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June 1, 2015

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/G. Monfils
6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. When you took the court last night, how much were you wanting to play based on, I really want to finish this tonight? Did that affect anything in terms of your approach and tactics and pace between points?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think that's the wrong approach, entirely wrong approach, to be quite honest. I have had moments like this in my career where you get to the back end of the match and I maybe could sneak out a win here or I hope to hang on, and then maybe tomorrow... Yesterday was just about playing the score, the opponent, the conditions, really, because I really didn't know if there was going to be rain or not. I kind of didn't expect it to end last night. Even though I thought after two sets we were going to continue a little bit, I still think it was the right call by the referee. I think it was great in the situation. I mean, Gavin and me get along, but you need the referee and the umpire to be there to make sure everybody is happy. I think it's good to finish the match the way it ended last night and come out and you play in proper conditions rather than try and play, what, another four, six, eight games maybe, knowing that there is no way you're going to finish at one set all. It was tough conditions yesterday as it was, and we both play pretty quick between points anyway. So I don't think anything changed because of the lateness of the match that we started.

Q. At this stage of the tournament, how do you feel? Close to the best?
ROGER FEDERER: I hope I'm right there. I mentioned that, I came through Dzumhur. I think in the first three rounds I was dominating the baseline. At times, I could dictate play. When you miss sometimes you get a little frustrated because you have too much time, too many options, you know, today and yesterday already. Gaël is different, different ball coming towards you. In a way it makes it more simple because there are so many things can you do because of the heaviness of his shot, and automatically because of that you usually play better tennis in the process. Then some guys you prefer to play against and some you just don't. At this stage it's about progressing in the tournament. I love to play my best plus progressing, but I prefer moving on rather than playing my absolute best. I hope there is always an extra gear somewhere. Important right now is, you know, I'm still physically fresh for the back end of the tournament, and, I'm, you know, pumped up to the to be in the quarters again. Last year I missed it by a hair losing in the fifth, so it's nice to be back in the quarters now. Looking forward to my next match tomorrow.

Q. You missed a couple of key volleys yesterday in the evening; maybe a third one too later in the second set, but today you came out and played terrific at the net. Obviously you didn't practice hours of volleys overnight.
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe I was volleying against the wall, you know, for like two hours. (Laughter.)

Q. So would the conditions have something to do with that, or is it just a different day and different feeling?
ROGER FEDERER: A bit of both. You know, I definitely think maybe the volleys cost me the set yesterday because I was actually -- I thought I was the better player for the two sets. Of course he could have also snuck out this set because he had the break first. But I had a lot of opportunities, and if I wouldn't have missed the volleys I missed, I would have created a lot of opportunities that maybe put me in the lead or got me back on even terms earlier. It was tough to do that in some ways, but at the same time it gave me the belief that I was doing the right things if only I can knock off those higher, easier volleys, because they are never that easy because Gaël is on the other side and you come in from far back usually, and you come across the net, across the court, and it's high and you can't put it away short so you have to go deep and you know he's going to be there. So it's a different type of volleying against him. Today I was just really focused on my concentration to really not miss them, and everything worked out very well. I was able to mix up my game, serve big when I had to. Clearly the ace was big on the break point. Other than that I was solid today. It was exactly what I wanted to do today.

Q. Similar point actually. He seemed to be dominating you towards the end last night. Did the break enable you to sort of think tactically about what you wanted to do today, or did you feel it was just a matter of execution?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I thought so. I mean, I definitely think he got into the match a bit better, but still I was right there. I felt like I was doing the right things. The plays were the right ones, I was moving well. I was sort of dictating. He was always going to be dangerous once he started to unload on the forehand and stuff, but we know that. So I think under the circumstances and the conditions I actually played pretty well, and I felt like if the conditions get better it might be even a better thing. Even though I thought that Gaël also was going to serve better today in the easier conditions. Never really happened, you know. So I think that was the difference at the end, that I served more consistent. That's what let me down a little bit yesterday. I think I served only 50% in that second set and it was too many second serves for him. He's going to take advantage of that.

Q. This tournament has probably been the one with the most tough losses for you at the Grand Slams. I'm just wondering, at this stage of your career, your age, you know, what would it mean to come out of here with a title?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it would be unbelievable, no doubt. Clearly those thoughts also creep into my mind sometimes and go how would that feel again? Then again, you're like, Whew, let's not go that far down the tournament yet. At the same time, sometimes I think, How does it feel if I take the plane tomorrow and go home if I lose today? Everything crosses your mind as you sit at breakfast and you have for once a quiet moment when the kids are not right there. I mean, I don't know. I'm realistic. I know there is a chance. At the same time, I know how hard it is. Just very pleased to get back in the quarters. It really means a lot to me. I feel there is a lot of tennis left for me to play here.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You are going to play against Stan in the French Open. Another confrontation. Two Swiss players who will contend this match. Is it special?
ROGER FEDERER: Of course it is a special match. It is not a traditional match. There aren't too many Swiss players in the draw. We are two Swiss players. With two Swiss players, it's totally different from French, Spanish, and the Americans. We played against one another twice or four times a year, but it depends on the draw, as well. But for us, it's always special to play each other. I'm quite positive about it. So there will be a Swiss guy in the semifinal. That's positive. I hope I will reach the semifinal of a tournament. I will pull out all the stops to advance to the next round. If I will not make it, I will be very happy for Stan.

Q. Gaël slumped or slackened, especially in the fourth set, at the start of the fourth set.
ROGER FEDERER: With Gaël there are ups and downs, but it's also difficult and tough for the opponent. He slackened, that's right, and he changed a few things, but I didn't miss much. You're under the impression that there was a huge difference. If you cannot make or break at the start of a set, he can find some energy to be back in the match. When you have a five-set match there are lots of ups and downs. Of course, I just want to be solid. I want to show the opponent that I'm solid, and the opponent has to know that he has to be at the top of his form. If he slackens, I will be there. This is what happened in the fourth set. But it's a combination of both things. So honestly, it's not easy to play against Gaël with the crowd and with the public. I mean, the match can turn around, but he's proved he can turn the tables. We saw what happened with Cuevas.

Q. You will play against Stan. You played against him in Wimbledon, in Rome. So can you draw some lessons or get some information from these matches? And what about your confrontations? Have they changed? Is it still the same thing when you play against Stan?
ROGER FEDERER: It depends on the fitness. In London we played well. Both of us played well. It was very tight. It was close for these two players. It was at the end of a year and we were tired. As for Wimbledon, he played differently. He was very aggressive. I think that he delivered 10 backhands down the line. For two-and-a-half sets I couldn't take his serve. I couldn't break him. He was ill at the start of the week, tired at the end of the match, and I seized the opportunity. And in Rome I played a very good match. In the second set he was not as strong as in the past matches, but he feels very well. So do I. But what is important is to seize the opportunities. I know him very well. We know each other very well. Most of the time it's a physical game, and we know that. So we are confident in our physical form. Mentally it's a little bit bizarre to play against one another. We know exactly the zones that we want to hit, so we have to play a slightly different to the traditional game plan. So, for example, you will play in the corner, the corner that he's been covering. But it's always a pleasure to play against Stan, although it's not easy.

Q. Back to the match against Gaël. Did you know that the match would go your way very quickly? One hour and two minutes; it was fast.
ROGER FEDERER: The fourth set was fast. The third set was not fast. It was tight. It was close. So Love-40 I think I had some opportunities, but I didn't convert them. Then I had to fight back in the next game. I played very well in the crucial moments. In the fourth set I was solid. Maybe he slumped a little bit, but I served well, managed to target great zones, and I used a lot of variation in my game. That's it. So I wanted to get off to a good start, because you never know how he will be playing. So I felt good. I was calm yesterday. I was calm this morning. So we adopted the right game plan and the right tactical approach. I'm very happy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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