09-10-2007, 06:39 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Djokovic and Federer postmatch interviews
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Novak.
Q. The shot-making seemed like it was there tonight. Were there mental breakdowns out there? Do you think the edge Roger had was more mental than shot-making abilities?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I think it was. And I think on the important moments, especially that first set when I served 40-Love. I had wind behind me, so I was in a good position, everything was good, and then suddenly I just started making these unforced errors, which are really not understandable.
And then I was quite nervous, a lot of pressure, and I knew that I had to make some shots. You know, obviously that was mistake because I just needed to calm down and wait for my chances, which I didn't.
I made a lot of first-shot unforced errors in that game. I think that was pretty crucial. I think I was mentally weaker today on that important points than he is mentally stronger. So I think it was my mistake and my weakness today.
But, you know, it's normal. You know, it's a bad day about that. I mean, in general, looking at the whole US Open, I have been performing really well. Today, as well, I played a nice tennis. I had a lot of chances. I didn't use them.
But looking at the situation, you know, it was a first Grand Slam final for me, 23,000 people, and everybody expected a nice match. So I had quite a lot of pressure.
But I enjoyed it. In the other hand, it was an amazing experience for me.
Q. If it's true that no player really knows how they're going to react when they reach their first Grand Slam final until the crisis comes up, five set points in the first set, is it also true it's out of your control when it gets there, you're just going to react the way your mind tells you to react?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yes, you know, before the match, of course, there is a lot of excitement and positive energy and, you know, adrenaline, of course, considering the fact that you play finals of the Grand Slam in front of 23,000 people.
But on the other hand, you play against a player who is mentally one of the strongest or the strongest player in the world. I was aware of that fact. And I knew that I have to be, you know, in control in the way I have to be aggressive, and patient.
So I was hanging in there, you know, first set. But then that game on 6-5 was really bad for me after 40-Love. I was just reacting in that situation. Really I was rushing a lot. I didn't calm down. I was thinking about things like what happens if I get to tiebreak, you know, some negative thoughts which are not so needed in that kind of situation.
Q. After the overheating problems you had yesterday, what did you do after the semifinal before coming out to make sure it didn't happen again?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You're talking about this mental problem?
Q. The health.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: The heat?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Oh, okay. I was trying to recover as much as I can. I was really surprised with the way I was physically handling today's match. I think I was really fit, you know, considering the fact that I played a lot of long matches.
Especially yesterday was a big heat. I had quite a bit of problems. But, you know, it's a part of the tennis, part of the job. You have to get used to it. You have to hold on in the most difficult situations, when there is a lot of heat, when there is a lot of humidity, and I managed to do that.
So, you know, for the future I know what to do.
Q. How long will those seven set points haunt you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: My next book is going to be called, "7 Set Points." I'm joking (smiling).
Well, I can say that I'm sorry about turning back, about those set points. Right now I would dress up and go to the court and play this 40-Love point.
Again, I have to look in a positive way and I have to look generally this has been one of the best tournaments ever for me, one of the most amazing experience. This is basically, you know, one of the biggest cities in the world, and all crowd is making a great atmosphere.
Everybody's following US Open. I got on that tournament to the final. So I had a lot of sympathies, of course, as well from the crowd.
I'm really glad with my success on and off the court.
Q. Up until that seventh game you were playing a very high level. He was as well. What were you feeling out there? First Grand Slam final, but you're pressuring him an awful lot and maybe even have the upper hand. Were you feeling relaxed, like it was easier than you expected?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, no. I expected a difficult match. And, of course, I was concerned a little bit before the match if I'm going to be able physically to challenge him, and I did. I did felt pretty good on the start of the match.
I was just, you know, holding my serve and trying to wait for my chances, opportunities. I got them, and in the end I didn't use them.
I couldn't expect, of course, easy match because I'm playing a No. 1 player of the world, you know, in a Grand Slam final. We all know how good he plays in that Grand Slam finals.
He's been there. He has this experience. He played already, I don't know, 15 Grand Slam finals, so he knows what it feels like to be in that kind of situation. He knows how to cope with the pressure.
For me, this is something new, a new situation. But, you know, again, I have to look positive. Next time I hope I'm going to hold that trophy.
Q. You mentioned you were mentally weaker than he was mentally strong. How much of that is a reflection of the fact you know he's not going to falter?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think one of the reasons, one of the biggest reasons for me being mentally weaker in that important moments and for me rushing in that important moments was that pressure, I can say, or that new experience I got, you know, the Grand Slam finals.
You know, the last match we played in Montréal I believed that I can win, and I won in the end. I got to today's match, as well, with the thinking of winning and trying to just focus myself and to have a goal, you know, to really challenge him and to win; not to perform good tennis.
I was going with the right attitude on the court and everything was going well in that important moments. I had a lot of, lot of, lot of break points. Sometimes I was risking too much. Sometimes I was, you know, playing safe. And he used his opportunities, of course. So he overpassed me.
But doesn't matter. You know, I'm really happy with generally all the things.
Q. Could you talk about Roger's mind. Is that his greatest strength, he uses that to overcome tough situations?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, yeah, one of his biggest strength is that mental strength. He gets advantage over the players in any match he goes into because the players are thinking, Okay, I'm playing Roger Federer, one of the best players ever in the tennis. So right away he has this little advantage.
But, of course, in the other hand you have to put yourself in his position. He's No. 1 player of the world and everybody expects him to do well on every tournament, on every surface, so he has a lot of pressure.
It's amazing to see him, how fast and how successful he deals with that pressure. He performs some incredible tennis. Obviously, you know, of course, he's very talented and he has a lot of talent, you know, advantages.
But to come in that situation he had to work a lot. He had to wait. It cannot happen right away. Time is very valuable and time is experience. He has much more experience than I have. You know, bottom line is that he's five, six years older than me.
You know, looking at this year, I don't have anything to complain about. You know, I had the best year ever. I'm gonna go slowly and try to learn some things and see what I need to do to improve my game so can I get to these matches a bit easier.
Q. On the seventh set point, you hit a forehand that missed by about a millimeter. If that ball is in, how does this afternoon change?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, as I said, anything could happen. It could go either way, you know. It was unpredictable from the both sides, you know.
Considering the fact that I played some amazing tennis on this surface, especially in the last couple weeks, he couldn't expect an easy match. You know, I got to the Grand Slam final.
So, you know, since we got to the court, you know, everybody was holding their serve pretty comfortably.
And then, you know, on this important moments obviously I was doing something wrong, and then I missed that shot. I was a bit unlucky, I can say. Besides the knowledge, footwork, physical, mental strength, you need a little bit of luck, which today I didn't have.
Q. Going back to that point, could you believe how close it was?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I cannot believe. I cannot believe (smiling).
I was asking the crowd what I need to do. Nobody could give me any advice. I could continue by my own.
Q. You've handled just about everything tennis has thrown at you. Today was it just a little bit bigger stage than you were prepared for, or did you feel completely comfortable out there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I didn't feel completely comfortable. I was enjoying the atmosphere off the court as well. You know, winning against Roger in the last match we had just a couple weeks ago was some kind of mental advantage in a way for me and another extra motivation.
Because of that match I believed even more that I can win this match and this tournament. But, you know, it's a new thing for me. It's a new experience. As I said, today I was a bit unlucky, and it brought me a negative outcome.
Q. You're talking about you being unlucky. Yesterday Davydenko said of Roger when asked, what's the one thing Roger does best, he said, Lucky. There were a couple of set points of his that the ball literally landed on the line. Were you feeling, Wow, this guy really is lucky?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As I was saying before, next to all those elements, all the positive strengths you have in your game, in your mind, you need a bit of luck. I cannot say that he is No. 1 player of the world because he's lucky (laughter). You know, that's a bit strange to say.
You know, he's a big worker, very talented, a great player. That's why he deserves to be there where he is. But, of course, he is lucky and he gets these lines and lucky shots, I can say, because he's going for them. He's not trying to play safe. He's really being aggressive.
Q. Three years ago he was already No. 1. You were 17 years old, maybe not yet thinking about reaching a Grand Slam final. Was he ever your role model then, or other players?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, my lifetime idol was Sampras, I have to admit. As a kid I watched him play. Even though we have totally different game and style and thinking, I really adored his way of playing and coping with the pressure.
I think Sampras and Federer have this thing in common. They are very similar in that they are mentally very strong in that important moments they always play their best. They're ice cold faces, just going for the shot. Really that's why they're, you know, two best players ever for me.
But, you know, yeah, I always liked the way Roger plays. But, you know, since I got into this professional tennis I wasn't trying to look on someone as idol. I was just trying to, you know, improve more and more.
Q. Maria Sharapova was in your box and also Robert De Niro. What are those two relationships with you? Somebody had to ask.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, I was expecting that question on the first place (laughter).
No, let's not go too much with Maria. It's just a friendship we have. It was nice from her to come and support me. As well, Robert, he was yesterday on the match, and today.
I mean, it's amazing feeling to see such a successful people, you know, in my box supporting me, playing with me I can say, living every emotional moment. It's great. It's great.
Q. What does she think of your imitation?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: She said she's going to kill me. Of course, she accepted it on the right way. Of course, she found it funny, not offended.
Q. How did you meet Robert De Niro? Did he just show up in your box?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I met him randomly on the street. I was sitting in a bar. He was coming, smoking a cigarette (smiling). No, no.
We were invited -- I went with a couple of players, Ana Ivanovic, we got invited from he and his wife to come to the dinner. It was really nice. He owns the Japanese restaurant, so we went there for dinner. We met. We talked.
As well, his wife is a very big fan of tennis. She's a great woman. He's, you know, a great person. I'm really happy that they showed up and supported me.
Q. Can you look upon this experience as like you're paying your dues in a way; it may be a different story next time you meet Federer in a Grand Slam final?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I was always saying that every time you play Federer, Nadal, these top players, you learn something new. Obviously you try to improve your game, your way of thinking for the next time, next challenge.
I'm still only 20 years old. I have a lot of time in front of me, so I'm really not worried of anything or feeling sorry. Yes, I feel sorry about today, but doesn't matter. We have to get -- we have to look in the future.
I hope I'm going have a lot more matches against Roger because obviously, the way he's playing, he's not planning to get over that first place, which is so wanted from everybody.
Q. While it's true that how you play physically depends on how you play mentally, if for the sake of examining your game you could separate the physical from the mental part, do you feel your game is right there with Roger physically right now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: You're getting into really deep, philosophic questions.
Q. You're a deep guy.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I am deep. Let me think (laughter).
First of all, I have to say that he's five, six years older than me, and he has this experience playing in the Grand Slam finals, Grand Slams, all those matches. He has much more matches on the professional tour than myself.
Obviously that makes him mentally stronger than I am, more experienced. Again, physically he's very good. His endurance, everything, looking at him after long points, it looks like he doesn't feel the long points. Seems like he's not getting tired.
But I have time. You know, I know that now, as the third player of the world, people compare me more and more to the best players in the world, like Nadal and Federer.
It's very flattering and it's positive for me, but still I have many things to improve in my game.
Q. Physically are you there?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: And physically still I need to improve, yes. I grew up, I got stronger since the last year I played here, much, much better. I had these long matches on the Grand Slams.
This year I played already - I don't know - 70, 80 matches, which for me is too much. I didn't expect to play so many matches.
So maybe in some moments, in some matches, people see me physically weaker than my opponent. But, you know, next year is going to be different.
Q. Serbian tennis is at an all-time high. A big opportunity for Serbia in Davis Cup. How important is that occasion for you?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Very important. That's the next thing I'm gonna play back home. After 15, 20 years, we get a chance to get to the World Group. We are playing home against Australia, which we all know how good is Australia in the Davis Cup, how good is their history.
Of course, Lleyton is coming, which is going to make our, you know, victory or way of thinking more difficult. But, you know, it's gonna be a lot of people, a lot of support. Support is one of the things which is most important in the Davis Cup because Davis Cup is very unique, it's different, it's unpredictable, anything can happen. It's a matter of motivation really.
I'm really happy that tennis fans back in our country will have an opportunity to see me and rest of the guys and Hewitt playing.
Of course, I hope for the best.
Q. Have you heard anything about Janko's injury?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes, he had a lot of difficulties in the last couple weeks. I spoke to him. He's getting better. Hopefully he's going to be fit for the Davis Cup.
Q. You came to this tournament not well-known by the American tennis fans except as the guy who beat Rafa, Roddick and Federer in Montréal. As they said in the awards ceremony, you stole our hearts. Do you have a sense of really what you've done? You said you're very happy with what you've done on and off the court.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yeah, well, as you're saying, I mean, I'm listening to you and I'm sweating because I feel really flattering and emotional in that moment when I heard that at the ceremony when they told me that I stole their hearts. Even when I didn't win that match, for me it was very, very emotional.
To get, you know, American people behind you, especially a crowd here in US Open, is not so easy. Obviously they like my character on and off the court. So I get a lot of compliments on my impersonation, more than I get on tennis. I was a bit worried if the people look me as, you know, imitator more than a tennis player.
But it was all nice. You know, I made a lot of friends here in States. It's gonna be a big pleasure coming next year for sure. Really looking forward to it.
Q. You said throughout this you take positives, you learn from matches. Tangibly what did you take from this match, learn about your game or yourself?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I learned that I need to win the set points, obviously, that I shouldn't play safe or risk too much (smiling).
But, you know, it's a part of the tennis, of course. As I was saying, I always learn something. I have to look in a positive way. I'll try, of course, with my coach, in the first place, all the people around me to do everything I can to improve my game and to, of course, see this match again and see what I did bad and what I need to do to practice so I can make a better success next time.
09-10-2007, 06:44 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Re: Djokovic and Federer postmatch interviews
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. How would you rate your game today?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was my game. I thought I played well when I had to. I've played better matches in the past, no doubt. But, you know, it's a big moment, a lot of pressure for both of us.
It was a bit windy again today. Yeah, I mean, also the opponent plays a role in how good you can play. He made it hard to me in the beginning. All in all, I'm very happy with my performance.
Q. Comparing Wimbledon titles, how important is this US Open title? I know your priority is Wimbledon, but how about this?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me, I mean, Wimbledon obviously is always going to be No. 1. But New York has definitely grown on me the last few years. I think especially since that famous final against Agassi here a few years ago I started to really love this tournament.
I realize actually what kind of a big-time event this is, you know, with 24,000 people in the stadium, the city. Just the difficulty to win here. I wasn't aware of it in the very beginning when I came on tour really.
For me, US Open is the second biggest one we have on tour. To have won those two, you know, the most times, it's just incredible for me.
Q. Novak was talking about during the most important points he felt the nerves, felt the idea it was his first Grand Slam. Could you sense that from the other side of the net, that at those moments he was much more inexperienced?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, it's funny because I played him in Montréal, and it was a similar situation. You know, I served for the first set at 6-5, 40-Love. This time around he had it. I came back. I got the momentum in the tiebreak and I win it.
It's crazy, if you think about it, how similar the matches were. But this time it swung my way, you know. But it shows you always have a chance.
Same thing what happened to me in Montréal. I missed a few shots. The guy hit a few good shots. All of a sudden back into the set. This time around I could do it.
But I felt it was really getting tense. Wasn't serving as well anymore, and from the baseline he was afraid to hit the ball. That was with the wind in the back. So I was quite surprised I still got out of that game.
But in the end, obviously it was key I won that first set.
Q. You say it took you a while to kind of get used to New York and the show here. I see you're wearing your black tonight, an afternoon match. Also walking in to the Darth Vader theme song. How much of that is you? How much of that is other people? What do you think of all of that?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, in the end I call the shots what I want to wear. If they want to put me out in yellow, I don't do it (laughter). I've done those mistakes in the past. I don't want to do it again.
But I thought all black is kind of a cool thing. I can only pull it off in New York. I started enjoying wearing a jacket at Wimbledon, kind of bringing something new to the Open, because I see many shirts out there I don't like.
I just want to make sure that one guy dresses kind of normal on tour (smiling).
Q. And the Darth Vader aspect?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't think of that in the very beginning when I did it. I've actually played once in all black, once in my life, in one match. I think it was Hewitt in Paris Bercy years ago. This was still when I was trying around.
So I kind of liked the idea of having a day session, a night session outfit. They're really nice and classical shirts. I just thought, you know, even the black shoes and black socks, I'm not the biggest fan of them, but you have to complete the outfit.
Actually enjoy the look, to be honest, and nobody pushes me.
Q. Yesterday Davydenko called you lucky. Today a couple balls on the line. He missed one by a millimeter. Are you lucky?
ROGER FEDERER: Ask the other guys (smiling). Look I always say sometimes you need a bit of luck. It's obvious like in card games or something you hope it falls your way, but you can force the issue, too, push it your way, more than just to rely on pure luck.
I think especially over five sets, you know, kind of you pull away the luck a little bit and it's more of how good you are really. Sometimes it comes down to the crunch.
We know it on grass. We've seen it many times it's played on one point. Who takes the right decisions, who doesn't make the mistakes on big points. He did today and it cost him the match.
Q. When you were down in the first set, what did you try to focus on? What went through your mind at that moment, down 40-Love?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought he was going to serve another big serve and I would be out of the set really. At this point you have no hope. It's obvious, you know.
However, you hope if a couple points go your way early on and you get back to 40-30 he could get a little bit nervous. It's a Grand Slam, after all.
But you don't think too much because it goes too fast. Yeah, not much.
Q. Do you see the potential for a rivalry with Djokovic along with Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: Very possible, you know. Honestly I've enjoyed the challenge of young guys challenging me. This is probably my biggest motivation out there. You know, seeing them challenge me, beating them in the final, it's really for me the best feeling, to be honest (smiling).
If a rivalry comes along, great. So far we haven't played many times in finals of tournaments. It's always been quarterfinals, last 16. Now we've had two finals back to back. That always helps the rivalry.
But I still obviously consider the one I have with Nadal much more serious at the moment.
Q. Is he good enough to step up to that level?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, he's been very consistent. I think if I would have played him twice in the semis of the French and Wimbledon then I would have had maybe more of a rivalry with him, but he landed on Rafa's side. They kind of got it going at the moment actually.
Q. In many ways this was a different slam victory for you because your last three matches were all so close. I guess you could have lost any of those matches. Has that made it any more special?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, honestly, like you say, I didn't lose a set the last three matches, but they were close and I came through. It's probably because I'm experienced and I'm confident about my play.
The other guys missed their chances, you know. In the end, looking back, having beaten, Roddick, Davydenko and Djokovic, all in straight sets, is an incredible effort for me. I didn't expect it after the struggle I had against Isner and López.
Q. Today Tiger Woods shot a 63 and had a come-from-behind victory in a tournament. He has said that you are the most dominant athlete in sports. What do you make of what he said on the day that you've just won your 12th slam?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's very kind, you know. Of course, you know, I love getting compliments from Tiger because they do mean something to me. It's great to see him winning, as well. It's always the best if we win at the same time, you know.
I hope he can keep his great run up, beat Jack Nicklaus' record. I'm chasing down Sampras. For me it's a lot of fun, being compared with Tiger, who is the greatest. I'll leave that up to the audience. But my last few years have been incredible.
Q. You passed Borg and Laver today with your 12th. How much do you think about the Sampras record? How badly do you want it?
ROGER FEDERER: I think about it a lot now, honestly. In the beginning I was -- I felt pushed a little bit in the corner, put under pressure about the situation because you don't win slams like that, it's just too tough.
I feel these two and a half weeks, it's so draining. I'm exhausted in the end. It's a great relief, you know, just to finally maybe have a good night's sleep without thinking about the upcoming five-setter I have to play. So I know how tough it is.
So to come so close already at my age is fantastic, and I really hope to break it.
Q. When you're done, how many do you think you'll have?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. I really don't know. I mean, I hope more than Pete (smiling).
Q. Do you think you're a significantly better player than you were a few years ago? And if so, could you talk about that?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I used to play obviously much different at the age like Djokovic. I would chip and charge, serve and volley a little bit, play like my idols basically: Becker, Edberg, Sampras. They all did it, so for me it was like I got to play the same way.
Then I realized things were slowing down. The new string generation came along where returning and passing shots was made easier. It was harder to attack in some ways, you know.
But at the same time that helped me now because I do have the game to attack, I do have the solid volleys, I do have the opportunities and the option if I have to. That's good that I did it when I was young. I took some chances.
Obviously maybe that cost me a lot of matches, but the reward was fantastic. But, yeah, it's been a long road. I had to work hard on my game. In the end, I think I've really come along in the last few years. I think the last two, three years I've been very much the same with maybe little adjustments and there.
Q. Beside your passion for tennis and your new love for golf, how much are you interested in soccer? European Championship next year in your home country. Is this a sport which interests you a lot?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's actually my second favorite sport after tennis, you know. It's even ahead of golf, because I never played it when I was younger. Used to be in a soccer club. Enjoyed the camaraderie, being together with some guys, trying to win a match. The celebrations were always the best. Being together with another 11 guys on the field was just the best feeling.
I'm very proud to have -- that we have the European Championships in Switzerland, sharing them of course with Austria. I really hope I can attend some matches. Hopefully we'll be good hosts.
Q. Novak obviously has a lot of charisma off the court. He sort of won over the fans, and here in the media room he's very funny and quick wit. What do the players think of him? What's his reputation among the players on tour? What do you think of his personality?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we don't talk too much about different players.
Q. What do you think of his personality?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, in the locker room he's always very respectful toward me, you know. He's pretty quiet. I only hear stuff. I didn't see the stuff he did on court the other day. I didn't see what apparently he did in the locker room either.
For me, these things, you know, I only hear. But people don't really talk about it. I know some guys weren't happy. I know some guys might think it's funny.
He's walking a tightrope, for sure. If fans like it, it's good for tennis, to be honest. It's good to have a character like him out there, there's no doubt.
Q. Davis Cup next for you. Can you give me some comment on your chances and your opponents?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we got Davis Cup in the Czech Republic against them in Prague. I'm really excited to go there. It's my first time over there. Of course, they have a really tough team. It's tough relegation round for us. Really important.
Of course with Stan Wawrinka playing really well, myself having won here, I think we're really in great shape. Still the favorites. But it's going to be interesting to see and I'm looking forward to the tie.
Q. I think it's fair to say you were rather different at 20 to how you are now. Does Novak remind you anything like you were at 20?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was probably a bit more quiet in the open. I was a bit more crazy maybe behind the scenes.
Probably the other way around: He's more crazy out in the public. But, yeah, I mean, I remember when I was young, 20, I was having fun. It was good times, too.
Q. How do you define "craziness"?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, just take chances. Who cares what the other guys think. It's the way to go when you're young. I was the same.
Q. You said after the match you had a stomachache, your hands were cold. Were you more nervous today than you have been? When were you last this nervous before a major?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I mean, I can't recall. But I get nervous quite often in big occasions, you know, just because -- I guess especially at Grand Slams because, you know, you wait around so long and you hope to be in the driver's seat on the final day and everything.
It's just hard. It really works you. So you're like, I hope I didn't come all this way to lose. You start asking yourself questions. Of course, the more I win the more I ask myself questions almost. In the end to win, it's relief, happiness, just all together. It's the best feeling.
Q. How long did it take you to calm down today?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, it was quick. In the warmup already today, it was really just right before.
Q. He only made 53% of his first serves, yet stayed in it. What was good about his second serve that kept him in the match?
ROGER FEDERER: 53% for me is not a bad stat. For me below 45 is a bad stat. I think for some people I guess in this room they think anything below 60% is a bad statistic.
Not in my point of view. So we have different views, I guess. He goes for aces all the time. Of course he's going to miss serves.
We have many guys out there at the top who go for aces and don't have 60%, 70% first serves. But no doubt he's got a solid, great second serve in the game. He backs it up well.
I think it's got maybe not too much to do with the second serve itself but how you back it up. He's tough from the baseline. He hits great shots. He's got good shot selection, which is important.
Q. This morning I heard a suggestion that you could be playing an exhibition early next year against Pete Sampras in the U.S. What's the story on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well, we gonna play XOs obviously in Seoul, Korea, Kuala Lumpur, and also Macau at the end of the year after Shanghai, three of them in a row.
The idea came along obviously to do it in the States as well. We're going to play March 10 at Madison Square Garden here. I'm really looking forward to that. We'll first see how the first three matches go. Hopefully I don't have to come from behind, huh (smiling)?
Q. Novak, he's not ready for No. 1, but do you think he's ready to take No. 2 from Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I will have to check the rankings. I don't know. I guess Nadal is still No. 2, but it's getting closer. It probably depends who finishes better at the end of the year. No. 2, No. 3, doesn't matter much; it's No. 1 that matters (smiling). That's how it goes.
Q. Did he have you back on your heels in the first set at all, really coming on strong?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I thought he played better in Montréal, to be honest. Conditions were a bit faster. It was kind of more hard for me to control, you know, the rallies from the baseline, because it was really fast.
But, yeah, I mean, I had one bad game. That cost me obviously. I don't know. I mean, he had his chances today - many of them. You could sing a song about it. It's a tough one for him to swallow, because especially him losing in the end straight sets, it's tough.
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