London: Even seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer has dreams.
He is getting closer to becoming the first man to win a Grand Slam and an Olympic medal at Big W.
On Thursday, Federer scored a hard-fought 6-4, 7-6(5) victory over American John Isner in a men’s singles quarterfinal.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q. John (Isner) said after the match that it was his first match on Centre Court. Do you remember your first match on Centre Court at Wimbledon? Do you remember if you won or lost?
Federer: I remember very, very clearly. I played Pete Sampras and I won in five sets. If I don't remember this one I have issues (smiling). I do remember, thank God. I hope he does, too. Because it is something very unique and special, having that opportunity in a lifetime of a player's career to be out there and play.
Q. It's been a great couple of weeks for you. Do you feel your current form compares to your very best form?
Federer: Well, I think I'm playing my best. I don't know if you can play a whole lot better. Especially today, obviously just trying to react to what's coming your way. That's what you're doing anyway against every single player you play against.
You always have to keep on adapting your game, making sure you come up with a new plan, keep on playing well yourself. There's a big focus that goes on your own game, too.
Overall I'm extremely happy. Obviously being in the medal matches, at least I'll get two shots. That's why I looked at this match as a final. You can imagine the relief and happiness I feel right now.
Q. Describe the quality of your opponent and do you remember the last time you lost to an American?
Federer: Andy Roddick in Miami, this year. And John's a great player. I lost to him shortly before that at Davis Cup in Switzerland on home soil. So that was a tough loss. I was able to get revenge against him in the finals of Indian Wells. I think he's got a great game. He's now a solid top-10, top-15 player, and I expect him to stay there. He's got the game to go deep in every tournament he plays, every surface. He's improving really honestly every month that goes by. It's nice to see him improving, but it makes it so much tougher for us facing up against him.
Q.A couple months ago Nadal said he thought whoever won Wimbledon would be favoured to win the Olympics. Can you understand where he was coming from with that?
Federer: I said the same actually. Where it comes from?
Confidence is a funny thing. You sometimes underestimate how important confidence is.
You don't ask yourself too many questions. You go out there, when it's important, you are able to thread the needle. It's the weirdest thing really. I don't want to say that I feel invincible right now, but I feel good. Peace of mind with the decisions I'm taking on the court.
Obviously at the same time there's harmony around the game as well when you're not playing tennis because you feel like you're doing all the right things, you've put in a lot of sacrifice.
When you walk out, you just believe in it till the very last point that you can win. Sometimes when you don't have that confidence, you just doubt that for a bit. That can make the difference if, for instance, your opponent has the confidence. But then again, you know, every match is different, like I said.
I'm not the only guy with confidence right now. I think Murray has that, too. Djokovic, too. Del Potro, as well. It's a complete open tournament, I think. Everyone has a very good chance of going all the way.
Q. How are you spending your time away from the court? Is it similar to Wimbledon in terms of preparation? Are you going to see events and feeling part of a wider movement?
Federer: I don't know. I played singles one and a half hours, and then I played doubles. I didn't run, go see volleyball, then come back. I wish I could. I don't want to say it's similar to Wimbledon, because in Wimbledon we play every second day.
At one point I had two days off. You have more time to move around, go to the city. Here, going to the Olympic Village, doing the press over there, I've been staying put in Wimbledon. I've been super busy playing a lot. It's just been very much tournament mode, getting things done the right way. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all the players. As much as I would like to go see other sports, there's no time for that now.