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"Climbing the Comeback Mountain with the Tower of Tandil."

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AO Day Fourteen: In Their Own Words

Posted by gauloises1 on January 31, 2010

Q. After the emotions of wins 14 and 15, how do you rate a 16th title?

ROGER FEDERER: I think you also got to see the way a match ends. Is it 40‑Love point where serving and you’re up 5‑Love, or in a breaker. I don’t even know the score, 13‑11. Sometimes it’s over before you know it.

This felt similar to the Wimbledon victory in a way, because all of a sudden it was over and it hit me, you know. Whereas before I made the dropshot and I think I won, and might have been much more emotional, you know.

But then after losing that point, I’m thinking, My God, he just grabbed the trophy out of my hands. I might end up losing this thing. Two or three points later, I’m the winner after all.

It was very much a rollercoaster with the emotions. You know, you just try to stay focused. I guess the match point was over, and I was like, Oh, my God, this is it. That’s kind of how I felt. It was great.

Q. How do you keep doing it year after year, Grand Slam after Grand Slam? You make it look so easy, and obviously it isn’t.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, look, there’s no secret behind it. You know, I mean, definitely a very talented player (laughter). I always knew I had something special, but I didn’t know it was like, you know, that crazy.

I definitely had to work extremely hard so I would pick the right shot at the right time. For instance, on the match point I decided to hit a dropshot. You got to be crazy to do that.

But I just ‑‑ you know, I always knew I had it in my hand. The question is do I have it in my mind and in my legs, you know. That’s something I had to work extremely hard at. Now I feel like obviously I’m being pushed a great deal by the new generation coming up. I always feel sort of tennis changes sort of every five years.

Because when I came on tour, matches were played very differently. It was more of a bluff game, guys serving well, but there was always a weakness you could go to. Today that doesn’t exist anymore. I think that’s also thanks to guys like Murray. They’ve made me a better player, because I think this has been one of my finest performances, you know, in a long time, or maybe forever.


Q. How are you feeling now?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, I don’t feel great. You know, obviously worked really hard, you know, to get to this stage. I wanted to win the tournament. You know, I think it was more the way the end of the match finished. You know, obviously it was pretty emotional end to the match.

If it was a complete blow‑out, if I lost 3, 4, and 2, you know, it probably wouldn’t have happened. But I had my chance to get back into the match. That was probably why I was upset.

Q. Was that tiebreak some of the hardest tennis you’ve played mentally?

ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, throughout the match, it didn’t ‑‑ I didn’t feel nervous. It’s obviously against him, he puts a lot of pressure on you with the way that he plays. You know, you need to focus really hard, you know, throughout the match.

I mean, obviously, you know, I wanted to win. I probably played, you know, I don’t know, maybe more important tiebreaks. I mean, he was obviously still two sets to nothing. I would have obviously liked to have taken it into a fourth set. […]

Q. Everyone talked about your aggressive approach against Nadal, and others as well. How would you compare that match and your approach there with your approach tonight?

ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, I think the second set was not good in that respect. The third set was a lot better. I started playing closer to the baseline, taking more chances. You know, in the beginning of the match, like I said, I had chances as well.

It’s a different match, you know, against Roger. You know, with Rafa, he can hit the ball short. You know, he plays a lot of topspin. Roger hits the ball a lot flatter. You know, the ball comes onto you a lot quicker, so it’s harder to go for huge shots against him.

You know, whereas against, you know, like in the important points, he can come up with big first serves. And Rafa, you know, his serve is very good, but you always have opportunities, you know, when he’s serving. Tonight I didn’t have as many.

But, you know, I mean, I thought in terms of my game style, it was right for a lot of the match and wrong for a few parts.

Q. What did you learn about dealing with that weight of expectation from the UK?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I didn’t feel it on the court. You know, you get a lot of good luck messages. You know, everyone wishing you well from back home. You know, that’s obviously nice.

You know, once you get on the court, it’s not what you’re thinking about at all. And then obviously after the match, you know, I would have liked to have done it for everyone back home, you know, won the tournament. Obviously for myself and for the people I work with as well.

But it wasn’t to be. […]

Q. You’ve fair enough to say you probably played some of your best tennis over the last fortnight. Is it dispiriting you’ve not been able to win a title after playing like that the last couple weeks?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I’ve just come off the court. I’m obviously very disappointed. But, you know, I mean, I think I’m getting closer and I’m playing better.

I mean, you know, I just spoke with my mum just now. You know, to have the opportunity to play in these tournaments, in these matches, is pretty incredible in the grand scheme of things.

I’m not going to be too disappointed. I got a pretty good life. I’ve got a long career ahead of me, and I’m going to have more opportunities, you know, to win them. I hope that I will.

But if I don’t, there’s a lot more important things to worry about than tennis.


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