Roger Federer 24-01-18 interview

  • def. Berdych 7-6 6-3 6-2

Q. What was the key to turning around the first set? Did your conversation with the chair umpire help you blow off some steam?
ROGER FEDERER: It was more just getting his thoughts on the whole situation because I was told now that he knew the call, so he could have told me it was in, which apparently it was, which I thought it was too. But then when he took the challenge away, I just wanted some explanations. So that was it.

I just tried to hang around, tried to play a bit more aggressive, get some rhythm going, because Tomas found that early. That's why I was under pressure. It was definitely very close, the turning point, and it ended up being for the entire match.

I played a great breaker. Got off to a good start there. But coming back from 5-2 in the first set, it was clearly big tonight.

Q. You had a rather interesting conversation with Jim after the match. You were speaking about fashion. Was that one of the most interesting conversations you've had?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I've had a lot of good ones with him over the years. I don't remember. I just tried to play along, have fun with it, too. Back in the day, we didn't have interviews after matches. At Wimbledon when you won the tournament, you got to hold the trophy for 10 seconds. That was it. Now we're having a whole ceremonial thing to it to give more insight to what a player thinks, what does he care about the fashion or not. I think it's fun. It's good.

Jim does a really nice job, I must admit. He keeps it fun but at the same time we get the thoughts on the future opponents, on the match that you've just played. He likes also to highlight the respect for the player you've just played, because without him there's no match really. I like that a lot.

I thought it was another funny one tonight.

Q. Apparently today Chung was a little worried about the speech he had to make at the end of his match. Have you learned how to deal with this in all these years?
ROGER FEDERER: A little bit. I don't think you have to be worried about your on-court interview. I understand the press room because you don't really know what's coming.

I don't think Jim is going to put you in an uncomfortable place. If you are struggling, he'll help you out. So I think the on-court interview is actually the easiest one, to be honest.

Q. You said in the interview that storytelling in sports is important. Is it an important thing in tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: I think so. I mean, there's a lot that can be said about where you come from, where you're playing, what you're going through, what you care about. It could be anything really.

I think the fans really enjoy that. To get a piece of clothing, whatever it may be, that reflects that. They really feel they're getting something from you. It's like the soccer jersey with the name on the back, very simple, and the number, in soccer.

In tennis, it's a bit different. We have the luxury to change our outfits many times during the season. We can really play around with it. I have been on tour for 20 years. I don't even know how many outfits I've played in. It's been good fun. Sometimes you overdo it, but so what.

Q. You talked about Rafa going out last night. Is part of you a little bit disappointed you won't get to have a rematch with your great rival?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't think that way when he went out, honestly, because I'm in the quarters, about to play Berdych. I thought he was playing very well this tournament.

I know the rematch won't happen, but I'm not in the finals yet. You don't want to think too far ahead, what if, what if, because I feel that's exactly the moment when you stumble. That's why I think I was actually very nervous going into this match tonight, and that's why I struggled very early on. I knew the danger of Berdych. Seeing what has happened to so many other top seeds here in the draw, I was a bit wary going into tonight.

Q. Sorry if this is a British question, and I know he's on the other side of the draw, but can you give me your thoughts on Kyle Edmund?
ROGER FEDERER: Of course.

Q. Do you think he's ready to win a Grand Slam?
ROGER FEDERER: I haven't seen him play enough, to be quite honest, to make that call. Somebody who is in the semis, to me, seems is two steps away. A lot of stuff can happen. You play one good one, the other guy plays one bad one. Usually there's no bad matches any more in semifinal play.

It's a good situation to be in. He can hit freely now. No expectations whatsoever. He'll maybe never be in this position ever again: to have so little expectations in some ways. Even though you're young, first time in the semis, you're like, I'm going to tear this place into pieces, I've got incredible power right now. I feel like it should be very interesting.

I remember by chance watching his match against Jack Sock in Paris on the outside court when he led 4-Love in the third. He made a mess of it. It's nice to see the turnaround through the off-season, coming here, playing well. It's big for him, I think, because losing those types of matches, seeing what Jack Sock ends up doing, it kind of hurts in some ways. At the same time it makes you believe.

It's nice to see. It teaches a good lesson to a lot of the other players, that if you stick around, good things happen, like when he won his 39-degree heat match against -- I don't remember who that was against. But 7-5 in the fifth, that was tough. He fought it out. Next thing you know, he's playing great tennis. He recovered somehow, because he's young. Great, great effort. I'm very happy for him.

Q. You mentioned on court there are many new names on the scene. I don't think we've had unseeded semifinalists for like 10 years in a slam.
ROGER FEDERER: Really? Okay. You'll see probably more of that moving forward next year when we have 16 seeds.

Q. In terms of the development of this generation of early 20-somethings, can you talk a bit more about why you think that's a good thing.
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's a good thing. They got to make a move. I find it disappointing when their breakthroughs come at 27, because then we know them for seven years, let's say. I like it when we don't know the guys. I hardly know Chung. I've hardly spoken to him. I had one Nike appearance once with Edmund over in London. That's about it. Maybe otherwise I've shaken his hand twice and spoken a few words to him. In a way I like it, because it's really something totally new to me and to some extent for you guys, too.

It's not going to happen all the time. We like our rivalries that do exist on the tour. New names are good, from time to time, of course for the tour. I think next year when we'll have 16 seeds, it's going to be quite different.

I remember how it used to be, because I think it got changed '01. That's how I grew up with it. It's nice to go back to that. I do believe in some ways it's going to open some draws, but at the same time it's going to be some really tough ones from the get-go, which I think is a good thing. Those first weeks sometimes have become really dull sometimes.

Q. What do you think about Chung's tournament so far and your thoughts on playing him?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I'm very excited to play Chung. I thought he played an incredible match against Novak. I mean, to beat him here is one of the tough things to do in our sport, I believe. I know that Novak maybe wasn't at 110%, but he was all right. He was giving it a fight till the very end. To close it out, that was mighty impressive.

I don't quite know exactly who else he beat throughout the tournament. But to bounce back from a Novak match and just somehow get it done today, this afternoon, that's tough. That shows that he's had good composure, a great mindset. Also physically he must have recovered because Novak is going to give you a bit of a workout.

I think it's an interesting match for me. I'll definitely have to look into how I need to play against him because he has some great qualities, especially defensively, like Novak has.

Q. You said he's a young player, recovers fast. What are the opportunities for you in that match?
ROGER FEDERER: Against Chung?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm not sure. I have to look into it. Right now I couldn't tell you how I need to play him. One thing I know is I'm going to be playing aggressive. I don't know how I'm going to do that exactly yet. I don't know exactly how he returns and how he serves exactly. Those are two major aspects to the game. Those start the points. I have to figure that part out a little bit tonight or tomorrow.