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BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS


November 11, 2014


Roger Federer


LONDON, ENGLAND

R. FEDERER/K. Nishikori
6‑3, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  This is your 13th Finals here, consecutive years.  Kei qualified for the first time here.  I think you have the advantage because you have experience.  Does it affect you, help you?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† I mean, I think it's helpful to have qualified here before and to have experienced round‑robin play because it has a different taste to the knock‑out system the way we know it with the regular draw.¬† You look ahead in the draw, you see maybe who you might play and all that.
So here it's quite different.¬† But for me it works well over the years.¬† I've played well in the round‑robin play.¬† I see it as an advantage.
Then again, I remember how it was my first time when I went in 2002, and I played very well, as well, in Shanghai.  I didn't ask myself many questions, I just played.  Nothing to lose.  Hoping to end the year on a high.  I kind of did.
So I don't know if it's an advantage or disadvantage.  Obviously, the season's been long for most of the guys now and maybe some feel it more than others.

Q.  Following his win over Andy on Sunday, Kei spoke of his confidence.  Has that been the biggest change over the season?  Do you think that was something he perhaps lacked today?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I think it's more than just the confidence, to be quite honest.  I think he's actually playing better.  I think his serve has improved, again.  He had good groundstrokes and he's fast.  That we knew.
We can talk about confidence.  I think he is a more complete and better overall player.  I think the confidence alone is a bit too simple to put it, to be quite honest.  I think he's improved as a player.  Today maybe he didn't quite get it going.  You could see why he had the success he did have this year.

Q.  With the round robin, there's a possibility you might be qualified for the semifinals before your next match starts.  If that is the case, how do you balance wanting to rest a little bit or save yourself for the semifinals, and wanting to give a good effort in the last match?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, number one, we'll see if I'll be qualified or not.  I'd like to be qualified, to be quite honest.  At least I know I am through maybe than having to win a set or maybe having to win the entire match.  I don't even know what it takes.  Usually if you do win in straight sets twice, things look very, very good.
The advantage of being qualified, if that were to happen, is just that you can go into the match a bit more laid back.  But then again, the integrity of the game, and there's so much still at stake for me, wanting to beat a fellow rival and wanting to win the points that are at stake, go in with a clean sheet into the semis is any way to go.  I always have.
I'm happy, you know, after two matches I'm standing here with two wins.  It's very positive.  That's about it.
If it's all to play for, a bit more nerves maybe.  But at the end of the day, it's how we play every match on tour 'cause if you lose, you're out, so...

Q.¬† What do you think about the fact that five matches went just in two sets?¬† Only your match with Raonic, the second set was a fight, 7‑6.¬† How do you explain it?¬† Could it be at the end of the season, players are tired, they don't fight as much, don't have the same hunger?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I disagree.  I think it's actually quite simple, in my opinion, because the court plays somewhat slow, and the serve doesn't have that much of an impact depending on you how back it up, your serve.
I think it's very much a game of movement and the baseline game.¬† Whoever's better from the baseline has the upper hand, then dominates.¬† I think that's why we're seeing heavy scorelines, because it's just hard to get out of‑‑ hard to serve your way out of trouble.¬† It's almost not possible time and time again.
You need to hit a lot of great shots, if it's not working well for you, to have an impact.  You have to work extremely hard.  I think if you then look at the way Novak or Stan has played here, I think they both played very well, which made it very difficult for the other guys.
Their serve didn't have the impact that we normally know that Cilic's or Berdych's serve can have.  From that standpoint, I think the best movers are most likely going to come through here.

Q.  Andy has had a very good end of the season.  The one thing he hasn't done so far is beat either you, Rafa or Novak.  How important a step is that for a player and how important was it for you when you'd gone through your bad times to win that first match against one of the top guys?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Doesn't necessarily need to be one of the top guys necessarily.¬† It's already helpful just beating any top‑10 player, anybody who is around top 10.
I think for me it all started with the win over del Potro here last year and in Paris.  I knew that was somewhat big for me.  I beat Gasquet, as well.  It solidifies that you're heading in the right direction.
I think he had that with beating Ferrer twice, and Cilic as well I think in Beijing.  I think Tsonga at the US Open.  Those are the matches he needed to win down the stretch at the end of the season, which he did.  That's why I'm sure his belief is higher now again.

Q.  You're closing in on a thousand wins in your career, but 70 this year.  I think it's the first time somebody your age has won that many matches in three decades.  What does that say to you?
ROGER FEDERER:  You can win them.  You can enter many events, change around your schedule.  But I think it's a great number.  I played only the big tournaments this year.  Basically, again, I chased all the Masters 1000s, Grand Slams, so forth.  It's not easy to win matches there, as we know, because guys are always very good, margins are small.
More importantly for me is getting closer to the thousand number.  Not that it's one I've ever wanted to reach, but it would obviously be cool to get there.

Q.  Both teams have named their Davis Cup teams.  No surprises.  I wondered if you might say a few words about the strength of the French team.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, we know they have a few guys, but everything can change up until about Thursday, Thursday before the tie.  From that standpoint this announcement doesn't mean anything to me.  I'm more focused on who's going to play opening Friday against me.  That's the only focus I really have right now, talking about that.
Obviously they're on home soil.  I think it's going to be a very exciting weekend.  I'm really looking forward to playing in front of that many people.
I mean, I've had it similar at the US Open, I guess, playing in front of 24,000 people.  That's going to be 27,000 people.  So that's a slight change.
But I've been in those situations somewhat before and I'm really excited about, you know, being in my first finals where I've never competed ever before.

Q.  Can you compare the previous matches against Kei Nishikori?  Any difference in Kei today?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I played him in the semis of Halle, and I served and volleyed a lot against him.  It was very close.  Then in Miami, I was up a set and a break.  He broke back.  I was up a break again, he broke back.  I eventually ended up turning it around.  I think really playing well down the stretch.
I think with my game, I have the capability of really making him maybe feel uncomfortable, mixing it up.  But it's not always possible.  He's shown in the past when he gets the upper hand against any player from the baseline, he's very difficult to beat.
Today for some reason he couldn't get it done.  Maybe I was playing too well defense and offense, mixing up my serve good enough.
But I know that Kei can play better.  So for me it was really important to take advantage of the fact that I was feeling really good, and then maybe he was struggling a little bit today.

Q.  You touched on the thousand matches situation.  You said that is in your mind to some degree.  Is the number one ranking in your mind at all as you continue to play here?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not really.  Today on the court I didn't think of it once.  That's the first time I think of it today.  I'm just trying to play a good tournament, to be quite honest, because I know how difficult it is.
Novak looks great.  No disrespect to the other players on the other side.  I know they're going to have their chance against Novak, as well, Stan and Berdych.  But I've played Novak here in previous years, and I know how tough he is to beat here.
For me, it was never the goal to win world number one.  My focus is rather to try to win the World Tour Finals here, then play a good finals next week.  The rankings anyway are going to follow or not.
I'm just pleased that I'm winning my matches right about now.

Q.  If you could take a second to look at men's tennis through the eyes of a fan, would you be excited about the new generation coming through or are you thinking it's never going to be this good again for a generation?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I think it's going to remain good for a while now because Novak and Rafa and Murray, they're way younger than I am.  They're going to be around still for a while.
Then the next generation, you know, Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov, et cetera, I think they're only going to get better and hopefully eventually going to win the bigger tournaments, like the 1000s, these kinds of events, as well, so forth, then the slams.
I think the next generation is the one I'm curious about to see, which sort of 16‑, to 17‑year‑old to 20‑year‑old is going to make the break in the next few years.¬† It seems to be very hard to do as of late, but there is some talent there.¬† I'm looking forward to see how that's going to go.
So I think it's actually very exciting times, to be quite honest, for fans.  We have record numbers in attendance everywhere we go now.  Facilities are being upgraded as we speak.  So I think it's actually really good times.
Yeah, the usual guys that everybody knows for a long time still enjoy the game and like to be out on center court, as well, accepting the challenge of the young guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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