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July 8, 2016

Roger Federer

London, England

M. RAONIC/R. Federer
6‑3, 6‑7, 4‑6, 7‑5, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. So many opportunities. Three breakpoints.
ROGER FEDERER: Just don't remind me of everything. Just get to the end of the question. I know you like to do it. Thank you.

Q. Tell us what are your feelings. Which was the biggest opportunity you think you had?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I'm not quite sure which one either myself. Maybe Love‑30, good passing, to go Love‑40. From then on, I don't know. I had a breakpoint, I don't know how many. There was opportunities there.
Yeah, so opportunities were all around the fourth set. I think I pushed him on a few service games to get the break. But somehow I couldn't get it done. Either he served well or he hit the line on the serve, or with the forehand, he did a great job there.
It was always going to come down to a few shots here and there. Unfortunately they went his way today. It's disappointing for me, clearly.

Q. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your performance today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was fine. It wasn't bad. It wasn't outstanding. But it was something I can live with, yeah.

Q. Something you want to improve on or you think you're okay?
ROGER FEDERER: Something I want to forget about, yeah.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about the work John McEnroe has done with Milos. What is the biggest improvement or difference in his game you noticed from when you played him here two years ago?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I felt like he's done a lot of changing of his game in the last four years, I'd say. I remember playing Milos, I don't know where now, maybe Madrid or other places, where he was playing way, way back.
When I played him on the grass, it was pretty much always the same. It was just bang, bang, first serves, from my side, from his side. Obviously makes more returns now since two to three years. That was always going to improve. That was not going to get worse. From that standpoint, I think that's a big difference.
He's always had great focus. Serve for serve, point for point, he's always done a tremendous job there. I feel like since maybe a year and a half now he feels maybe a bit more comfortable coming to net.
When I played him in Brisbane, he was playing exactly like now. When he beat me in Paris also, he was always looking to come in, always looking to take the big first shot.
I don't see a difference him playing here. I just think he believes it more now and he's clearly evolved as a player in the last two to three years.

Q. Can you elaborate. Has he cracked into the upper echelon where he has been unable to before?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, you just have to put yourself in that position, sometimes once, sometimes ten times. Depends on who you play, what the situation is. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. I think that's what he's been doing better now.
This is his third semis, I'm not sure, with Australia, semis here before, now again.
Eventually you're going to break through, get the lucky break, or you just deserve it because you've worked hard and you believe in what you're doing. Things fall into place nicely.
That's what happened for him today. I wish him well for the finals.

Q. What was the nature of the injuries in the fifth? How significant were they?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know yet. I don't even want to know. I just felt not the same afterwards.
Regardless, he played a great breakpoint to get the break. From then on, if I would have been fresh as a daisy or injured, maybe wouldn't matter because he was serving 140 anyway.
I had missed my chances by then already enough. Maybe I could have stuck around better if I would have saved breakpoints. Very disappointing half an hour there for me, getting broken at 6‑5, getting broken again at 2‑1, having the slip. Who knows what happens there. But it was a very disappointing end to the match for me.

Q. Can you go back to the game at 6‑5, fourth set, up 40‑Love. It's unusual for you not to capitalize on these opportunities. What happened?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. Something went wrong. I don't know. I can't believe I served a double‑fault twice. Unexplainable for me really, yeah. Very sad about that and angry at myself because never should I allow him to get out of that set that easily.
I mean, he deserved it. He earned it at the end. But I helped him so much to get back into that game. I would like to see a breaker because I was the better player for the set.
Then, you know, I know he's great in breakers and all that, it was always going to be tough. But I would have liked to see him scramble more than that.

Q. You've played a lot of guys who have had more serve‑oriented games, Isner, people like that. They haven't been able to make slam finals. What do you think it is about Milos' game that has allowed him to have that style that's effective?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I answered it twice.
I gave a lot of input into his game, what I thought he improved on. That's it in a nutshell.
He fought really hard today. He's got a fighting chance on Sunday. I think he's playing great. I wish him the best really.

Q. Sorry if this comes so soon after you lost. There's always the inevitable questions about whether you'll be able to achieve your dream of the eighth title. Given the last two matches where you played 10 sets, has that told you anything about how achievable it still is for you, that you could be back next year?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, yes, while I'm in the tournament, it's a dream to win my eighth. It's not my only reason why I play tennis, just to be clear, otherwise I'll go in a freeze box now and come out before Wimbledon next year. That's not how we do it. We usually play 60 matches and we travel the world to try to achieve other things, as well.
I know Wimbledon is important, but it's not everything, everything. A lot of things that I'd like to achieve besides winning Wimbledon.
Yeah, I mean, for me, the match against Cilic, even I guess now, like you said, the 10 sets I played the last two matches really gives me the belief that I'm much ‑ how do you say ‑ match fit or tougher physically than I thought I was. I never thought I could do this before the tournament started.
Actually, it's very encouraging for the season, hopefully for the rest of my career. Not that I was worried it was going to end somehow, but I was insecure coming into Wimbledon. I must tell you. I mentioned that a lot beforehand.
For some maybe not that clear, for others very clear. It's been a great run for me here, I must say. I just hope with the slip I had in the fifth, I'm going to be fine tomorrow and beyond.
I mean, curious in a weird way to find out what's the deal now.

Q. Insecure in what way?
ROGER FEDERER: Just I hope I didn't hurt myself. Then, is it a three‑day thing, is it a 24‑hour thing or is it more? I don't know at this point. I hope it's not so bad. I walked it off. I was able to finish. But I don't slip a lot. I don't ever fall down. It was a different fall for me than I've ever had.
With the body that's been, you know, playing up this year, I just hope I'm going to be fine. I believe I am, but I'll know more tomorrow when I wake up.

Q. When you were leaving Centre Court, it looked like you were trying to take in your surroundings and remember the scene there. Do you think that could be the last time you'll be on Centre Court? Are you confident you'll be back next year?
ROGER FEDERER: That was not how I was looking at Centre Court. I was looking at Centre Court as in thank you for the crowd, thank you for the great feeling that you gave me throughout The Championships. I was fortunate enough to play all my matches on Centre Court. I don't take that for granted.
For me, it's a respect towards Milos to wait for him. Like in the olden days, you walk off together, same time thank the crowd, then leave the stage for Milos really at the end.
That's what I was going through, not thinking about this might be my last Wimbledon. And, yes, I hope to be back on Centre Court, to be very clear for you.

Q. 48 hours ago you described the euphoria of that epic match, to use the word you used, against Cilic. Which do you think you'll remember more, the way you performed in that match or the heartbreak of this one?
ROGER FEDERER: Probably the Cilic match, just because I can. Truth. But then again, ask me in 20 years' time and I'll tell you what I remember more.
This one clearly hurts because I felt I could have had it. So close. It was really so, so close. It clearly hurts.
At the same time I totally overachieved here. The match against Cilic was epic. It was fun to be part of that match.

Q. A lot of fans' dream final for Sunday would have been dashed by today. It may perhaps put Andy as the favorite.
ROGER FEDERER: He was going to be the favorite, as well, against me, just to let you know. But go ahead.

Q. What could you say to Andy now to help get him over the line on Sunday, if he does get there?
ROGER FEDERER: Exactly. It starts with this match right now, and not one step further. I think this is going to be a tough match. He's lost to him I think six times.
We come to watch sports because you don't know the outcome. Yes, he might have been the favorite against me, too. He's the favorite in this game. But I think Milos is playing great. He's definitely going to have his chance, especially the way he serves. He's a different return player than I am.
If that match were to happen, it's a different game. I never watched Raonic‑Murray, to be honest. I don't know why. I don't remember any of those matches. I don't know. I can't tell you myself.
Number one, it starts right here, right now.

Q. Sounds like you feel you lost this match rather than he won it.
ROGER FEDERER: No, no. It goes both ways. I feel like I lost it and he won it for sure. Like I said, he played on top of the line when he had to. He fought. He believed, like I did against Cilic. These things sometimes, you know what I mean, don't go your way.
If he blinks the wrong time, if I connect the right way on a 130 serve, it happens so fast that you connect well... Things change, we're doing a different press conference.
But credit to him for hanging in there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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