The Swiss star answered questions from the official Mutua Madrid Open web page fresh from sealing his place in this Sunday’s final against Tomas Berdych.
Roger Federer will play in his fifth Mutua Madrid Open final on Sunday. His victory over Janko Tipsarevic in the semi-finals means he can look to win his third Madrid title in the Caja Mágica’s Manolo Santana Centre Stadium. He spoke to us shortly after the match.
If you win tomorrow you will get back to number two in the world and you will tie the record for Masters 1000 titles. Does that make this more special?
No. I didn’t even know about the number two ranking so that’s new to me. I’m focused on what I’m doing here this week, trying to play well and get far. Coming through the first round, that was always the first goal and that’s what I’ve been able to do. I have been feeling better and better as the tournament has gone on. There were tough conditions today. There was a lot of wind and so forth. I’ve had a lot on the line so many times and this is no different. It’s going to be a tough match. Berdych is playing well himself. It’s quick conditions and he can be a big threat in the finals like that.
Tomorrow you are going to face Tomas Berdych. You have the advantage in the head-to-head but he has beaten you in the past. What kind of game are you expecting?
Well I expect quick points and big shots from both sides. I hope I can play a big match on my serve and take it from there. He can impose his game with his serve and that makes him a tough player to play against. He got me in big matches in my career in Wimbledon and at the Olympics. I got him back in the same places though. Still I remember those losses vividly. I think that we match up pretty well against each other because of the shot making.
Tipsarevic played a spectacular game against Djockovich yesterday but you seemed to have him under control. Did you watch his game? Did you study him to know what to expect?
No I didn’t see much of the Djockovich match to be honest. I watched the last couple of games but other than that, I was busy preparing myself. It was a case of looking back at the matches that I’ve already played him in. I played him at the French Open last year so that gave me some idea and then obviously just speaking with Sven and Paul, really cleared my mind about how it was going to work out.
Speaking of Madrid, despite the fact that you come here and play against big Spanish players such as Nadal or Ferrer, the Spanish crowd still seems to have a deep affection for you. Does that affect things? Does it feel like a home crowd sometimes?
Well, my home crowd is back in Switzerland. I do believe I get a lot of respect from the Spanish fans though. It’s the same thing for Rafa or other great rivals who come to Switzerland. They [the fans] respect them the same way because they know how much we respect each other, and get on with each other. I think people enjoy our rivalry. Just because I’m from Switzerland, it doesn’t mean that they don’t like me because I’m his rival. I actually feel that when I walk around here, people are really friendly to me, supportive and say really nice things to me, which is very nice obviously, in a country where I have so many rivals. I really appreciate that and try to be as thankful as I can by showing my appreciatation every single time I finish a match.