Roger Federer interview
Wimbledon Final, July 5, 2009.
Q. How hard was that compared to other finals you have played here?
ROGER FEDERER: It was difficult, because I thought Andy played great. You know, I mean, I’m obviously ?? I know how it is to play a Wimbledon final. I know how it is to play a fifth set in the final, in a Wimbledon final.
But it felt different. It was so different to what I experienced the last few years with Rafa, you know, where it was a baseline game. Today it was a serve and return game, which is more classical for grass.
You know, I mean, it’s frustrating at times because I couldn’t break Andy till the very, very end. So satisfaction is maybe bigger this time around to come through, because I couldn’t control the match at all.
Q. What went through your head when you finally won the second set?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I thought the second set was obviously key to what came after. Maybe being down two sets to love, the way Andy was serving, would have always been a very difficult situation to be in, you know.
Even then down two sets to love it’s still possible, but it definitely increased my chances of winning.
Q. What are your feelings for Andy now?
ROGER FEDERER: It’s hard. Sports or tennis is cruel sometimes. We know it. I went through some five?setters in Grand Slam finals, too and ended up losing. It’s hard, you know.
But I think he did great, you know. He’s not going to let his head hang down. I think he’s gonna come back strong and play great in the States. I think it’s one of the best matches we played against each other. Of course, conditions were very quick today.
But he played well. You know, I really thought I had to play my very, very best to come through.
Q. You said that as a boy you couldn’t have dreamed of this. Was there a point as a boy where the game captured you, inspired you, and you said, That’s what I want to be?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. I mean, I wanted to be a tennis player or a soccer player from a very young age.
Q. Was there a final or something?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the Becker/Edberg final. I don’t remember which year because they played a few times. Sitting at home in the living room, watching them play, thinking hopefully one day I can be like them, you know.
That’s I guess where idols and inspirations are good. They push you forward. Then along the way you joke around and say it’s coming closer. You know, when you win a practice match, you know, you just fake like you’ve just won Wimbledon, you know. All of a sudden it’s really happening, you know.
But it’s so surreal to think that far ahead, that it’s amazing coming through in the end like this today.
Q. A lot of players go through their entire career never winning one Grand Slam. What’s it like to win 15?
ROGER FEDERER: That’s a good question. I like it. Makes me happy (smiling).
I don’t know. I mean, it’s staggering, you know, that I’ve been able to play so well for, you know, so many years now and stay injury?free. Happy what I’m doing.
You know, I mean, of course there is a certain routine that’s started to happen the last few years since I sort of became No. 1 in the world. I knew what it took to win the big ones. That’s obviously, you know, a lot of experience that comes with it, you know, being there and giving myself chances.
Yeah, you know, so it’s ?? yeah, it’s crazy that I’ve been able to win so many in such a short period of time, I think.
Q. Your first Grand Slam title was Wimbledon. Now your 15th is Wimbledon. Both titles are memorable. Do you feel destiny or anything?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I’m happy I broke the record here in some ways, you know, because this is always the tournament that’s meant the most to me because of what we spoke about with my heroes and idols being so successful here.
So it definitely feels like it’s come full circle for me, you know, starting it here and ending it here. Of course, my career is far from over. But it’s also nice to think especially so many legends were sitting there today. You know, especially Pete, you know, who I had a great time with in Asia a short while ago.
I know how much the record meant to him and he knows how much the record means to me. In a way, I still feel like we share it, you know, just because he was such a wonderful champion. He still has one up against me here at Wimbledon. It’s nice, you know, that he shows appreciation for what I’m doing, and it’s just great seeing so many, you know, legends coming out and enjoying my tennis or our tennis today.
I don’t know how to say. I used to get nervous when a friend would come watch me play as a kid, and then it was my parents, and then it was legends and people I really ?? who meant something. Today it’s okay. Today anybody can come and watch me play. I don’t get nervous anymore. Today with Pete it was a bit special, you know. When he walked in and I saw him for the first time, I did get more nervous actually.
Q. He got here late actually.
ROGER FEDERER: I said hello to him, too, which is unusual. But I thought, I don’t want to be rude, you know (laughter).
Q. When did you actually find out he was coming? It was a will he, won’t he, will he, won’t he for the last couple of days. Were you given notice he was going to be there?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, confirmation I only got it yesterday during the day, but he promised me long time ago that he would. So I always knew he would keep his word, you know.
Yeah, he hoped it was maybe going to be in New York so it’s closest to him. He said maybe not Australia, if possible. But I think this works for everyone.
Q. You’ve reclaimed the tennis throne, winning the French, here, No. 1 spot, without facing <a href=”http://www.tennis-x.com/playernews/Rafael-Nadal.php” title=”Rafael Nadal” id=”namelink”>Rafael Nadal</a>. Does that take anything out of it in any way?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don’t think it should. Just because tennis, that’s the way it goes, you know. Everybody expected Murray to be in the finals. He wasn’t there. It’s not the mistake of the one who wins at the end.
Of course, I would have loved to play him again. But, then again, I’ve also played Andy now in three great Wimbledon finals, you know, and I think he deserves the credit, too, for playing so well.
You never know how he would have played, but it’s sad he couldn’t even give it a fair chance, Rafa. He had the injury. Tennis moves very quickly, you know.
I’m happy at least that I became No. 1 in the world by winning the tournament, not just by him not playing at all, or me playing decent or someone else playing decent and getting to No. 1. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
It’s supposed to be that you win big matches, big tournaments. That’s how you get back to it.
Q. What is going to be your next priorities?
ROGER FEDERER: The next priorities?
Q. From here.
ROGER FEDERER: What do you think? Not tennis.
Q. Do you feel like you’re the happiest person right now?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know. I mean, I’m very happy. I don’t know if I’m the happiest person in the world. I don’t think so. I think there’s many happy people out there. Tennis doesn’t make you ?? tennis doesn’t do it all for me. There’s more to life than just tennis. But I feel great.
Q. Up till this point of your career, do you still have some regrets in your personal life and professional life?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, I think in my tennis life I think I tried as hard as I could. Maybe some regrets when I was a junior. But I think it’s important to go through that period of time where you don’t know what it takes, so you try all sort of different things. And then you’re not professional at times because you’re not supposed to be because you’re young, you’re a junior, you’re enjoying tennis.
On a personal level, I’m very happy. I’m together with a lovely wife for almost 10 years. It’s great, you know. I’m happy it’s the way it is really.
Q. 15 slams is such an incredible accomplishment over a long period of time. What qualities are you most proud of that you brought to this achievement?
ROGER FEDERER: To the sport?
Q. No, that you brought to achieving the record of 15 slams.
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, just the fight, you know, because I’m famous for, you know, being all casual and relaxed out there, not showing much. But, you know, we all know how different it was, you know.
So for me to come get the player I am today, I mean, I’m surprised, you know. Just because I didn’t expect it first of all. I never thought I could be this consistent, that great of a player with so many qualities, you know. Because I know I have qualities everywhere in the game. I know I have also some deficit, you know, which is normal, too.
Unfortunately, you can’t practice everything in tennis. We play too many tournaments. So we don’t have the chance, you know, to work on our games enough. That would be interesting to see if we had six months off, you know, how could you evolve as a player.
But there is a certain calendar, and we got to work with it, you know, trying to play well for the short period of time we can, and then also try to work on the game but also have enough breaks.
So it’s quite interesting how a career goes. But I think I’ve handled many things the right way, you know, including the media, my personal life. I’m happy where my life has sort of improved, I would say, because it’s so much fun on the tour right now.
I love traveling. I always kept things happy. I think that’s key, you know, to a long career.
Q. What does it say on your T?shirt?
ROGER FEDERER: “There is no finish line. Far from done.”
Q. How do you feel about being a legend, except feeling good?
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know if you’re a legend as long as you’re still playing the sport. So let’s wait and see.