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January 20, 2016

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. FEDERER/A. Dolgopolov

6-3, 7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Did you happen to serve particularly well today or is that an aspect of your game you've been working on?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's a very important part of the game. I think everybody should work on it, to be honest. It's the only shot that we can actually really control. The rest we are reacting to.

And then I thought today I did serve very well. You know, maybe just matched up well with maybe Dolgopolov maybe wasn't seeing it as well. But also conditions are fast during the daytime, so that helps to be able to serve through opponents.

It's also harder to return, clearly. I'm happy I got crucial first break in the first set. I think it was a big set for me. Then second set was the key, really, because it was close for a while. I had missed some chances.

I was keeping it up, you know, serving well, keeping the pressure on, and finally then found the break end of the second.

Q. There was a stage in the third break point up where you were called for the double bounce and the replay clearly showed that you had got to the ball. It's a bit unusual. Has that ever happened before? Can you talk about that?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure if it's happened before, but I wouldn't be surprised. I honestly have no clue how it went. By the way it bounced on the other side, because it had back spin on, I felt there was a chance that maybe it was good, you know.

Hmm. It's a tough call. You know, you feel like if you get it on the second bounce you feel like it would go like a moon ball, or if you push it into the ground it will bounce towards the opponent on the other side.

Then you know like obviously then it didn't work. But the way it went, I felt like maybe I'd gotten there. That's why I kind of finished playing; he stopped playing completely and she had said something. The moment she said she said something, I anyway have to chance to argue the case anymore. Case closed and you move on.

You might get frustrated or not. I chose not to get frustrated.

Q. Alex is a very dangerous player once he gets going and hits amazing groundstrokes. Is that the kind of match and workout you needed to sharpen your own game at this stage of the tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly. You know, if i keep on wining it was definitely a good thing. Also had to work on defense quite heavily for I'd say for the first two sets. After that, you know, let loose a little bit and was able to hit more freely, which was a good thing. You know, the serving definitely helped.

But, yeah, I mean, I'm a big fan of his game. He's explosive; got a great return, especially on the second serve. He's got all the shots, you know. Just for him managing how to use what at what time, you know.

I'm very pleased with this win. I think it's a tough second round. My opinion, he's better than a lot of the guys who are ranked ahead of him.

So looking ahead, I was not worried about the match, but, you know, I had a lot of respect for it.

Q. It's one thing you did really well was actually your defensive game. Is that something that you have worked on?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I have, as well. The offseason I did put in the hard yards, you know. But then again, I like to work on my strength most of the time, the offensive part of my game, serve and volley, taking the forehand early, you know, using my backhand as a variation.

But of course the defensive part is the base. You also need to have that to be able to play the transition game, which I have played so well throughout my career.

You know, to go from defense to offense in the blink of an eye, it's something I did so well for so many years. It's nice when you can prove it to yourself time and time again.

Q. Andy Murray made comments yesterday suggesting that it was inappropriate and hypocritical that tennis tournaments are being sponsored by betting companies. What's your view on whether or not it's important, with the price fixing background?
ROGER FEDERER: I answered that question the other day. Just check the transcript.

Q. Just some other...
THE MODERATOR: We will move on. Next question, please.

ROGER FEDERER: There is like an 80 -- my press conference last time, it's like a book. So you check that one out.

Q. Not having Stefan around, is it strange when you have a change in your coaching setup?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I have gotten used to Ivan now being on the team for the last sort of month or so. It's not that different anymore like it maybe was at the very beginning.

But it was always very special of course looking up to the player box and seeing Stefan there. Always felt somewhat surreal to have him support me and be there for me. That's why I had a great time with him.

It was his birthday yesterday. Congratulated him for that. Hopefully we can speak next few days and see how he's doing. Of course I miss him. It's normal. He was a great asset on the team. Nicest guy ever.

We had a great time. Looking ahead, I'm excited with Ivan and Severin and the rest of the gang.

Q. What does a coach bring to your game? You don't need to be told to hit certain shots, I imagine. What does a coach bring to the table?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, there is always a different angle or something else you can work on or something that maybe you tend to forget sometimes, as there are so many things to work on and so many things keep changing. The game keeps evolving.

So I think it's important to have an open mind. I said it the other day, as well, you know. I think the support team and everybody involved, you know, they can push with a little bit extra when times get tough sometimes. Or just on a regular day rather than me going through the motions or getting used to something, I shouldn't be doing in practice or in a match, they remind me what to do and motivate me to do it.

Those little extra percent here, 5% overall can make a massive difference when you're talking about trying to win a tournament or not.

Q. For fathers, there is probably nothing more than the future of their children. Now on court today you said that you didn't want your daughters to appear on Rod Laver Arena.
ROGER FEDERER: It's not my only goal. Let's put it that way.

Q. Talk about that. Do you think the circuit is just too competitive? Do you think they would just be in your shadow? What is your thinking about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. I think it's 40 years on the tennis tour that doesn't excite me, you know, straight. (Laughter.) I think that's what it would be. And they don't necessarily love it the way I did.

So that's why, for me, it's quite obvious that it's not going to happen. Who knows? They are going to tennis lessons because daddy says so because I think it's a good thing for them. Yeah, I mean, I think it's a wonderful place, the tennis tour, otherwise I wouldn't be on it. It's a great sport to learn how to lose, to win, to figure it out, for friendship, discipline, you name it. For hand/eye coordination.

I only think good things about it. I didn't say it in a negative way. I just don't think they will ever be a tennis player who is ever going to play on Rod Laver Arena.

Maybe they will surprise me and one day they will be here and I will be home in the cold and they will be here. Who knows?

Q. So you, sitting in the friends box watching dozens of matches is not something you look forward to?
ROGER FEDERER: Of course it's important. I will support them all the way whatever they want to do, but I don't see myself doing that right now. I'd rather support them in another sport. Go see them be a super skier. That would be exciting.

To go watch tennis matches, I don't know. (Laughter.) As much as I love it now, I'm just not sure what my excitement level will be in 20 years' time from now.

You never know.

Q. You're into the third round for your 16th straight Australian Open. How long can you see yourself competing at this level for?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. Time will tell. I think a lot of retired players could still be at this level, too. They just choose not to do it anymore. So it's all in the mind, the body, family, traveling, so many things that are a part of this whole thing.

Yeah, I mean, it's been going very well for me, and I hope to keep it up as long as I choose to play tennis. You know, I mean, it's the least I expect to be in the third round of a slam, obviously, so I'm pumped up, playing well, feeling good.

But there's always a danger, you know. Like last year the third round was the end for me, so I hope to go further this time.

Q. Dimitrov possibly in the next round. What kind of a reference was Brisbane?
ROGER FEDERER: Honestly, Brisbane overall was tough to judge in the sense that I was just playing within myself, trying to sort of get through the matches without too many long rallies.

So it's hard to think back at the matches and think like what went well and what didn't go so well. I think it's more maybe the coaches that can remind me of these things, and I might go back in time when I was feeling actually normal against, like, let's say Grigor.

I think he did well in Sydney, and that definitely also gave him a bit of a lift if he takes the positives out of the tournament, because wasting match point in a final is not a great thing. I have gone through spells of these and they are the worst. If you look at the positive side, he should have, could have won the tournament.

So he's, you know, on a high right now, as well. Still gotta win today, but I think it's a tough draw, to be honest. He's got the game to be really dangerous.

He's fit enough for a five-setter, so, yeah, I mean, gotta definitely bring my best game to the court, whatever -- Friday is, yeah.

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