Today, Roger pulled off an improbable comeback against Juan Martin del Potro, rallying from two sets down to win 3-6, 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 in five sets. I, like I many others I expect, had almost given up hope, and so it was incredible to see him progress to his 31st Grand Slam semi-final – a record, again, shared with Jimmy Connors.
However, when Roger made his way to his post match press conference, surely a little tired out but happy to be through, he was asked the following questions, among others:
Q: You were born very close to the French/Swiss border. Are you certain you were born in Switzerland?
Q. This was a complicated match, but do you think you can raise your level to defeat Djokovic as you did last year?
Q. You lost to Tsonga in five sets in Wimbledon. You also lost to Djokovic in five sets. Would this victory in five sets confirm that you can win a match in five sets?
The slightly inane nature of these questions brought me back to a series of quotes from Federer’s press conferences that I have compiled over the years, and so I decided to repost them here. Read on at your leisure….
Q: What was the last question you didn’t expect and what was the question and what did you answer and when? Do you remember?
Roger Federer: Don’t know. Maybe one of yours. I don’t know.
Q: Are you missing Nadal at this tournament?
Roger Federer: We’re not dating, so no.
Q: Talking about legends, in 2003 you managed to beat Pete Sampras at Wimbledon. He was an icon at that time.
Roger Federer: 2001.
Q: You’re on the official car this year. How does it feel to see yourself on the move every day?
Roger Federer: I can’t sleep at night, it’s so amazing, the feeling…
Q: Have you ever been recognised in strange places?
Roger Federer: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. This guy goes, “ahh, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV.” I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.
Q: Were you naked at the time in the spa?
Roger Federer: No. It was at the front desk. I didn’t walk in naked.
Q: Before you make the challenge there’s a picture of two players on the court. Yours was red and black and blurry. It’s just not very flattering. Perhaps you could change the quality of the picture?
Roger Federer: [No response]
Q: Is there any chance of getting one of your towels?
Roger Federer: No. We don’t have that many. They’re for my friends. I don’t know you. But good try.
Q: You’re still No. 1. That’s good.
Roger Federer: Thank you. I’m happy you say so.
Q: Do you still think you can win Roland Garros?
Roger Federer: Yes.
Q: Are you sure?
Roger Federer: Well, if you want me to answer no if that makes you happy, then no. Choose the answer. I said yes.
Q: Imagine it’s 2009 and this little fairy comes to you and says, You’re going to win one tournament, but you have to choose – Wimbledon or Roland Garros. Which one?
Roger Federer: I don’t want to answer these stupid questions any more. They’re too stupid.
Q: But why?
Roger Federer: Because I want to win at everything. I have no preference.
Q: So you waited 27 years to win in Paris. You won the US Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open much earlier. Does it give a special flavor to this trophy?
Roger Federer: First, I never waited 27 years, because 27 years ago I was just born. My parents never told me, If you don’t win Roland Garros we take you to the orphanage.
I promise you that every single one of these quotes is genuine.
As you can probably tell, they’re from various different press conferences over the years. The “dating Nadal” one is from here. The TV picture quality one is from here. This is the one about him being on the car. This is the towel one. This is the one about him still being #1 and thinking he can win RG again and his ‘stupid questions’ response! The ‘take you to the orphanage’ one is from here. This is the ‘last question you didn’t expect’ one. The naked one is only available here but occurred at Indian Wells 2004. The Sampras one I can’t find online but it was posted on a forum at the time.