Roger Federer - Preview
Miami, Fl., U.S.A.
March 25, 2010
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. No doubt what happened to you last week at Indian Wells hurt. We can could see that afterwards. I mean, how much do defeats still really hurt you, at whatever level they come and whatever tournament they come?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, it was just disappointing on the moment itself. Disappointed you don't get a shot at winning the title. I mean, it's a long trip, and I've been practicing or trying to recuperate for weeks and weeks.
So when it's over after one or two matches, it's kind of you know, you feel a little bit empty in the moment itself, in the moment that follows. I mean, the press conference is three minutes after, which doesn't help.
If I would do it the next day it would sound obviously much fresher. And it was late and everything.
No, I mean, after that, you know, I've had many years where I run from one thing to the next that also I welcome having all of a sudden, you know, more days off, more days of practice, more days where I can just wake up and see what I really want to do instead of having the perfect plan the whole time.
So it's nice to adjust that for a change, if there's anything positive to take out of a loss.
Q. You had to withdraw from Dubai because of a lung infection.
ROGER FEDERER: Uh huh.
Q. Are you back to 100% now?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I felt good after, ever since I got the green light from the doctors, and I've been practicing hard before Indian Wells and also now in between.
So no issues whatsoever. I'm fighting fit again.
Q. Do you ever plan to play Latin American tour? And what do you think of what happened down there?
ROGER FEDERER: What happened down there?
Q. Yeah, in Latin America and tennis.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's a tough circuit for me to attend really, because I have options to play indoor tournaments in Europe which are a one hour flight away and are indoors where I had my first success, which I really enjoy playing.
Or I don't play those and just go play Dubai, which is what I've been doing for many years. So that's why obviously to go to South America is almost impossible for me except for maybe exhibitions at the end of the year, which I guess at some stage I would consider.
But at the moment, especially with having a family as well, it's yeah, it's not really in my plan, to be honest. I'd love to go see more of it. Back in maybe '96 I played the junior circuit.
I mean, it wasn't South America deep south, but I played Mexico, Costa Rica, and Venezuela. That's as close I've gotten really to get a feel for South America.
Q. I believe you were the last person to win Indian Wells and Miami back to back. Can you elaborate what's so challenging about trying to win these two tournaments back to back?
ROGER FEDERER: Two huge tournaments, tough draws, over three, four weeks you got to keep your concentration. It's not easy. Obviously with a knockout system tennis it's just not easy to win back to back Masters 1000 events.
I think I did it for two years in a row. I'm not sure about yeah, I was playing great and probably got lucky on one or two matches during the stretch. That's what you need, as well, if you want to try to win two in a row here.
Q. You smashed your racquet a year ago, and there were questions where you were going. Now you're back with a hold on No. 1 again. Can you talk about what that means to have this hold on No. 1 after where you've been?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, of course I'm very proud. Spent a lot of weeks at No. 1, so it doesn't feel it's a feeling I know, so it's kind of nice.
Of course I'm very happy if I consider the situation I was in here last year where everybody was writing funny things. To come back and have three Grand Slams under my pocket and being married and having two kids, I think I've done extremely well.
So of course I'm very happy. I'm proud of my achievements in the last year, and I hope I can, you know, keep up somewhat of a, you know, good season and see where it goes.
But I'm always excited coming back here to Miami. I've had a lot of success here, and I've always enjoyed coming here ever since I played sort of the juniors back in '95 maybe. I played my first Orange Bowl here at the Biltmore Hotel.
I've come for many years here to Miami, and I hope it's gonna go well here again this year.
Q. Justine said your winning the French really sort of put the fire back in her in terms of wanting to come back and play. I know you're a fan of the women's game. What is it you like about Justine and the way she approaches things?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, one handed backhand is something you don't see very often. I like that, you know, she doesn't have too many letdowns. You know, sometimes I see women's players going through quite a few ups and downs during the match.
But she can really focus through an entire match. Just putting in a solid performance every time she goes out on court. She knows how to win the big titles. She's been in many pressure situations, and she's handled those well.
Yeah, something you can look up to.
Q. Do you think it would be possible on the men's side for someone to take that much time off, like Kim or Justine, and do what they've done, coming back so quickly?
ROGER FEDERER: You never know. Not something I'm planning, anyway.
Q. How much do you read about what's written about you?
ROGER FEDERER: Not as much anymore. I don't have the time. Busy with the kids. (laughter.)
Q. Did you read more when you were younger? Were you more curious? Did it affect you? Is that part of why you don't read it?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, I think I used to read more just because I was wondering what did they write after I talk to them? How do they create these stories? Are they always, how you say, not accurate like everybody says about the press?
So you kind of like you check on everything they say like a hawk. But today I think we kind of like all know each other, so it helps, you know.
There is less weird things written about me, you know, because when I say something, people know what I mean today; whereas in the beginning you still have to try to explain yourself. They don't maybe they don't know your character so well, so they misinterpret many, many things.
So, honestly I just don't have the time anymore. Like I used to watch many of my matches when I was younger. I don't do that anymore. You kind of just move on with your life.
Q. Did you read more the Swiss or international press?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously the Swiss press in the beginning, because internationally was still very small. But now if I read, I read a bit of both, obviously.
Q. What's it like to still go out there and see people just to watch you practice? What's that like? And do you ever just look around and say, Wow?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's funny how it goes. You reach No. 1 in the world, and next time you practice you've got a crowd. That's something that was a very, you know, shockingly nice surprise when it happened, sort of, in 2004.
But it's not easy. I wish sometimes I was alone on the practice courts, because then you can really just relax a bit more. But I feel like everything is documented, whatever I do in the practice courts.
So sometimes I do feel the pressure, as well, and then you can't just come in and walk in and out, you know. You don't have to, but of course I sign a lot of autographs and take pictures. That always take takes time away, too.
It's just part of my life today. But it definitely, you know, also wears you out at times. I like to do it and put in the hard work because they make it so worthwhile, you know, to keep on playing and make it so much more fun.
I'm lucky enough to always be playing on center court, and also the practice I get a lot of encouragement. It's nice they're there, you know. But I definitely feel the pressure sometimes that they're watching me, many of them probably for the first time in their lives, so it's a big moment for them.
Especially here in Miami and also Indian Wells there's huge crowds at the practice. It's nice, you know, because they're really friendly and very enthusiastic. So then obviously I like to spend even more time with them.
Q. How significant is it that none of the top 4 players won the title in Indian Wells?
ROGER FEDERER: Happens. Very simple. I mean, we've done extremely well, almost too well, I guess, over the last few years that people got accustomed to it.
That's why people talk about it today. But in the past it was something that was quite normal, that not always the top guys would win all the tournaments. You know, it's something that's kind of happened the last few years.
It's just been a fluke, you know, if someone out of the top 4 won one of those big tournaments. I was very happy it was Ivan, really. I would have also I think Roddick also would have deserved the title. But Ivan's a good friend of mine. We practice a lot together. We're also in contact when the season is not going on. I was extremely happy for him, anyway.
Q. How do you think family life has affected your goals and your ambitions as a player?
ROGER FEDERER: My ambitions and my...
Q. And your goals?
ROGER FEDERER: My goals?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, in terms of goals, not much has changed. My ranking is still at the very top or, you know, near top. I was No. 2 when Mirka's pregnant, No. 1 when they were born. They stay extremely high, you know.
It's not always a lot of fun, but I'm happy. I almost have to aim so high, you know, staying No. 1 in the world, trying to win the Grand Slams, trying to win here in Miami. It's just something that I've gotten used to over the last seven years really, to aim extremely high.
I think my game is where I want it to be, so it hasn't stopped me off practicing hard or having not enough focus on the match court. For this reason, I'm very happy with my setup.
You know, Mirka obviously takes care of all the big work, and I try to help as much as I can from my side. But it's an amazing time for me right now. You know, the girls are a bit over eight months, and I like to spend as much as time as possible with them.
I also love tennis, of course, so it's a great balance and great life for me at the moment.
Q. Do you wish they were here with you?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I know they're here, so it's fine.
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