R. FEDERER/A. Martin
6‑4, 6‑3, 6‑2
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Could you just take us through that match? Pleased to be back on center court? Pleased to get the win in fairly straightforward?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was happy with the way I played. It always takes some time to getting used to the match conditions here on center court, you know, but started maybe a bit slow but reacted, you know, all right.
Once I got the upperhand, things were pretty much in control. Yeah, it was good. I served well when I had to, and mixed it up. That's how I want to play. I'm happy to be through without a fright.
Q. Was the heat a problem a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, maybe what, 30 degrees? You know, it didn't ‑‑ definitely felt warmer than the last fewdays. This and in America and Australia we play at, you know, 40,45 degrees, you know. So it's still pretty mild for my liking, but, you know, the ball flies more, bounces more, so it's more like Madrid a little bit.
Obviously I played a guy who played really far behind the baseline, so the court felt really big. I just have to get used to that. It was nice conditions, not too much wind. Little warm, so it was good.
Q. The dropshot seems to have become one of your weapons on clay. You tried a couple today. Could you tell us about it?
ROGER FEDERER: They worked well. That's what I mean, mixing it up, coming to the net, hitting dropshots. You can't hit them against everybody, you know. There are certain types of players that don't allow you to do it, and others you can do it all the time. Today was sort of the right time to do them, but, you know, I'm happy I got to learn how to use it over the years. I used to not be a fan of the dropshot at all. I always thought it was a shot you only hit when you're panicking from the baseline, when you're scared maybe to take on the fight, you know.
But today I realized that actually you can use it to your advantage against like players like today. It just makes it a little bit more easy.
Q. Just in general, not in the tournament, how distracting can it be, all the media activities, all the sponsors, all that stuff you have to do outside the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the sponsors slow down once the tournament starts. It's maybe the week before, you know. But I think once you get used to that, it's no problem. I mean, it's nice to be, how you say, in the limelight and that people are interested in you.
You'd be a fool saying it's wrong. Of course, sometimes I have to do a little less media, you know. That's in the rule books. Sure,after a match like this, how much can you really talk about, you know?
So maybe other guys don't have to do press. Some guys only do 5 to 10 minutes. I do 45 minutes. It's not always most fun, but at the it's part of the business today, you know. Times have changed. I told myself many years ago when I was coming up and about, and I was coming through the ranks that I was hopefully having a decent relationship with the media, because I'll see them for the next hopefully 10, 15, 20 years, you know.
So far it's been okay, so I do still enjoy coming to the press rooms sometimes, because usually it's pretty full,and it's nice that people want to hear what I say.
Q. (InFrench) This is not about today's match,but Santoro is playing his 20th Roland Garros. What do you think about the player, Santoro? He's been playing so long.
ROGER FEDERER: It's become a great accomplishment for me to play against him a great many times. He's very talented the way he touches the ball, hits the ball. He's one of the greatest tacticians in terms of his play.
You know, he was quite limited when he plays two‑handed, but he's always trying to fumble his way through. I've always enjoyed playing against him and watching his matches, as well. We respect each other, I think.
Q. Now, we're talking about the other ones. What about Guillaume, young one. He's just won a match, if you're aware of this. What do you think about this?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know him, unfortunately. It's a good thing for him. Now that I know him, it's going to be a great moment for him. (laughter.)
No, I don't know how old he is. 19? Yes. 19. Wonderful. Great. To play on the main draw.
When you're young and to win a match immediately, it's something I couldn't do when I was younger. I didn't manage to do this. Well, my draw was more difficult against Rafter here, but it's always a good thing for the beginners, and mainly for him here in France.
Q. You were asked what you think about the heat. Now, to me, when I think about heat, I think about your spouse. Have you said anything about the fact that she wouldn't attend or she wouldn't watch you during one of your matches? You've always said it's very important for her to be with you.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yes, for her it's even more important than for me. You know, nothing against her, of course. She likes watching me when I play. She wants to be here at each and every single match, but if it's too warm, maybe if she needs a bit of fresh air, no problem.
If Mirka or my coach or my physical trainer or if anybody else can be here in my corner, I can play tennis correctly. So I don't really watch them very often. Five times per match only, so it's quite simple. Well,I prefer if she's here. If I see she'sokay, like today, she was feeling good, so it's simpler for me.
Q. Last time you played on the central court last year, the end was not good. What did you feel today when you had to go on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I didn't even think about last year's match on the same court, because I was so much concentrated. I wanted to do my best. I didn't want to lose my first match. I wanted to start well. I wanted to get into the match, to look around. Maybe you wouldn't believe me,but now that you say it, I realize that was true.
The final was very difficult. It was the very last match. But, you know, after what counts is how you played in Madrid, Monte‑Carlo and Rome and on clay surfaces,and what you look at is the matches you've won. If you've lost, okay, no problem, because between then and now, you have played something like 60 matches, so that was okay today for me.
Q. Was it a good thing to play just after him, to watch Rafa's match, or did you watch anything? Or would you rather focus on your style?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's Stan I watched. He was fighting hard. I was more interested compared with Rafa. Well, sometimes I do other things. I had to eat, and then to practice. So one set I watched Nadal and two or three sets played by Stan.
So I'm really happy for Stan, because he played after a number of difficulties he had.
Q. It's the first round, okay. What would you think about your play and what you've done today that's going to be useful in the future?
ROGER FEDERER: It's a good thing that I won this first round. I have a few days. Now I can focus. I can unwind for a while. I have less pressure, because the pressure is when you have to manage the first round. I have a bit of time.
I think I played well. I could play even better. I served well, that's true. It's a good thing for me, because my serve is good to start the tournament, which is what I like. Now the rounds are going to be tougher and tougher, so I hope I can play better and better, as well.
Q. Is it you who asked to play today rather than tomorrow to have more days of rest? You could have played Tuesday.
ROGERFEDERER: I asked for Sunday, but Monday and Tuesday would have been okay. Wednesday, as well. Well, we can go through the whole week if you want to. You know, what counts is that ‑‑ well, in any case, you have to win seven matches. Never mind who you're going to play against and the type of weather you have, but what you have to do is end this race and win the battle.