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January 18, 2017

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


7-5, 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel to win in three sets?
ROGER FEDERER: Great (smiling). I do. That's always the best-case scenario, if you can win your match in straight sets. I was able to do that today.

You know, it was a difficult first set. Tricky third set, of course. I had to save a couple of set points. I know it could have gone different. I'm happy there.

I think I was a bit more consistent than in the first match against Melzer, where I ended up losing that second set after leading. I think I had a little bit better concentration.

Yeah, like I said, I didn't know much about Noah Rubin going in except the infos I got from my coaches. I was prepared. I was ready to battle. I was able to get the win, so I'm very happy.

Q. Last night Verdasco said the court was acting a bit unusual, the ball was bouncing slowly in some places, and in other places it was sliding like it was on '80s carpet. Did you notice anything unusual about the surface?
ROGER FEDERER: I just think it plays particularly fast. I don't know how Doha was. I'm sure that might play an effect, too.

I did also see some shots where you're like, Okay, I have time on this ball, and it kind of skids on you. I think that's just by virtue of having fast conditions. You just never have an easy ball, it seems like.

Yeah, I see what he's saying. I don't think it's a court issue. I think it's more of understanding how much spin is on the ball. You can get surprised very, very quickly here. That's why it's a tough court to play on. It's hard to keep it in play.

Q. Did you expect to play better, or are you satisfied with the way you played?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, it's always nicer to play better. I was, I guess, expecting myself to create more opportunities on his serve. I was serving, again, quite well. A lot of first serve points won. I didn't feel like he had a read on my serve.

So from that standpoint, that's most important going into these kind of matches on a fast court, that I take care of my own serve. I think I did that pretty well today.

On the return, I was impressed by his serve speed on the first and second serve. I mean, he's a smaller guy, but he was able to move the ball around nicely, with good consistency. Honestly, it was a nice second serve. I think it made it hard for me to get on the offensive early in the rally.

Then from the baseline, he was taking big cuts at the ball. Yeah, I guess there is where I would have expected myself to play maybe that little bit better out of defense and into offense.

There was a breeze on the court. I thought Rubin also played well. Made it difficult.

Q. How far do you think his style of game can take him? He's the opposite end of the spectrum from Reilly Opelka, speaking of young Americans. What is his style of game?
ROGER FEDERER: I would put him in the category of aggressive baseliner, Nishikori, that kind of category. A guy that will take the ball early when he can, try to finish shots, like Schwartzman.

You think he's a smaller guy, so he'll just keep the ball in play. Even Ferrer doesn't do that. The moment you give them a chance to come in, they will do that. You don't talk about it that much, but these guys play great, aggressive from the baseline, and they pounce fast because they have fast legs.

I was very impressed by Noah. I thought he played really well. I feel like he's going to have a great, consistent career. The question now is how far can he go. It's so hard to tell with these youngsters because they just need time to mature and to get used to the tour and all that.

I think there's lots possible for him, I really do.

Q. There was a long match for Karlovic last night, 22-20. Isner went deep in a fifth set. Zverev. You've been around a long time and played different formats. What do you think the ideal format for these matches at these big tournaments is, whether it's a tiebreaker in the fifth, best-of-three with no tiebreak at the Olympics. What do you think is the best balance of that?
ROGER FEDERER: I like the long set format, you know. I don't know what it is about it. I just find it intriguing. People are watching it now in the locker room. Everybody's watching it. They like to see what's happening.

When they showed the match finally yesterday a little bit on TV, I was excited to see. It feels like a shootout. There's no rallies. I like to see what happens there.

The problem with these kind of matches is, like, it destroys your tournament after that usually because you just put so much mental effort into it, either just holding serve in that fifth set 10 times, 20 times, 30 times, 40 times, whatever it is. That just kind of gets to you. That makes you super tired. You're just drained by it.

I don't know if you can find a compromise. Maybe 6-All is a bit early to have a breaker. Maybe you can do 12-All. I'm fine with the way it is. If they change it, they change it.

I see the problems for down the road in the tournament, how they must feel.

Q. What is the mindset before going into the third round against Berdych?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I know I've got to lift my game a little bit. But then again, I haven't seen Tomas play a lot, to be honest. I didn't see anything, basically. Let's put it that way. He was playing at the same time now.

I thought he was going to have a tougher time against Ryan, to be honest, because Ryan has been playing well recently again. Super early in the draw. The court plays fast, like I said. He's caused difficulties for me in the past on faster courts: Cincinnati, New York, Wimbledon, Olympics in Athens. I know what he's got. I don't need to tell you where he's beaten me.

Then again, I've played him here, played him on many occasions, as well, when it went my way. I just got to play on my terms and really be focused on my own service games to make sure I don't have any lapses there.

Q. You've won your last five against Tomas, including last year. Does that give you a bit of extra confidence?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. If you look at it that way, that's a good thing. I did feel like I actually played him quite well in recent times. Thanks for reminding me. Appreciate it (smiling). It's good to come into the press like that.

Q. You just mentioned you would not like to see a change in the scoring format in tennis.
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't say that. I was kind of open about it.

Q. If there were one thing in tennis that you would like to see change, what would that be, one tradition or one rule?
ROGER FEDERER: We really don't have enough time to discuss it right now. You know that. I'm not going to point out one thing.

I think the calendar overall from January to November, do we have the best calendar possible? I'm not sure about that. You know how difficult and complex it is to change tournaments around. Everybody's sort of unhappy, but everybody's really happy. You take it away, they're not going to be happy. You give something, somebody else won't be happy.

It is what it is at the moment. I think there are probably going to be changes coming in '19. The New Brave World [sic] is over. I think we're going to have interesting years ahead where there's going to be changes on the ATP Tour.

Q. Are you happy with where you're at physically in the tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: I am happy, yeah. If I could have signed this to be in the third round, feeling this way, weeks or days or a month ago, I would have taken it.

I'm still hoping to feel better and better and better as we go along. But it's really important for me to get through those first early rounds, get a sense of how is the game, how is the ball, how is the body, how is everything.

I'm getting tons of information out of these last few days now, which is big hopefully for the third round.

Q. There was one moment where you showed some frustrations out there. What are you actually frustrated by at that point?
ROGER FEDERER: I was just not, you know, doing what I was trying to do. I was hoping to play better at times. I think you can always do better. It's one of those sports like golf, you can always leave frustrated. Like tennis, you can always feel, Aah, I could have always played a little bit better.

At the end of the day you have to be happy with what you did, as well. Have to be happy with the little things. Sometimes it's not going to be pretty. Sometimes it's just going to be a fight. Today that's what I thought it was for me.

Yeah, I don't remember what it was. But I guess I was hoping to play better offensive tennis, and I struggled with that a little bit at times.

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