(Ben Solomon 2010)
Roger Federer had some interesting things to say at the press conference after winning the Australian Open.
Some of the more interesting nuggets (all emphases mine):
Q. We saw you engage in psychological warfare, talking about the pressure on him, how long it's been, using 150,000 years out on court. Was it so much sweeter beating Andy because he has a very good record against you and has got under your skin in the past?(Click here for the transcript of the entire interview. Since it a word for word transcription, obviously, you'll have to work around the, you know, repeated phrases. Definitely, this is him on the fly, I mean, and it is endearing, in a nice way).
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it got exaggerated. The on‑court interview, I don't take those serious anyway. If you think it was a mental thing, it was not the case, you know.
But you ask me a question, I'll give you a straight answer. That's how the press conference was after the Tsonga match. It's not an easy thing to do to win your first Grand Slam. That's not mental, you know, trying to screw with his head, you know. It's just a tough thing, you know.
The next one is not gonna get any easier. But his game is so good that I'm convinced he will win one, you know. And I thought he did really well tonight because conditions were tough. I mean, I think I played a great match. So someone's got to win, and I'm happy it was me.
ROGER FEDERER: This felt similar to the Wimbledon victory in a way, because all of a sudden it was over and it hit me, you know. Whereas before I made the dropshot and I think I won, and might have been much more emotional, you know.
But then after losing that point, I'm thinking, My God, he just grabbed the trophy out of my hands. I might end up losing this thing. Two or three points later, I'm the winner after all.
It was very much a rollercoaster with the emotions. You know, you just try to stay focused. I guess the match point was over, and I was like, Oh, my God, this is it. That's kind of how I felt. It was great.
Q. How do you keep doing it year after year, Grand Slam after Grand Slam? You make it look so easy, and obviously it isn't.
ROGER FEDERER: (...) But I just ‑‑ you know, I always knew I had it in my hand. The question is do I have it in my mind and in my legs, you know. That's something I had to work extremely hard at. Now I feel like obviously I'm being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up. I always feel sort of tennis changes sort of every five years.
Because when I came on tour, matches were played very differently. It was more of a bluff game, guys serving well, but there was always a weakness you could go to. Today that doesn't exist anymore. I think that's also thanks to guys like Murray. They've made me a better player, because I think this has been one of my finest performances, you know, in a long time, or maybe forever.
Q. You mentioned a couple times it's your first major win as a dad. Did you ever doubt you'd be able to keep winning as a father?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, it was more put out there, you know, that apparently it's hard to do. Not as hard as it seems (laughter).
I mean, I think the special win for me was winning in Cincinnati, I think. I think the girls were barely two, three weeks old. That was terrific. That was very special. Sure, this is the first Grand Slam, but it doesn't feel as much as the Cincinnati victory felt like, just because there it was right off the bat; it was fresh.
It was all in my mind, you know. So to get through that tournament by beating Andy and Novak in the semis and finals was very special. Then, of course, being a dad, just coming off the whole thing was amazing.
This is obviously terrific, as well. Maybe not as much as the dad part, but just more that I can still do it, you know, after losing the US Open final.
Q. Can you understand why Andy got emotional at the end? You've been through that yourself. You say it's hard to win the first one. Can you appreciate why he felt as deflated as he did at the end?
ROGER FEDERER: (...) You know, in a way it was hard to watch, but at the same time I like seeing players who care for the game. I don't know. It's nice to see, you know. So you wish, you know, only the best for him.