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April 14, 2016

Roger Federer

Monte Carlo, Monaco

R. FEDERER/R. Bautista Agut

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How do you react to Novak Djokovic's defeat? Somebody says that it opens up especially your side of the draw. What did you see yesterday?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I'm focused more on my own game than the other guys. I got my own worries at the moment. I'm really happy how things are going. It was another match I had to go out and win against a Spaniard who puts in a lot of balls, who plays a ton of matches. So it was a nice win.

I think I can even play a little bit better. But I'm happy how the body is, that I was able to play two matches already here, and get a chance to play a third tomorrow.

We as tennis players know that losses can come in any given match. So for us it's not that big of a surprise that top guys lose sometimes. Maybe didn't expect this one coming. But which one do you expect of Novak to come?

You can't win them all. So from that point it was surprising to see him lose in the first round here in Monaco where he trains so much, where you would think that he feels comfortable, and he probably does. Even though he lost, he probably still could have won the tournament.

I think it gives other players hope. It shows once more how tough the game is, that no match is guaranteed for a win. I know that people, fans, especially press, get carried away. They think he's never going to lose again, or top guys cannot lose against a guy ranked out of the top 10, 30, 50 or 100. We know it happens very quickly. If you follow matches closely, you actually understand how many close moments exist during a tournament or during a match.

I didn't see much of the match. I saw the last two games, so...

Q. Is there any anxiety about your knee or is that gone from your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, as long as I can go into a match feeling like I'm all right, that during the match I'm not thinking about it, it's all good. And even if, let's say, it would flare up, I couldn't play tomorrow, the deal is I have a lot of information out of this tournament. I'm getting closer to the peak in the sense of maximum movement against the best players on a tough surface.

So anything that's going on right now at this tournament is great. Then because I have a rest for the next couple of weeks anyway, even if I get a setback of a couple of days that the knee is not well, you rest it, take up training, take as much time as you need.

The good thing is I'm still far away from everything and I feel like I'm in a great place right now.

Q. You said in the French part of your last press conference that you had some fear when you came out after your operation. I wonder at any stage if you talked to some of your friends, like Tommy Haas, Juan Martin, of what the prospects were after going through a surgery like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I guess I would have spoken to them about it if it would have stayed there for days or weeks. I said very clearly it took me two hours. My wife was there, my friends were there. I didn't have to speak to them about, Oh, my God, I was scared. It was just a feeling I had.

I was very sad I had to do surgery. I truly believed I was going to come through my career without surgery. Then I said it that night already. I had a bit of dinner, felt nauseous and stuff. But I was okay again.

I never had that situation that I actually got really worried or scared. That moment was so shortly lived. I think it was normal to have that feeling for a couple of hours after a surgery because I've never been there.

Q. I don't know if you heard about WADA coming back on Sharapova. That went on for two months, three months, talking about this medicine. Now apparently they say they're not sure how long it will last. Do you know anything about it? What is your impression about it, if you have one?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I've heard things. But I didn't read the actual, what do you call it, the release, the press release.

Let me think about it. Let's talk about it tomorrow (smiling). Ask me again tomorrow. I'll do some research and I'll give you maybe my comments tomorrow. It seems very confusing right now what they're doing, yeah.

Q. The guys are talking about the conditions being quicker, the balls being quicker. What is your feeling? Did you get a sense of that in the last couple matches?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I feel like it's a normal speed. If you serve well, you can get the benefit. But then again, I was watching the Murray match. He was trying to bomb away. Benoit Paire was just putting it back on the baseline.

I'm not sure. I think the conditions play faster as the day goes on, then they get slower again. Maybe there's a window of three, four hours maybe where it plays a bit faster. The Rafa section of the day was probably the fastest, then parts of mine, then the sun went away. The clay didn't get burnt and dry and stuff.

The first match, the clay is moist from the night. They put all this stuff on. They put so much water that it's just wet. I think it depends on what part of the day you play in.

The balls seem fine. The ball does jump up. When the ball goes up high, it's harder to control. Naturally you can make more errors. But I think it's a fair clay court. I wouldn't call it fast or slow. I think it's just sort of a medium thing.

Q. I think it was Stan that said the balls seemed fast for him.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, good for him. I guess it depends a little bit on who you play, as well.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. How did you feel in the match?
ROGER FEDERER: I felt as good as in the first match, or maybe not as good, because I felt a bit tired. I can feel it in my body right now. I feel a bit soft, without energy.

But as the match progressed, I felt better and better. Once I made the break, I was able to relax a little more. Bautista Agut, it was the first time I played him. I wasn't sure whether he would stay far behind or make dropshots. I saw him do that against Chardy. I was playing in a way he couldn't make those dropshots, so it was a good match.

I felt good. In the beginning of the second, I could have made more breaks. So it could have gone my way very early.

I'm happy with what I did. He's a good player.

Q. We don't know who you're going to play tomorrow. One is playing against Tsonga. Might be a conflict of generation in that match. Do you remember your first confrontations with Marc Rosset? You had respect for him.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you always play your matches the best you can. I only had problems against Marco because he's a close friend. But Marc Rosset is like a big brother who helped me on the tour. He was telling me in which hotel I had to stay, how to book a practice court, how to play against a given player. So I owe him a lot.

When I played him for the first time, it was in Marseille, in the final, I believe. I played him in the quarterfinals in London also, and Basel, and elsewhere. In Sydney, too, I believe.

The first two matches were difficult because I wanted to win absolutely. It was tough to play because I knew him very well and I owed him a lot.

After I lost those two matches against him, in London and Marseille, I was very sad because I had chances. But it was complicated.

Now with Lucas, I don't know how it is going to be against Jo. They are very close. They are from the same country, and I don't know how much time they spend together. Practice doesn't really count. The time you spend talking about life is more important.

Q. Did you have longer treatments on your knee after the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I had a quiet day yesterday. More than usual. I just hit a few balls just to say I did something. But I didn't want to take any risks.

I had treatment twice, or three times. Once in the morning to wake up, to prepare for the practice, and in the evening, and just before going to sleep. I did some stretching so that my body could recuperate.

I still felt it a bit this morning because I was tired yesterday. It was good I didn't do much yesterday. I just stayed calm.

Q. You and Stan are here. There are four Swiss in the 13 or 14 top players. You all have different careers. Can you explain it? Can you explain this Swiss miracle?
ROGER FEDERER: It's phenomenal that we have so many good players. Not only with the four now, we had Rosset, Schnyder, Hingis, and it's incredible how Switzerland created talent. Each one of us had his own career. That means you have very different solutions.

I'm happy I went through the Federation, as far as I'm concerned. It's good that we do well in the Fed Cup, in the Davis Cup, and on the tour. We are representing well our country all the time, not only in the Fed Cup and the Davis Cup.

But how to explain this? I don't know. I think each one is very eager to do well and has the personality for that. You must be able to create your little team around you that will help you in your work, working hard. So you need the right people. Apparently they were all able to do that in their own way.

So this is what is interesting. For the coaches and for the parents, what can you learn from those players and also the previous players in Switzerland?

Q. We don't know your opponent yet. If it's Jo, what do you think about him? You've played him on all surfaces and he was able to beat you on all surfaces. Do you feel more vulnerable against him on clay?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what his favorite surface is. But on clay we play well, both of us. I think we play better later in the clay court season. He played more on clay than I did this year, I believe. He's still in the tournament. It's good for him. But I really didn't see him play recently. I don't remember seeing any of his matches during the past six months. I don't know where I was. I don't even know which tournaments he played. Of course, I was injured.

Then I asked Gilles Simon, Where is Jo playing this year? He told me.

But I like his game. I like his power, his capacity to move forward with his forehand. I've seen wonderful matches of him against the best players, and also against me.

And Lucas, I just played a match in Bercy against him. I don't know him as well. I know his coach. But practicing with him is always pleasant. I practiced with him in Dubai. I do that often. I like him. He's cool. I'm happy to see him improve the way he has. I think we'll talk about him in the next two years.

Q. What are your goals for this season?
ROGER FEDERER: I want to do well tomorrow, because also the opponents are more confident and they're getting more difficult. So I'm not thinking further than the next match. It would be a mistake to think ahead.

If you are in the semis, you start dreaming. Before that, you just can be happy you're still in the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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