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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 13, 2014


Roger Federer


CINCINNATI, OHIO

R. FEDERER/V. Pospisil
7‑6, 5‑7, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How special are the 300 Masters wins, I mean, among all the records that you probably have to keep track of?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's a nice round number (smiling).  I have had some more important ones than the one today, but nevertheless it's nice to reach such milestones, you know.  Been around, and I also was one of those guys who struggled early on in the Masters 1000.  I know how hard it is to win all these matches because it's always against top 50 players, if not top 20, if not top 10.
From that standpoint I'm obviously happy that it is at 300.  You know, it's nice.

Q.  You said before the match you were nervous about the first round, how it can always be tough.  Is that about how you expected, how it went?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, you know, I'm more just nervous about, you know, not being ready for the conditions, you know, like Jo and Dimitrov and Lopez, for that matter.  The transition is always a tough one.  We don't have enough days.  Can't expect too much.  We just hope to get through the first match in tough conditions, you know.
Whereas playing a guy who has been here for a number of days and has really gotten used to the skid of the ball, the bounce of the ball, the way it travels through the air.
As we know, we play so close to the line and margins are so small that sometimes we just miss a few shots here and there just because of not having played enough in these conditions, and that can cost you the match.
I'm happy I found a way at least today, and I get another chance tomorrow.

Q.  Obviously pretty tight there in the first set tiebreaker.  Can you take us through that as well as the back end of the second set?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think we both sort of struggled throughout the match.  Ball flies quite a bit here.  Historically has always been the case.
I tried to make him play as much as I could, you know.  But when he serves well or when I served well there weren't many rallies.  When there were rallies there was no rhythm.
From that standpoint I think we both struggled.¬† The break I got I think at the end of the second was a tough one to get.¬† I don't know what happened exactly to be down Love‑30, but that was the one point where I never thought that him retrieving at Love‑15 was ever going to make it, and somehow the ball stayed in.
That probably cost me the game.¬† Instead of being up 15‑all on even terms I went down Love‑30, which I think ended up costing me the set and the break.¬† Then I guess important was to stay calm even though it was frustrating for most of the match.
In the third set I sensed he was getting a bit tired.  I heard he was a bit injured last week, so maybe not in the best of shape right now in terms of physically.  I was able to take advantage of that.  I closed it out.
So I'm happy things finished more positive at the end.

Q.  You come from a small country.  I think most of your main idols growing up were not Swiss.  Do you think it's important for a country to have players coming up and people coming up to have someone from their own country as a player to look up to, or it's not really that important?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, for me, it wasn't that important, to be quite honest.  Clearly if you have the greatest of all time or heros in your country, that's even more inspiring, in my opinion.
For me I don't feel like necessarily I needed that, because having heros from all around the world was cool, you know. ¬†It was totally unreachable, as well.¬† I knew I would never meet maybe Edberg or Becker, unless I ball‑boyed them in Basel.¬† Michael Jordan I still have never met to this day.
So from that standpoint, it was so far‑fetched for me that it was just kind of good to have those people.
Coming on tour I think Marc Rosset was important for me.  We had a difference of 10 years.  He explained where to book practice, how to play against certain guys, you know, which tournaments to play maybe, all these kind of things.
So for me he was important in my early days, besides my coach and my entourage, which was quite small in the beginning.
But clearly if you have a hero from your country I think that could only be helpful, in my opinion.

Q.  You played at a tricky time of the day with the shadow.  It was right at the T at some point.  I was wondering how difficult that could be to return in the shade?  And vice versa, do you do anything different if you're in one or the other and the guy is going to receive in either the sun or shade?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, for me the shade today wasn't really the issue, to be quite honest.  When the sun beats down like this and there is no clouds basically, there is quite a glare.  People are usually wearing white behind the court and the backboard, so when the guy serves the ball goes out of the backboard into the crowd.
It's hard to the see the ball sometimes, especially on the first serve when it comes quick.  Then as well if it's not full you have the glare of the stands.  I think that brightness can be tough to see the ball.
Clearly you don't see the ball clearly.  You're going to shank some more.  You get more insecure and things become very difficult.
It's true when the sun comes from the side like that it's like at night when the lights are bad you feel like the ball is smaller, you know, because the one side of the ball has shade, whereas the other side of the ball is really bright.
So that's where it's tough when it comes from the side.  Also I feel like maybe your pupils, they change all the time when you're playing and there is a sun like that.
But it's the same for both, you know.  But it definitely makes it for better quality tennis, you know.  It's tough.

Q.  When you notice those are the conditions, do you change your tactics in terms of serving to make it more difficult for the opponent?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Not so much the serving.¬† Serving you just try‑‑ especially if it's right in your toss, then you just try not to double fault.¬† You try to serve as well as you can.¬† Usually you don't go for the lines as much.
Not necessarily on the serve, but especially from the baseline when conditions are as quick as they are here.  It's unfortunate you can't place close to the lines, which is then a bit boring sometimes.

Q.  Just some thoughts on playing against Vasek.  You have played him a few times now.  How do you feel about his game and how he's developing his future?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, I mean, like I said, I think he's had some issues last week.¬† He's played a lot of tennis, as well.¬† Losing today he'll to get some rest, you know, and prepare for what's to come.¬† I don't know if he's going to Winston‑Salem or for the Open.
I think now it's a good stretch for him to play on the hard courts.¬† I played him in Basel last year.¬† Should have won, almost lost, and then finally won in the semis 7‑5 in the third.¬† So I think he's got a really good potential.
He's got a nice serve.  He moves well for a big guy.  He's got enough power.  I think it's just about managing all these things.
And now just, you know, choosing the right team, choosing the right tournaments and practice, when to rest, when to play and all that stuff.  So I think that's just the hard part, but I hope he gets the hang of it and can take the right decisions moving forward.

Q.  Speaking of tossing and glare and all that, when your opponent catches a lot of tosses, does that bother you or...
ROGER FEDERER:  It doesn't happen very often, I must say.  Hardly happens to me.  Today I think twice maybe.  Sort of like gust of wind and once I sort of forgot the sun was there.  I tossed the ball and didn't see the ball anymore, so I was like, Okay, let me reset.  Usually I don't do it, but I couldn't really see the ball.
No, but not really.  If it gets ridiculous, clearly, but then the umpire will mention something.  I know what the rules are.  I guess you can play around with that a little bit.
I remember some matches, Kucera and Agassi, that were funny.  It's not every match like that because the viewer would say, What's wrong with this?

Q.  Do you feel bad for your opponent or...
ROGER FEDERER:  If it happens, as rarely as it does for me, I don't feel bad, no.  But if it did happen like 10 times, I think then it's not so funny anymore, really.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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