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August 20, 2015

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/K. Anderson
6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you feeling something quite special out there tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Definitely felt better than other days. Felt good on the return; felt good on the serve; seeing just the ball really well.
It's a pleasure to play that way because it doesn't happen very often that you feel this good. So you've got to enjoy it, but then, unfortunately, you have to quickly put it behind you and look forward.
I played a great match and I'm very pleased, because I knew that tough challenge ahead. I had practiced with Kevin the week ‑‑last week here. I lost both sets I played with him in practice, so I was really happy that I was able to turn it around tonight.

Q. When you play this well against a top player, especially like a big server, at this age, do you ever feel like, I shouldn't be able to do this? Shouldn't be able to be this good at this point or...
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's just one match.

Q. But even still, in that moment, though.
ROGER FEDERER: No, it feels very good, but I don't think of my age in a situation like this. You feel more like, I hope I can back it up. Hopefully I can do it many times.
But it's a great feeling when you know you can beat top 10, top 20 players frequently. But then also sometimes with a scoreline like this, maybe not 1‑1, but maybe something convincing where you feel like you're in control the whole time, that gives you definitely a lot of confidence going forward.

Q. Look ahead to Lopez.
ROGER FEDERER: Played a lot against him in my life. We go way back to the European Championships, under‑16 and under‑18 where I lost both times against him. Then on the tour I don't think I lost against him, but we played on all different conditions, and we know each other obviously very well because of that.
It was a tough match for him tonight; played a good breaker. Obviously everybody knows how well he can serve. He also beat Raonic here, now Rafa. Clearly he's on a run. I'm looking forward to that match. It's a long time, like I said.
It's going to be tough. Lefty is totally different again.

Q. Does it feel different again, not playing Canada, got here refreshed? I know you like to get to places to prepare. Are you feeling extra refreshed not playing last week?
ROGER FEDERER: So far, so good. But, again, we will only see the freshness at the end of the tournament or at the end of a long stretch. This is only the beginning. Might feel a bit tired during the match or, you know, after three matches just because the body has to get used to the matches again. So that's why maybe a match like is pretty good early on not to play a rough three‑setter, to play another one, and then the body is totally out of sorts in the beginning because you're not quite used to the match, match toughness.
You can't recreate that in practice, as hard as you practice, the toughness is not there. I think it's a good way for me to get into this American hard court season and then ‑‑yeah, it is different, and I like to mix things up with my scheduling a little bit.
You know, even though in Montreal would have been different to Toronto and it was a tough decision to take, but I have just got to listen to my mind, to my body, at this point what I feel like to do the most. I was happy to stay home, practice a bit more with my fitness coach and Severin and spend time with my wife and kids. It was great.
Then we came in early. I usually don't come this early anymore to tournaments, but it was nice, you know. We rent a house here, so it's actually quite relaxed.

Q. A lot of people were looking forward to seeing you play. Obviously it's been over a year. What were your thoughts on watching that match? Overall, his sort of year, struggle he's had, very high bar he's set, been less than usual results for him this year.
ROGER FEDERER: Right. Clearly I was watching very closely. Same thing with the Andy match against Grigor. Both were very exciting. Unfortunately we didn't have two TVs next to each other so one was there and one was on the other side of the wall, so we were like going left to right. It was interesting.
But anyway, you know, it's actually quite nerve‑wracking in a sense that you're watching this match and this could be your future opponent; but then, at the same time, you could be knocked out in a couple of hours.
You don't want to think ahead, but in this situation with Rafa playing, clearly there is more to it. It could have an effect on you, how you play your singles match afterwards in some ways, which makes complete sense to me, anyway, that it would.
It was Indian Wells I think I had won already and this time he went out before I played. So it was now twice extremely close. I'm sure it's going to happen again. Of course I would have been ready to play him. It's always a pleasure playing against a player like him who has done so much for the game.
But now it's not the case, so clearly you focus on Lopez. You have no choice.

Q. What do you make of his year overall?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's been tougher. Didn't see him play that much, to be quite honest, just because I don't follow every step he takes. Like all the other players, I see them if they play around me in the draw. Otherwise, if it happens that he plays at the right time I will watch it, clearly.
I have seen him play that many times that it's pretty much the same for how we play. We know when we go out against each other it's pretty straightforward. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses so well. It's pretty clear.
But then I think why it shines through more that it's been a tough year for him is just because the clay court season ‑‑well, he didn't win the French for the second time in 10 years. It's like a drama to some.
For me it's somewhat normal that you don't win 10 of 10. But he's done so unbelievably well in the clay. Like you said, he set the bar so high for everybody. Clearly can't always live up to it.
He's come back so strong from injuries so many times that we are used to seeing him bounce back and seeing the top 2, top 3 at least. When he comes back this time it's just not been that easy.
I think it's going to take a little bit more time, but I think he's inching closer to where he wants to be. This always has been a tough stretch for him in the past, even though‑‑ I don't know if he's won here. He has probably. Yeah, he has won here. He has won the Open.
Even though this is the tournament maybe you wouldn't favor him as much, but he's that great of a champion it could happen any week. It's a good thing if you're Rafa and you know that.

Q. You said you felt you created a monster, sort of... Do you sympathize with him? He's still No. 7 right now, still would qualify for London if it happened today and people are saying the year is a disaster.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he's missing, what, four months playing in the tournaments, whatever it counts for his ranking. So other players have an extra 10 tournaments on him. That's why his ranking is down.
But would he have played all of last season normally from, I don't know, Wimbledon all the way through to the World Tour Finals, it would have been different story. The ranking in that case doesn't tell the story. In the race, I don't know where he is in the race.

Q. 7.
ROGER FEDERER: 7. It's not that bad. He's right there. If he makes one good tournament he's top 4 and then things look different. That's why I think in a situation with someone like Rafa you don't look at the rankings, in my opinion, because you know that he could explode any minute in a good sense and win a tournament just like that because he wants to.

Q. You have mentioned nothing replicates exact match play, but when you can't get matches, what's the best you can do? Is it playing points against a particular guy or, you know, simulated games?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Well, I think I do a bit of everything, to be quite honest. I played more points today than I have in the past. I believe in old school, hard work. Not necessarily drills, but like exercises, you know. Tough practices and all that, in tennis tournaments, but then obviously gym and fitness with my fitness coach.
But in recent years I started to play more points as well in practice just because I kind of think it's important to also keep playing points in practice, which I stopped doing for some reason. Not entirely, but just only did it like the last few days of my training block. So I kind of enjoy that.
And then I guess a good thing is also once you come to an event like this it's nice when you come early because you can practice with all the top guys. Like here I practice with Kohlschreiber, Anderson, Stan, and other players, I don't remember, Benoit Paire. You keep playing points with them, two, three sets a day or even more, and that gives you, okay, this is how things, you know, happen on the tour again.
Then it's about little nuances like how do you play in break points, how do you play 30‑All. Do you read the serves. Can you sense it, you know. It's like that thing just goes away a little bit once you're on a break, and sometimes it comes back faster and sometimes slower. You can't explain those things.

Q. (Question about Bencic.)
ROGER FEDERER: I heard she pulled out. Wrist? Arm?

Q. Is that something that you can analyze a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER: Let's rather analyze her win in Toronto rather than analyze her arm.

Q. She's young.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, only she knows how bad it is. If she feels there is no reason for her to take a chance‑‑ you know, some injuries are not dangerous and some injuries or some problems can become very dangerous.
You have got to figure out on what side of danger zone are you moving about. Then are you in the middle of the season or end or beginning of the season? How old are you? What have you done in the past? Where do you want to go in the future? So many things that go into a decision like this.
I can't talk about this because have never pulled out once I stepped on court, so I don't quite know what it would take other than a broken bone or something like that.
But sometimes you just feel like, you know what? Can't do it today. Just won't work as good as I feel. It's just not enough. My opponent is too tough. For some that's okay to pull out, then. I still believe in miracles. Like you just hang around and a storm comes. Maybe next day you play again and I don't know what happens.
But I'm sure she took the right decision, and important for her is looking forward to the Open.

Q. How would you analyze her Toronto win?
ROGER FEDERER: Didn't see anything of it, but clearly surprised that she came through this early in her career to win such a big event, especially also beating Serena. I think that was‑‑ if you beat her and end up winning a tournament, it feels like you deserve it, as well.
She had a tough beginning of the year. She had a great end of last year. Really rough beginning of this year.
So I wasn't quite sure what reason was behind that, and I think now after Toronto clearly pressure is going to rise, but at the same time she will have better draws and it's ‑‑her confidence is going to rise.
Now it's a point that she takes good decisions with her schedule and will go off‑court stuff. I'm sure she will handle that well. I'm happy and excited for her, because Swiss tennis overall has been doing really well with Bacsinszky, Bencic, and Stan, as well.
It's been great the last years now in particular, especially now again on the women's side and Martina coming back, as well. Two Wimbledon titles is crazy. It's been good times.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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