Federer Transcript, 25 May 2011
Sorry for the cut-and-paste job. I think it’s safe to say that at least in respect of the Federers and Nadals, Roland Garros and the ITWA can kiss my embargoed ass.
R. FEDERER/M. Teixeira
6‑3, 6‑0, 6‑2
An interview with: ROGER FEDERER
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.
Q. What did you think of this young French?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, he fought hard, and afterwards he was trying to get the best score. Then if you do this, you’ll play differently and mentally might be somewhere else compared to the beginning of the match, so the score was balanced for one‑and‑a‑half sets, but even then he fought hard, and then I think it was a good match. I was happy the way I played at the beginning.
As I said the other day, I think the first set was important for me to see what the match would look like, and then during the second and third sets, it was easier.
Q. Now, what about Teixeira? Try and think about him and try and remember your match against Agassi in Basel. What was your mindset at the time?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was the first round. I couldn’t believe the draw and then just like him, you know, playing at home with all the friends, the family being present. After the match I thought I did my best. You know, on the one hand, you can’t win. If you win, it’s like a miracle, a crazy miracle.
I thought I had played a good match against Agassi, and I hope that Teixeira thinks the same today.
Q. What about this match at that moment at 20 minutes past 1:00 in three sets? Is it a good thing for you or would you have liked a longer match, more complicated, to test your abilities?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I had to keep my focus to start with, because you never know what might happen and what he does, his abilities, his talent, his skills. And to start with, you’re not 100% certain of what’s going to happen.
Therefore, during one‑and‑a‑half sets you’re really well focused, and after this you can relax a little at the end of the match. And it was a bit simpler as well at the end.
Now I’m very happy with these types of matches. I can practice more and so on, but now I’m really in the tournament, which is a good thing.
Q. We know that ‑‑ you know, everything about the tournament. You probably followed Rafa’s match and it was a five‑setter for him. What do you think about this in Roland?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I saw, I watched a little, and no surprise that Isner has managed to keep his serve. He’s done his best.
Then he won two tiebreakers. It was a bit tough for Rafa, but he was stronger. I knew that in the fifth set ‑‑ it was his first five‑setter here, so I think that many have followed this very carefully, and this is it. He’s still there.
Q. What about Tipsarevic, your next opponent?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we played together two or three times, I think, no more, and then there was a major match in Australia and then in Basel last year. I don’t know if I played against him elsewhere, perhaps in Geneva.
I think he’s a dangerous player on the big courts against the big players. He played really well against these players, so let’s be careful. Let’s be ready in advance, because he can vary his game on hard courts, on clay as well. He can do all sorts of things.
It’s going to be an interesting match, I think.
Q. Is it true that one day you said you wanted to have a replica of the Coupe Des Mousquetaires Cup? Because at home you’ll only be able to get a smaller version and you’ll have to leave it for the next winner. Did you really want to do that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, that’s true. I should have done that before, but I didn’t have time, or who knows. You know, I was not well organized. And I’m going to do it, yeah. No matter the price. Because I fought for so many years to have the Coupe Des Mousquetaires Cup, and I only got this tiny one.
So, no, this wouldn’t do. It’s always very nice to win Roland Garros, but I wanted to have the big one at home. It’s the same as well with Wimbledon and all the other tournaments.
Q. What do you think about the fact that there are three Grand Slams where there is no tiebreaker in the fifth set and it’s only the US Open where there is a tiebreaker? Now, yesterday Nadal said, When I win the fourth set or when I was winning the fourth set, because I was up, I was feeling better because I know that here in the five sets there is no tiebreaker, and against Isner it’s better for me. Do you think this is correct to have three Grand Slams that would do one thing and one that would do something different? Don’t you think we should align them all? What do you think about this? What’s your opinion?
ROGER FEDERER: My opinion is that I was rarely in these types of situations, and in Wimbledon, in Roland, in Australia, and I think I have never had a tiebreak during the fifth set in a Grand Slam. It’s the way it is in tennis. People do what they want in all sorts of ways.
Even the ITF with Grand Slams, they can’t do the same, so it really shows that it’s very much individual, the players, the tournaments, so on and so forth. It’s the way it is. We’ll have to take it the way it is. Take it, accept it. What else can you do?
Frankly, I don’t know which is better. Maybe a longer set because that’s better for the ones who are in better physical condition. But is it good, you know, when you play football to have penalty kicks? Well, people like it. I don’t know. At the end of the day, do what the fans like, as well.
Q. Are there things you didn’t like in your game today?
ROGER FEDERER: That I didn’t like?
Q. Yes, that you didn’t like.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think it was okay. I could vary my shots. I had the choice. I could play in different ways today. I had the choice, and that was the difficulty, to choose the best game today.
Then sometimes I was fast, sometimes I was more aggressive, and he would play better. If I gave more spin into the balls, then it was more difficult for him. Then I decided to play in order to win the match. That was good for me.
THE MODERATOR: English questions, please.
Q. A little bit of a different question. Your success is obviously based on tens of thousands of hours of hard work, fabulous technique, incredible skill sets. But I’d like you to take a minute and talk about the role of luck in tennis in terms of draws or let cords, injury, and even the luck of your heritage and family. What is the role of that? Do you think there’s an element there or not?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, sure, you can get lucky at times on big occasions, you know, big points and so forth. You get the let cord at, I don’t know, break point, you know, that has a huge momentum swing. But it’s rare. If that happens against you, probably down the road you’ve also had it for you.
Then I don’t think luck comes into the equation to use that to your advantage, you know. Let’s say you got a little lucky, to use that and go on and win the match. It’s one thing getting lucky, but then not using that.
So I think you can push luck on your side by playing tough, by believing in what you’re doing is the right thing. So it’s also very mental.
And then being able to put, you know, things behind, like today I thought I got a bad call at 30‑All, instead of 40‑30, 30‑40. Okay. Maybe I was unlucky. Maybe I saw a difference in mark than she did or we see it differently. But is that unlucky? Maybe. But at the end, I didn’t lose a match because of it.
So I think in tennis, you do get a second chance sometimes, you know. And if then you get it, you should take it.
I don’t really think ‑‑ thank God the umpires don’t have that much of a say like they do have in soccer and so forth. At least if feels like it’s in your racquet. That’s a good thing.
Q. In the end, do you think Roger Federer is a lucky man?
ROGER FEDERER: Lucky to play the sport. I’m very fortunate, and I never predicted my career to be as good as it has been. I don’t know how much luck was involved. I think I’m lucky not to be injured.
I guess so, you know, not to be badly injured at 18 or 20 years old when I was still just learning and being unprofessional at times as well.
So maybe there, yes, but then down the road probably not so much. I just did my thing, even though when I joke around with many players and they say, You always get lucky, and so forth.
I guess there’s reasons behind that.
Q. I think this was already asked in French, but did you watch all of Nadal’s game? What did you think of it? What did you make of it?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw some of it. Look, I mean, we all know Isner’s capabilities. And he can play well on clay. I thought he played a good match, especially off his own serve.
Like Rafa said himself, I think he didn’t play the two best breakers in his life. That’s how it goes sometimes. All of a sudden you’re down two sets to one, and it’s a huge struggle and huge danger if he makes one more mistake. That could be it. Because the other guy just could be serving with the momentum and so forth.
I think Rafa did really well to come back, and was interesting to obviously see Rafa, his first five‑setter here in Paris. It’s something special, something that’s never happened before. So it’s huge attention on that obviously to see how he was going to come out of it.
Q. Juan Del Potro and Djokovic, maybe they face each other in the third round. How do you see that match?
ROGER FEDERER: With Novak, I guess, without disrespecting their opponents now, obviously we just talk about how is the situation right now if they were to play, but I think Novak’s playing well. Obviously physically seems fine and everything.
With Juan Martin, I’m not sure, I haven’t spoken to him enough and he’s obviously coming off that hip thing he’s had.
But let’s say both are 100% fit, Juan Martin definitely has his chance to play him. If he wouldn’t have been injured with his wrist, maybe he would have won the French Open last year. I thought he played that well in 2009 against me in the semis already where I thought it was a real close match.
So he’s definitely got his chance, and it will be a good match. I hope it’s going to happen, too, so we see a really good match in the third round.
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Credit to the folks on RF.com for the transcript.