Q: Was it easier than you expected?
FEDERER: Well, yes, especially in the end it was excellent. He served very well, in the first four games there was nothing really I could. I had one break point, I guessed left, he went right. It was unfortunate. But otherwise the way I played from the beginning really, my reaction was good, my movement was good, my serving was excellent. I even tried out a few things when I was up 30 or 40 love on my serve which was good as well. So, I’m very happy with my first round performance.
Q: Does it feel great to be back on grass?
FEDERER: Yes, it feels natural. I feel natural on clay as well. Hard court is a little bit brutal because of the change it hurts. But grass and clay are smooth surfaces. I find actually pleasure and a kick out of waiting for my chance because sometimes it can be pretty frustrating. You are losing to love and there is nothing you can do because the guy is just serving to big. You just have to wait for your time to come. I like that. That’s maybe one of the reasons I’m so successful on grass.
Q: Why was today so different from last time you were here?
FEDERER: Last time I won in two sets the first round. It was similar circumstances. I arrived, played for one and a half hours, then just warmed up and off we went. The only thing was that from the second round on all I had was three setters. I had a very difficult draw as well. This year, my next round opponent I’ve never played him. He can be pretty steady on grass, so I have to make sure I figure him out early. After that the draw looks pretty tough again. I’ve been successful here the last few years and I fell I’m doing well. But on grass you never know, you have to go point by point. You can’t go game by game. It’s a tricky surface.
Q: How important is it mentally to be back on track quickly with a win?
FEDERER: For me there is two ways. Either you don’t play this tournament and then you get away from everything. You arrive in Wimbledon and nobody asks questions, or you don’t do many press conferences. And few days before Wimbledon starts, people want to know about Wimbledon not about Paris anymore. Or you come here and you face the press for a day about Paris. After that your last match is a grass court match and not a clay court match. It’s very smooth actually. It’s not a time where you lose so much energy thinking about what happened. It’s really no problem. Either way works fine. This is a way of gaining even more confidence and a better feeling about next week in Wimbledon.
Q: This is probably the best first round match you’ve ever played here?
FEDERER: I agree. I was never in trouble on my own service game. I returned pretty well against a big server. I reacted very well at some times. I was able to put him under pressure. I could have even maybe broken him one more time with a forehand pass. I thought I was able to dominate him enough which came as a surprise because he was playing really well. He was playing aggressive, putting me under pressure. So, I thought it was going to be something like a 7:6, 6:4 if things went great. So, a 4 and 2 is quite a surprise.
Thank you dear Donna.
Even Roger thought he would have struggled a little more adjusting to the grass, eventhough it's his favorite surface.