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November 22, 2015

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom

N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer

6-3, 6-4

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. If you could go back in the match, what would you change? More serve and volley or change of trajectory in the cross-court backhand before the mistake?
ROGER FEDERER: It would have been nice to serve a little bit better early on in the match, play better overall on his second serve, because he does allow you to play on his second serve. Maybe at times I went for too much. The moments where I should have gone safe, I didn't, and vice versa. Those are the two regrets I have.

If I played the match again, that is what I would try to do different. Other than that, I thought it was a good match. It was close. First six games were tough, to be down 4-2. I had my chances to at least be even. But I thought he played well. Still high-quality match, I thought.

Q. Novak has gotten to every big final this year. Would players go away over the winter and work on game plans that would work against him in particular as well as your normal stuff?
ROGER FEDERER: It's hard to speak for every other player. For me personally, not really, because I feel like I need to work on my overall game that is going to have an impact against most of the players.

For me, Rafa is the unique player in the field. I used to work more precisely towards him. I think that's what you're trying to ask.

With Novak, it's more straightforward. If you don't play very well, you're going to have a hard time. If you're going to play better, I know I have my chances with my game.

Q. As someone who won the Davis Cup last year, your thoughts on next week's final, the matchup?
ROGER FEDERER: Number one, I first of all hope it's going to happen. Number two, I think England are the favorites, in my opinion, because they have Andy in the team. It's nice to have someone like him in the team that can play singles, doubles, singles if he had to. Even if he doesn't play, they still have a very strong doubles, because doubles can always be crucial.

Then again, Belgium is at home, it's obvious. Goffin I really like, a great player. Good guy, too. Great attitude. I feel like he's the kind of guy that can handle pressure.

But still in most of the matches they have their chance, that's why I favor England in the finals, or Britain if you like (smiling). Sorry.

Q. This year is obviously finishing, but if you are setting goals for next year, would the Rio Olympics be high on your list of priorities?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, it is, but it's not my number one priority. It starts with the Australian Open, which is just around the corner. That's what I see next. Then once Australia's over, that's when I look more towards the future.

Clearly I haven't thought about it too much in terms of what is my number one, number two, number three goals. Usually I you go into a season with, I don't know, two or three really big goals, then maybe four or five other ones that are really important to you.

The rest of the tournaments I just really enjoy playing, I'd like to defend my titles, really love going back there, that have great meaning to me.

But, yeah, right now my mind somehow doesn't go further than the Australian Open right now.

Q. Rafa said yesterday that it's almost impossible for Novak to have an amazing streak like this in a row. What do you think? Can he repeat and have a good year next season?
ROGER FEDERER: It's hard to do. It's hard to play at this pace all the time. Doesn't need much, you know. We're talking margins.

You don't win a breakpoint, he does, vice versa, it changes the whole outcome of the match. You can't always be on the winning side. Margins are small at the very top.

That's why this year of Novak's is amazing. Rafa has been there. I've been there. We both know how hard it is to back it up year after year.

It's not the first good year of Novak. Clearly he's going into next year with massive confidence. He's playing great. It's going to be hard for him to play a bad year, that's for sure. But this extremely good, it's always tough.

But right now you would think it is somewhat possible, but you can't just repeat a year like this. It takes a lot of effort. You've got to be physically in shape, no injuries whatsoever. Mentally you have to be at your peak at all times. It's not as easy as it seems sometimes.

Q. The Olympics are played in Brazil. You were there a couple years ago. What do you remember about that and how do you feel going there and the crowd support you will have maybe?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what the crowd support is going to be like. I had a blast in Sao Paulo, the three matches I played there. All of South America was fantastic, to be honest. Buenos Aires and Colombia were amazing, as well. Very passionate fans. For me to have done that trip, it was the trip of a lifetime. It was one of my favorite 10 days of my life if I just talk about tennis. It was really that cool.

Clearly I'm looking forward to the Olympics, but it's going to be very difficult because the focus is on sports in general, not just myself which was more of the case when I came for the XO's. I just hope I can enjoy it. I hope it's going to be a full stadium with good support. If the stadium's full, I'm sure it's going to be great.

Q. With the year now over, what do you take out specifically from 2015? You were talking about the Australian Open being your focus. What do you have to do to maybe take another step and win a major next year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I've got to keep pushing forward. Got to keep practicing hard, being serious about all the things I do. Now rest, recover, enjoy my family, my wife. Just have a great time there. Then once I get back to practice, the gym, enjoy that part as well, which I do. Thankfully I found a way to embrace that part as well over the years.

I don't think there's that much I need to change, maybe some tactical approaches against some players at times. Of course, you just always got to handle the conditions. Focusing maybe just solely on Novak or any other player would be the wrong approach because, I'm going to stay humble, I lost third round last year at the Aussie Open against Seppi. I won't even say I was surprised because I knew how good he was. It was just a tough day for me.

I think this year had a lot of great things in my game. How I'm able to play at net now, how I'm moving and feeling at net in particular is a great thing to have. Then my serve has been really working very consistent, very well throughout the year more or less. Maybe if I can just get that to work slightly better at times, that would be incredibly helpful. I'll work on that as well.

Clearly, you want to be fit and fast on the court, on your feet. That's the key today. If you look at the matches that are played at the very top, Novak is a great example. I don't want to say it's all about movement, but movement bails you out of a lot of tough situations.

Q. Talking about the Olympics next year, looking at your schedule overall. You added in an extra tournament in the grass season. What is your thinking in going straight from Roland Garros back-to-back grass tournaments when you have Rio looming on the horizon?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought about it. So obviously I'm confident about my scheduling, especially at 34 years old. I don't like to mention my age, but I think I know what I'm doing. I know you don't mean it that way.

I have my plan that's set for the year. I know exactly what I'm doing. I was in the mood to play more grass court tennis. If I feel that way, that's what I should be doing.

We'll see what I do before Rio exactly. But like I said, it's not my number one goal necessarily. I have other goals. Wimbledon is a big one. Other tournaments, too. Rio is part of that.

I'm going to set up my schedule in a way that I'll be ready for the most important tournaments for me personally.

Q. People here in London supported you like a football club. What does that mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it means a lot to me. It's hard to explain because I do it often now. I tell you guys that you can relay the message to the people who support me so much how much I appreciate it and how much I enjoy their support.

It's definitely one of the big reasons I'm still playing tennis today, to play in an atmosphere like today or the whole week, get this amount of crowd support, it's very special to me.

I enjoyed every second of it. Wish I could have won for the people who were supporting me. But unfortunately I didn't. It's disappointing. But still very happy with where my level's at.

Yeah, it means the world to me that I get this kind of support.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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