August 23, 2008
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Is there a particular challenge to coming in this year, having
just been in Beijing on the other side of the planet and making the
adjustment to coming over here? Is there a particular challenge to that?
I mean, is your body feeling okay in terms of the, you know, jet lag and
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, well, I mean, I think it's always easy when
you know what's coming up, and we knew it for a long time that we're
going to have to do this. This tough trip, Beijing and back.
So for this reason, I feel like what I was meant to do, you know, a few
months ago. I was tired, you know, when I got here, but last couple days
been good in practice and feel much better.
I always knew that we actually had enough time to prepare for Beijing
because we got there a week ahead, and a week ahead in tennis tournament
is a lot. Sometimes we only have two or three days, but here we had a
week. Same thing at the US Open.
My preparation is pretty much the same. It's definitely been a very
challenging stretch, sort of from the French Open to the US Open. Big
tournaments with a lot of traveling and a lot of pressure. It's been
Q. Can you are correlate the experience of the doubles gold in terms
of just getting a sense of, you know, maybe helping to put some of the
disappointment from Roland Garros and Wimbledon behind and you using
that coming into this as sort of a motivator?
ROGER FEDERER: Umm, well, I mean, some people ask me that, you know, if
sort of if it made up for losing the singles, but it's completely
irrelevant because it's two completely different things. I had hopes,
you know, to make gold in singles and maybe in doubles, and once I lost
the singles I right away played doubles. So there was no time really to
be disappointed about it, even though that was the big goal of the
season for me, as well.
Like winning Wimbledon and then winning the Olympic gold. So I still got
my Olympic gold, but in doubles. Honestly the celebration was much more
intense. It was very different to winning alone on a tennis court. You
might have heard that. So for me it was very special winning with my
Q. Obviously this was an important tournament for you this year, but
do you feel like you need more? You know, is it more mental for you
right now or more physical or more tactical or more competition?
ROGER FEDERER: Umm, well, you know, I mean, I've had a tough beginning
to the season, so maybe I've been playing a little bit of catchup all
the way through the season. I was lacking practice, and so I think it's
just a matter of maybe, you know, winning a lot of matches in a row
together, and really feel like this is going to happen here at the US
Open if I play good. You know, and then once if I hope to make it to the
quarters or semis, I think then I have enough matches and enough
confidence to go all the way.
I have to take it a little bit more step by step. That's what I usually
do anyway in Grand Slams. I've been very consistent even this year in
Grand Slams. I'm not really too worried about that. But, I mean, Rafa
has played great, you know, so he deserves the No. 1 position. I mean,
he's in a way the favorite now all of a sudden, even on hardcourt,
because he's' played so, so well.
I'm going to concentrate on what I can really control, and that's in my
section of the draw trying to control all the players. We'll see how it
Q. You're referring to the mono obviously at the beginning of the
year. Do you feel like a little bit like your body has betrayed you this
ROGER FEDERER: No, it's just been difficult. It took away maybe a Slam,
took away a lot of, what is it, 20 days of practice. That is a lot for
us, because at the end of the year maybe -- I don't even have 20 days of
practice because I need to also rest and then get ready.
So it's a lot that I maybe lost, and then I had to play catchup all the
Q. Does it take any pressure off you losing the No. 1 ranking, or is
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I would think it does, yeah. Five years almost I
was expected to win every tournament I entered, except maybe towards the
end a little bit on the clay. Rafa showed he was very, very good on
Other than that I was always expected to win, so maybe now it changes a
little bit, because obviously there's a shift in the rankings. Rafa will
now feel what I had to feel for a very long time.
So it will be interesting to see how he handles it, but so far he's been
great and he's played so well on all surfaces now. Maybe it's nice to go
into a Grand Slam for a change maybe not having No. 1 next to me, and it
should be interesting.
Q. Do you feel playing doubles benefits your singles game? Have you
given any consideration to playing doubles in a Grand Slam?
ROGER FEDERER: Not in a Grand Slam, but I used to play, you know,
doubles in Slams. I think it does help my singles play a little bit, you
know, just the returns and coming in, serve and volleying a little bit,
just the reaction at the net, all these things.
It does sharpen you up a little bit, but still, at the same time, I
really don't want to have any things that disturb me during a Grand
Slam, such as doubles. I'm going to purely always concentrate on the
singles, and maybe doubles just to in a lead-up tournament to a Grand
Q. Were there any special things you did to try to deal with jet lag
in the week plus?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I mean, you just hope you're going to get
getting into a good rhythm. You have to force yourself. But I rarely
have a huge problem with jet lag. It's just a matter of being tired,
maybe a little bit rundown.
I tried to save a lot of energy at the beginning of the year so I would
get through the entire season without a problem. At the moment, I think
all our players, we're like in the mode of, Let's just try to get
through the US Open and let's see how we feel afterwards.
So even if you are tired, you don't allow it to come out. It's been a
tough year, and I think you'll see many guys now that they are feeling a
little bit rundown. But I think that's a normal thing after a tough
Q. Does it bother you at all when someone like Patrick McEnroe calls
Nadal the clear-cut favorite even though he's never been past the
quarterfinals here and you've won it four straight time times?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know how he said it or what he said, but
like I said as well, he's won every big tournament in the last three:
Olympic Games, French Open and Wimbledon. I mean, he's not completely
Clear favorite? I don't know about that, but he seems like the favorite,
even though I've won here last four times. I still believe it's an
advantage if you how to win a US Open. It's a tough tournament to win.
Like you said, Rafa has never been beyond the fourth round or quarters,
so that's definitely the advantage I carry to the other players that
they don't have that.
Q. So many pullouts with the Olympics and players have injuries
because of the tournament schedule. Now that you're on the
administrative side, you know, working with Rafa and the ATP board, are
you hopeful that you're going to be able to make some changes that will
help people stay fit for longer? What are your top priorities there?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think this is quite a unique season. Rafa wasn't
happy with the clay court season. I was not particularly happy, you
know, with scheduling at the Olympics. We all wish we would have had
more time between Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, or after Toronto
there was only two weeks.
So this year I think is one sort of to forget in terms of scheduling,
but there was not really a whole lot we could do, you know, because of
the Olympic Games. Every four years maybe there will be a tough season
But, look, next year's schedule it will already be much better. We'll
have much more time and won't be forced to play every single week. Now
looking back, maybe I should not have played Toronto and Cincinnati, but
then I would have given up No. 1 without a fight and I would have come
into the Olympic Games without any hardcourt matches since basically
That's not the perfect preparation, either, you know. So that's why I
was trying to chase, you know, some matches on hardcourt, and that's
what you get. And then you lose and then you travel and it just makes
you more and more tired.
I think this is a season sort of to forget in terms of scheduling. We're
working hard on that, but I think next year we won't have this type of
problems like this year. We just have to get through this one.
Q. Each Slam is different. Different atmosphere. You're here in New
York. You've had great results. Give us some comments about being back
here in New York where you've had great success. I saw Don King the
other night, the personalities.
ROGER FEDERER: Look, always have a great time always in New York,
especially the last four years obviously have been very special. I've
had some legendary matches from me playing Andre in the finals, or Andy.
The night sessions, it's electrifying, and the crowd's always been very
good to me.
So especially this year I hope, you know, maybe not playing my best
tennis, maybe this year they will come out and support me and carry me
through to another US Open win.
I think I need the support a little bit this year. Other than that, it's
been always fun, you know, coming to the city. It's the most incredible
city, you know. You attend some events and meet people you maybe usually
don't during the year.
For this reason, I'm very excited to be back, and I hope I can stay here
as long as possible.
Q. Does tennis need Don King?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, why not?
Q. Are you going to make any adjustment mentally or physically before
the US Open, before Monday, or...
ROGER FEDERER: I think physically not a whole lot, you know. I'm just
going to try to recover from a lot of, you know, traveling we've had,
and so you do a lot of prevention, you know, stretching, massage and a
lot of sleep, eat healthy kind of thing.
Mentally I think it's important just to be positive. I know how to enter
Grand Slams. I know how to enter the US Open, what it takes to win.
That's always a huge advantage I have. I come here as a defending
champion, so I always have great feelings about this place.
It's a matter of once I get into the tournament I take the right
decisions how I want to play, and especially be very confident and
positive in my mind. I think that only will really start to roll once I
get into the tournament.
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