26th GERRY WEBER OPEN 2017 June 18–24

Tickets +49 5201 8180 Mon – Fri. 9am – 5pm and Sat. 9am – 1pm.

Interview with Roger Federer

Roger, would you please rate your performance?
Roger Federer: It was okay. It’s the first round you know. I’m getting used to the different court again. Firsts round are always where you don’t play your best usually. You have to find a way and maybe try to play as good as you possibly can you know. The opponents sometimes help you with it. It was hard to find a rhythm against Struff today. He took the ball early, went for a lot on the forehand, backhand, he has a big serve, especially first one. So, then you go back to basics, you focus on your own serve. I thought I did that very well. He never really had chances on my own serve, so that was comforting. And then on the return I had my chances but he kept going for it. At the best chance, he went big serve, line, again maybe I had a small chance and then I was clearly happy that he helped me a little bit at the beginning of the breaker. But nevertheless it’s good to win breakers. I won a couple as well in Stuttgart against Mayer. I played actually a pretty good one against Thiem as well in that semis. So, it’s good to play those good matches, you know for the moment and it’s nice to get through this.
[Translate to Englisch:]
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It was your first match on the court. How is it compared to last year’s first as for as the quickness or hitting through the court and the speed overall?
Roger Federer: I think the overall speed is the same. The court doesn’t feel maybe as soft as in previous years. But I heard they made some slight adjustments. I think that’s a good thing for movement. I think it helps especially for movement. I think in terms of speed it’s been the same for years in my opinion now. There are less bad bounces potentially but it’s grass, at the end of the day it’s supposed to be bad bounces, otherwise we are doing something too good. It shouldn’t be too good.
With the amount of how much you played this week what are your expectations for this week? Do you put pressure on yourself to win or did you set a lower bar here this year?
Roger Federer: The bar is naturally lower overall just because I need to first feel like I’m free with everything, my mind, my body, my game, whatever. So, there’s so many things to work through it. I’m getting there. I’m happy that I’m getting more and more info every match I play. Now, I think it was clearly really good for me that I played Stuttgart last week. Otherwise, I would have come here and just say anything is a good result. Now, I feel after the first round, after having played last week, actually maybe something is really possible here. I don’t want to get too carried away but I feel like if I serve the way I did today and I’m able to step it up just a little bit on the return from the baseline, all of a sudden I’m dangerous for anybody, you know, you would think so. So, we’ll see how it goes. But I take one match at a time and I hope just to keep on playing a bit better match by match.
With the time you have left do you feel you are on a good track for Wimbledon?
Roger Federer: Yes, I mean the hope before Stuttgart and Halle was that number one I can play both. I was considering skipping one of them, probably Stuttgart first and give myself an extra week was the logical way to do it. But at the end, I said no let’s go for it. That was my first goal. So, that was first all achieved by now having played both tournaments and then I said if I can play two to three matches in Stuttgart, that’s already really good. And then if I can play a couple of more here maybe, that’s great. So, basically I already achieved my initial goal from two, three, four weeks ago. So, that’s good. I don’t want to say I’m ahead of schedule but this would have been my hope going into Wimbledon. So, now whatever comes is great and plus I have a week before Wimbledon. So, I hope I’m going to be good at Wimbledon when it starts.
How would you compare this court to say the Centre Court at Wimbledon, the conditions, the speed?
Roger Federer: Well, it’s different. This court sees less sun overall because just of the way the sun moves around the Centre Court. So, there is one corner which doesn’t see much sun at all. So, it’s always been a bit of a, I don’t want to say a wetter court, but just a more slippery one. You have to be careful. There are also some spots I think on serve where you could always get maybe a bad bounce and that will make it tough for the opponent to return. But I think that with the court being a bit better again this year, the movement is getting easier, there is less bad bounces. I don’t think it’ much faster than Wimbledon. Obviously, Wimbledon plays very different from the first day to let’s say two weeks later. Clearly it makes a huge difference the way the ball bounces, the way you can move. So, things happen here very quickly. You start on Wednesday and the conditions are almost the same throughout the week, except maybe final day because you’re almost the only guys playing on that court. They clean it up nice and it’s the perfect court at the end of the week in my opinion. But in the beginning, it’s always going to be slippery, same at Wimbledon, too, the first sort of four, five days.
It’s partly a problem with the roof, wasn’t it, the condensation?
Roger Federer: Here?
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