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January 7, 2016

Roger Federer

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Smooth first match. Haven't seen you out here practicing. Have you been a little ill or sore somewhere?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was raining as well. I don't think that many guys were practicing on the Monday. Maybe on the Tuesday.

No, I was anyway going to take off on the Monday, and then on Tuesday I was going to hit in the afternoon but I didn't feel so well. So I said, Let's wait to out. Then didn't feel good at all actually on the Tuesday. On the Wednesday I started to feel a little bit better, so I asked the tournament if they could move it for a Thursday start, which I know they can do very easily, which was helpful.

So started to feel a little bit better. That's why I came out yesterday for a hit, just to see how things are. I was happy. I felt somewhat okay. There was no need to push it at all. I am not somebody that needs to play much before matches.

Yeah, I'm quite surprised that it went so well today.

Q. Was the idea of pulling out in your mind or not even close?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, if we couldn't have moved the match, and let's say it would've been a best-of-five set match, you know, different surface, different opponent, looking at a different situation, maybe.

But the way I started to feel late last night and today, with the speed of the court and all that, I felt like I'm happy to give it a go.

Q. Is it an upper respiratory infection or something like that? You sound kind of like...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the nose has been the smallest of issues. I was just not feeling well. I don't know, I guess I got some kind of flu. My whole family had it. I was the last guy to get it, so I knew what I was getting into when I was not feeling well.

Q. Are you a fan of this part of the season? You start by flying halfway across the world, a week, and a big tournament.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I like it. Yeah, it's an interesting time of the year for sure. You come through your entire off-season. Off-season you workout completely different than you workout throughout the year. That's why also you see maybe some more injuries or some more players being more careful at the beginning and having to pull out.

Just wondering why this is, it's maybe because some of us carry some sort of problem out of the off-season because you work differently and harder maybe. Then you have a long flight, and right away got to give 100%. Sometimes the body can react funny or you pick up something on the plane and you get sick over here, whatever it is.

Then your worried for what's to come in the next month and you flew around the world like you said, and what, you pull out? It's not a lot of fun.

I must say I've before fortunate throughout. I am happy how I got through the off-season. Christmas was nice with the family. I'm happy I'm here now.

Plus I'm extremely pleased I was able to win today.

Q. You recently released your schedule for the year. One of the things was between Indian Wells and the French normally there is no event. Do you plan on maybe adding some clay court event or is this a possibility?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we'll see. I mean, right now obviously the schedule is for me very clear what I'm going to do until Indian Wells, then we'll see how my results are, I guess, until then. Then we'll see if I add something or not.

The good thing in tennis is you can add and always take away. Last thing I want to do is try to mislead fans in a wrong direction where I am pulling out. You know, I would rather them knowing that I'm probably not going to come, and if I come maybe it's a positive surprise for them.

It was a schedule where anything was still possible, but gives people a good idea where the tournaments are the best chance to see me play in those events. Maybe there was going to be a couple more where I'm going to be playing, but right now I don't know exactly where and when.

You never know, yeah.

Q. Speaking of scheduling, Andy Murray is expecting his wife to give birth. He said if it comes early he would pull out of the Australian Open, if it was before the final. You've had two child births during your playing days. Would you have done the same thing, and did you try to schedule those so they were at good times of the year for your tennis schedule?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the good thing is we were not that far away from Switzerland like he is from Britain right now. But, yeah, all depends on what your priority is. Is it tennis or family?

For me, I mean, I love my family and that's what it is. Yeah, I would've done the same. I don't know exactly what he said, but he said he would maybe skip, what, the tournament?

But I'm confident that somehow she's going to manage, and same for him. He can play his tournament and everybody is going to be happy.

Q. When you were having your kids, did you try to plan so they weren't coming during a Grand Slam?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't remember what was going on then, you know. I don't know. I don't remember. I don't think we did. It's okay to miss slams, just to let you know. It's not life. Life is not slam. Life is the next whatever, 60 years that follow after that with the kids.

Q. Just talk about Ljubicic. You had Edberg for two years. Did you want some kind of change coming up, or why did you bring him in specifically?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I was extremely happy with the work that Stefan Edberg was doing. Love him. He's been incredible. But I kind of knew that it was not going to be something that was going to take forever, unfortunately. Because I think to get two years out of him was amazing, that was willing to take it on and give it a shot.

I was also very thankful for him to tell me very early that it was going to end after two years. That gave me some time to know what I was looking for.

At the same time, I have such a great team around me with Severin and Pierre and Danny and everyone involved that I was in no panic at all either.

So when Ivan got available towards the end of the season, that's when I called him up. I thought he could be someone very interesting and exciting for my game, for my team. He could match well. He knows everybody. He is also a dad. He still plays very well.

He's played against most of my opponents. He's played me a bunch and knows my game very well. He's now also been a coach for a couple years, which I thought was important. He's done very well with Milos, so very excited he's on the team.

Today was our first win together, so that was nice as well.

Q. You mentioned on court your memory from last year here, 1000 matches. How vivid is that in your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: Still very. Yeah. It was a big deal for me. I didn't expect it to be as big of a deal as it actually ended up being. Got a lot of like, how do you say, like people coming up to me and congratulating me for the 1000 match wins.

Really felt like it made news, you know, funny enough. But I think it was very special because it was a finals, here in Australia. They like tennis. They love the numbers. Plus, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson were on the court to hand me the trophy and be in the picture with me and the number 1000. It was just a great thing.

I was happy I didn't mess it up and have to go through that ceremony after winning my first round in the Australian Open or something. That would've been not quite the same. So it was beautiful that it happened in a finals.

Yeah, the memories are very vivid. When I walked out for practice the first time on the Saturday I think it was, I remember last time I walked out was for the trophy ceremony.

Q. Last year you played Dimitrov and you play him again. Feelings on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I played him great last year here. Tomorrow is going to be tougher. It's earlier in the tournament. Okay, maybe just one round earlier, but it's been a rocky last couple days.

Don't quite know what to expect quite yet. Plus today was thankfully short, but also doesn't give me as much information as where my game is at. In practice in December it's been great. I have been hitting the ball well. I am where I want to be. Then again, tomorrow we'll see.

He's had a tough grind today, but he's extremely match tough. I expect him to be fresh again tomorrow. I played him quite aggressive last year and that worked well. We'll see if I'll do the same again tomorrow.

Q. Are you surprised that Dimitrov has gotten top 5. He was top 8, 2014; reached semifinals of Wimbledon; then last year kind of slumped after that. Did you expect him to come back top 10, top 5? Talk about his game.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I hope he does come back, you know, because I think he's an exciting player to watch. Definitely has got his work cut out because his ranking? Has dropped a bit. Draws get tougher from there; sometimes you catch a bad draw and you don't necessarily play poorly, but you can't improve your ranking because you've just maybe run into Novak early or whatever happened.

I think he's got to wait for the right moments and then obviously pounce. I think he's also got to win the matches that he's won this week already. Just tough it out. Sometime on the outside courts, sometimes against a guy like Gilles Simon where the breaker goes left and right and at the end you somehow come through without being so convincing, and all of a sudden you put in the best performance against that big guy on the big court.

Then you got your confidence back. I think his confidence dropped quite a bit last year, and then I think he was also trying to switch racquets and stuff. I think all of that combined together with the pressure, and then rolling into Wimbledon and stuff was a bit too much.

Yeah, expect him to be in a better state of mind this year, so I think it's going to come very close to top 10 this year.

Q. There are a lot of young Americans coming up, but what do you know of Tommy Paul?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't know him very well. I saw a little bit when he Marco Chiudinelli in the last round of quallies of US Open. I was following because of Marco really. Yeah, he's done well. I think it's nice to see a great bunch of guys doing so well for the Americans. I practiced with Fritz at Wimbledon, with Francis Tiafoe at the French, and then again at the Open.

Yeah, I saw Opelka play Wimbledon again, because I had practices before or after that and there was the brother, Michael who played if the finals there. Through Stefan we followed the Swedes a little bit. So I've seen the Americans really making their move.

It's been interesting to see and it's nice. I think it's particularly good when a same group come from one country like you have here maybe with Kyrgios and Kokkinakis and others pushing each other forward. Going to be same for the American boys.

I think it's good times for them now. Going to have a good time on tour. They got to grind it out on tour somewhere far away from home and maybe not used to it. For some it's going to be easier and some maybe tougher. But when you have a friend along the way it's much more fun and you can have better results because of that.

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