Roger Federer is in Montreal and he showed off some French-language skills this weekend in an interview he did with the French-Canadian press. On Monday the ATP published an English-speaking interview with Federer at their Youtube account. The interviewer asked about Federer's confidence level as he prepares for his first match later this week.

Swiss Maestro starting over

In answering about his confidence Federer shrugged off results from Wimbledon due to the grass-court surface. He claimed that the ball bounces differently on cement and that it takes a little bit of getting used to again.

He also downplayed the relevance of hard-court titles from Indian Wells and Miami earlier this season. He said that those Masters Series 1000 events seemed like there were distant in his history now and that the Canadian Masters was like starting up anew.

"I'm not sure you know those Masters 1000s that I won...back in March, they seem like ages ago," Federer claimed, "...the transition I'm in right now like most of the players going from the grass to the hard-courts and the ball's bouncing...I feel like this has almost nothing to do with Indian Wells and Miami and with Wimbledon. So it all starts from scratch."

There is a big difference between the Canadian Masters and both the Indian Wells and Miami Masters.

In the latter tournaments, the players are in the midst of the early-season hard-court events. Events like the Australian Open, Brisbane, Rotterdam, and a host of other events are all played on cement. There may be differences between each surface in each tournament, however nothing like the differences between the grass and the hard-court surfaces.

In short when players go to Indian Wells and Miami it is often after playing on the hard courts for months. When going to Montreal or Toronto, players that have not played since Wimbledon are coming off of the grass-court component of their ATP seasons. Federer did not participate in Atlanta or Washington in the recent weeks, low-tiered tournaments on the ATP Tour.

Seeming non-confident a strategy?

Federer's answers in interviews that pertain to whether or not he will succeed in any event often downplay his chances. He employs variants of the just-happy-to-be-here kind of answers that you hear in sports interviews so often. That could be a smart tactic on his part to avoid putting any extra pressure on himself. Certainly, a player that states that he thinks he is going to win an event is one that faces a little bit of extra criticism when he loses.

"I'm almost coming a new guy," Federer claimed on the brink of turning 36 years old on Tuesday. The Swiss Maestro hasn't played a lot of tennis in Montreal over the years and his comment references that.

However, he does have a draw to the final that he has to like especially with Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, and Andy Murray not in the tournament. Federer has to be feeling confident inside, although part of being experienced is surely also knowing never to take anyone lightly that can get to the 2nd round of a Masters Series event. Federer opens his tournament at that point on Wednesday against either Vasek Pospisil or Peter Polansky.