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July 6, 2016

Roger Federer

London, England

6‑7, 4‑6, 6‑3, 7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I don't like to swear in press conferences, so could you tell us how the blazes you did that?
ROGER FEDERER: It's a big battle. Clearly, I mean, it's great winning matches like these, coming back from two sets to love. It's rare. When it happens, you really enjoy them. Definitely felt like I got lucky to some extent today. Always when you're saving match points, I don't know, when you're down two sets to love, 3‑All, Love‑40, it's a moment when it's not in your control anymore.
But I fought, I tried, I believed. At the end I got it done. So it was great on so many levels.

Q. The best of your career, the best comeback?
ROGER FEDERER: I've had some good ones. This one is definitely huge because it's Centre Court at Wimbledon. Still gives me the chance to win the tournament. This is a big one. Probably not the biggest, but a big one.

Q. You're aged 34. After this season with some injuries, how much does it mean for you to come back?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, maybe more so because, like you said, the uniqueness of the season that I've had. To win a match like this, to test the body, to be out there again, you know, fighting, being in a physical battle and winning it is an unbelievable feeling.
Yeah, I mean, it was an emotional win, always when you come back from two sets to love, but because of the season that I've had, it's wonderful.
I was just very happy that I actually felt as strong as I did, you know, mentally and physically when I was down two sets to love. Whatever, those three breakpoints, after I fought them off, I did believe. Next thing you know, I was serving for the match in the fifth.
Everything kind of went very quickly. Sometimes you feel when you're down two sets to love, the mountain to climb is huge, it's monstrous. Somehow everything went very quickly and I had great focus. I was very happy.

Q. You saved seven breakpoints out of eight. Three of them were match points. Do you remember some of those situations where you thought you were more in trouble?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I remember just being in trouble the whole time. At one point, you're used to it. It's not like, Oh, my God, all of a sudden there's a match point, all of a sudden there's a breakpoint to save. It just was continuous, I don't know, for an hour or two, whatever that was. After I lost the second set, anything you touch and do is crucial. You cannot afford anything anymore.
You always know at that point, as well, that he's going to have his chances. It's just not possible that he's not going to get to 30 on your serve. He's probably going to have some breakpoints. That breakpoint is like match points, too. There were many more match points in my mind than just three of them today.

Q. Two days ago you spoke about how, in 2014 against Cilic in the US Open, there was some sort of feeling at some points that Cilic seemed invincible. What was going through your mind when you got down two sets today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I felt similar. Like I explained in the press conference a couple of days ago, it was that serve and big shot, serve and big shot, or ace, service winner, ace, every single service game. I was feeling like I was being rained on aces. Not very often I get that feeling. I think he had almost 15 to 20 aces in the first two sets, which is rare for me to get if it's not Isner or Karlovic.
Changed my stance a little bit, adjusted a little bit. The next thing you know, I think he served only five to ten aces in the last three sets. I was able to read it better, feel it better as well. I go a lot with feel.
I thought he was playing great. He was serving like he was at the Open. Also from the baseline he was playing so well for basically three sets. I wasn't getting much chances. It felt similar to New York there for a second.

Q. What did you feel changed after 3‑All third set?
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing really. It just kept being rough. Like I explained, maybe I got of maybe not even a read on the serve, I just got more into the rally, started to free up a little bit. I felt like, okay, this was the first life. I'm not going to get many more after this. At least play some free points, try to go for it a little bit, get some balls back, you never know. I was just not being able to do it for such a long time because of Marin.
Yeah, nothing really changed after that, to be honest. I had to keep fighting after that point.

Q. After a five‑set match, will it be difficult to get ready for Raonic? Do you do anything like sleeping in an igloo like the players are doing now to recover fully?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't do any of that stuff. I sleep well tonight, I eat healthy, take a stretch, a massage, that's it. I don't do any of the new stuff. Very normal. Like old school (smiling).

Q. It's your longest match since the beginning of the year. Have you found the stamina element of your game has been one of the hardest things to regain when you haven't been on court as much this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Last year I didn't play a five‑setter all season. This is the first five‑setter I've had in a long, long time.
What I like about being in a fifth set is you actually get really tested to see where is your fitness, where is your mind at. Can your shoulder, your back, your legs, can they sustain 3 hours 17 of just hitting big serves, running, being explosive. Can it handle it.
That's why I was very intrigued, pushing myself a lot in the fifth to get over the finish line, because I was feeling as good at the end as I was in the beginning, other than I just wasn't getting a read on his game really in the beginning.
That gives me I think a lot of confidence moving forward from here. Yeah, so I feel like I've clearly got a chance in the semis, even after a match like this.

Q. Two of the match points you faced were on second serves. You didn't hit safe ones. You were pretty aggressive. How do you get yourself prepared to do that? One miss and it's over.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, but I didn't double‑fault in five sets. I believe in my second serve. So even if I go bigger, it's still not that much of a risk for me, I feel. That served me well throughout my career.
I think Pete once said, You're only as good as your second serve. I'm happy that my second serve has always been there for me. Yes, I've served double‑faults, served poorly sometimes as well. I feel when it's most important, it's never going to let me down. Today as well.
That's why I believed, Yeah, bigger second serve, yeah, I can do it. You just hope that he's not there just ready to clock one because then who cares about your big second serve, it's still not a first serve.

Q. Can you step back and compare today with some of the other real marquee matches you've had.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought of the Tommy Haas match after I saved those breakpoints, went up 4‑3, I think. I thought of the Tommy match from the French when I was saving breakpoints there, as well. I think that was four, three breakpoints, something similar.
So, yeah, I did believe in that moment, thought about it at that moment for that moment, but also for the tournament. Not only do I want to win this match, but I want to go further.
It's not a fake belief, it's a real belief that you need to have in those moments. Was there, which is great news for me.

Q. You were serving well all the way through. Last two sets I think you hit 15 of your 27 aces. Did it feel like it was improving all the time?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it just switched from what was going on in the first couple of sets, that he was hitting the aces, he got the momentum going, hitting the wide ones when he had to, mixed it up with the big one up the middle, same on the ad side. Next thing you know, he's racing through the games. Really starts to pile up the aces.
Same thing I was able to do, like you said, starting the third, fourth. Even though I thought I was holding my serves comfortably, too, I had more chances. Maybe I had a couple breakpoints in the first set that he didn't.
So I just didn't get the upper hand from the baseline. He took his advantage that he had in the second set and broke. That's grass court tennis. That's where you just have to try to stay calm. I kind of did, but not always.

Q. You have 307 wins. How do you feel about your game in the Grand Slams? Is it where you want it to be right now?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I prefer to be here than booking a jet. I'll tell you that. For me, I'm very pleased. First week was great. Played a good match against Steve Johnson. Today was epic. Probably going to look back at this as being a great, great match that I played in my career, on Centre Court here at Wimbledon. I don't remember coming back from two sets to love here. This is huge for me, my season, my career. I'm very, very happy.
I think I'm playing good tennis, too. The record, I'm not even quite sure what we're talking about, but I'm sure it's great, I don't know (laughter).

Q. Given the injuries you had around about the time of Paris, are you surprised by how you're playing here?
ROGER FEDERER: I am. I am. I was very worried coming here. I think it was huge for me to play the seven matches I did in Halle and Stuttgart. They served me very well. They gave me so much information to see what I could do, what I couldn't do, how I could play, how I couldn't play.
Then knowing that I had a week in between, if I get through the first week here at Wimbledon, who knows. I put myself in that position perfectly without dropping sets, which was a big surprise to me.
Next thing you know, it's like you're in the semis. You're really deep into the tournament. Yes, I did surprise myself, in quite a big way actually.

Q. You had quite the celebrity fan club. David Beckham and Bradley Cooper. Did they have any words for you after the match or before? How much do you like having the support of stars like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Didn't see them before the match, didn't see them after the match. Didn't speak to them before the match, didn't speak to them after the match. But it was nice to see them there.
Yeah, I mean, I've met them both. They're really nice guys. It's cool when guys like this come out, or Jack Nicklaus is here. I love that. Sporting figures, or celebrities, it's nice. It elevates the tournament as well.
Back in the day, I was nervous playing in front of my family, then in front of famous people, then in front of famous sports people, famous tennis players.
At the end of the day today what makes me nervous is really legends of our sport. That's the only thing that still gets me nervous, when I see guys sitting watching my match. When I see them watching, I feel like, Better play well. You don't want to disappoint legends of our sport.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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