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January 9, 2015

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Duckworth
6‑0, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You're a human being, so I'm sure you felt for James; but you're also a professional tennis player that has to win a game.  How did those two play off each other tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I'm experienced by now so I know how to handle it.  Early on in the juniors it wasn't something I really enjoyed doing, to be quite honest, beat a guy on a clear score.  Never had the urge to win every single point, every single game.  As long as I won the match at the end, that was all that mattered.
I was very happy the way I played.  I played aggressive, served well, and then especially on the return I kept the pressure on time and time again.
Next thing you know, it was like I was running away with the score.¬† Then he got into a situation which then clearly is very difficult at 6‑Love, 2‑Love.¬† You're playing against the score and not to get back into the match anymore almost, it's very frustrating to be in that situation.
I took advantage of it, and I'm happy I had a match like this after yesterday.

Q.  You ever been on the end of a loss like that?  If so, how did you get over it?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† You just got to forget. ¬†At the end of the day almost doesn't matter how you lose, losing is never fun anyway.¬† Sometimes it's almost worse if you lose 7‑6 in the third, to be honest than this.
This you're just like, Okay, water down a duck's back and you move on and you forget about it.  It was a bad day and a bad start to the match.
This is a quick court.  When you don't get the free points on your own serve, which he didn't get much, next thing you know you're in all sorts of trouble.  There is no reason to look into this match too much for him, I don't think.

Q.  Is it bad to have a match like that before taking on someone like Dimitrov?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† No, I'm very happy actually.¬† I saved energy and stress and nerves and everything because yesterday was quite nerve‑wracking and physically difficult because it was first match of the season.¬† You're always going to be a bit tense in that match.
Coming out I felt tired.¬† Also this morning muscle pain and all that stuff.¬† So I'm very happy I got it done quickly today.¬† Tomorrow is going to be an important match.¬† Always when you play‑‑ I don't know if he's top 10 ‑‑ but I consider him a top‑10 player, so I'm looking forward to that match.¬† I hope I can play well.

Q.  Only two times you played him were indoors.

Q.  Yeah.  It's out outdoors and humid.  Do the game styles change much?  Do you expect him to be a bit different?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's faster here, so clearly it narrows maybe the gap even more so.
He's got a big serve, so can stay in the match for a long time with his serving.  Then he's always going to be dangerous on any return game.
He's not the most consistent returner, but you don't have to be on a quick court.  You need to string those few good shots together to break, and he can do those very easily.
So I'm aware of the challenge.  He has a very difficult match himself against Chardy; recovered today.
Played a solid match against Klizan.
He's clearly expecting big things from himself this year, I would assume, especially already here in the Australian summer.
So it's an opportunity for him more than for me.  But I still think it's going to be a tough and good match for both of us to play early in the season.

Q.  I have question about yesterday.  You said that you practice in Dubai with David Goffin.

Q.  What do you think of his last season, and do you think that he could reach top 10 maybe this year?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, look, I don't exactly know what he needs to do now to get there, but clearly you don't become top 10 overnight unless you're going to win a Masters 1000 or at least a couple 500s.
But he's definitely got an opportunity in the first six months of the year.  Plus he's got his ranking up, so he's going to be seeded somewhat, particularly in the 250s and the 500s, which is always going to help.
Also at the slams now for the entire year he's going to be seeded.  That's just going to help you to play more consistent and keep momentum up.  That's exactly what he was able to use at the end of the season last year.
I was highly impressed about his work ethic, how well he's playing as a player, how fit he was when we were practicing together.
So I expect him to rise in the rankings rather than go down.  That means he's going to be close to top 10 in my opinion for sure.

Q.  Novak lost; Rafa as well.  For years there's been talk about the Big 4 and closing of the gap.  You're in the last four with three of the young up and comers.  Do you feel now that gap is really, really close, much closer than it ever has been before?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, we have had some injuries.  It's not because we didn't play well that we maybe dropped a bit.  Rafa had his issues; Murray had surgery on his back; I've had a tough year in '13.
The only guy who was really consistent was Novak really at the end of the day, and he took care of it and took advantage of it to some extent.  But he was still there when it mattered the most.
Then, I mean, Rafa was still there again on clay.  I was consistent this last year.  I think Murray is on his way back.  Still made the Masters, even though he didn't play so well for sometime.
It's still a bit early to say.  We'll see again what's going to happen this year.  Clearly there were some big wins by Stan, Cilic, and Nishikori and some other guys making runs.
For them it's also maybe more a year where they have to defend and do things like maybe they haven't done in the past.  Making one run is always a bit easier than having to defend it.
But I do believe there is a group of guys right there that can make a break again and can do special things.  I just think it's too early to say in the season just because Novak and Rafa lost in Doha that there is something on the horizon.
I don't read into any of those results.  I think they are going to be tough to beat, and favorites for the Australian Open, to be honest.

Q.  I wanted to ask you this last night.  You're obviously the main draw card for this event.  Is it silly to ask if you feel the expectation of an event like this?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, no, I do feel pressure wanting to play well, not wanting to come here just for a one‑hour match and pack my bags and leave.¬† I want to be around and play matches and entertain the crowd; start the season well for me personally.
But I've gotten also used to that same with experience, how to handle the whole media attention, sponsor attention, fan attention; then at the same time, focusing on my own schedule, making sure I prepare well and I'm professional.
But that I can also enjoy myself while I am going through this whole pressure situation.  So I'm happy I survived the first round.  It's always vital and key.  That's where I put the most pressure on me.  Once you get through that, get rolling a bit, everything is more clear, more simple.
Then all need to focus about is the matches.  That's the rhythm I'm in now, which I'm happy I am.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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