Roger Federer visited the headquarters of his sponsor JURA on Tuesday, where he did a Q&A with news presenter Franz Fischlin. In the interview he speaks of the “hard decision” to play Davis Cup, his “super wife” Mirka, and about the struggle not to fall into an “emotional hole” when times get tough.
Especially interesting are Roger’s comments on how he dealt with all of the doubters at the beginning of the season.
Big thanks to Kopetzky at rf.com for the translation – please note that this is not an exact transcription of the interview but that Roger’s words and meaning are translated as closely as possible. It’s also not the entire interview.
(Translation starts after a question is asked – evidently to do with Davis Cup)
RF: People like it still that I am the No 1 or the No 1 again (applause) so I have to make a hard decision, the one or the other (he is speaking about whether he plays DC or not) both together is not working, I feel it myself, it is consuming. If I hadn’t played the Davis Cup I maybe would have gone to Asia so you see how much energy DC is consuming.
Q: DC brings inspiration also - (referring to the We are Swiss song on youtube – click here)
RF: Ah, you liked it, don’t you?
Q: Let’s sing a little bit.
RF: I am not sure they would like it (…) whoever wants to see it can see it on youtube.
DC has a a special atmosphere, similar as here, people are very close to us. We have incredible supporters at the DC, they make big noise and we have always big fun. So the song was a “thank you” to them. They have a lot of songs and said now it’s your turn with a song. I had talked with my masseur before and he knows a lot of tunes and he said try this one, this is funny. So I did that and I think they liked it. I didn’t expect it to go round the world but nowadays this happens.
Q: As we know there are questions you like better and some less we give you a multiple choice selection (asks about some political things and the new role as father).
RF:Then let’s talk about the role as father, that’s what I know something about…
Q: I was in Brazil during the US Open, I watched the QF, SF and Final of you and remembered the AO ceremony (..). This time you were relaxed. You lost but the world was not crashing. Is this because you are a father now?
RF: Surely to be father calms down, but I had a super wife before too and she is always here for me (applause) so a huge thanks to her. And the kids make me even calmer. But the reason was that I had an incredible season so far (applause). I had the feeling on court that I should never have lost the match but things like this happen, it was like against Tommy Haas where I could turn the match. This time he (JDP) turned the match and was the better player finally so I have no problems to accept it. And in Wimbledon and Australia it is extremely quiet during the ceremony and the focus is extremely on the players. US Open and French Open are “wilder”, there is music, there is eating (popcorn??..) and so I don’t fall in an emotional hole so easy. So I was relaxed and I won five times already, imagine that. There could be emotionality in the future again or maybe not, I cannot control it. Sometimes it is good to let it out. But it was nice to survive a ceremony relaxed for once. I’d have preferred to wait until I was in the locker room at the AO but I could not control it.
Q: It was an incredible year (…) and the Media said at the beginning of the year “maybe this was it, this has been it,” the coach issue, the mental issue etc. Were you aware of that?
RF: Absolutely. It does not pass you without leaving traces. The problem for me is I am confronted with this in media conferences, I have maybe 9 of them during a tournament and some other interviews as well and then there come skeptical questions that go all in the same direction and you are confronted every day with it. From my side, I had my problems with the mononucleosis and later with the back and these things take their time. The season in tennis has no long break so you are playing while you have these problems and you can’t win every tournament. For me it was important to have the will and to fight back and I played several months knowing my chances are not good to win and I knew I was gonna be criticized when I would lose in semifinals or finals. And so it happened. And I knew after 4 or 5 years of this dominance if you cannot be No 1 anymore it is somehow normal. I was prepared for this moment because I know that it is “not normal” what I have achieved and I think this helped me when the skeptical questions came.
Q: Had you never the feeling “I’ll show them on the court.”
RF: Well, noo, .. it is nice after (winning) the match to sit in front of somebody (journalist?) and you feel he would have liked it differently – I like that. But on court I am not the vengeful type.
And thanks to GTT reader, Liz, for bringing this interview to my attention!