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WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN


August 23, 2015


Roger Federer


CINCINNATI, OHIO

R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
7‑6, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That point in the tiebreak, early in the tiebreak where you came in and took the serve on the half‑volley almost right at serve line was a remarkable point. What was the strategy in that point in particular?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I was looking forward to do it again, you know, as the set progressed, but I wasn't seeing maybe that many second serves and didn't feel right in some of the points.
So I thought at ‑‑ was it 4‑1 in the breaker? No, 3‑1. I thought maybe this is the time to do it. I thought he was going to go backhand and he went big forehand. So I had to lunge and had the perfect timing on it. Ended up going in and putting him under pressure.
That was will plan, to keep asking question after question. I'm happy it worked out very well. On the return I was able to mix things up very nicely, and on my serve I was rock solid.
If you don't get broken, like I explained the other day, you can do whatever you want on the return games. I was trying to do that again today, but I was happy I took care of my serve throughout the match.

Q. You feel pretty comfortable with this ramped up new aggressive tactic? No turning back from it now?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I'll still go back and return some from far back as well. I'll always mix it up and make it I guess uncomfortable for my opponent.
I'm not going to play the way they like it. I'll always come out and make it an athletic match or make it uncomfortable in the sense that they don't know what's coming.
Can't always do it. Some surfaces allow you to do it better than others, but this week it worked out well. Let's be honest, I didn't do it on every single seconds serve, but I was very aggressive the a second serves, and I am happy to see that actually it's also a way forward for me, because for quite a long time my career I was very content to chip it and be aggressive with the forehand.
I'm doing different things now on the backhand, which is really good, I think.

Q. (Question regarding serve percentages.)
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I served okay. I think served well when I had to. I knew the serve was going to be there when it was important. 3‑all points, maybe Love‑15 points I felt like it was either going to be there in the first serve, and even on the second serve I know I have good variation. I was able to do that as well.
It's good when you can play with that confidence that you don't start to think, Ah, Love‑15. This could be a break already. Don't think too far ahead of yourself. Just think of what's next. I think I did that again really good today, something I obviously got to do as well at the Open.
Yeah, and then other than that, I think I played very good also off the baseline. I was moving well I think all week. I think that's always crucial for me, to be getting out of the blocks early, fast, understand when to come forward, and when I do that it's explosive.
Throughout the week it's been very good and I've been very pleased.

Q. I remember you saying earlier, I think here a couple years ago, that you never went to your player box after a win. Wasn't your style. You did today. What made you decide to change it up?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I did it once in Madrid when I won because the player box was right on the side of the court. Same thing here. I just saw the girls and my wife and my coach and I just like, Well, it's a short stroll. Let's quickly go over there and high five and see everybody when it's still, how do you say, still hot, you know, when it's all happening.
That was the reasoning, because the player box was very convenient.

Q. Talk about what it's like to win a record seventh title here.
ROGER FEDERER: It's great. Didn't expect it, to be quite honest, coming here. I knew I had a chance, but still felt more guys were going to have a better shot than I had because they had played Montréal before. Usually that helps.
I just realized over all the years that I've played it's just really difficult to win back‑to‑back Montréal and Cincinnati, or Toronto and Cincinnati for that matter.
So I just chose to roll the dice a little bit and see how things were going to go. If they went great here then it was a great plan. If not, I was going to go back and practice and be really motivated for the US Open to start.
Now I've got the confidence, I've got the matches, and I'm actually still feeling really fresh even after this week, because the matches have been rather short.
And because I didn't play both tournaments, I can really pace myself next week and see how much practice I actually really need. It's more about getting used to the different surface speed, and then switching to different balls, which I think is usually going to always be the biggest change to us, the players.

Q. As you said, a lot of players said you improved your backhand since you started working with Stefan. Did you get any specific advice or tips from Stefan?
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, I think I would like to give Stefan a lot of credit and he has helped me in a big way, but I think the backhand is better since I also have a bigger racquet head. I really think that was the change because it happened at the same time.
Who knows? Maybe it was both ways. I was shanking more balls for sure with the smaller racquet head size I was using with Wilson. I think the switch has done me a world of good on my backhand side. I had to get used to the slice because I think the slice was my favorite shot to hit with the old racquet.
It was tough to move away from it because I was using it so much. Now I feel like I just don't shank it as much anymore. It's more of a clean hit. Of course Stefan wants me to play up in the court and move in as much as possible but in a clever way.
Yeah, so he's been very interesting to work with, and we'll see him next few days when he arrives in New York.

Q. You talked a lot this week about how much you like playing here. How much do you think your connection to this tournament is the fact that you've had so much success here?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't know. Sometimes just it clicks, you know. In the very beginning of my career here I used to either lose really early or then go deep. So it was one or the other.
Lately it's been always more on the very good side. I'm very happy it's been this way, of course. Like I explained many times, it's a good week for me to play. I've just had a rest after Wimbledon. I am coming in fresh, eager, and motivated, or I am coming off Toronto/ Montréal where I usually also have played quite well historically.
This has always been a good week for me. Like I said on court, I think the volunteers make a wonderful tournament with the tournament director, and it's very fan friendly as well. I get in touch a lot with the fans this week. It's just a nice venue. Great center court. Good atmosphere. Good court speed for me.
So many things for me to like about it. Those are the reasons I'm sure I play well here.

Q. This is the first time you ever beat No. 1 and 2 in the world in a tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah.

Q. And it also puts you into No. 2 for the Open. How much do you think that matters going forward?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, like I explained the other day, it's not that important for me to be ranked No. 2 or 3. You can see it both ways.
I clearly don't think too far ahead in the draw. I know you might, which makes sense. For me, let's just say I'm answering your question if I play Novak in the semis or in the finals, for me wouldn't it be maybe better to play Novak in the semis? You know, possibly.
So that's why I think No. 2, 3 doesn't really matter. Now it's out of the question. I won't see him before the finals. To be quite honest, I don't think that far ahead because I haven't been in a final since 2009.
So I got my work cut out. A lot of guys are really eager to do well at the Open as well, and usually everybody does play well in New York.
It's a fair surface, good court. Everybody knows it's your last chance to do well at a slam or win a slam. So there are not really easy matches out there. Just want to make sure I get going good at the very beginning.

Q. You mentioned that long layoff and you came in refreshed. Serve is rock solid. What else are you really happy with about your game?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think pretty much everything. I think I moved well. I was explosive moving forward. Volleys were good. I think from the baseline was hitting my forehand very well.
I was serving very well this week, don't get me wrong, but I still think there was a little bit more room for improvement on the serve. I wasn't always hitting all spots as perfect as I was hoping it to be. In practice I didn't feel this good, to be quite honest.
I didn't think I was going to hold serves that frequently and that easily throughout the tournament, because that's usually the part of your game that goes away. When you're on vacation the serve becomes rusty and pressure points, you're not sure exactly how it goes anymore.
That's why I think this week has been unbelievable coming back from the break. Yeah, like I said, I think I was very creative on the return games. That might give me a lot of hints and information moving forward. So many things I actually can do that maybe I didn't always know I could do or didn't dare to do because I thought it was too crazy or too, let's say, the percentagesweren't ‑‑ I wouldn't think they would be in my favor.
After this week I might look at that a little bit different.

Q. Simona Halep said that when she has a little time to watch tennis, you're the only one she wants to watch. Please tell us what you think about her game and her performances.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's very sweet she says that. I met her at a Wilson event I think last year in New York.
She's very sweet, very nice. I am very happy for her she's doing as well as she's doing. She's a great fighter. You know, I think she's really fit as well, which is nice to see.
She moves very well. You always hope to see a lot of creativity on the court. Coming forward as well, and then defense and offense. I think she's got a little bit of all of that, so I enjoy watching her as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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