28th NOVENTI OPEN June 12th to 20th 2021

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Interview with Roger Federer

Roger, were you prepared for the match to go into a third set? How do you feel the whole day, the whole afternoon went?
I think it’s normal once you get broken on grass that you are ready to go a third because that would be a logical consequence of after being broken but at the same time, you know, you try to show a reaction, try to break back and I had to and was able to do that today. So, first and second set were completely different from one another and I’m happy I played good when I had to end of the second, end of the first as well. I think that comes with playing a lot of matches now. It was tricky. I think Ebden played a good match and I’m happy I got through somehow.
Were you surprised at how well he volleyed and did that make you feel like you could use your volley game in a better way?
Well, I knew going in that he was going to serve and volley some, didn’t know exactly how much. It always depends on how much faster you are able to bring from the very beginning. It took me a while to be able to push him back and for him to stay back off the second serve; in the second set that started happening. But I think, like you said, he volleyed extremely well in that first set and very often he hit it very deep, very accurate time and again and there is no reason to be frustrated. There is only so much you can do. If he starts going for bigger returns like I did in the tiebreaker it was nice to get two, you know, return winners in the breaker when it really mattered the most. And then the second set it was a bit of a different match you know, a bit of back and forth again. So, I think that also he did miss a few more volleys then, his serve dropped just maybe a little slightly when it came down to the crunch the most I think I was able to realise that which was important for tonight, for today.
How are you managing the physical preparation? You had a match yesterday, you played now, then tomorrow. So, that is a lot of discipline, probably you relax. So, I would like to know how you manage it? And hopefully today there is another important match, Switzerland, so you can relax?
Well, I don’t know how relaxing it’s going to be. No, I felt like I had to push myself a little bit today in the match. It didn’t come as easy as maybe other days. Potentially, I also get a bit more frustrated, you know, when you’re a bit more tired. But at the end of the day I can take a lot a lot of positives out of today’s match for the semis tomorrow. I think once you reach the semis, for me anyhow, I start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, that the tournament is coming to an end. You know, either you lose in the semis or you have then two more matches maximum. So, I think that allows me to find some extra energy now. I’m not incredibly tired, I just think, you know, I can push myself today which tends to happen when you basically play for twelve straight days and you’re playing a lot of matches. So, I’m happy that I felt this way and it’s nice to get wins this way. And then tonight obviously I’ll try to sit back and enjoy the match but if not I’ll be on the edge of my seat, it all depends on the score a little bit.
After Wimbledon you said that you thought that more players should serve and volley you. Why is that a challenge and more difficult for you?
I don’t think it’s more difficult for me naturally. I know if I said necessarily against me. I just said more guys should try to serve and volley because if it works, well you have that option and if it doesn’t work you stay back, but if you never try you don’t know. And then if you’re going to start serve and volleying just from time to time it doesn’t work because you’re just not comfortable out there, you haven’t spent enough time out there. So, I think it’s something you have to do starting in practice, not just in a match all of a sudden. So, it would be nice if coaches at the junior level already would teach not just volleying at the net but actually transition volleying, you know, a lot of serve and volleying because I do believe it still can be used to great effect. There is there tournaments out there that play faster and it’s just nice to have that option you know, especially in a time when a lot of players forget how to use the serve and volley effectively and you would be one of the players who would have that option compared to another player.
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