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January 8, 2016

Roger Federer

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

R. FEDERER/G. Dimitrov

6-4, 6-7, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was the fatigue out there after the flu? Did you feel it in the second set there, towards the end of the match?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, yeah. Yes and no. I don't know. I'm not going to tell you too much, but it was tough in a way. Body is not quite ready, you know, so it's good to get through it without any issues.

You know, thought I played really well considering, and caught sort of a second wind in the third set. End the second was tough. Also the beginning. I had to focus hard, so I thought I was able to relax again midway or at the beginning of the third at some stage, and the break came at the right time, so that was good.

But, yeah, physically it was difficult. Thankfully I didn't carry anything over from the first match. The first match it was big that it was actually straight sets as fast as it was.

Q. Dimitrov played pretty well overall. Very aggressive. Maybe didn't serve that well in the third, but looked good.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought so. I thought he served actually very well. I don't know exactly the serving stats, yeah, I took advantage of the fact of getting maybe too many second serves in the third.

Grigor has a tendency to not overserve, but, you know, to give you some second serves. It's important to take advantage of the fact when you have those. I thought for a long time he was doing a really great job moving the serve around. He's got the curve. He's got the power. He finds all angles.

I was finding it quite difficult to get the break.

Q. You've been asked before in some form, but you guys are getting older, and the next generation still hasn't quite made the breakthrough. Nobody younger than Djokovic has won a Masters title still. What did you think is taking this generation of Grigor and Kei and Milos longer than your generation, and Andy and Novak to breakthrough?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not quite a different generation, Kei then Novak. They're only like two years apart. But I know what you mean, it's like a different group.

The top guys are definitely not making easy for just to get some wins. Usually we're used to it in the past. We share some slams, share some Masters 1000s and all that stuff.

But top guys always show up. Somehow one of us always finds a way until Del Potro, Cilic, and Stand sort of came around. Also Safin in the beginning. That was a big win for him.

Yeah, just been difficult, you know. They've made their finals, semis, but then also had some injury concerns, which doesn't help, where you lose a couple years. Especially Kei. That's why you can put him in the other group.

I don't quite know, but that's why I feel as they still got time. If you look at other guys they made the break later as well, and I think that's going to give them also belief that maybe the best is yet to come. I would expect that to be the case, because I feel like all the guys are playing better than ever, except maybe Grigor. He's got to show it again this year.

Q. What do you expect from Dominic next? I don't think you've ever played him before.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think so. You should know. I should know too, but...

Q. We are pretty sure.
ROGER FEDERER: Me too, I'm pretty sure.

Q. How do you approach that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not having played him, let's assume that's the case, I practiced with him in Z├╝rich throughout the clay court season. I think he came over for three days and we trained like ten hours together. Good guy. Hits a big ball.

I've practiced with him before at the Open as well, in Basel. So we've hit a ton together. We know each other. I think he's got a great big backhand. Maybe likes slower courts, like to set up his shots. I guess you got to take time away from a him. Like a Stan version in some ways if you compare him to one the top guys.

He likes to play from far, but he's making a nice effort trying to play on the baseline as well. Yeah, he uses a lot of spin as well on his serve. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. I'll try to put the pressure on.

I thought it was a good win for him to beat Cilic today, because Cilic was looking good for a while there.

Q. You practice quite a bit with players from the younger generations. Is there a reason or method for that?
ROGER FEDERER: They're usually excited, more excited than my guys. Even though we know each other, so it's fun. We can chat on the changes of ends.

Sometimes it's nice just to play with somebody who is really excited and pumped up and it's a big deal for them.

For me it's exciting too, because I wish also I could have played with top guys when I was younger. I got the opportunity a couple times. Not very often. I like to take younger guys to the practice courts if they're around, especially at the back end of the slams when they roll in for the second week.

Yeah, if they have anything to ask, I always give them advice, because I think it's important that we, the top guys, pass our secrets down as well and not just keep it to ourselves.

Q. What kind of things do they ask you?
ROGER FEDERER: Whatever they want to ask. Could be about what do you eat. Salads, I don't know. I'm kidding. But like anything.

Q. Last year the guys from the top 10 won 50% of the prize money of the top 100. What do you feel about that? Do you think it's the fair share?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. I mean, should be a winner's tour, in my opinion, so the winners should get more. I know that sometimes the scissor, I don't how you call it, but has gotten quite big between winners and first round losers. I understand that.

But I'm more favor that the second, third round, and all this stuff gets bumped up. I think the Tour is doing a conscious effort.

I would like to see the challenge tour in particular also getting a prize money increase. I know it's tough because you got to work hard in the local market to find sponsors. I guess to some extent you can put pressure on challengers as well o you have high entry numbers. It's got to be a certain minimum, because there are a ton of tournaments. There are a lot, a lot of tournaments out there, so the players can always play. But I think we've done well, but we could always do better, of course.

I'm excited to see what the future holds. The prize money has gone up quite a lot over the last few years. We got to keep going.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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