R. FEDERER/N. Mahut 6‑3, 4‑6, 6‑2, 7‑5

ROGER FEDERER

            Q.  Congratulations, Roger.  Did you find in front of you today a player that was maybe harsher in the groundstrokes especially than what you expected besides his serve and volley?

ROGER FEDERER:  No, I knew he could play very well from the baseline if he had time.  I think for bigger guys it’s about, if you’re able to move them around enough and they have to defend time and time again, this is maybe where you can expose some of their weaknesses potentially.

But if they’re obviously on the attack and they can keep the points short and they’re all very good, you know, and he showed the same, especially in the first few shots of each point, makes him tough to play.

It’s a bit tricky when you want to play yourself maybe a clay court match but actually it would be better to play a hard court match, so it was the sliding obviously integrated into that.

So that’s tricky at times.  I thought he did well.  Struggled a little bit, but overall obviously I’m happy I came through.

Q.  Of all the achievements you’ve done in your career, playing a lucky loser in the fourth round of a Grand Slam, that’s sort of an odd occurrence, isn’t it?

ROGER FEDERER:  I don’t know if it’s happened before.

Q.  Have you seen much of Mr. Goffin?

ROGER FEDERER:  I saw him play a bit of that match against Clement, obviously, because I knew that was going to end Arnaud’s campaign here at the French, and I’ve played him many times.  So I was trying to watch as much as I could in that match.

So then that gave me a chance to see a bit of him, as well.  Because I never really saw him play before.  I’ve seen him around, but it’s a nice game, smooth ball striker and talented, obviously.  Otherwise he wouldn’t be coming that far in this tournament.  Today he had a convincing tournament, and that’s exactly what he needed coming into the next round.

Q.  Are you surprised that he’s there?

ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, yes, he was in the quallies.  So obviously I’m surprised.

Q.  What kind of match do you expect?

ROGER FEDERER:  I don’t know yet.  I hadn’t thought about it, to be quite honest.  I’m just happy I’m through.  Tonight and tomorrow I’ll start preparing for Goffin.

Yeah.  I want to play a good match.  Maybe try to raise my level of play.  I hope I can do it against him.

Q.  If I tell you you are his idol, what does it inspire to you?

ROGER FEDERER:  Not the first time it happens.  (Laughter.)  It’s strange; I tell you that.  It’s weird.  It’s strange.  It’s everything you can imagine.  I’m happy to hear it, though.

So it’s a big match obviously for him, and for me, too.  It is a fourth round of a Grand Slam, after all, here in Paris where I know the Belgians, they like coming here and supporting their players like Justine and Kim in the past.  I expect some Belgian fans to be there, too.

Yeah, it’s gonna be unusual match for me, knowing that now.  So thanks for that.  (Laughter.)

Q.        Not really speaking of idols, per se, but if you could go back and play any great player who you’ve never played before, the Borgs or the Connors of the world, if you could go back and have a fun, challenging match that would be interesting and a good test for you, what would you enjoy the most, Roger?

ROGER FEDERER:  Well, playing my hero, similar to that, I would have loved to play Becker and Edberg, too.  They were the ones for me growing up that I looked at and sort of idolized, and obviously Pete came along and I had a chance to play against him, which was just amazing.

I mean, I played him on Centre Court at Wimbledon.  That was my first appearance there.  That was, for me, the great stuff, you know.  Looking at those guys on TV and then all of a sudden playing them, I really enjoyed that.

Q.  With Borris’ big serve and Edberg’s serve and volley game, how do you think you would do on grass?

ROGER FEDERER:  Struggle.  Win some; lose some, hopefully.  That would be good enough for me.

Q.  You may or may not be aware, but there was an announcement before the match that Tony was leaving IMG and perhaps you might be, as well.  Could you just perhaps give us your view on that and where that situation is at the moment?  Obviously it would be a huge step for you to leave a company you’ve been with for so long.

ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I left them already, back when.  This is not the first time.  So obviously it’s first days of the new months.  Obviously this is when contracts sometimes do run out, and that’s been the situation in my case.  And in Tony’s case, he didn’t renew.

So we’ll see where it goes now.  The rest is confidential, I guess.  I don’t even know how much I’m allowed to say.  And I don’t want to speak about it, anyways, because it’s not my favorite subject (smiling).

Yeah, I’m aware of it, obviously.  And I’ll have to see what happens, but never say never.  Who knows what happens the next few weeks, months, and years.

Q.  Is Tony still representing you?

ROGER FEDERER:  Right now, I don’t think so, but I’m still playing the tournament, though.

Q.  Did you ever see yourself

re-signing with IMG?  Could you see yourself re-signing with IMG at some stage?

ROGER FEDERER:  I don’t know.  Yeah, maybe.  I have no idea.  I mean, I’ve had a good time myself, you know.  I was very close with Teddy Forstmann, who unfortunately passed away last year.  Obviously I had an emotional attachment to the company that way.  He was the one who brought me back really, and so obviously when all of that happened, potentially it wasn’t helpful.

I don’t know at this moment what’s gonna happen next.

But I’m relaxed, which is important at this very moment.

Q.  Did you see the Paul‑Henri match yesterday?  What do you think?

ROGER FEDERER:  I saw the end, just a little bit.  Well, a little bit.  At least 10 or 20 games, because it was a very long match.

But I didn’t see much of the first sets.  I knew Mathieu had a chance.  I have seen him play on clay.  I have seen him play for the last 20 years now I think.  I always thought he had a lot of talent, one of the best backhands on the tour, and he was playing in front of his own crowd.  I thought it was great after what he went through during the past year and this huge surgery with his knee.

So I was extremely happy to see him win the first match and also that second match.  It was beautiful.

It was great for him.  It was incredible to see he was a bit fresher than Isner in the end.  I’m extremely happy for him.

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