearly you can take it to the next step, you know, when to eat, exactly what, before the match, during the match, after the match, what to eat exactly if you're not sure.  I grew up sort of as a vegetarian when I was younger.  I'm happy I can eat a bit of everything today, which makes it easier overall.
I've seen some nutritionists from time to time, but nothing crazy or major really.

Q.  With James Blake announcing yesterday his plans to retire after this tournament, what are your thoughts on what he's meant to the game?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I guess I was happy to hear it, you know, because I really have enjoyed playing against James.  I think it's always nice when you can go out on your terms.
I mean, he could still play for years to come.  He knows that.  But I think eventually maybe he just felt like, It's good for me.  I've accomplished everything I've wanted.  I want to go out on my terms.  It's in New York, which makes total sense for him.
I've had some good matches against him.  Maybe the biggest matches of his career, except maybe the match he played here against Agassi.
Cincinnati, Shanghai.  I've had some big matches against him, also the Olympics where he beat me.  We go way back.  We always used to practice a lot together, have good times on tour.
So I'll miss him, but he's probably going to stay around tennis some.  That's good to hear.  I think it's always a pity when you leave the game entirely and you never see the guy again.  With James, I hope he'll stay around.

Q.  Can you talk specifically about James' forehand.  How would you compare it with the other big ones you've faced as a weapon?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I mean, I've always been a big fan of James.¬† I think it's ranked one of the greatest shots out there because his take‑back is extremely quick.¬† You cannot see where he hits it.¬† He can also hit it moving backwards or forwards.¬† He can pull the trigger.¬† So you're never quite safe when you go to that side.
It doesn't matter if it's pulled out to the forehand or inside‑out forehand.¬† With his footwork, he got to many balls that you would think he would just get to, but he would hit a screaming winner off it.¬† That's what made him so dangerous and so hard to play for so many years.¬† For me it's one of the great forehands out there.

Q.  (Question about practicing after match today.)
ROGER FEDERER:  Just rhythm.  Hardly had any rallies today.  Decided to go and just work out some more on the practice courts, yeah.

Q.  James is at a stage in his life where he doesn't have the passion to want to continue.  It's not physical.  With yourself, is it unforeseeable right now for you to say you would ever lose the passion to play this game or do you see that day someday coming?
ROGER FEDERER:  Don't know.  I mean, right now I love it.

Q.  Is your passion as high as it's ever been?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I think so.  Clearly when you win everything, it's fun.  That doesn't necessarily mean you love the game more.  You just like winning, being on the front page, lifting trophies, doing comfortable press conferences.  It's nice.
But that doesn't mean you really actually love it, love it.  That maybe shines through maybe more in times when you don't play that well.  For me, I knew it, winning or losing, practice court or match court, that I love it.  So I've been around for too long.  Clearly when I had, you know, my two girls, I also wasn't sure right off the bat how it was going to be after that.  Was I going to be able to play the same schedule?  Was my love for the game as big?  Were we going to be able to cope with the whole thing, having twins or not?
Managed it totally fine.  They were at the court today.  I'm so happy to see them before and after the match.  I'm in a good spot right now.  I want to enjoy it as long as it lasts, yeah.

Q.  What do you think about Berlocq?  You played against him once in Rome.  What do you think about the Thursday match?
ROGER FEDERER:  Don't remember much of the Rome match to be honest.  It's one of those matches I don't remember.
But I think he's a very good player.  He's got good intensity, forehand and backhand.  Can play on the baseline.  He's actually really improved a lot on the slower hard courts.  This is maybe a tiny bit faster.  If we play at night, I think it might suit him a little better.  We'll see when they schedule us.
He's a fit guy, you know.  Trained with him a lot in Rome, in Madrid.  We know each other's game pretty well, so we know what to expect.
Yeah, he's just been in Switzerland playing TeamTennis over there, winning it.  So he's super confident I guess right now.

Q.  Like a father, which lesson do you take from sports after so many years which you would like to give to your daughters?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I don't know.  I mean, I think they're learning as we go long automatically, just getting to meet so many different people, cities and countries and languages, places and travels.  You know, I think just by traveling by itself, it's unbelievable how much you learn.  Being more independent.  I'm still learning still today I feel, even though I know my way pretty much around, what works, what doesn't work.
But, you know, I was a very emotional kid.  Every kid is emotional, too.  I feel I can always relate to kids.  If that makes me maybe a good or a bad father, I don't know.  I try to teach them right values.  So far, so good.  But it's clearly rocky, no doubt about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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