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Roger Federer first round

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Q. Looked pretty straightforward. Is that how it felt?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I got the break I think in all three sets in the first return game. So from that standpoint I was always up in the score and could always, you know, was always in the lead. It's easier to play that way. Then many times was able to break again.
You know, it was a solid match overall. I served well, returned well, also tried to come forward a bit. I could really do everything out there, so I'm very pleased with the first round.

Q. You said you tried to come forward a bit more. How much more difficult is that now on these courts compared to when you were first coming along?

ROGER FEDERER: I think, number one, also guys return a bit better these days. I think it might be a touch slower as well. So there's a bit of both.
Plus back in the day, guys were coming in. You didn't really want to hit passing shots for five sets. You wanted to come in. Naturally then you would have more that going back and forth rather than going side to side all the time.
But because those guys are looking for the rallies, you tend to just also do it because it's comfortable, it's nice to stay back there, serve, wait, hit the big forehand.
I've been trying to play some serve and volley last week in Halle. But here the surface is slower again. I have to readjust and see against who does it work and how do you do it. So it was a good first match for me to get a feel for, you know, how much can you actually do it.

Q. How did you feel starting on No. 1?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, fine. I mean, I like playing over there, too. I think many times when I did play my first round over there, I went on to play really well here. Hope it's another really good year for me. We'll see.

Q. Is it easy to get frustrated with coming to the net and stop doing it?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a little bit. It depends on how you're getting passed. If you get passed on the return, the guy hits it late, that's fine.
But I think also as a traditional serve-and-volley player, which I'm not clearly anymore, they're used to taking return winners, passing shots. It's the overall picture you have to be able to see, that it's worth it, it's putting the pressure on the opponent, knowing that any short ball will be attacked, there will be not too much rhythm out there unless you decide you want it as a serve-and-volley player.
It's part of the whole serve-and-volley idea. It's not just trying to serve and volley some more. It's really the bigger picture. That's where you have to take some passing shots. You have to be willing to dig deep on the volleys and not only think, Only if I have high volleys it's good, otherwise if I have to volley deep I'm in trouble and lose the point every single time.
I think there's a way to do it here. You need to be able to serve well, move well at net, anticipate well, come in on the right shots in the right way.
Many things need to work well, but it definitely is still worth it.

Q. As an overall picture, is that something that Stefan has helped you with?

ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. Or maybe just reinforce the concept that it is possible, that I can actually do it. Because for years I started to serve and volley once or twice a set maybe. Clearly I did come in after a big forehand and stuff.
But I remember still how I played in 2001 when I made it to the quarters here. I serve and volleyed 80% on the first serve, 30 to 50% on the second serve. It was just normal. I even did some in 2003 when I won first here. Then every year I started doing less because the game started changing on the tour really.

Q. Have you got your little boys over with you? Is it noisy?

ROGER FEDERER: It's not so noisy. It's very nice having the family with you as much as possible as a dad, as a mom, for that matter. We really enjoy our time together as a big family.
I do miss them when they're not with me. We have the means to do it. For that reason we try to manage it as well as we can. It's clear we have to listen to the signs of the kids, Mirka, my tennis, all that. But I think by now we have a lot of experience over the years and know how to handle it.
But clearly there's a lot happening. Nevertheless we're enjoying it very much, our first Wimbledon all together like that.

Q. Lleyton was just in here. He travels with quite a clan, too. What gives you the most joy out of fatherhood?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, now it's very much educational with the girls. They're getting into that age where you got to give them boundaries but nevertheless play with them, be active with them. They sleep better at night.
The other ones, it's very much still Mirka-based. I mean, she's totally in charge there. I'm just trying to be helpful as much as I can.
It's very different, the boys from the girls, right now, just because of the age as well. But what do I like most? I just like spending time with them, teaching them things, doing things with them, having good times. You have to be firm sometimes. That's not the most fun sometimes. But what are you going to do?

Q. Do you tend to be on the strict side or freeform?

ROGER FEDERER: Depends. I'm strict enough. I do say things. It's not like I never say anything. So they know that.

Q. Are they aware of what you do?

ROGER FEDERER: They know I play a lot of tennis. I don't know if they understand it's like a job. I don't see it as a job. If they understand all of that. They understand the difference between a match and a practice now because they've been to both. They know I kind of play for like a trophy and all that stuff.
Somewhat. They're getting there.

Q. Does it keep you grounded? Because to them you're just dad.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't need them to remain grounded, to be quite honest. That's not why I had kids. I don't need them to like get me to think about something else other than tennis. I've always been very open-minded. Yeah, but of course I can't wait for this to be over to go see the kids, to do other things, than speak tennis all day long. It's a bit boring eventually.

Q. You talked about volleying more in the early days here, then not doing it as much because the game changed. What has made you go back to that way of playing now? Do you think it's a viable way of actually winning a title these days?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think it could be that little extra piece to the puzzle that could bring me through, you know, to have that extra option. I think also the racquet is helping me to serve overall more powerful, higher percentage.
I think it is helpful. I'm going to still see against who I can do it and who I can't. If I can't, we'll have to rely more on my baseline game, on the first shots, you know, serve, returns, first strike, which almost everybody plays nowadays.
It's important to have the confidence to half volley, which I love to do on the grass, to take time away from your opponent. It's many little things that's going to make it work for me.

Q. What has been the hardest part of readjusting to that game for you?

ROGER FEDERER: In terms of?

Q. Going back to the serve and volley.

ROGER FEDERER: I think it's mental. You know, saying, Okay, you're going to get passed. It's okay. And being able to do it when the score is not in your favor. It's easy to serve and volley at 40-Love, but can you do it at 15-30?
Again, I didn't serve and volley all the time. That's not how I intend to be playing. But mixing it up a little bit could be the way to go. I'll still have to see how it's going to go from here on, because at the end I'd rather not serve and volley and win my matches than go out in style serving and volleying.

Q. To what extent do you think the extra week next year on grass is going to make younger players think, I can concentrate on this surface and learn to play on grass?

ROGER FEDERER: I think it's going to be good, you know, on many levels. We're going to maybe see better grass court players overall. Who knows, maybe all of a sudden we'll see some more serve and volleying because people are going to stay more on this surface.
That's not going to happen immediately, but maybe over a period of five to ten years. Those who really like playing on grass now have an option to play three, four, five tournaments maybe in a row, which is kind of nice.
I think it's good. The French and Wimbledon have always been so close to each other. The tournaments in between have been sort of sandwiched. After Wimbledon everybody goes to the hard courts, clay courts. Some go to Newport, fine. But I still feel grass court, which is such a big tradition in the day, back in the day we had three Grand Slams on grass, people forget this. Now we're stuck with maybe five, six events only. It's nice to see grass coming back rather than even disappearing more.


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