Friday, January 21, 2011

Roger Federer's Australian Open Interview January 21st

Roger Federer's Australian Open Interview January 21st

Roger Federer d. Xavier Malisse 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 in the third round of the men's singles.

Q. A good game after a five setter the other night. Happy with it?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean the match against Simon was good, too. Don't make it sound like it was bad just because it was five sets. They usually are a higher level over a longer period of time.

So I thought today was intense too. The first two sets almost didn't reflect how tough it could have been. Or how tough it was. I think that maybe broke his will a little bit because he was up 3 1 in the second I think it was. Then I was able to come back and win 11 straight games which was obviously a great run I got on. I was able to do a few different things.

Q. After a tough five set match, David Nalbandian said he felt weak and dizzy and quit 59 minutes into his next match. You had a tough five set match too. What's the difference?

ROGER FEDERER: Well he also played last week, so I mean that's maybe part to it. He never really had time or a couple days to kind of rest and get used to it at all. Then he got almost the toughest draw you can get with Lleyton here. Obviously the intensity you get from Lleyton and the crowd and the pressure and all those things combined can maybe give a result like this.

It was for long periods of time very close, and he had to put in an hell of an effort to get back in the fourth set. You know, then he plays a tough guy in the next round and he's on a smaller court and things are just not the same and so easy, so simple. Maybe he picked up something small as well that was bugging him.

Look, I'm okay today, and I'm happy I was able to come through it. Surely not the easiest thing to come back after a five setter, but I managed.

I'm sure that another day of rest is going to do me good.

Q. Is there something that gives you an edge in Grand Slams to bounce back in tough matches?

ROGER FEDERER: Clearly, I mean, I always said you can't win a Grand Slam in the first week but you can lose it. Maybe that's what happened to Nalbandian. Maybe had he had an easier draw maybe he would have been a threat in the long run, but starting with such a tough match early on in the tournament, if you don't win the next match, maybe somewhat easier, you know, it just kind of sticks with you. Down the stretch you get tough players, another grinder, and grinder and grinder and eventually it gets you.

That's what happened to him. It's unfortunate but didn't happen to me. I would have been okay playing another one today, no problem.

Q. You had issues at Wimbledon and the French last year with movement and back problems. Are you moving as freely as you want to now and for the last few months?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I pulled up with no back problems after the match with Simon, which in the past would have stared me a little bit. Somewhat of a cold condition, somewhat of a little wind with the sweat on the back and everything. That would have worried me. Perfectly fine, same night, next day, and today.

I'm happy how my body is feeling and I'm moving well. That's obviously key to good tennis play today is good movement. That's what I got at the moment, so I'm very happy.

Q. Just wondering after all the wins you've had and success, what gets you excited out there on court? Is it saving breakpoints, hitting aces? Hitting a great passing shot?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, mixing it up. Playing exciting tennis like I was able to do today. Coming to the net, trying out a few different things, hitting dropshots, big forehands, you know, playing tactically the right way. So I enjoy that.

And obviously playing on Rod laver Arena or any center court around the world where usually I am put on to play is obviously a lot fun. It takes a lot of hard work to get there. Because in the beginning you need some great results to get to the show courts. Maybe sometimes when you're there you want to stay there. You can really cement your place on the big show courts, which I've been able to do. That's obviously now a dream come true playing all around the world on all the great courts we have.

Q. What is your opinion of Bernard Tomic and what he might be able to do against Rafa tomorrow?

ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. I haven't seen him enough to be quite honest. I wasn't just sitting there watching him play. I have kids I have to take care of as well. So I like to that more than watch Bernard. I think I'm sure it's going to be an exciting match, you know.

Great at his age to win back to back matches in a Grand Slam. Obviously at home even more so. Now everybody is going to watch that kind of a match depending when it's going to be played. Is it a night session? Yeah. Obviously depends.

Interesting test. This is as tough as they come. Rafa doesn't give anything away. I've felt that before. Bernard can tell you how it felt for him.

Q. Will you watch yourself?

ROGER FEDERER: Depends when I go for dinner. I won't put my schedule around it.

Q. Two players have been investigated recently because of match fixing. I know you don't know...

ROGER FEDERER: But you do, so it's all good.

Q. Yes. Even this is off topic, what is your reaction? You're more pissed off when you hear about doping or about match fixing? I mean, they're both bad, but there is one of the two which is worse?

ROGER FEDERER: No, because they're both bad. It's not good. Doesn't matter if I think it's 51/49. It doesn't matter. I think it's just unacceptable when athletes, players, whatever you want to call it, try to do things like this or play with the integrity of the sport.

I don't know if I get more angry or disappointed. It's just a pity to a game that has given us everything. Why would you want to play with that? You're not only taking a chance for yourself, but for so many other players to harm the sport. That's why it's disappointing to hear those kind of things.

You know about it; I haven't heard about it.

Q. If a friend of yours would do it, what would you say to him?

ROGER FEDERER: To not do it.

Q. For Malisse it was the first time he played in Rod Laver. He said it felt like a different world. What do you remember when you played your first match here?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know, maybe it was Arnaud Clement when I lost here. Yeah, it's definitely a different world out on the big, big center courts, that's for sure. It's just a different atmosphere out there. Much more space on the sides and in the back. When you hit the ball, the sound is different.

So it's something you kind of got to get used to. It doesn't come easily sometimes if you're used to playing on smaller courts where the fans are right next to you. And, I don't know, there's much more wind. There's a different type of wind on a center court as well.

The atmosphere can either inspire you or make you really nervous. I know exactly what he's talking about. That's to some degree an advantage for me to always be playing on the show courts because I know what to expect. It's almost normal for me to be playing on those kind of courts these days.

But at the same time, it can almost inspire players like Xavier to play his absolute best tennis on a court like this because it's such a thrill, and that's what you work hard for, to get there and then to show what you can do.

That's why it's never easy playing players like Xavier today, and I thought he played a good match actually.

Q. What do you invest all your prize money in, you sponsorship money in? Properties? Shares?

ROGER FEDERER: What do you expect what a Swiss guy would say? (Laughter.)

Q. A Swiss bank account.

ROGER FEDERER: We put it in the banks, yes, that's what we do. And we sit on top of it. Then we'll see later on what we do with it.

Yeah, I'm not going to tell you, no. (Smiling.) Sorry.

Q. Are you never embarrassed for all that much money that you make? Of course all players, all champions make it. Sometimes you see also some poverty. You're helping with charities, your foundation. But still, you've got so much. Sometimes you say, How that is possible?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, sure. I never expected myself to earn so much money. This is where I always thank the older generation for all their hard work where prize money wasn't so high yet. But they were doing it basically for the love of the game because that's what it was.

Okay, there was no maybe media and no, you know, professional tour at the beginning. But they were doing some incredible things for the game to promote it all around the world. This is what I'll never forget. I like the history of the game, and this is why also I respect all the legends so much.

The platform we have today is incredible. I didn't start playing tennis to make a living out of it. It was just more living a dream, trying, because you knew, okay, you could make a bit of money. Maybe that could help you travel, and then you go from there.

I hope that in 20 years, 50 years it's going to be even more incredible, the game of tennis, which it already is. Yeah, I know how lucky I have become. That's why for me it's absolutely normal to give back with my foundation, and wherever I can help. I try to do my best.

It's not for image sake or because I have a bad conscious or anything. It's got to come from your heart, and that's what it is with me anyway.

Q. Just on tennis globally, I think there is 95 Europeans in the main draw, and there are South Americans as well. Do you think there is ever a way for Australia and America to get back to something like the glory days with all the European dominance? And what do you think the reason is for this European dominance?

ROGER FEDERER: Never really thought about it. I mean, I definitely think America and Australia can get back sooner than later definitely. Why Europeans, I don't know. I guess it's just a trend right now like it used to be a trend that America and Australia had such great players. I guess it comes in phases.

Maybe courts slowing down a bit has helped Europeans a bit, especially if you think about Spain and how they grow up sort of hitting I think they work a lot out of the basket, you know. So the ball comes slow and they can really accelerate through the ball; whereas an American and maybe an Australian are more used to playing on a faster court where the ball comes to you. So they're not so used to going to the ball and hitting it, which for the Spaniards is absolutely normal.

That's maybe why the slower conditions have helped the Europeans to make their move who grew up playing on clay. I also grew up playing on clay courts. Yeah, so that's also why I think also today you don't see a guy who can only play on hardcourt. Today everybody can play on all the different surfaces. That's definitely from slowing down the game with the balls and the surfaces.

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