Roger Federer - 2003 Gentlemen's Singles Champion
Sunday, July 6, 2003
Roger Federer - 2003 Gentlemen's Singles Champion
Sunday, July 6, 2003
R. FEDERER/M. Philippoussis
7-6, 6-2, 7-6
MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we'll start off with English questions for the Wimbledon Champion, please.
Q. How does the reality live up to the dream?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, you know, like I said on the court, for me this is the best ever, you know. It was my most important match in my life, you know, and already the semifinal was maybe the most important.
So that I didn't lose a set, you know, in these two matches and played so well and I kept my level up, you know, is just absolute dream.
And then in the end, you know, to lift the trophy is something you don't expect, you know. But when it happens, it's, for me, very tough with the emotions.
Q. The tears, Roger, where did they come from? What was going through your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: They come from Switzerland (laughter).
No, I don't know, I've cried, you know, a few times on big occasions. Somehow, in the first moment, I don't think I will, but then I just can't keep, you know, keep it like this.
So, you know, as I said, this tournament means so much to me, and I've had great experiences in '98 junior victory, then 2001 when I beat Sampras, and now this, you know.
So this is just something for me what I cannot understand yet, you know. Because it's just -- it's too good.
Q. Is there anybody you'd like to dedicate this victory to?
ROGER FEDERER: You guys know each other, huh? (Laughter).
I would like to just thank everybody who has always helped me, you know. I don't want to give this to one person because this is -- it's too big of a victory. And everybody who has helped me throughout my career, you know, going from coaches to friends to condition trainers to stringers to masseurs, just everybody who has been involved in my game. I would like to -- you know, this is something back to them also, you know.
But in the end, you know, it's also my victory and I enjoy it as much as I can.
Q. In Poland we have two major tournaments in coastal towns. Juan Carlos Ferrero is coming this year. Will you come, too?
ROGER FEDERER: Where is it? Excuse me.
Q. In Poland.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I'm not thinking about it yet, you know (laughter).
Q. You will be most welcome.
ROGER FEDERER: Okay, thank you. But you've got to send me an invitation, I don't know (smiling).
Q. You just won the most important tournament in the world. This undoubtedly wipes out some of the disappointments of the last couple years, tournaments you've gone far in, a Masters tournament you lost to Hewitt, Al Costa. At any time in the last two years, when those disappointments came along, was there any self-doubt that you would ever arrive at this moment?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm... Doubt, you know, there is no guarantee for nothing, you know. And, you know, I was -- I knew I had the game, you know. And, for me, it was somehow first important that I could prove it maybe on the smaller events. This is also really where I picked up, you know. I won titles - now, you know, a lot. It's already my fifth this year. I thought, "This is gonna bring me far in the Grand Slams, you know, just to play a lot of matches and to play a lot of finals," because finals is different -- it's just different, you know, mentally.
So I've always believed, but then in the end when it happens, you know, you don't think that it is possible, you know. But now it has happened, and I guess I'm just gonna have some time, you know, to look back and just enjoy this moment.
Q. You talked about beating Pete Sampras. Do you think now you can emulate him at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, this is, you know, one of his seven, you know. I'm so far away, you know. I'm just happy, you know, to be on the board, you know. It's so nice, if I look at all the players who have won here, you know, a lot have been idols to me. Just to be on the board with Borg and these people, it's just nice, you know, to be a part of history at Wimbledon, you know - and in Grand Slams in general, you know.
And, you know, it's incredible.
Q. Was there any specific thought that triggered your emotion at the end? You seemed happy and controlled, then you seemed to have felt a rush of emotion. Was it just an accumulation of things or just a particular thought?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, when he hits the passing -- the return, you think, "Oh, it's gonna be a tough volley, you know," then it stays in the net, you know.
And you don't really know what to do in the first moment, you know? I just knew I'm gonna go down on the floor, you know, and enjoy it, you know, and see what happens, you know.
Maybe - hopefully - I don't cry, you know, but... (Laughter).
It's kind of difficult in such a big match and in such an unbelievable stadium, you know, where the people are so nice.
Q. I just wondered if you saw somebody or something went through your mind that actually meant you'd lost the battle? It's not a battle to win, anyway, but when your emotion came, did one particular thought come into your head, or did you see something or think something?
ROGER FEDERER: What did I think about? You know, it's just I cannot believe it, you know? This is really what went through my mind the first moment when I sat down on my chair, then just quick flashback. You don't have much time, you know.
But in the first moment, you know...
Then you see the trophy, you know, and it's so beautiful. Gold. You know, you don't have golden trophies very often (laughter). Just the way, you know, when you look at it and when you hold it, is something you've always dreamed of.
So right then, you feel like, you know, "Am I dreaming? This is true right now?" You know.
Q. You're still very young, but you must have read and heard so many times commentators say that, you know, "Your nerve is gone on the big occasion," "When are you going to break through on the big occasion?" Do you feel, as well as the great sort of joy, do you feel a sense of relief that now you've shown everybody, "Yes, I can win one of the big ones"?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I said this already when I won my quarters almost, when I won my semis, and now after I won my finals. I proved it to everybody, you know.
It is a big relief to me because there was pressure from all the sides, you know, also from myself. I wanted to do better in Slams, you know.
But it just -- I guess you need a little luck, you know, like I had with my back, and kind of sneak through that round, you know.
So when I was playing that round, I didn't think, you know, I'd ever hold a trophy. So one week -- not even a week later, I'm holding it. So it's very tough still for me to just think it.
Q. I know you didn't want to pick out anybody in particular to dedicate it to, but the memory of Peter Carter, could you talk about him and what he did for you?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, he's definitely included, you know. He's been one of my most important people in my career. So definitely also he's included in this circle, you know. That's for sure, you know.
And I guess we would have had a big party together, you know, if he was still here.
Q. You said at the moment of your triumph when you were sitting down you were flashing back. What were you flashing back on?
ROGER FEDERER: How is it to be in the finals, you know, and win in straight sets. And, you know, it's just totally different feeling. I was very nervous when I walked on the court, you know. It was different.
And after just -- because you live during the match, and you have strong emotions, you know, but you don't want to get too overexcited, you know. My body's totally flat now, you know. I cannot move anymore. I'm totally exhausted, just because of the tension out there, you know.
"I really hope that I can do this in three," you know, after I won the second set.
Q. How much trouble were you in in the match against Lopez?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, I was... Did you see the match or not?
Q. No, not all of it.
ROGER FEDERER: I'm telling you, go and get a tape, because... (Laughter).
Because I was really -- I was really in big pain, you know. I was struggling to serve, I was struggling to return. I couldn't even really sit down because I was hurting so much. Then I called the trainer after two games and he gave me painkillers, he gave me a massage on my back, you know, with warm cream.
And I told myself, "If this continues for a few more games, and I realized that this guy was just kicking my ass, it's not worth playing," you know.
But somehow I stayed in the match and it got a little bit better. Then I kind of won that first set, which was important.
Q. With the Swiss winning the America's Cup, now you've won Wimbledon, what's left for you?
ROGER FEDERER: The end, what is that?
Q. The Swiss have won the America's Cup. You've won Wimbledon. What's next for the Swiss?
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm... You know, yeah, I also believe that Swiss sports is doing well, you know. They've proved it.
At one stage I was thinking about, you know, America's Cup actually because I saw them and, you know, they were 3-love ahead and everybody said they were racing away, you know. Same with me, when I was up two sets to love, I thought, "Just take it, you know, and race away, you know..." (Smiling).
Tennis in Switzerland, I think, is doing quite well. I've only helped this by winning this title.
Q. How will you celebrate tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: How? There's a lot of friends here, family members as well, and we gonna go to the official dinner, something I've always wanted to do. Because in '98, when I won the Juniors I was invited, but we decided, Peter Carter and myself, we said, "Oh, I got my first wildcard in Gstaad, I know I got to prepare well."
So I still regret that, you know, in a way. But now that's okay because I can live through that official dinner again.
Q. It must disappoint you Peter Carter isn't here to witness this?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, for sure. But I hope he sees it from somewhere, you know...
would be a dream.
Q. Must be a tremendous thing to win a Grand Slam at any stage. Is there something special, do you think, that the first one has come here?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah, you know. People were always asking me, because I'm an all-around player that can play on any surface - I've won this year alone already titles on all surfaces, you know - so people were asking me, "Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance," you know.
After the loss of last year, I started saying, "You know, maybe Australian Open and US Open, I don't know."
Now, to win Wimbledon as a first Grand Slam, you know, obviously now I don't hope it's gonna be my last, you know, but it is, it's definitely for me the best one to win. I'm so happy.
Q. You've won Wimbledon, which is a pretty good tournament. But when are you ever going to win Basel?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah (laughter). I haven't won that one yet, huh? Maybe this year, who knows (smiling).