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September 11, 2015

Roger Federer

New York, NY, USA

R. FEDERER/S. Wawrinka

6-4, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about your serve tonight and how valuable of a weapon it's become over the past couple of weeks in New York?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I always thought I had a decent serve with variation, to be quite honest. I definitely had better and worse days before, but now it seems like I'm able to, you know, just serve maybe better consistently maybe.

I'm not sure if that's the case, but definitely also talking about faster conditions in Cincinnati and also now here. I'm using conditions to my advantage, it seems like. I hope I can serve equally good, you know, come Sunday.

Q. In anticipation to the final, a few days ago when Djokovic was playing Bautista Agut and he dropped the second set, you know, people would be cheering for Bautista Agut. Djokovic showed some anger, and he said in his post-match conference that, you know, he wasn't himself. Do you think that that might be in anticipation for the crowd preference in your favor, and how you manage that and what you expect about that issue in the final?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I'll get ready for either crowd, you know, I must say, because there is never a guarantee who the crowd are going to cheering for. I hope the crowd's going to be happy to see me in the finals as well again after, what's it been now, six years I haven't been in the finals. Sounds like a big deal. Not that long ago, my opinion. (Laughter.)

I still remember the six finals I played '04 to '09. I had many great ones, one very tough one against Agassi where the crowd was totally lopsided on his side.

I think it's important to prepare for both. I definitely think if there would be more on my side that will give me a lift and extra energy and momentum possibly.

That could swing the match a little bit. But other than that, you know, obviously Novak is a great player. Both of us have played in all tough conditions, and you've got to play well to beat him. There is no question about that.

Q. We have talked to some other players about your sneak attack, and a lot of them have praised it and laughed about it and so forth. But Novak on two occasions has basically said that he didn't want to comment about it. Today he said a little something. He said, That's all I have to say about it. Has he said anything to you about it or do you get any sense his feeling about it?
ROGER FEDERER: I haven't spoken much to other players about this. It's players coming up to my coach, Severin, and talking about it.

So me personally I haven't heard much feedback from any player almost, to be quite honest. I hear it more through the press. I hear some and read some. But not that much, to be honest.

For me, if it makes sense, you know, which I think it does, I'll use it in the finals. I used it to great effect against him in the tough situation, at was it, 4-1 in the breaker in Cincy.

We will see if the occasion presents itself. It's got to be the right point, right frame of mind, yeah, the right place to do it. I hope I'll have the opportunity to do it.

Q. With your serving, it seems like the effectiveness can be as much of the placement as the pace. How do you balance that? (Indiscernible) Do you feel maxed out, like you hit as much pace as you can and now you're just going for placement? How do you balance the tradeoff?
ROGER FEDERER: It's really by feel, to be honest quite honest. I think it's important for me to mix up, like you said, the spin, the kick, and the pace of serves. So I keep doing it constantly to different locations that I feel like it's important to hit. I'm sure also I take long decisions sometimes and the other guy maybe reads your serve. But at times -- like Novak read Cilic's serve perfectly, I guess.

That's a matchup for Novak that just works very well. For me, it's important to serve the right way at the right time. You know, it's really important that you back yourself with your own serve at the most important moments. Like down Love-40 bring the serve into the box, number one; bring it close to the line, because close to the line also means that sometimes the opponent sort of waits for it to go out and then it's already past you.

So I believe a lot in serving very accurately, and I could do that over a long period of time, which has helped me over my career.

Q. How much of the way you attacked Stan tonight was based upon the way he was playing, and do you think you could attack that consistently against Novak?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, we'll see. You know, I think Stan didn't have very high first-serve percentage in the first set, I don't think, so that definitely gave him more looks on the second serves.

But of course Stan has more power on the first serve than Novak has. It's a different server, to be quite honest, and also returns very different one to another. So I don't want to compare those two.

I wasn't quite sure if I was going to play this aggressive against Stan, because he does -- when he's on, he presents a very different challenge to all the players I have played thus far in this tournament.

But now that I have been able to do it also against Stan definitely gives me confidence that maybe I can also do it against Novak this way.

Q. A lot of the talk at Wimbledon was how well you played in the leadup to the final, especially in the semi against Andy, and then ran into Novak. I'm just curious if you took anything from a learning perspective out of that and if you believe -- we call it peaking, and people said you peaked too early.
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly. I didn't quite agree that I played a poor finals. I think I played okay in the finals. Maybe not even bad at times, you know. I just think Novak played a really good finals. He was super tough and he deserved it at the end, you know.

I never really looked into the match that much. I kind of left it and just said, Okay, whenever I need to be I'll go back to it, and that's what we will do after tonight, I guess.

So I think there is a lot of positives for me to take away from that match or all of Wimbledon, Cincinnati, as well, that match with Novak there, and then now how I have played here thus far.

I think it's an interesting three months to look back on and take the good and the bad and compress all of those into one thing and hopefully come up with a the perfect game plan against Novak Sunday.

Q. You clearly mastered the art of excellence of staying at the top for long periods of time. On air you just mentioned that you'd like to learn from other athletes about dominance, and you mentioned in particular Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Pete, and Andre. Briefly could you mention some of the key things you learned from those four?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I used to be famous for not being consistent. So for me, I never thought I could bring it, you know, in practice and in matches, week in and week out, every year. I never thought that was really something that I could do.

I knew I could be surprising. I felt like I could beat anybody at any day, but, you know, I knew I had something in me that I like the big occasions, I like playing against the best and testing myself there and not shying away from that.

But consistency was something for me that was just so far away. So for me seeing, like, you know, all the athletes you mentioned, I didn't understand how they could do it. I think I tried to learn from them, see how they did it, and then hopefully one day, you know, do something similar, I guess.

It took me a big mental step and a physical improvement to actually get to that level to play well, but I'm happy I figured it out at some stage.

Q. After tonight there is one Swiss in the final, and then there are also two Italians. A it's a bit unexpected. Thinking to withdraw our media credentials because we are ruining the tournament.
ROGER FEDERER: That's what you would do in Italy, wouldn't you? (Laughter.)

Q. What do you think about what happened on the women's side and Serena losing?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, definitely a huge surprise, wasn't it? I didn't see much of it. I always thought Pennetta plays a nice game. I'm not surprised for some reason she's in the finals because she's showed big matches in the past.

Roberta is more famous for doubles almost, but of course I like that she has a one-handed backhand and uses the slice to great effect. Obviously for you guys it's an unbelievable moment in Italian history almost, even though you have had success with Errani and Schiavone, as well. I guess it's even a bigger occasion than me playing Stan tonight, because that was a big deal in Switzerland, as well.

For me, it was, anyway, a huge moment. I hope one day I can play Stan in a Grand Slam final. But you should enjoy it, because you just don't know when it's going to happen next. I hope you're filling your pages because they deserve it. (Laughter.)

Q. Going back to the chip and charge question before, there was a line around the press yesterday with Boris Becker saying that it disrespects your opponents. Just wanted to know what you said to that specifically.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, no, it's not disrespectful. Pretty simple.

Q. We are clearly obsessed with SABR. It's really fun.
ROGER FEDERER: I will do it some more. No problem. (Laughter.)

Q. I think McEnroe said he'd be insulted if it happened to him.
ROGER FEDERER: Really? Okay.

Q. So what I am asking is, early on I remember -- if I remember correctly, you didn't love the dropshot.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that's true.

Q. You didn't like replay because it wasn't tennis. It wasn't what your code of what the game was. I'm curious if earlier on if someone had tried it on you would you have liked it, taken umbrage at it, or thought it was cool and a great new tactic?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, guys were almost doing that against me back in the day. I remember Max Mirnyi and Henman, they were standing there like, All right, holding their finger up. I'm coming up. You know I'm coming, so whatever second serve you want, you'll have to hit it past.

I faced those guys, and didn't matter how you approached it. I remember Spaniards standing outside of the doubles alley waiting to hit a forehand on clay because my second wasn't as good yet. So I faced all of that stuff, as well.

So I'm actually standing in position when they are serving, and then only once they toss it, that's when I run so they don't actually really see me, in my opinion.

You know, whatever works, you know. As long as it's in the rules, I think you should be able to use it.

Q. How would you characterize your rivalry with Novak? It's going to be your 42nd match against each other. How would you describe the rivalry? Do you think he's made you better? You've made him better? Is there one particular match, good reasons or bad reasons, a loss that sticks out for you from all of the matches you played?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I see more of a generation of, you know, Hewitt, Nalbandian, Agassi, Henman, guys I had trouble with at the beginning. I felt they made me better a player.

Same with my generation coming up, Ferrero, Safin, Roddick, Hewitt. I was trying to hang on with them and trying to be that next wave of players making it to the top, and everyone made it to world No. 1 before me.

I think that was very motivational for me. Made me a better player. I definitely think Rafa had a big effect, as well. Had to adjust and change so many things playing against him, preparing against him, thinking about it when I was practicing. He's probably been the guy who challenged me the most with that.

Novak it's been more straightforward, my opinion. That's what I like about the rivalry. I think we both can -- I don't know how it is for him, but I feel like he doesn't need to adjust his game as much, either. I think it's just a straight shootout, and I think that's the cool thing about our rivalry. It's very athletic.

We both can handle each other's -- whatever we present to one another, and I think our matches, it's very even. That's it, I think. I don't need to add more here.

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