28th NOVENTI OPEN June 12th to 20th 2021

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Interview with Roger Federer

It was pretty tight. How did you work your way out of it?
I mean you just try to get off to a good start in the breaker, you know, try to hold your ground, try to stay with him whatever happens, try to take the right decisions you know as you go along the way but you also need a little bit of luck I guess, you know. I felt there was a … it was a tough match, I played at a good level actually. I think also he served well and had a good mix and a good variety. It was hard to break. So, naturally it was always going to be tight. And at the end it was just extremely close. So, I’m fortunate to have made it today.
So, how important is a positive mind-set, especially on the match point, to go for your shot instead of waiting for mistakes, risking?
I mean it was not blind risk, so it was controlled but I was trying to sometimes play controlled and it didn’t work as well. So, you need a bit of luck, I mean not luck but the right type of commitment, the right type of ball, the right reaction and when you hit it and let it go, instead it lands 20 cm in and not 10 cm out and those outcomes you cannot always control. But, look, I think I created quite a few opportunities. Maybe a few more then he did overall, especially on the return games and I was maybe a bit tentative at times you know, but I think it was also because of the way he was playing and serving and all that stuff. So, the only thing that I can say is that maybe it was a bit disappointing how I served in the second set. You know, one game I got broken the first one which was a bad service game and the second one I got broken I was frustrated I guess and that’s not allowed to happen. So, I hope I can clean that up for the next round. But other than that for most of the match I was actually quite pleases. So, it’s not a bad match for me.
When you see your opponent being upset, breaking his racket, does that do something to your play?
No. I mean I guess it’s better if he doesn’t do it but I don’t really take much from it. I anyway check out my opponent very little. You know, I turn around very quickly to focus on my next point and on my relaxation mode if you like. I hear more the roar than anything else, then maybe I quickly have a glance and I see maybe the racket out of his hand. But, at the end of the day, as long as he doesn’t destroy the court, it’s all good.
I am curious if last week’s and this second-round match gave you a little confidence?
The good thing about matches like these, because I lost plenty of matches also having had match point, you know, it’s a good feeling to win these regardless of when that happens in the season. But I think because I haven’t played it really allows me to play a lot of points under a lot of pressure, because every service game on in the third set I believe, you know, being in the third set again was a good feeling, then every service game from 4 all it really [inaudible] a little bit and then obviously every point in the breaker. You know you just feel different as you approach the baseline to serve or you stand there to return you know everything will make a difference and it’s good for me to go through these emotional feelings than, let’s say I came back and every match was straightforward. Then, all of a sudden when the big hard core match came around maybe I’m not ready. So, I feel like this I’m ready for tight matches. Of course, I prefer to win them easier if possible. But I think I can take a lot of positives away from a hard-fought match, especially also confidence and seeing fitness wise also I’m right there, it’s not a problem and that’s good to know.
Last year, your intensity on grass was Stuttgart, Halle, Wimbledon. This year you have already played the number of matches of the last year and you are going to play more. Are you afraid of the overload of matches?
It depends how it goes tomorrow. You know if every match is going to finish 7-6 in the third now it makes a difference than losing 2 and 2 tomorrow. I hope I have a problem that I’m going to play a lot of tennis this week-end and then honestly I have a very light schedule ahead of Wimbledon. I have hardly anything going on in terms of press and sponsors. As you know I know the importance of Wimbledon, I know how much down-time I need before Wimbledon and because I knew my schedule with Stuttgart and Halle could be intense I try to minimum. I'm really focussed on practice and rest. So, actually in actual fact I don’t believe it’s going to be a problem unless I would be carrying an injury and am playing through injury which I’m not doing right now. So, I’m actually not too worried. The only hope I have is to stay injury free throughout this week and then anyway, regardless of how I’m going to play here, I’m going to pace myself next week.
Does today’s match compare to any other second-round match you played?
Yes, in Halle?
I don’t know my second-round matches from the last fifteen years but I do remember almost losing some, there is a Youzhny match, there is a Rochus match, there were quite a few I feel. I think luck has often gone on my side here in this tournament. I don’t know if it is crowd support, the feeling I get, losing on grass is harder for me than maybe on other surfaces. I’m not sure what it is. Were you thinking of one particular one?
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