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October 11, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Novak said in all the matches you played, that is quite possibly the best you ever played against him.  What were your feelings on the match?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I don't remember all the matches right away.  I don't think he does either.
It was a great match.  I agree.  I think I played very well.  There was nothing in the game today that wasn't working.  Yeah, if things would have gone my way, maybe I could have won the match easier than it actually was.
I think it was a high‑level match.  I'm unbelievably happy the way it went.  I have one more match to go now.  That's the mindset.

Q.  There is a Chinese proverb saying, If you can survive very tough situations at the beginning, you will probably be rewarded finally.  The first match looks like an illusion to you now?
ROGER FEDERER:  I was thinking about it midway through the match when I was up a set and a break going, Hmm, should I be here or elsewhere?  I'm here, let's make the most of it.
I still remember how lucky I got.  Clearly I feel very fortunate being in the tournament.  But that's sometimes how things go.  Especially when you're playing well, you're confident, you believe, you're happy.  I'm mentally fresh from a vacation.  I mean, that's even more reasons now to keep on trying to win the tournament.  I'm very excited being in the finals.  Today was a great match.  It's been a very interesting tournament, to say the least.

Q.  Does it feel like you're playing with house money after what happened in the opening match?  Does that relax you at all, give you confidence?  How does that sort of escape play with your psyche?
ROGER FEDERER:  I really think I've just gotten used to the conditions.  I really feel like this court and balls, they play different to other places.  I've realized how I need to play with those conditions.  Whereas in the first match, I was under a lot of pressure from Mayer, who I must say played a very good match.
If I'm playing this way, I don't know what the scoreline would be.  I don't think I would cruise through him because he was playing well.
I made some slight adjustments in my game and they seem to be working well.  Maybe I needed a match like against Bautista Agut, gave me rhythm, a more flat style of playing.  I came out of it understanding how I needed to play.  It was one of those mental battles after the unbelievable escape.
You start relaxing a bit, it's true.  I'm just playing with confidence.  As I'm moving along in the tournament, I'm actually able to recover from the first match.  When you get hit with a big first match like this, I think the body feels it.  It's a lot of stress.  It was a late night.  I feel I've really turned around and now I feel the best I've felt all week long.

Q.  You've been competing with Novak and Rafael for so many years.  What do you think is the biggest joy or fun when you're competing with these two guys?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, the atmosphere, like tonight.  You walk out and you feel like two heavyweights walking out.  You wish it was this kind of an atmosphere every single night.  I hope matches like these are going to promote the sport in a bigger way here in China or Shanghai, we possibly could have similar crowds all the time.
I really do believe the stadium is amazing.  It's a very exciting city.  I know the site is a bit far away, but I still hope with the amount of people living in the area that we're able to fill up the stadium more 'cause I really thought the match was great, the atmosphere was amazing, and tennis is a very accessible and exciting sport.
That's what I see when I play Novak or Rafa, I look forward to the big occasions.  Doesn't matter where it is in the world because there's always a lot on the line, it's a good story.  It was the same again tonight.
He had a great run here in China.  I've had the escape, still in the tournament somehow.  Very close in the head‑to‑head.  There's a lot on the line always.  There's a lot to look forward to for everybody.

Q.  You went to the net a lot today, which was effective.  Was that in the plan when you walked on the court?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I was going to try to and see if it worked.  If it doesn't work, I do it less.  I was very happy it worked as well as it did.  I was serving well, moving well.
If you come to net, you need to be very agile and explosive.  I had it all today.  I'm very happy that I'm feeling so good every single day because I am playing now the fourth day in a row.  It's very exciting playing this tennis because I think attacking tennis is the most exciting.  When I can do it myself, it's great.  Match point showed it all.  Two volleys to end the match, it's a great feeling.

Q.  Do you already know if you will play the tournament in Bercy?  This year you will play the final of Davis Cup.  What does it change maybe in your schedule or way to prepare for the end of the season?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I know it's not far away, but for me both are quite far away for me mentally right now.  Of course I'm focused on tomorrow and all that stuff.  I'll get back to Switzerland Monday.  I'll get ready over there for the Swiss Indoors, and then we'll see.
I hope I can play Bercy.  If not, it gives me more time and more rest for the rest of the season, for the rest that is to come.  So it really all depended whether I was going to play Shanghai, and once Shanghai is over I'll reassess what I'll play and what I'll have to do.  It really depends what my goals are at the end of the day.  I have to sit down and talk to my team on Monday or Tuesday.

Q.  Your last loss to Simon came six years ago also here in Shanghai.  How do you avoid a letdown tomorrow after a big win like this tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't think there will be a letdown, to be quite honest.  You can lose, fine.  But I'm not going to come into the match and play terrible.  It just won't happen, not in the finals, not against Simon.  He's going to make me play enough shots to feel good.  He's not going to blow me off the court.  He's going to hit a lot of balls, play with tactics like we know he can.
But I'm not going to play shocking.  I know that.  That's the confidence I have right now.  But he presents an interesting challenge.  He's a different type of guy.  He absorbs very well.  He anticipates very well.  I think especially when he's confident like this, he also feels everything he's doing is working, then it's hard to play him.
I think he also played quite well in Tokyo.  He had unbelievable escapes there, as well, from what I saw.  It's an interesting matchup.  They're not straightforward.  I need to also prepare accordingly for the match.

Q.  You have an amazing ability to snap Novak's streaks.  There was 2011 at the French, now this.  Is there an extra edge that goes into those matches, extra piece of motivation?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, obviously the French Open was a big deal I think.  That streak was unbelievable that he was on there.  40‑plus match streak, which is amazing.  The streak here is big, too.  But considering to that, it's not quite the same.  It's over a few years and all that.
I'm sure it's always more exciting when there's a lot more on the line.  Playing against him, when we're both playing well, is cool.  You know, like in Indian Wells or Wimbledon, Dubai, as well.  We both know we're in good shape.  You can leave it all out there.  This time we knew there was going to be a Finals after.  Maybe you feel like you need to save a little bit.  But the match itself is so big, you don't care how you feel the next day, so you give it all.  I'm happy it worked today.
I think we actually both enjoy the matchups.  It's exciting tennis.  We both try to take time away from each other.  I don't think we necessarily have to adjust against each other.  It's a straight‑out matchup, which is kind of cool for everybody.

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