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August 22, 2015

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/A. Murray
6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You've now won five matches in a row against Murray, ten consecutive sets. What have you been able to figure out about him and his game that's led to your success in this regard?
ROGER FEDERER: Not sure actually. Our rivalry has definitely gone in spells sometimes. I remember also there was a stretch where he won three to five matches in a row in short succession.
I'm happy that this stretch is not just over six months but over a longer period of time. Of course maybe over a year ago still he wasn't quite at his very best coming back from his back surgery.
Now the last few have definitely come when he was playing very well, and that's why clearly very pleased about the outcome again today. I don't know if I figured out anything in particular, but I've definitely been holding my serve very well against him.
If you seldom get broken or don't get broken in a match, it's quite hard to lose at this point.

Q. Can I ask you about what seems to be a relatively new strategy close to the net on the second serve. Is it a new strategy, and what's the thinking behind it? It's a high‑risk thing to do. You did it against Anderson and...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I've done it against basically everybody. I did it in practice more as a joke, and I tried it again and again and again, and it just seems like it's not that hard for me to do.
Plus, you know, it makes you play very committed. Up there is no room for not being committed, otherwise you'll lose the point every single time. It's very much all about timing and reaction.
It was fun for me today. I've still got to understand when I can do it when I should and shouldn't do it. Yeah, but it can break somebody's rhythm. Maybe can play with the mind a little bit.
Plus, if the success rate all of a sudden is more on the plus 50%, you know, winning all of a sudden, you know, why not use that quite often as well?
So I figured it out a little bit, but I'm happy that when I'm doing it I'm not looking ridiculous up there. It's fun for me to do. We'll see how much, if at all, I will use it tomorrow.

Q. What are your thoughts on facing Novak tomorrow in the championship?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's always exciting playing against him. At this point if I play Murray or Rafa or Novak there is always a lot at stake.
This one in particular he's going for that golden Masters 1000 sort of shield to win all of them, which would be quite unbelievable, and I could go for my seventh. So a lot the on the line.
Look forward to it obviously. Been a great week for me.

Q. Talk more about what he's going for here. He'll be the first person here one match away from it. Never been done, even though everybody plays the Masters now.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's a bit different than it used to be. Still, nevertheless, it's not something you really aim for once you start your career.
Maybe he could set a new record to try to achieve for future players. It is quite extraordinary to be able to achieve that. Not quite there yet, but still unbelievably close. He'll have chances year after year if he doesn't get this one tomorrow.
You would think he will get it because he's just that comfortable on the hard courts, especially here. Yeah, I think it would be extraordinary if he did that.

Q. With how good he is on hard court, are you surprised he hasn't won here?
ROGER FEDERER: No, sometimes just plays out that way. Sometimes just can't win them all. He's come close. He's been in finals before. I think that one year when I played him he came from a night session, switched to day the session, and that's when we had the change in a rule at the ATP that before the finals you need at least I think 14 or 16 hours' break.
That's why both semis are played day session now, so there is enough rest for both players. Sometimes you get unlucky and sometimes the other guy is just hot. It's just a combination of things.

Q. Conversely, this has been your best Masters. Why do you think this one has been better than the others?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe I played it the most as well, which gives me more chances to win it. It's a good time of the year. Usually I play very well between Wimbledon and the US Open.
I was able to win that back to back a few times, so in the middle of that I was just so confident coming here. Always felt very good. Yeah, I don't know what the reason is.
Also the success rate once I've been in the finals has been very good. Have I lost finals here? Maybe not. So that helps, let's put it that way.

Q. You've been a fixture in the finals here. What do you know and/or like about Cincinnati other than this tennis center?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know Cincinnati that well. We always talk about Cincinnati, but I'm usually around Mason. I know it's different. I've gone downtown a couple times only over all these years.
But I like the peace and quiet here, especially before going to New York where we'll see enough city for a while.
Yeah, then I kind of like that there is a lot of tennis fans from around and they fly here and support this event. I like the normal lifestyle here. That's what we're used to in Switzerland. Just slower pace, easygoing, not hectic.
That's maybe also what has helped me to do well here in Cincy.

Q. In a scenario like today where you're the second semifinal, how much of the previous match do you watch to get an idea of what the guys are doing, and then maybe go away from that match and just focus and concentrate on what you're going to do? Obviously you don't know if somebody is going to take it to a third set or not. Take us through what you did today, for example.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think we talked about it slightly when I was watching Rafa play Lopez, because you had to play after them and you know you could be playing that guy, but you don't know if you're going to make it.
It was a similar situation today. Of course over all these years you're used to it. You're used to it from junior time, where you also watch your opponents play.
Of course I watched basically everything of Novak's match today. So you watch it. Well, you're in two minds. Should it end it two because you're warmed up and ready? If it doesn't, it goes three, well you've got to warm up again.
So you have all of a sudden time. Plus, at the same time you may be analyzing it a little bit for yourself what Novak is doing well and Dolgopolov is doing well.
So there are a lot of things going on in your mind. I think we tennis players are used to that, and the moment the match is over, start warming up, get in your routine, and those ten minutes you have are enough to be prepared.
Because I've already talked about the match, about Murray with Severin before it started. So I was prepared. I was just watching it, sometimes as a fan and sometimes as a possible opponent.

Q. With tomorrow being a rematch of the Indian Wells final, have you reviewed that match and tried to evaluate what happened there?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't think I'll look much at Indian Wells. It's too slow, so I think it's too easy to just get into these rallies time and time again.
I think here it's faster. The power plays and the attacking plays pay off way more than over there. So, yeah, you got to look on the maybe Dubai or Wimbledon for that matter.
But I don't know what the plan is for Severin, my coach, what he's going to have me look at or talk about. But we've played quite a bit lately with Novak, so I think we both know what that expect.

Q. You've done so much here, but how much would a seventh title mean here?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it would be great to win another Masters 1000, especially here in Cincinnati. Going for my seventh here is just great. It's wonderful to be another finalists because coming here‑‑ I don't want to say I was not well‑prepared, but actually now I'm perfectly prepared for the finals.
I've been practicing and away from the game since Wimbledon. It's not that long, but in tennis terms one month is a long time. I'll give it all I have tomorrow. It's going to be tough. Couldn't ask for a tougher opponent than Novak.
Hopefully I can take advantage of the fact that I'm fresh and ready to go.

Q. You talk about admiring as a fan when you're watching. What do you admire about Djokovic as a fan or Murray?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I watch tennis as a fan. I like his game, don't get me wrong. But if I watch it, it's watching tennis as a fan. Anybody could be playing really. I just like watching tennis. It's exciting. Great shots. I like what Dolgopolov did. Sometimes takes the ball really early.
I practiced with him in Dubai the last couple years as well in the off‑season, so I know him quite well.
And then Novak, we know what he can do in defense and you appreciate those moments when he gets that one more ball back and one more back. He moves defense into offense within a blink of an eye. It's just nice to watch.
Then you want the people to get into it. Good atmosphere. Beautiful weather today. That's what I meant, watching tennis as a fan.

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