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October 10, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Benneteau
7‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Obviously you're very happy with your form this week.  Has it been kind of strange leading an almost nocturnal existence?
ROGER FEDERER:  For months now.  It's not just here.  I mean, I kind of did this the last few times I've been here in Shanghai.  I must say it's quite extreme.  I mentioned it the other day going to bed at 4:30, waking up at noon, it's not what I usually try to do.
But the thing is once you get into that rhythm of playing at 8:00 or late, you can't get out of it really because out of fairness towards me and my opponents, they got to put me at that time.
But it's not my favorite thing to do.  Playing prime time and night session is always a thrill.  Yeah, I mean, I enjoy being here in Shanghai.  I love this place.  I'm happy I'm winning.  So I'm not complaining.

Q.  Two apiece with Novak this year.
ROGER FEDERER:  Played four times.

Q.  Last one was Wimbledon, first one was Dubai.  What are your thoughts going into this one?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, matches were close this year.  Clearly not in top form in Monaco, but the other three were close:  Dubai, Indian Wells and Wimbledon.
I think we always play tough against each other.  I think we're both in good shape right now.  We both enjoy playing here in Shanghai.  The conditions are quite different here to other places.  The ball plays fast, kind of fast, but the balls are slow.  No wind whatsoever on center court.  I think it's a pretty straightforward match.
We'll see how much he can actually do, how much he can neutralize me, and how much I can do with him.  But he's playing a great season again.  I'll give it the best shot I have.  I think I have a good game at the moment.  It is my first tournament back after vacation, so I really hope I can come up with some good shot‑making and solid play because that's what it's going to require against him.

Q.  At this point playing Novak, do you know everything he's going to be throwing at you and vice versa or is there something new you think you can bring to the table tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER:  Slightly.  You can always play a bit more aggressive or a bit more passive, which I tried to do last year.  Especially the end of the year when I played him in Paris and London, I tried different things.  That was more I don't want to say desperation, but I felt it was more on his racquet than on mine.
Yeah, probably running out of energy in Paris after a tough week in Basel.  Tough match in London again.  Back‑to‑back, really tough.  In London I tried to play longer rallies.  I tried to stretch it because we were both struggling with rhythm.  It always depends also what are the circumstances, what do the conditions allow you to do.
But I think tomorrow in a semifinals where we're both already accustomed to the conditions, we both know where our levels are, I think you focus more on yourself, you just give it a go.
But yeah, I mean, there are not that many secrets out there.  We've played each other too many times at this point.

Q.  New physio with you this week.  Can you talk about the reason for the change, is it permanent, the details of that decision.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I've been working with Danny for a couple years now already just away from the tour in Switzerland because he's from Switzerland.  He's been with the Davis Cup team a couple years now, as well.  With Steph, I had a great five years.  I like finishing on top with guys, not when I'm in a slump or when I'm not doing well, like last year with my back.  It's easy to say, Let's just change.
I wanted to try to figure out a way to get out of it and get better again, which he was able to do.  But like so many times with coaching, massage, or physiotherapists over the year, I like to keep it fresh, keep it changing, and change at the right time.
I'm very happy with all the work he's put in.  I couldn't be more thankful because he's put in a lot of months and weeks for me, a lot of sacrifice.  I'm very happy with everything he's given.
There was nothing wrong in why I needed to change other than just having a change.  So I'm looking forward to the time with him but forever thankful to Steph.

Q.  Can you talk about tonight's match a little bit.  Is that the best you felt on court this week?  Especially the second set, you didn't make many errors.
ROGER FEDERER:  I thought I already played well in the first set against Julien.  He did very well in the first set on his own games, put me under pressure, especially towards the end of the set and the tiebreak.  It was a tough set.
I thought I played very well against Bautista Agut, but maybe tonight was a bit better.  Especially once I got in the lead, it's nice to have those great 10, 15 minutes where you can stretch it really.  That's what I was able to do.  So this probably was my best match so far.

Q.  Your friends have a new creation today.  They are holding the Marvel heroes.  Which one is your favorite and which do you think looks like you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Oh, God (laughter).  You tell me.  I don't know.  When I look nice and strong, Superman looked great.
It's hilarious, these PhotoShops.  I smile, as well.  Maybe I don't show it as much, but inside I'm laughing, I'm crying laughing.  I think it's very funny, very entertaining, and very creative.  I think it's great for TV.  It's great for me to show support.  I hope we'll see more of it tomorrow and in other places.  But this one I thought was very good.

Q.  Slight discussion with the umpire early on this the match.  What are your thoughts on that rule?  Does it need to be enforced where you challenge immediately?  Should it be a bit more lax?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm fine him pulling through and not allowing me to challenge.  I also don't think I was as fast maybe as I could be.  But there are so many times where guys take way more time.  He argues the case between that between the first and second serve you need to speed it up more.  I see guys even running up to the net, checking the other side, pretending like they're being fast.
I thought I had a fair point because I asked him which mark it was.  He didn't respond.  I asked him again.  He didn't respond.  I challenged.  He didn't respond.  The second time I said 'challenge' he said it was too late.
I gave him three chances to help me out or at least have a conversation.  He didn't want to speak to me or he pretended not to hear me or he didn't really hear me.  Then he said there was so much glare he couldn't see.  Okay, fair point.
Still, I feel like other guys take more time, even after those three attempts to have a conversation.
I think it's important to be just consistent.  That's all I asked him to do.  If he is like that with me, I just asked him to be like that with everybody else.  He says he is, which is cool for me.

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