The Championships Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Roger Federer Press Conference
K. ANDERSON/R. Federer
2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11
Q. Where did you feel you lost control over the match? Third set or maybe later?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. Honestly, I'm not sure. I guess there was definitely a moment at some point. Is it missing match points? Is it getting broken at 5-All after that? I'm not sure.
That could have been a key. Could have been a key later. There's a lot of little points here and there that always make a difference in the outcome of a match.
I don't think this one naturally you can pinpoint exactly except my match points.
Q. What was going through your mind at the beginning of the fourth set having had match
ROGER FEDERER: I'm up two sets to one. It's all good, so... At that point I wasn't thinking of losing.
Q. Can you talk about how Kevin Anderson played? What was different about him this time?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, he's got a nice, big serve that he can rely heavily on. I always thought he returns well off second serves, especially if you give him the small one. He can really lean onto it. I think he did that well again today.
There's nothing really that shocked me because I've seen Kevin play many, many times in the past. Even if the matches have been maybe sometimes onesided, I didn't lose sets against him, you always know he can pick it up, and all of a sudden you won't see breaks for some time.
I was very happy that I got off to the right start of the match, was able to take control somewhat of the game. I just don't know exactly how I couldn't create more opportunities once the third set came around. I think I had chances, I'm not sure exactly how many.
But then fourth and fifth, obviously the fifth was long, that's like two sets, the fifth.
I think I had my chances, so it's disappointing. No, I mean, no doubt about it. He was consistent. He was solid. He got what he needed when he had to.
Credit to him for hanging around really that long.
Q. Were you surprised that Kevin was able to stay in so many rallies and play such a strong
baseline game with you? Did mental fatigue enter into it for you as that fifth set wore on?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I've seen Kevin play very well off the baseline also against me in the past. I
wasn't feeling particularly well off the baseline. I couldn't really get the rallies going the way I wanted to, especially 1-2 punch wasn't working at all today. I don't know if it had something to do with the breeze, just a bad day from my side, except the first set.
After that, I never really felt exactly 100%. That has nothing to do with my opponent. It was just
one of those days where you hope to get by somehow. I almost could have. I should have.
So, no, I wasn't surprised. Once I couldn't get the 1- 2 punch going, once I was in the rallies, it's hard to get him moving. Like you said, he hits hard and strong.
The other thing you said?
Q. Mental fatigue for you.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I felt good actually. Sure, it's disappointing losing the next two sets after winning the first two and having match points. I've been there before. I know what kind of energy I need to bring to the fifth. I was able to bring that. To be honest, I didn't feel mental fatigue. Now I feel horribly fatigued and just awful. It's just terrible. But that's how it goes, you know. Credit to him.
Q. When you're on the run you've been on in terms of consecutive sets, not being broken, the
first time that happens, is that destabilizing and disrupting?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. No, I talked about it a couple days ago, that it's nice when it lasts. I
expected to be broken much earlier. I didn't think of it while it was happening. He had to play a great, great game to break me. That's good enough. If that's what it takes, that's all right.
Q. You kept your cool in the big points. When the points aren't going your way, is it sometimes hard to feel inside that maybe this ain't going your way, but you can pull it out somehow?
ROGER FEDERER: How was it feeling, you mean?
ROGER FEDERER: Sometimes you don't feel good, and you try your best. I don't know. Sometimes you feel better, and you still try your best. Today was one of those days. I think it went in spells
a bit also, how I was able to return his serve. I had moments where I was great, I felt like I was reading his serve, other moments where I don't know where the hell I was moving to. I don't know if that was his serve. But I also have a feeling, it was a feeling of mine, you know, not getting it right. Then off the baseline I wasn't feeling as good either as I had hoped to, but still good enough to be in there and maybe win the match. I wasn't too concerned.
Even at 10-All in the fifth, it's all good. I still felt like all he needed to do was give me a few second
serves, finally pick the right sides again, things could change. I wasn't - how do you say - horribly negative the whole game. It's just not one of my best days, but they don't happen very often either. It's one of those average days you have to try to win the match, and I just couldn't get it done today. So it's disappointing.
Q. How long will it take to get over a result like that? You've only come off court. I sense you
still have unfinished business here at Wimbledon for future years?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't know how long it's going to take me. Might take me a while. Might take me half an hour. I have no idea what it's going to be.
Yeah, of course, the goal is to come back here next year. I wouldn't call it 'unfinished business'. I felt like I did some good business here in the past already (smiling).
So I'm all right. Just disappointed now.
Q. Do you think playing on No. 1 Court affected the level of your performance, given you haven't
had a chance to play on that court for three years?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think it would have changed if I played there last year. It's not like I
would have remembered exactly how it would have felt.
I don't think it really mattered, to be honest. I had my chances and blew them, so... That's my problem really.
Q. You mentioned unfinished business, not unfinished business. What is it about Wimbledon
specifically that motivates you to drive yourself so hard to be here every year?
ROGER FEDERER: That maybe the losses hurt more, that you don't want to be on the loser's side. It motivates me to do extremely well here because I don't want to sit here and explain my loss. That's the worst feeling you can have as a tennis player. But, no, honestly I think I just, you know, love being around here. It's a good vibe. We have a good time as a family. I have great memories from here. My heroes all won here. Every time I come back here, I try to be like them, so it's nice to be here.
Q. Could you feel early on that it wasn't quite working perfectly for you, even though you won
the first set quite easily?
ROGER FEDERER: No, first set felt great. Reading the serve. He wasn't getting many aces. When I
was on, I was making him play. From the baseline I felt like I could mix it up, play aggressive. There was a lot going on.
As the match went on, I couldn't surprise him any more. That's a bad feeling to have. It's not like it
hasn't happened before. I've been in many, many matches like this.
These are the moments where you try to hold your serve, create opportunities. Maybe he's got to miss a few more than make a few more. That's going to maybe make the difference.
I couldn't come up with enough good stuff for him to miss more. I think that was the key at the end.
Q. You haven't had a lot of those bad days in Grand Slams.
ROGER FEDERER: It wasn't bad, but average. There's a lot of average. Most of them are average
during the year.
Q. Could you see it at all coming in practice, previous matches, that maybe things weren't
timing-wise or was it a complete surprise?
ROGER FEDERER: That it's an average performance? That doesn't come as a surprise.
Those happen. Every second game is an average performance I believe. Then you have moments in the match where you rise to the occasion and play very well. But I wouldn't necessarily say I've been playing like incredible. I've been playing well. Just today, when I needed it, I couldn't get it up. That's why it's an average performance and not a good one. So if I would have won in straight sets, then it could have been all right, you know, because I would have had a great first set, and second set was whatever it was.
So, no, I didn't see it coming. From that standpoint, I felt great in practice, good in the warmup. I'm feeling the ball well. Even now losing, I still felt like the feeling is there. It just happened to be that today wasn't the day.