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October 13, 2015

Roger Federer


7‑6, 2‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you feel okay coming into the match? Did he do something to bother you? How do you see how it played out?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I thought it was a normal match in the sense that it's the first round for me anyway, for him it was his third. But I thought I played okay considering it was my first match here.
Unfortunately I couldn't win the first set because I had to create my chances. Then I was able to play better in the second set. Somehow in the third, it got back into a close match. I was never really able to take the lead, which was unfortunate again, like in the first set. Unfortunately one break, really one service game that didn't go my way. That was the end.
I guess at the end of the day I wasn't good enough sort of in the longer rallies. Because I was playing well on my serve. The 1‑2 punch was working.
I just think the first round here in Shanghai has always been historically quite difficult, getting used to the conditions and the surface and the balls. The balls play very different than in other places. Last year I got lucky. This year I didn't. So it's a pity.

Q. First round last year you saved six match points before you won it. In the middle of the process, did it remind you of a déjà vu because you lost the opening set, but you had to keep digging hard?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, definitely I thought of last year's match. But at the same time it was a completely different match. Playing a lefty maybe also had something to do with it. Who knows.
Albert was doing a good job of trying to stay on the offensive as well as I was trying to do the same. There were some good rallies there.
Yeah, I had my chances. I just couldn't make it today. Yeah, I got to look into it. But at the end of the day this can happen during the year. Unfortunately here in Shanghai where I was defending champion, I was really hoping again to play a great tournament.

Q. Will you come back next year?
ROGER FEDERER: Hope so. Of course. I mean, it's going to be a priority on my schedule, for sure. I love coming here. That's why I'm sure I'll feel very disappointed not being around anymore on the match courts.
Yeah, it's one year away, but I'll definitely plan my schedule accordingly to being here in Shanghai again.

Q. The other day you sounded very throaty and stuffed. Have you been fighting a cold?
ROGER FEDERER: No, just the throat is a bit funny. But that's been the case for a number of weeks now. No, I feel totally fine. I wish I was not feeling well (smiling).

Q. Apologies for asking a question nothing to do with Shanghai or the tour. You're probably aware of Andy Murray's bit of a dilemma at the moment. He's got the Davis Cup final on clay at the end of the year.
ROGER FEDERER: It's a good dilemma.

Q. At the same time he's concerned about changing surface from hard courts to clay. He's talking about maybe practicing on clay before the World Tour Finals, then playing the Finals, then going back to playing on clay. I wonder what your experience was like last year going from hard to clay. I know you had specific back problems at the time, but how tough was that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I did go practice on clay after Shanghai, I think, for a few days before going to Basel, I believe. Then I played the schedule through. Just got really unlucky at the end of London, like we all know. Then it was a race for Lille for the Davis Cup final.
Only Amélie knows. The rest is up for debate what he wants to do. Like I said, it's a great dilemma to have. He has to set the priorities what's the most important to him right now. Yeah, I mean, both are sort of in his home country, if you will. It's a big deal, both of them. So I don't know.
For me, it all worked out at the end of the day. I thought I could play both. But, of course, it's a close call.

Q. You talked about the conditions of play today. Can you explain what was the most difficult with that.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I was feeling really good in practice. That's why I was not overly concerned like last year maybe. Even though I don't quite remember my feeling going into the tournament last year. I just realized after the match I need to play differently, whatever that meant. Maybe play more flat, use the slice more.
There were a couple of things that helped me down the road after the first‑round match last year. I'm sure it would have been exactly the same this year: I would have figured it out and played better maybe going forward.
In practice I was feeling the ball very well. I like these conditions. I think that's why I also won here last year. But the ball definitely stays very low, doesn't take much topspin. The slider goes on the deuce side. If you hit it hard and flat deep, it's a tough ball to counter. It definitely also does play slower at nighttime like tonight, whereas I've been practicing a lot during the daytime. I think that also might have helped Ramos a little bit.
But he did a good job. You could see he's been in the groove. He was playing a good match. Yeah, it was just unfortunate. I'm disappointed.

Q. I know you mentioned Shanghai is a priority. Next year the big thing in your mind is Rio. You've been calculating your schedule very carefully. And also 17 seems like a blocking number. Are you going to be the person most likely to break that number or someone else?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. We shall find out next year if I'm going to make it or not. Novak's definitely the man to beat at the moment. He's had an unreal season again. He's not only doing it at the slams, but he's also doing it on the tour week in, week out. It's tough to break that for any player right now. I think the player's got their work cut out there.
In terms of schedule, I didn't quite understand. But of course Rio is one of the priorities of next year. It's not the only one. I have a pretty good idea how I see my schedule basically for the entire year next year.
There's no reason to announce anything yet because the season still needs to be played out and I've got time. It's good I'm ahead of schedule. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a different type of schedule next year because of the Olympic year. I always like that when there's a bit of a change in the calendar.

Q. Back to today's match. Is there any differences between Tuesday and Wednesday? Top seeds always get out on Wednesday, not Tuesday.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's different because I'm not coming from Beijing or Tokyo. I've been here since Friday. I was happy to play Tuesday or Wednesday. Obviously jams the schedule maybe a bit more if I play Wednesday as well. I think it helps everybody if I play Tuesday. I didn't mind that.
The tournament is always very helpful when it comes to asking me or whatever. I don't put in many requests. I let it up to them. They asked me to play Tuesday. I said, Fine, I'm ready to go.
I don't believe that was a problem. It would have been good to rest tomorrow after today's battle. Now I've got plenty of rest and I'll hit the gym probably Friday again.

Q. What did you actually know about him before you played the match?
ROGER FEDERER: I played him at Wimbledon before, so I knew him. I've seen him play. He's definitely improved since then. That was awhile back and that was not his favorite surface. I was aware that he could give me a tough workout and even beat me.
I'm always cautious. I don't underestimate or lack respect for anybody out there. These guys are all touring professionals, they know what they're doing. The margins are so small, that's why I sometimes struggle to talk to you guys about, Yeah, I'd like to play Novak in the finals, Rafa in the semis, Tsonga in the second round. It's not like that. Now you're not asking me those questions. I wonder why, you know. Because I'm on a flight (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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