This interview with Roger was taken by Andreas W. Schmid in Feusiberg, Switzerland and it was printed in the ĄBasler Zeitungď.
Roger invited a handful journalists to Feusisberg. At the beginning all of them asked questions together.
After that, the journalists got to sit together with Roger alone to ask their own questions.
FULL interview with Andreas W. Schmid.
Q: Roger Federer, you have calluses on your handsÖ
Roger Federer: Ö so what?
Q: Well, Having calluses comes from working .. and we thought, everything just seems so easy for you.
Roger Federer: Precisely not. This is real callus and doesnít just come from nothing, but from hard practice.
Q: We feel reassured. A lot is coming up, so that a good preparation can be deciding.
Roger Federer : Yes, big moments are waiting for us Tennis players. That is why I am very motivated during practice. And Iím looking forward to the matches. Also because the past six month have been very good.
Q: Which one of the four big events is the most important one for you?
Roger Federer: Difficult to say. Wimbledon remains the ultimate, also because my idols Ė Sampras, Edberg and Becker, triumphed a dozen times. I won the juniors tournament in Wimbledon, have beaten Sampras. Those were special successes. And just right there itís where the Olympic Final takes place four weeks later. That is an exeptional luck for our generation. But of course the French Open and the US Open are also important. If I think about it, I have to say: Tennis is a privileged sport. In other sports athletes have to wait months or even years, until they have another highlight again. For us, one highlight chases the other.
Q: If you could pick Ė would you choose the victory at the Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon or the Olympic victory at Wimbledon?
Roger Federer: For me, there is no difference. Itís clear that more people will be seing you, during the Olympic Games. Plus you donít only win for yourself, but also for Switzerland. Of course itís special, that the Olympic Games only take place every four years. If you canít win, you have to wait pretty long, before you get another chance again.
Q: If you come away empty-handed from the Olympic Games you would have to wait until 2016. Will you still be around by then?
Roger Federer: I didnít really think about it much yet. But It's not unthinkable that I play in Rio.
Q: Your next tournament is Madrid on blue sand. What do you think about it ?
Roger Federer : I am against the blue sand, because Rafael Nadal is against it. I support him, if he says, that this is against the tradition of a clay tournament. At the end, so Rafaelís worry, we play on all the colours, on blue sand, on green sand, on black sand. A real clay tournament is played on red subsurface. On the other hand, I do understand that they try to make something new from time to time to get attention. Just how Ion Tiriac is doing it in Madrid. But clearly, the sand has to be perfect, or it will be a debacle.
Q: During the past month you have had some differences of opinion with Rafael Nadal. For example because of the tournament schedule, which he thinks is too full. Is this an admission to Rafael Nadal now, since you are supporting him during the argument of the blue sand colour?
Roger Federer: No, that doesnít have something to do with that. The blue sand is a topic since about a year now. So, even before the differences we had about some topics. Sometimes we have the same opinion and sometimes we donít.
Q : Doesnít that have an influence on your friendship ?
Roger Federer: Not for me. I think itís too bad, that he steps down early as players council vice president. I would like to see him during the meetings and know his opinion about a topic. On the other hand, I do understand him. If you canít make it with all your heart, itís better to step down from this task. I donít know for how long I will remain president of the players council. It is much more time-consuming than people think.
Q : You havenít only been criticized by Rafael Nadal, but also other players. Some players said, that you are too diplomatic and too much Swiss.
Roger Federer : Important is, that not all of us have the same opinion. But they also need a resting pol. That doesnít mean that I donít share my opinion. I want to share my part, so that Tennis can advance. But if I do denounce, I do it open and fairly and not behind their backs and by talking Ądirtyď to the media. That is contra-productive. Then sports falls back and an incredible 7:5 in the fifth set counts much less than a polemical message. Thereby itís the tennis ball that should be in the center of attention and not any political stuff. That has broken the NHL and same with the NBA. That is why I do hope, that there will be no boycott.
Q: In relation with the discussion if the tournament calender is overloaded or not, other players do say: Federer is in a good position, he doesnít have any signs of exhaustion.
Roger Federer: Well, people see that completely wrong. Itís not that I do have a magical body, that is never injured. I played injured several times. But I do listen to my body. I also take my freedom to take some weeks off if I do feel tired. Sometimes the others donít know when it is enough and prefer it to collect the startmoney at a tournament instead to cancelt he event. My plans on the other hand have always been longterm and not only fort he upcoming tournaments. That is why they have to check for themselves. Whereas there can be unfortunate injuries, where they canít blame themselves.
Q: Where does it hurt you lightly?
Roger Federer : That it hurts lightly sometimes is normal. I am a pro athlete since almost 20 years now. If I wouldnít feel some signs of exhautions sometimes, that wouldnít be normal. Where it is exactly, I canít really tell. Once here, once there. But I hardly do have muscle ache. Iím grown up and know what my body can take or not.
Q: Have you watched the Monte Carlo Final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal?
Roger Federer: No, if I am not playing the tournament I donít watch at all. Nadal is clearly the man to beat on clay. Okay, Djokovic also played incredible on sand last year. I donít know, what was up with him in Monte Carlo. I just know, that Nadal can run you down on sand if you are not on your highest level. To win Monte Carlo eight times in a row is an incredible series.
Q : It is going to be difficult for you to break that recordÖ
Roger Federer : (laughing) Seems like. I donít know, how that could be still possible.
Q: Lets look ahead to the Olympic Games: Are you going to be the flag bearer for the third time? Or will you leave this honor up to Fabian Cancellara?
Roger Federer : I will support every decicion. Of course, I would love to do it, because it is a big honor. Those were special moments in my carrer. It was my birthday in Peking, exactly 8.8.08. It was also special in Athens. If Fabio Cancellara is going to be the one in London, I would be happy for him. He is a good and dear guy with incredible results.
Q: Cancellara fell into a deep hole after the 2008 Olympics. Did something like that happen to you as well?
Roger Federer: No. I think we have an advance in Tennis for that. Because we have so many highlights. Also, you canít afford it to race if you donít have your full strenght. For Tennis, where you have about 80 matches a year you can go there and see how it goes.
Q : Books about you are booming. In a book called ę Fascination Federer Ľ the author Dominique Eigenmann writes that he loves you. Doesnít Mirka get jealouse about things like that ?
Roger Federer : No, no. With those kind of love declarations she can live very well. (laughing)
Q: You havenít written any autobiography yet. Why not?
Roger Federer: I donít feel like revealing everything.
Q: What chapter would be the most interesting?
Roger Federer: From my view, nothing is really exciting, even if I have a remarkable carrer. I know all about myself. For my fans, the most thrilling chapter would be to know how it all works behind the scenes.
Q: Your kids will shortly be three years old. In two years they will start Kindergarden. Where will they do that?
Roger Federer: We will see. One thing for sure, I will see them less, if I will continue playing Tennis. If I do still wanna play Tennis then, we will see.
Q: Will you move to Herrliberg?
Roger Federer: I bought land there, it is actually an option. But if and when we will beginn to build, we donít know yet.
Q: Is it possible that you move to Basel or Basel area ?
Roger Federer : I can see myself having an appartement at the Rhein. But I havenít given it a thought yet. First of all Iím looking forward to the Chalets, which we are building in Lenzerheide right now.
Q: Since you are successful, the newspaper in the nordwest Swiss always discuss about it on wheter you are from Basel city or from Basel area. Please do tell us, so we can write it correctly in the future.
Roger Federer : What are you writing right now?
Q: Roger Federer Ė from Basel area.
Roger Federer: I was born in Basel city hospital. If you consider that, both is correct.
Q : You might think so, but not the Basel city people or the Basel area people. They wanna know now.
Roger Federer : I donít wanna start a fight. And for somebody like me, who travels so much Basel City and Basel area are one region, even, if there are differences. You can be reassured: No matter if you write Federer from Basel city, or Federer from Basel area, both is correct.
Q: A typical diplomatic answer from a Swiss.
Roger Federer : I am Swiss Ö and from Basel City Ö and from Basel areaÖ