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March 28, 2017

Roger Federer

Miami, Florida

R. FEDERER/R. Bautista Agut

7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think that's probably your longest match since Dubai. You've been going so quickly through them. After the quick turnaround, how did the body feel?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm happy I'm getting a day off, but, you know, I could play tomorrow. You always take those days off. They're worth gold at the end of the day.

Going into this match you know it as well that that's going to be the schedule. The weather was looking good, so not going to be like a rain delay and you might have to finish tomorrow.

Look, I felt good overall. It was a different kind of match. It wasn't the big-serving match where you're only going to see so many looks, you know, so when you miss chances you always feel a bit frustrated sometimes. That's where you got to keep a positive mindset and make the right plays.

I thought Roberto did a good job of making shots, staying offensive when he could, fending off a lot of good shots that I hit. Then it was tough. The sun was coming from the side in the beginning so it's hard to chase the lines.

At the end I'm very happy and pleased that I got it done in straight sets.

Q. Do you feel it's possible for a man of 35 years old to be physically stronger, faster, better than a 24 year old? Is it within the realm of possibility?
ROGER FEDERER: I think so, yes. But then, you can't maybe think that you could play 25 events like a 24. I think the body just needs a bit more recovery overall.

Just a tad. You know, I think coming out of a brutal match and then feeling fit like a fiddle in the morning, it's like when you go clubbing. Same thing. You know, you don't feel the same when you're older. (Laughter.)

Q. We'll leave that one alone.
ROGER FEDERER: It's a good example because everybody knows that feeling. Not that I've ever -- you know?

Q. Knowing yourself better than any of us know you, is it possible you're playing the best tennis of your life at this point?
ROGER FEDERER: I think I play different to when I was 24; I think my technique has changed from when I was 19.

Is it the best I've ever played? For me it's hard to say yes to that question, because the years where, I mean, I lost four matches or three matches, four matches, five matches the following year, in those two years I won like 150 matches and lost like 8 or 9. It's hard to feel better than in that time.

But I feel like maybe on the offensive side, overall, I think I'm doing definitely a few things better than I ever have. That's what I've always tried to explain to people, that I do feel that I have improved. The game has evolved and I had to adjust and change, but overall I do believe I'm probably a better player than I was ten years ago.

It doesn't always translate into results per se, because other guys came up and di extremely well, like Novak, Rafa, Murray, and all those guys.

Q. There has been a lot of talk about changing surface from clay to hard court in South America, Rio and Buenos Aires. Rio is trying to become a Masters down the road in the Olympic Center. How do you feel about that? What do you think about this change of surfaces there?
ROGER FEDERER: I haven't heard so that's a new thing for me. I know a lot of tournaments have aspirations to grow bigger. Not so simple. Rules are strict on the tour. You can't just buy your way up. It's not that simple. You've got to be patient. At the right time, you got to get lucky as well a little bit.

So surface change is always tricky, you know. We saw it with Stuttgart. They took a chance and I think it pays off. Maybe others have made a surface change and it didn't work out so well.

I think it's important to have an open mindset moving forward. Sure, I think now that the brave new world is coming to an end, what is it, next year, we'll see what comes after 2018 and the next ten years.

So there is a lot of discussions right now going on on the political side of ATP, so be interesting to see actually what those changes are going to be exact. To be honest, not quite sure what it is right now.

Q. What is the area of your game that you think didn't perform as you expected today?
ROGER FEDERER: I just think it was tough to find the perfect rhythm, you know. Some day sessions it's tough. I said it. The sun was coming in from the side. I think Roberto was doing a nice job keeping me off balance to some extent. Maybe I couldn't play quite as inspired as I did in previous matches.

So, you know, a little combination of that makes it tough and not so easy just to go big on every shot. Sometimes you have to slow it down a bit. Every time I did that, he was right there to take it. Then it matched up not always perfect for me.

It got even dangerous at the end of the first, end of the second, you know, there was tough moments. When it counted I was there. I played two solid tiebreakers, and I think at the end I played the right way when I was supposed to.

So I did also a few good things.

Q. Did Roberto earn more respect from you today, and did you have fun playing with him today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, why not? I did have a little bit of fun. Not as much as I was hoping to. I was hoping to play a few more dropshots or few more, you know, chip and charges. I couldn't quite do that like I was hoping to, but we had a few good points, which I enjoyed.

Yes, he has a lot of respect from me regardless of the performance today. I see him week in, week out, day in, day out, point in, point out being a super professional. I'm always the first to respect those guys the most, more than just some other guys just doing stuff on the tour. These guys grind it out, and I love those guys.

Q. You've won the Australian, Indian Wells, but now are there moments -- say, out there today. The crowd is going nuts after a point or two that you've played. Do you sometimes catch yourself kind of pinching yourself in a way thinking back to five, six months ago maybe when you weren't quite sure whether you were going to be out here and now just soaking it up?
ROGER FEDERER: Not so much during a point or during a match per se. Maybe more like during the on-court interview or walking out to the match. That's when you feel lucky to be back here again.

Then just the other day at dinner maybe when you're speaking to your family or friends or somebody brings up the subject of, Last year here remember, and you're like, It's amazing what 12 months can do. I was here, sick, knee wasn't great. 12 months later, look what happed: I was out for six months. Won the Australian Open. Everything is great right now, but it wasn't always like that.

Sometimes you got to go down to come back up again. I feel like I'll speak more about it when I'm away from tennis, per se. That's when I realize that I feel fortunate that I do get a second chance.

Q. Could you talk about your next match? What are you expecting? Berdych.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I wish it's going to be like the Australian Open, but I know it won't be like that. Just not reality that you can come in and just beat top 10 guys basically at will.

I think it's going to be a tough match. He's beaten me at the, I don't know, Olympics, US Open, Wimbledon, in big moments, so I know he can do it.

Also beat me in Cincinnati once upon a time on the American hard courts. And here, too, saving match points. Looking forward to it.

He's also pushing again to get his ranking back up again after dropping a bit, so it's a big match for him. For me obviously right after Indian Wells I'm trying to keep rolling here.

Yeah, looking forward to it.

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