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January 26, 2016

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. FEDERER/T. Berdych

7-6, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Solid performance out there tonight. How would you assess it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think I played well overall. You know, wished maybe I didn't get a break here or there. At the same time Tomas was pushing for it, he was looking for it, so clearly it can happen.

He's got a lot of power. He knows how to do it. So I was happy that on both occasions, first and third, I was able to react quickly. The second set, when I did have the break, I was able to roll with it.

Yeah, I think the first set was tough. It was the one that took the longest, had the most importance of all the sets, in my opinion. It was definitely key to the rest of the match because I think it maybe might've taken some energy out of Tomas. Who knows? If not physical, also mental. It's always tough to lose the first set in best of five in a breaker in my opinion.

Q. You were incredibly efficient at the net. Do you think you could have the same success against Nishikori and Djokovic coming to the net?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, looking at the stats it's an easy thing. I mean, I do feel really good at net since a few years now. It's where it all sort of started for me when I came on tour. I know how it works up there. I still think there's room of improvement. Every player manages to defend or pass it differently.

The question is, Do you come in off a low ball because you're being dragged in, or are you coming in on your terms? Yeah, how do these people return.

In my opinion, Novak and Kei are some of the best returners in the game. Also good in defense because they have a very strong left arm on the double-hander, which allows them to flick it really easily, like Murray has as well.

You know, you would assume that these are not stats you can keep up. It's okay. As long as you're coming in on the right plays, it's okay to be beat. You just got to ask the question time and time again, in my opinion.

Q. What would it mean to you to win one more major or maybe more, but in this era of Novak, if you were to get over the line one more time?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, a lot, yeah. It's part of the reason why I guess I'm still playing. I feel like I'm competitive at the top. I can beat all the guys on tour. It's nice now that in the last three slams that I've been as consistent as I have been.

I'm playing good tennis, fun tennis for me anyway. I really enjoy being able to come to the net more like back in the day. So I'm very pleased.

It would mean a lot to me, no doubt about it.

Q. You mentioned your friend and coach in a nice way on court. Talk about how your key coaches, even going back to Peter, what they've brought to you.
ROGER FEDERER: Long story, isn't it? Been around the block for a bit. I don't know how much you want me to elaborate.

I always said like I feel like I've had great coaching throughout. I think the right coach at the right times, as well. So I'm happy I never took a bad choice, you know, in coaching once I became professional and came on tour.

Clearly, the technique, where it is today, is very important, in my opinion. The National Tennis Center times when I was 14 to 16 were not easy on many levels: language. I was the youngest; there was a friend of mine there; I tried to figure it out; I struggled to stay focused for a long time; I couldn't do it.

I think it was a great lesson in life for me to go through that part of my life sleeping in a family. You know, in the beginning I didn't know from Monday to Fridays and only going home on the weekends was really tough for me. It was a different part of Switzerland. Two-hour train drive away, so that was a big one.

Then later on tour, obviously I've been the longest with Severin. I think he's brought a lot to my game. He's really analyzed all my opponents very well. He's been unbelievably supportive and always been there. That's why I was so happy we could win not only all these slams together, but Davis Cup one and a half years ago, whatever it is now. It was a great feeling for both of us.

Yeah, every player made me a better player in every shape or form, so I'm very, very thankful.

Q. I'm not sure if you heard Bernard Tomic's response to some of your comments. Colloquially to a lot of people it feels like a kid having a go at a great. Maybe not having a go, but being disrespectful. Do you feel disrespected?
ROGER FEDERER: I said a lot of things in Brisbane, you know. I guess only a small part got taken out of it. It's a bit out of context, in my opinion. Then you feed it to a player, he reacts, might be frustrated, and then he goes even further.

You know, I'd like to see anybody succeed, you know, and anybody make their move. Especially to top 100 first, top 10, World No. 1. If everybody could be that, I wish that for everyone.

To be quite honest, when I walked out of the press room I thought I was somewhat tough, but at the same time I was fair because I said nice things about him. But then I checked his ranking. I didn't know his ranking was as high as it was, to be quite honest.

I thought he was like 50 or 60 and he was top 20. That was my bad, to be honest. But I don't check the rankings every day. I came from the off-season. I had no clue what was going on anymore. That was my bad.

But I still believe it's a big difference top 10 for a week or for a year or for multiple years, and getting there is not easy. It's a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work. There's a lot of guys who have the potential right now, not just him. That's why I think it got brought up in many ways.

It was, I thought, quite funny, because I knew what I said and I knew what I didn't know then when I said it. It was kind of funny, I thought.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about Nick Kyrgios. What are your thoughts about him?
ROGER FEDERER: Nick, I know him a little bit more than Bernie. I wonder if I've ever practiced with him. Of course I've played him a few times now.

Nick came to Switzerland that one time. We practiced before his big run at Wimbledon maybe. I was already unbelievably impressed at his sheer power, his talent, his potential, all that. It goes way back.

I think he's a great player. I think he's enjoyable to watch. I know some people might not like it. I like it. He's got a lot of personality. Might take it far to some extent, but I think he's a great player. He's got sick power, and it's going to take him a long way.

I just think the next couple years are going to be so crucial for him, and I just hope he's aware of that fact.

Q. What advice would you give him if you had the chance to sit down one-on-one? Right now he's trying to win over the Australian public, but he's yet to do that.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, look, I don't know. It's going to be a process, you know. It just takes time for people to get to know you. I had the same thing. I felt very misunderstood many times when I was younger. I felt like I had to put in a lot of work with the press so they first knew who I was so they could relay the messages to the public, the broader public, the right way.

So in a way I always feel like it's really interesting and nice to see a youngster grow up in the public eye. But then at the same time, you also have the negatives, you know.

Of course, he's fighting that a little bit. But I think he's doing okay now, better now. He needs to, obviously, for what happened last year. The advice I would give him, just that he's aware of the fact how important the next couple of years are. Otherwise the train leaves the station and you're maybe not on it.

It would be a pity to waste talent and all that even more so in this day and age because I feel talent brought you further back in the day. Just talking about a guy who has talent and potential, I can't hear it anymore. Too many guys have talent. Too many guys are working hard. I don't believe in that very much anymore.

Q. On those big points you win, sometimes in English, you do a, C'mon; sometimes French. I think there's a third one in there. Is it a mystery to you what comes out of your mouth?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I rarely use French unless I'm in a French mode, a French country potentially. Otherwise it's usually English or Swiss German, the languages I was brought up on.

English was my first language basically for the first few years of my life. It still feels very much in me. I speak it every single day. So for me it's natural to say that.

Or in Swiss German obviously. I don't know when I say what, when I scream it. It comes out, and I'm like, Oh, that was English rather than Swiss German.

Q. There were a few allez's today.
ROGER FEDERER: No. I would save that for the French Open (smiling).

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