Federer "I don't think I played a bad match"
Tuesday, 1st  June, 2010

Q. Two hours after the match, tell me something about the emotions. You must be very disappointed.


ROGER FEDERER: Well, disappointed to a certain degree. You know, I don't think I played a bad match, so it's easier to go out this way, I think. 


Conditions obviously were on the rougher side for both of us, and I thought he came up with some great tennis.


You know, it's a touch easier to digest this way.

 

Q. In any case, before the stop you had a set point, so it could have been another story, or he started playing flat? 


ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, best of five set matches you always get chances, and I definitely had those at, what was it, 5 4, Love 30? I mean, he missed a forehand that was close to go up at Love 30, and then he had a forehand that just touches the line a little bit to go maybe Love 40 instead of, you know, 15 30. So that's obviously a big change.


The backhand smash he hit he catches with the frame a little bit, you know. I mean, that was kind of a hard shot to hit, I thought. That kind of shot from my side with the smash and stuff is very unusual.


So hit it well, you know. But he played aggressive and kept on coming. When the conditions got more heavy when we came back from the rain delay, he played well, you know. 

 

That was a tough set for me to lose after having those chances and being up 40 15 on my serve when I came back.

 

Q. You have, of course, the great semifinal streak that is now broken. What does that mean to you? Obviously all good things come to an end at some point. 


ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, like you say, they all come to an end at some stage. You hope they don't happen, but they do. 


No, I mean, it was a great run. Now I've got the quarterfinal streak going, I guess. (laughter.)


No, I mean, it's been an amazing run. I think it sort of started here when I lost to Kuerten back in '04, I guess it is. If then I could have signed for all those semis in a row, I would have done it right away. 


I've made, how you say, incredible progress in terms of my play at the highest of level to be able to always come back and play semis after semis after semis in Slams and give myself chances to win in Slams. I was able to win many of them. 


I was proud to have that streak, and it's probably one of the greatest ones I have in my, you know, history books, really, for me.

 

Q. Secondly, the difference between the Robin you saw last year here and today, was it significant?


ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think conditions were even harder today. I mean, I think last year's match was difficult for both of us. You know, I had a good start again today, which was the case as well last year.


You know, I mean, at times I guess I could have played a bit better. He served well. I didn't take my chances early on in the second set. And then in the third set as well. 


So I just missed too many chances today, which I didn't do last year, and I was able to run away with it. Today I couldn't do that.

 

Q. You were 12 0 against him. What did he do today that really bothered you on the court?


ROGER FEDERER: He played really well, you know, for almost an entire match, really.


I'm not blaming the conditions or anything, but I think they were in his favor towards the end. Because, I mean, these were some serious, tough conditions, you know. If you serve 225, 230, you can still hit through the court on the serve.


I may be lacking those 5 to 10ks extra on the serve to hit through a guy on the serve, but that's the way conditions are. I can't complain, because it was the same for both of us. 


But of course I'm disappointed to having sort of lost three matches in the rain on clay this season: in Estoril, in Rome, and now here again.


So I just couldn't come up with the plays when I had to today.

 

Q. Did you have any feeling going into today's match that you might not win?


ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I respect everyone, but I'm always, how do you say? I'm honest enough to myself that I know I can win them all. I felt confident going into the match knowing that if I play well, if I play solid, I'd probably win this match.

 

Q. Once you got in the rallies, do you think the lower bounce because of the heavier conditions favored him over you?


ROGER FEDERER: Look, I don't mind slow clay. When it gets rainy, it's tough, you know. Not only for me, but for the opponent too, usually. It's not a lot of fun for the fans either, and for us, the players, it's hard, you know, because you never know when it's gonna be interrupted. 


You know, your mind starts wandering. It was tough conditions. I guess today they favored him, but I really felt like he played great. He was able to hit consistently through the ball, and on the offensive I put them close to the lines. That's something, you know, that was impressive.

 

Q. As you look inside yourself, what is worse for you: having been beaten in quarterfinals and have no chance to win another Grand Slam title, or let the chance open to lose the No. 1?


ROGER FEDERER: I mean, you just take the defeat as it is. You don't think of the consequences. I guess most disappointed I am that I can't defend my title here. I really felt like my tennis was good enough to come here and do it again, but that was not the case today.


So it's more the disappointment in having maybe not delivered my very best performance today, conditions and opponents didn't allow me to. 


And, yeah, then you move on. You know, you move on to the grass and forget a little bit.

 

Q. Do you think that Robin can go all the way this year?


ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, once you're in the semifinals, there's four players that can go all the way. Counts for him too; he was in the finals here last year.

 

If he makes the finals again, he'll feel more comfortable, you know, in that kind of a situation, a position. Maybe he'll play a better final. Who knows? 


But he definitely has a chance, yeah.

 

Q. You had obviously, you know, a great turnaround in Australia and then the break. I'm just wondering if you ever felt you had your A clay game on this spring? Were there times when you felt you had it, or did you always feel like you were sort of searching for it throughout the spring?


ROGER FEDERER: I felt like I found my game when I arrived in Madrid, really. Felt like my game was good enough again. That's why I was very happy with my play over there. I was very happy with my play here this week. 


You can't really practice with these kind of conditions. You just take them the way they come, you know. That's why it's disappointing. 


And honestly, I don't look too deep into why I lost today. For me, it's very clear very quickly. That's why I think I can move away from this rather fast and concentrate on the grass season coming up.

 

Q. Have you ever played such a big hitter as Soderling today?


ROGER FEDERER: Yes.

 

Q. Who?


ROGER FEDERER: Del Potro. You've forgotten him because he's injured.

 

Q. What's the feeling when you have such a powerful ball in your racquet?


ROGER FEDERER: Well, it can be pleasant and unpleasant because you have less to do and you can't play your game, you can't impose your game.


As for me, I'm strong on both sides if I have to attack and if I have to defend and take the speed of the other player. That's why I had such a good record against him.


So not too much of a problem for me, but today he played very well. He was impressive.

 

Q. Would the conditions prevent you from varying your shots as much as you would have liked to?


ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, slightly. But then I did what I wanted to do. I just missed some opportunities at the end of the second set, beginning of the third. The rain was not very helpful. 


I was one break up in the fourth, and, well, I lost three sets; this is what I did. That's why it's frustrating leaving the tournament like that.


But at the end of the day, he needs to take credit. He played incredibly well from the beginning to the end and in very difficult conditions.


So it's a bit of a shame. The conditions were what they were, but he deserves it. He played very well.








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