Q. Did you say any thanks to the rains, the first delay ? I think the rain helped you.
ROGER FEDERER : Look, I don’t know.
Q. To find your game.
ROGER FEDERER : I didn’t win the final, so it obviously didn’t help that much.
Q. It’s awfully soon afterwards, but how much can you appreciate what a fantastic match you were a part of ?
ROGER FEDERER : Well, sort of. I mean, it’s sort of always nice to be part of them, you know. Probably later on in life, you know, I’ll go, That was a great match. But right now it’s not much of a how do you say a feel good thing, you know, or a positive thing to end this match. But from my side I thought I played well, you know, and everything. Missed too many chances obviously in the first couple of sets. But Rafa played well, you know. I’m happy we lived up to the expectations, you know. I’m happy the way I fought. That’s all I could really do.
Q. Was it too dark to play ?
ROGER FEDERER : What can I tell you ?
Q. Should it have had a better finish than that in near darkness ?
ROGER FEDERER : It’s hard to tell. Look, it’s over, so… What’s the point arguing about it ? It’s the way it is.
Q. Of all the shots that you’ve hit in your career, where would you rate the backhand that kept you in the match down match point ?
ROGER FEDERER : Sure, I mean, it was an unbelievably important shot, you know, to hit. Probably was one of my first really backhand passing shots I hit all match. You know, to save it for match point was obviously great, especially after I think Rafa’s shot. He hit just the previous one, the forehand, you know. The passing shot he hit I thought it was all over really. So for me to come up with that one was a great feeling. I had to turn it around and push it to the fifth set, was awesome. I really thought, you know, with winning last year in five, with the momentum, that it was going to be enough. But, you know, it wasn’t, so it was quite unfortunate.
Q. How would you describe what Nadal did today ?
ROGER FEDERER : Uhm, I think he played well. You know, I mean, I think he was rock solid the way we know him. He’s definitely, you know, improved his game, you know. But I think since the beginning of the year he’s been playing well. He’s been playing very consistent. He’s playing better on the quicker courts. I don’t think he really needed a match like this today to really prove himself.
But for some only trophies count. I sort of agree to some stages. But, no, I mean, he’s a great competitor, you know, a great player to play against, and I think he did very well today.
Q. What was your thinking on the very last shot when it was getting so dark ? Did you just think, I’ll try to get it over and let him deal with trying to see it, try to get it back ?
ROGER FEDERER : I don’t know. I was thinking first should I go up the line or cross court, and then I chose cross court and missed it. So, yeah, I mean, look, by that time maybe it was all over anyway, you know. But, yeah, maybe shouldn’t have missed the shot. Maybe wouldn’t have missed that on some other occasion. Who knows.
Q. Did you make any question about the light to anybody or you just kept playing ?
ROGER FEDERER : Kept on playing. I didn’t argue. I think I guess I would have said something if I would have broken back to go, what was it, 8 All. Yeah, because, I mean, it wasn’t possible to play anymore, so… It would have been brutal for fans, for media, for us, for everybody to come back tomorrow. But what are you gonna do ? It’s rough on me now, obviously, you know, to lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light, you know. It’s not the first time anyway against Rafa. Lost to him in Paris as well in the semis. So it’s not a whole lot of fun, but it’s the way it is. I can only congratulate Rafa for a great effort.
Q. Do you think the last chance you had to win this match was when you had a breakpoint to go 5 3 in the fifth or later on ?
ROGER FEDERER : No, I mean, the chances were always there. I mean, I was ahead in the score, so that put pressure obviously on Rafa. I think I did well on a couple of big games to come back, you know, from Love 30, 15 40, and that increased pressure even more against him. I think I had once also maybe 30 All later on, or Love 15. I could have maybe put him under pressure just a little bit more, but I couldn’t be put myself in position. The one breakpoint I had, I mean, he hit a great forehand. I couldn’t really do a whole lot on that one.
Q. You lost 11 breakpoints out of the first 12. For what reason was that ? You were nervous. Some returns were not at your usual standard, in my opinion. What do you think about it ?
ROGER FEDERER : I mean, I wasn’t happy the way I was playing breakpoints early on, no doubt, except the one I made. It was fantastic. I was definitely struggling in the wind a little bit. It was very gusty early on. It was tough conditions, you know. Well, sometimes Rafa played great. He came up with some unbelievable passing shots when he needed to, you know. And then other ones I played poorly on them, which I just think maybe I should have really decided much more what I really wanted to do, you know. But Rafa keeps you thinking, and that’s what the best players do to each other in the end. Rafa also missed many opportunities later on. You always makes it hard for the opponent, and that’s what we both do to each other.
Q. We know how much you respect him. Especially after that tiebreaker, were there any points in there where you’re thinking, This kid has to fold up now ? He has to be a little bit mentally crazy ? A couple times you were down, served your way out of some real holes. Did you think at any point that he’s got to crack at some stage ?
ROGER FEDERER : Not really. I was just hoping, you know, or I was seeing that he was getting very nervous, you know, in that, what was it, fourth set tiebreaker where, I mean, I think he should have never lost the breaker in the end, you know. But he was really nervous. He didn’t make the returns he usually does. He couldn’t play aggressive. I played some okay shots, and it was enough to come back. So, I mean, I really thought, you know, that he was feeling it really a lot, you know, maybe the first time in his life. So I was hoping, like I said, with the momentum going into the fifth set, that it was going to be enough just from my end that I would play a little bit better. But I couldn’t really, you know, play maybe my best when I really had to. And towards the end, like we know, with the light, it was tough. But it’s not an excuse. Like I said, Rafa served well and played well and deserved to win in the end.
Q. You have such a deep love of the game and respect for it. The match today had so many elements, such a high level. Leading commentators are already talking about it being the best match in the history of this game. Could you reflect on that. Can you sense people would put it in that strong context already ?
ROGER FEDERER : Yeah, I mean, look, it’s not up to us to judge if it was the best ever. I think it’s up to fans and the media to debate. I’m happy we put in a great effort, Rafa and myself. You know, it was a fair battle, which was tough with the rain delays. You know, some great points. Really I just think we both played tough till the very end, you know. In tennis, unfortunately sometimes there has to be winners and losers. You know, there’s no draws. But I really had to push hard to come back. And I wasn’t able to break him, I guess, in the last three sets, but still I pushed him right to the edge, you know. I guess, you know, with the fading light even the victory became even more special, similar to, you know, when Pete won his, what was it, 14 again Rafter, you know, also in the fading light. That looked incredible. I wish obviously it was me with the trophy, but that’s the way it is now.
Q. Was this the toughest match of your career ?
ROGER FEDERER : Probably my hardest loss, by far. I mean, it’s not much harder than this right now, so…
Publié le dimanche 6 juillet 2008 à 23:47