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November 15, 2015

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom

R. FEDERER/T. Berdych

6-4, 6-2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was the court slippery?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Felt fine, normal.

Q. The two savers late in the second set, the first one you were only 70 centimeters behind the service line, the second 1.2 meters behind the service line. Is it easier to do the more you half volley it?
ROGER FEDERER: I think I'm in the process to find that out exactly. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it's not. The thing is what I don't know is how long they're going to serve. You have tendency to know which players serve it deeper into the box and which ones serve it shorter.

But, of course, sometimes you anyway have to adapt, right? So I prefer to be closer than too far, I guess, at the end.

Q. He got off to a good start, but you turned it round incredibly quickly. What allows you to turn a match around against a top-10 player like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Clearly was not the best start. Was a bad start. Was one of the worst starts I've had in years. No first serves, two double-faults, nothing coming from the baseline. So it was rough.

But thankfully I was able to pick it up. I mean, the surface does play slow here. If you get to see too many second serves, clearly you can crawl back into the match. You can get your chances from the baseline to find rhythm quickly.

It's hard to blast through an opponent here in London, which I think helps for me now against Berdych in this case because I can make the match athletic.

Yeah, as the match went on, I definitely started to play better, started to serve better. I think what I underestimated a little bit in some ways was that it was a first round. I think I was playing very well in practice. I had a very good idea with Severin and Stefan how I should play the match.

When I came in, I kind of forgot it was a first round. I do have to be a little bit careful as well at times. I was a bit sluggish coming in. I don't want to say too overconfident, but I thought it was going to be easier than that.

It was a good lesson for me to learn. But now I'm in the second round, so that's a good thing.

Q. Second round Djokovic, that's an easy one?
ROGER FEDERER: It's easy in the sense that I now know how the match feels. It is very different in terms of nerves than in practice. In practice you don't care if you hit a forehand inside-out that just misses the line. In the match, all of a sudden being down Love-30 at the very beginning is unsettling.

It was not the best start. I have to clean that up clearly for the next match.

Q. You had a week and a half to prepare for this tournament. Year after year, have there been any changes in the way you prepare for such a summit like this with the top players in the world?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, clearly the changes depend on how much you played through Basel and Paris. The last 10 years Basel has always been a final appearance, then Paris on the back end of it where I'm trying to do my best.

There were a couple of years, as well, where it was back-to-back, Paris and London. In terms of preparation, there was nothing, or very little.

Now that we have a week again, it's a lot for us tennis players. I think I was one of the first with Kei here to arrive in London. I gave myself extra time off after losing in the second round in Paris.

That was really nice to spend some quality time with my kids, my wife, walking around, just relaxing before I went to Helsinki, which was different than previous years, which I haven't done.

Then I started to practice every day from Tuesday on here in London. First at Queen's, at the Queen's Club, now here since a few days.

Q. You had a very good second half of the season, playing two Grand Slam finals. Some players at this point of the season are showing some fatigue. How do you feel physically?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel really good, you know. Carrying a slight arm problem through Basel and Paris, but nothing that was hindering me to play well. So that's gone. I hope it's not going to come back. If it does, I'll be fine. It's just part of the game to play hurt sometimes. But I'm not worried that it's going to come back. So a fast match like this always helps.

Then, you know, I went on a vacation for 10 days after the US Open and the Davis Cup tie there, which I think was great for my body to heal problems, for my mind to get away from it all. Really at the end of the season, really well.

Then losing in Shanghai actually gave me more time to practice. I used that well, I thought. Then because of the three days off I had after Paris, I think I'm really fresh.

Even though I'm looking forward to my vacation, I can tell you that, I feel very happy to be here and very happy about my state of mind and body as well.

Q. You said against Berdych that the slow conditions probably helped you. How do you see that playing out against the other two guys in your pool?
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm? Well, I think it's a really good court for me personally. I think it's a really good court for Novak, too. Kei, I've played him here in the past. I play very well against him.

So it's just gotten to be a surface, maybe it's the end of the season, maybe it's the surface, we saw the faster results here last year. Seems like whoever takes charge of the baseline, and if you cannot serve your way out of trouble often enough, which is hard to do here because of the pace of the court, the guy from the baseline wins, the better one.

That's why we see some crushing scores, like Novak against Kei today. Last year, as well, Stan against Berdych. Maybe, Cilic. There was a match with Novak, maybe, so forth.

I think it suits Novak very well. For me, too. And Kei, I guess. Tomas somewhat has to prove himself on this surface.

Q. Novak has been very dominant this year, especially the last couple of months. Do you feel like the gap is as big as it appears to be?
ROGER FEDERER: That depends on who looks at the gap.

Q. How do you see it?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think I'm that far off. Then again, let's speak in two days. Two days is not the match that I care the most about, to be quite honest. It's an important match, very important. But it's not the match.

It's going to be interesting to see how I play that one. I'm curious to find out myself.

Q. You almost always play Novak in finals or at the least semifinals. Can you talk about the different dynamic of playing him early in the tournament.
ROGER FEDERER: I played him here first round two years ago maybe. Three sets. I think that's the year I played back-to-back London and Paris. We were both struggling with rhythm, I remember. I took an approach of, yeah, it was different. I played it more like keeping the ball in the court, not going for too much. We had longer rallies. It was an intense match. But we were both playing quite bad, I thought.

We've had that in the past, and it was quite unusual then to play each other so early in a tournament. This doesn't feel now so crazy early because we've had the week of preparation, we've both had a match now. I think we both feel like we're in the tournament.

But nevertheless, it is only sort of a second round. Maybe still some open questions in both our games, or in mine, getting rid of what happened in the beginning of the match. It's going to be important not to have that against Novak clearly in a couple of days.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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