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January 22, 2016

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. FEDERER/G. Dimitrov

6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. 300th win in a Grand Slam, what does that mean to you, besides going through the next round?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know, it's very exciting, I must tell you. Like when I reached 1,000 last year, it was a big deal for me. Not something I ever aimed for or looked for, but when it happens, it's very special. Yeah, you look deeper into it, I guess, where it's all happened and how. Yeah, so it's very nice. I'm very happy.

Q. Today's match, perhaps fairly straightforward after that second set?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that was my goal, to react quickly after the second set because I struggled a little bit, but then found my way back, then was able to take charge of the match. It was important. Conditions, again, were very different indoors than they were against Dolgopolov in the second round. Even night session plays different.

Just got to manage these conditions a bit. You know, I'm pleased. Wasn't easy. I didn't expect it to be against Grigor. It was a tough round, so I'm happy.

Q. I think your breakpoint conversion was one out of nine. Is that where you would like to see the most improvement going forward?
ROGER FEDERER: It would be helpful to obviously get more, you know, win more breakpoints when you have them. Sometimes they serve an ace. Sometimes it just happens that, you know, it doesn't work out very well for you.

But at the end I don't think it played with that. I created too many opportunities and was able to put the pressure on when I had to.

Q. You're a member of the All England Club, this should be a tricky question. Should you be able to wear what you were wearing today in England?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, I don't know. Back in the day, used to, right? So I don't know. Really depends on who makes the rules. I think this is more of a question you should ask the fans rather than me.

I think more color would be nice. But I said that many times before.

Q. There was a video we saw you and Grigor were waiting for the match to start, just hanging out, watching the Sharapova match. Do you usually do that when you're about ready to step on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: If we're in the same space, it happens. It wasn't because it was Grigor we were hanging out. I didn't even know he was back there.

But because we know each other quite well, yeah, we were pretty chilled going into the match. We've both been well-prepared. Sometimes you don't look much at the other guy. But with Grigor it's different, like with other guys on tour. There's many guys I would speak to before a match.

That was the situation today.

But I'm happy it still exists. We're not that far down the road where it's so professional where you can't even look at the guy before you walk on court. We're not there yet and I hope we'll never get there.

Q. You followed Grigor through his career. Where do you think he's at right now? Obviously he made a Wimbledon semi, got into the top 10, now has dipped a bit. What direction do you think he could be headed in?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think last year was a learning curve for him. So I think this year's got to be better for him. I think the beginning of the year and the off-season was important for him. Got a lot of information out of Brisbane, Sydney, also here. He's just got to take the positives out of it, you know, what's been going well.

He's been playing well at the top of the baseline, going through his shots. He's playing positive tennis, and that's what he's got to keep doing moving forward. I think we'll only see a stronger Grigor as the year progresses.

Q. Any idea why he got derailed?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think maybe the changing of the racquets was not very helpful. Maybe that's always a tough thing to do. Then obviously change of coach in the middle of the season, it may be tough. Then I think he just lost his confidence for a little while. The problem is once you're ranked between 10 and 20, or even beyond, I don't know what his ranking is, you just get tough draws. Next thing you know, it's like first or second round, you're playing the big boys. You're not even playing poorly, you're just not winning those matches anymore like when you were ranked inside of the top 10.

Q. In 2015 you were described as the most marketable athlete, ahead of LeBron James, Tiger Woods, all of them. You spent the year pretty much ranked No. 2, didn't win a major. What do you say to the up-and-coming players that aspire to be like you? Is it more important to have results or integrity as a person on and off the court?
ROGER FEDERER: It's about tennis at the end of the day. It's definitely nice to have nice deals and a great image and all that stuff. But at the end of the day I'm a tennis player, you know. I think then you can choose how you want to handle yourself on and off the court.

I think it's always important to stay true to yourself, be yourself, don't change because a management tells you to or press tells you to or tournaments tell you to. As long as you respect the game, like you say, integrity is right there. I think it's crucial.

I'm happy that I was able to stay myself, know how to behave at what times. So, yeah, I am very proud of all the partners I've had and been able to partner up with throughout my career. It's been a great learning experience for me to be with such great brands and then to have had the success to back it up as well is really important. If there's a huge disbalance, it can also maybe be an uncomfortable feeling.

Q. Where do you learn that from? Do you keep learning from people like Rod Laver? Have you seen him around here at all this week?
ROGER FEDERER: What do you mean 'learning'?

Q. You talk about being true to yourself and that sort of thing, trying to block out all of that pressure.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think in the beginning it's important. Well, your family values, parents, friends, coaching in the very beginning. Maybe your fellow tennis friends, mates. For me it was Marc Rosset from Switzerland. He was a big influence on me because he guided me around the tour a little bit, showed me where to string a racquet, where to book practice. Maybe if you're not sure how to handle the press, whatever it was, you could always ask the right people.

Then, of course, you've got to do it quickly. The spotlight's on you when you're a teenager. Yeah, you got to react very quickly to all the things that are coming at you. That's why I think it's always very interesting to follow a teenager growing up on the tennis tour. I miss them, actually, that we don't see more of them, because they still are so young and just themselves. Eventually you figure out how to handle yourself on and off the court.

But I think the process is always very intriguing.

Q. Pete Sampras just wrote a wonderful article where he wrote himself a letter advising himself as a teen on things he would do emerging into tennis. If you could drop yourself a note to the young Roger Federer about breaking into tennis, going through the evolution, what would be some of the things you'd say?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, you got to work hard, even harder now these days it seems like. There's more professional tennis players than ever. The depth is greater. Talent takes you only so far. But the rest of it is you have to teach it to yourself and learn it, get it right. You got to be patient, as well. Can't expect to win slams at 16, 17, 18 anymore these days, skyrocket through the rankings, unless you're out of this world.

I made a lot of mistakes. I wish I could have maybe been tougher when I was younger in practice, but I guess that's just how it needed to be. It needed to be genius or horrible. I needed to have that wide spectrum. I needed to make mistakes to become the player I am today.

In a way I would do it again the same way, with just some minor adjustments along the way. But I had unbelievable coaching, support team, parents, wife, and everybody around me throughout. It's been amazing. I've been truly privileged to have the experience.

Q. Making mistakes was really helpful?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think it's really important. It's okay to make mistakes.

Q. The roof being closed changed the conditions today. You are widely considered to be one of the greatest indoor players of all time. Do you think the roof being closed helps you or do you think it's equal for everyone?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I would think it could be helpful for me. But, you know -- yeah, I don't know. Today didn't come automatically (snapping fingers). I had to push myself, remind myself what to do. These are the great matches to win, I tell you that, because you're not going to feel 100% great every single time when you go out there. But important is to win those matches maybe where you felt a little off almost sometimes.

I kind of was out of it a little bit in the second set. I was able to bounce back and find a way. We'll see now how the conditions are the next round because Goffin can play very, very well. Got a lot of respect for him. Know him well. I think the conditions are definitely going to help or not help, depending on what it's going to be like.

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