Roger Federer was asked if he was surprised in winning longer rallies against Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon semifinals. The Swiss said: "I mean, look, winning long rallies is always a nice feeling. At the same time there were so few of them when you're going deep in a rally like this.
Plus they were also played on a very high level in terms of speed and power and spin and everything. It's not just hitting cross-court balls to one another. You have some other opponents that produce that more for you. More of a waiting game.
This is different. Almost every shot we're trying to win the point. Yeah, I mean, I think it is important that I can win those, as well. But they're not the most important. I mean, I wonder if it took something out of him.
I don't think so because on clay he does that in his sleep. Why shouldn't he be able to have a few long rallies and it deflate him? He's a champ, I'm a champ. We know how to handle a rally like that. Of course, you hope it goes your way at the very end when you're not controlling things 100% any more."
On the keys for his first set tie-break win over Nadal, Federer added: "I don't know what makes the difference. Sometimes you are on the ball, you hit a great return, but he picks it up perfectly and ends up winning the rally.
Maybe it's 30-Love when that happens. Maybe it's a bit different when it's 2-1 in the breaker. Maybe also when I connected with the backhand down the line, maybe was I secretly guessing he was also going to my backhand? Maybe. I was just able to come around it enough to keep it deep and long."