Interview with Roger Federer
- How did you feel after playing at Roland Garros and how many memories of the match at the US Open were in your mind and I know you train with Seppi and Sinner – I am Italian press – and why do you pick these guys?
- First of all, I’m very happy that I won my first round. You know, the last few years I’ve always also played Stuttgart before. So, this is my first match back on the grass. It used to always be here in Halle, you know, my first rounds, it was like back in the days. I always think any way you get through is a good way because the next match will always feel different or better and all that stuff, and plus I think with this fact of John having beaten me at the US Open I knew it’s going be tough. So, thankfully I wasn’t too nervous. I think I had a clear game plan, I knew that it was going to be more difficult for him to dominate the baseline or, I also had a heat issue to be quite fair also to some extent at the Open but, you know, conditions are faster here so I’m able to control the tempo of the match a little bit more. So, I’m very happy there. I played a good breaker, broke at the end, saved break point myself and so I was able to serve it home at the end. So, that was nice. There were definitely some good moments there. From the baseline all that stuff is only going to get better from here on. So, I’m confident there. In terms of Sinner and Seppi, look I know Seppi so long, so well over the years. We know his coach very well, we are always very friendly. He is a nice guy to spend time with, a nice guy to hit with and Sinner, I practiced with him once outside of Monaco, you know at the Piatti Academy when I was there for the Laureus awards, and then I practiced with him in Rome through Piatti and Ivan, you know, he is here at the moment, and I needed a warm up and he was available. So, he’s also again a nice guy, speaks German (laughs), so it’s easy to talk to him and play with him.
- Roger, are you confident to use your forehand against Tsonga because I saw some mistakes?
- Yes, I am aware that there was way too many errors there. I got to find the right sort of power on the forehand, not too soft, not too hard. I got to find the middle ground. I was looking for it throughout, you know different balls to the last few weeks in Paris, grass plays different, you know how much spin I need to put on the ball, how flat I need to go through the ball. So, I often played maybe a little bit on the aggressive side in the beginning because I always knew I can pull back a little bit. So, of course that shot can only get better. It can’t go worse. There is a level I believe I have on my forehand (laughs).
- When did you actually play your first tournament on grass, I mean in terms of juniors?
- 1998, Queens invitational tournament.
- How old were you?
- You calculate. No, 17, almost 17. And then I played two more, hold on, one more grass tournament in Roehampton and then I played Wimbledon.