Q. Nice escape,
Roger. Did it occur to you at any point in that match you
were going to lose?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a few times (smiling). It's normal.
He played well. Was it in the third I was down Love-40 in
that one game? I'm not sure. That was the moment I felt
was the toughest because if I wouldn't have come out of
that game, I don't think I would have broken the next
one. I had more belief I was going to break him in the
So it was a tough match, you know. He played really well
and I struggled early on, but came through, which is most
Q. Why did you have more belief the second time?
ROGER FEDERER: I just felt I started to hit the ball
better. Was an awkward break in the first game of the
fourth. I should have never been broken there. But I
started to feel my backhand was, you know, starting to be
I started to pick his serve much better, which has sort
of always been the case every time I played him. Today,
for some reason, I wasn't able to read his serve. That
really rattled me.
So I had to look for that for a long time. Thank God I
found it eventually.
Q. When you win matches like that, do you consider
yourself more lucky, more good, winning on mind, or do
you consider that the opponent was probably trembling a
bit, weak? Mixed feelings?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think I've been unlucky enough
this already this season, so I needed one lucky match.
We'll see how important it is, depending on the run I go
I've lost a few matches this season with match points, 7-5
or 7-6 in the third. This is definitely some kind of a
match I kind of needed. You know, you can't win them all
when they're that close, because they're being played on
a couple of points here or there.
One thing for sure you can do is push the luck on your
side. That's not something I have been doing maybe enough
the last few months. I'm happy today I gave myself a
chance. Maybe some think I should have never put myself
in that position.
But he played well. He's unconventional. He doesn't look
like much, but he definitely plays very solid and plays
very uncomfortable. So I knew that from the start. I
wasn't going to underestimate him even though I just beat
him 6-1, 6-2 in Halle. I think he played terrific. He
made it hard for me today.
Q. During your six-year streak of going far in majors,
how many matches have you had like this, this early,
where you felt as though you could lose?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, that's your job to find out the
stats. It's not my job to remember (laughter).
But I don't think it's definitely happened in many years
or ever that I've come back from two sets to Love down in
a first round. So that's not the last six years, because
I don't remember going through five sets in a first
round. It was eventually going to happen. I'm happy, you
know, I found a way to win today even though it was a
tough match and a tough start for me, because he did
offer me opportunities already in the first and second
set which I wasn't able to take.
It was frustrating, to say the least. I hung tough and
came through. So you have to look at the stats and find
your story there.
Q. But how unusual were the feelings that you had
during this match for you, especially here at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yeah, like I said, it hasn't
happened I'm sure the last six years. So it's not
something I'm used you.
You definitely feel, you know, uncomfortable because if
you're used to being down the whole time your whole life,
it's something that's kind of normal. For me it's not
normal to be down two sets to Love, especially at
Wimbledon, and early on in Grand Slams. It's something
I'm not quite used to.
But still I was able to find a way. That's most important
right now. Doesn't matter how I felt out there. Didn't
feel great, that's for sure.
Q. How are you thinking about the rest of the
tournament coming up?
ROGER FEDERER: Scores are set back to 0-0 when I start
the match. That's a good thing. So we'll see how it goes.
Q. How do you think he was able to stay with you so
well in the rallies? You said afterwards he neutralized
ROGER FEDERER: For those who saw the French Open match,
he served for the set in the first set. People that
obviously only remember straight sets don't remember I
actually played him. He was playing really well there, as
well, taking huge chances on second serves.
Obviously on clay that's even easier. It was slow. It was
rainy. We had to come off the court once. I knew he could
hang from the baseline.
In Halle, I think there were too many bad bounces so he
couldn't work with his half volleys. I was really mixing
it up well, playing well, reading his serve terrific.
That was something that was different today.
But in Paris I did have feelings against him that he was
very uncomfortable to play against, even though I think
I've had probably the fastest match in my Grand Slam
career against him here on Court 1, like in 55 minutes I
was able to beat him. I think if you can overpower him,
everything goes your way, he's a guy you can put away
Once you get tangled up in the rallies, it's very
difficult. He has a great forehand, good backhand, moves
well. I think he's improved his serve, to be honest. He's
a tough player. Great talent. Good junior before. He's
got the right potential.
Q. How did you find the speed of the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the thing here, there's no bad
bounces. You can just stick at the baseline, half volley,
not panic when a guy moves in. You can always flick it at
the end. Obviously they're not the fastest courts
anymore. Depends obviously how you play, as well.
If you've got a massive serve and you can just outright
overpower a guy, then obviously it's fast. But a guy who
is that agile at the baseline like Falla makes it very
difficult to play against, because he can neutralize you,
plays a flat ball, doesn't miss much. You've got to take
chances. Today the chances I took were not working.
Q. You said the ability to learn never to panic helped
you jump-start your champion career. Was there a moment
where you sort of panicked today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, sort of, 4-All, Love-40,
yeah. I mean, I think also the points that leaded up to
Love-40 were not very convincing for me. I think I missed
a forehand, missed a backhand, maybe even started with a
My whole game was sort of in disarray. I was just hoping
that I get three quick serves to come back. But I had to
come up with some passing shots, some scrambling shots.
Didn't always get the first serve in.
There was definitely a bit of luck involved there, you
know. It's normal when the chances he had, the way I came
out of this match, you know, definitely got lucky. But
that's how it goes sometimes.
Q. The momentum seemed to swing in the first set when
it was 5-All. You had that distraction, you were about to
serve. The ball boy came across. The umpire stopped the
ROGER FEDERER: When?
Q. 5-All in the first set.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't remember what happened.
Q. You were about to serve.
ROGER FEDERER: Didn't I get a first serve because of it?
Should have worked my way (laughter). I was about to hit
-- it looked like it maybe, but I didn't take advantage
of it because I think I was about to hit a second serve
and I got a first serve, which is a good thing. But
messed the first serve up, had to hit another second
serve, like an idiot.
But, look, no, I don't remember that being any turning
point. He played a good game. My serve was on and off. He
took his chances well in the beginning.
Q. Any question of nerves because it's the first
match? Was there a nervous factor?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, walking on down the corridor, onto
Centre Court, sure, there's always nerves involved. I
kind of want that, you know, because it means the world
to me to open Centre Court. It's a dream for any player
to play opening day on the perfect grass court. When I
walked out for the warmup, I'm like, This court is
amazing. I don't remember it ever being so perfect, you
Then once you get the first couple of service games
underway, I think my first game was fine during the
match, then it's fine. I wasn't particularly nervous once
the match started. Just the regular.
Q. It looked like your level of energy was very low.
Was that the feeling you had, too?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I was being calm because I
knew I had to be concentrated on trying to read his game.
And in the past actually I've always kind of struggled in
the first set here at Wimbledon on opening day.
Many times I've been down a break in all the six or seven
times I've opened the court. I've been down a couple
times a break. I remember that going into the match.
Maybe I was playing a little bit careful.
But I was playing the right way. I had a couple of
breakpoint chances, everything looking fine. Then there
was this one game at 5-All which then turned the match
Q. Do you sense the crowd sort of panicking a bit for
ROGER FEDERER: Not too bad actually. I think, I mean,
they were waiting for something to happen, for me to make
my move. It's usually how the crowd is, you know, when
I'm down. You know, I was happy I had a couple of good
points to come back into the match. Then it was obviously
thriller atmosphere, which was great for me, making him a
little nervous, too.
I think I was able to go get the victory. He didn't just
donate it to me. That also makes me feel good, because at
the end I did play a great fifth set. Nobody will talk
about that, I know. People will say he was tired, he
choked already way before. I did play a great fifth set.
I was able to read his serve. I was starting to play
great with my backhand. Things were really clicking in
Q. What carries over for you moving forward? That
fifth set or the struggles earlier?
ROGER FEDERER: I think you got to be - how do you say -
realistic saying like there was a big threat today. I did
get lucky today. It's important to take - how do you say
- the right things out of this match. There was positives
and negatives, obviously. But then again every player,
thank God, in some ways plays different.
The next guy is a righty, big-serving guy, nothing to do
with the guy I played today. Because you struggle today
doesn't mean you're going to struggle in the next match,
too. Same thing if you win in straights; it doesn't mean
you're going to win the next match in straights. That's
just the way tennis is.
That's why you're happy sometimes you get over the finish
line and have a chance to play much better maybe or play
a different kind of a player. That's what I'm going to
get for sure in the next round.
Q. Do you think it might have helped you to play him
three times in a row?
ROGER FEDERER: It shouldn't have, no, especially after
Halle. He should have known that I was going to beat him.
But he forgot I beat him (smiling).
Look, he played a great match. I think he gave himself an
incredible look. I told him at the net, I hope he's not
too disappointed because I thought he played great. Maybe
I didn't play obviously the match of my life, but I did
play not bad myself at times. That normally is enough to
go through in straight or in four sets, but he definitely
pushed me. He was a very tough opponent.
Q. What's it like being a dad at Wimbledon?
ROGER FEDERER: Good. I can come back anytime. I'm a
member. I can be a dad anytime at Wimbledon now. It's
great being here with the kids and Mirka after last
year's time where she was pregnant. It's nice to be back
as a family. Even two, you guys didn't know that, so