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March 30, 2017

Roger Federer

Miami, Florida

R. FEDERER/T. Berdych

6-2, 3-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had the whole crowd, tennis world, holding their breath. What were you feeling like first at 5-4 when you were serving it out, and then at 4-6, two match points?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, I felt really good after the first set. I think then I maybe let Tomas back into the match as well just a bit. Also, he started to play bigger and better.

Still I thought I played a pretty good third set to get the lead, and then I just played a shocker of a game to get broken. I didn't see -- somehow I lost a ball on the first point, then maybe double fault, and then at Love-30 things are just complicated. Plus it was against the wind, so it was a very disappointing game for me.

I tried to stay positive. I got a match point after that on the return where he went big on the second serve. Credit to him for just going for it. You know, it was nice to see that you can do that.

Then the breaker obviously I got incredibly lucky. Could have gone either way. Felt like maybe this one I should have lost and maybe I should have won the one against him here in the night session years ago.

But that's how it goes. I'm happy I fought hard and somehow got it done today. But the crowds were great. Absolutely.

Q. You have Zverev or Kyrgios next. What challenges do they present?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, big players. They like the big stage. Both have a big serve. Both real nice backhand, and the belief, so that makes them just very tough to play, you know in any given match.

The question with those guys coming up is can they bring to even single day? How is the mind and the body coping through all the sort of newer stress for them that they're experiencing?

Some weeks you feel great; some weeks you just don't feel so good. That's normal when you're younger still trying to figure everything out, what's their best surface, how do they need to play against certain player types.

I both like their game and I think they're going to be very, very good players moving forward. They already are, but I'm talking big picture.

Q. When you're facing two match points even at this point in your career with what you've done, is pressure still the right word? Do you still feel pressure in those moments? If you do, how has the way you handle it sort of evolved?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, at 6-4 down things are not fun anymore, because you know it's not on your racquet anymore. Plus, he's got the deuce side which is his better side to serve on at 6-4. Even if you get the mini break there you feel like the hardest part is over, even though the hardest part is about to come up with your serving.

Funny enough, at 6-4 I thought I still had a chance and I still believed if I got a good return in. Even on the first serve I felt like I could pick the right sides because I was doing a lot of good things out there today as well.

So funny enough, I think I had belief that I could turn it around even then; whereas in other matches sometimes when you just don't feel it, at 6-4 you're like mentally on the plane already. Even though you think, Well, you never know. But things never turn around if you give to the old never-know play.

So, yeah, and pressure, I guess you get better over time handling pressure. Then you have to be careful I think as you grow older not to play too conservative when it matters. You start playing percentages way too much when you get older because you've seen too many times what can happen.

Sometimes when you have that young mind you just go for it, and that's when actually great things do happen. You just got to play committed tennis.

So for me, it's always a balance between playing the percentages yet play free and sort of young in the mind.

Q. We just talked to Tomas, and he said he got affected with noises from the crowd in the middle of the match. Okay? Did you have that as well? In the end of the second set and from then on, did you feel the kind of tired or something?
ROGER FEDERER: If I was tired?

Q. If you felt tired.
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I mean, look, you got to pick yourself up after losing the second set and start with a good third set. I did that. I thought I had more energy in the third set than the second set. Second set was sort of flat a little bit. The third was better.

And the crowds, look, I thought it was actually very enjoyable. I see that sometimes, yeah, the occasional baby screams. That doesn't bother me obviously. Otherwise you have...

Q. You're used to that.
ROGER FEDERER: I'm used to that in a big way. It's when I'm sleeping, when I'm -- it's all the time.

But, no, I mean, it's part of the game. Honestly, I think it's nice that in tennis we have it super loud, super quiet, super loud. I think it makes tennis very special. If there is was more screaming and more shouting and more movement, that would be okay, too.

I think it's gotten to a point where everybody has to be super silent, and I almost disagree with that. I mean, it makes it for a better atmosphere, but we play through so many other conditions in practice that we should be able to handle it.

But I understand when the pressure is high, you know, it gets a bit frustrating sometimes when it happens in the wrong moment. For me, nothing happened today.

Q. The ITF announced plans today to potentially change the structure of the tour at the lower level, maybe reduce the number of jobs. Are you familiar with the plan? Second of all do you approve of the restructuring and the reduction of the job opportunities at the ATP level to increase chances for the younger players?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, so I think was this a subject maybe it Australia? Because they were waiting for the verdict to come out, so is this the final verdict or is this kind of a...

Q. It's the ITF's plan.
ROGER FEDERER: It's the proposal. So I've heard of it like a few months ago, and I was completely shocked when I heard that. I was like, What are they talking about?

Then I thought about it I thought, Yeah, we just got to fight corruption at every level. Whatever works makes since. We want a good, clean sport where players don't have to live in fear, where fans see real matches, where players that don't get like, you know, carried away and approached all that stuff, and if that means we have to cut the players to some extent, that's not a bad thing.

When I came up on tour there was never this many professional tennis players. I think maybe 1500, max 2000; I think now we have 4000 maybe. Yeah, so...

They're going to cut it back. Over half of them don't make a living. They're just doing a bit of everything, you know. So I see their point. I still don't get the big picture quite yet. I still need to get more information, but it definitely came as a huge surprise to me to hear what they had to say and propose back in the day.

Q. I know you have a semifinal coming up, but I think all of us as fans are kind of hoping for Federer/Nadal in the final. How cool would that be if you two got back in the final again?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it would be very cool. Look, they've been talking about it since the beginning of the tournament, which is nice. I'm happy we both made it this far. I definitely got super lucky today to be in the position that I'm in today, the semis.

Yeah, I mean, look, I would love it. It would be like a throwback to 2005 I think the finals we played; 2004 we played the first time ever against each other here in Miami. So that would be cool, to have that going. Plus Rafa going for his first Miami Open. I think that would be cool, too.

Yet I do believe the semis tomorrow is going to be quit difficult. Unfortunately I have to go back to that. Both are great players. Yeah, I think it's going to be a tough match for both of them tonight, but especially for me tomorrow against either one.

Q. Can you tell us exactly what you were thinking and feeling when you realized you won the match? What went through your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: I was like, Wow, double fault. Are you kidding me? You're too kind, Tomas. Why? Like how do I deserve this one? I don't feel like I deserved it that much, a double fault at that moment. I guess he was playing on the edge.

I guess I like to see that he went out and went for it and kept believing until the very end. Maybe overcooked the last one unfortunately for him. I was totally surprised. I was ready for either a big serve to the forehand again or just something to the backhand.

When it went out I was like, Are you serious? It's over. Okay. Oh, my God. Okay. That was really lucky. That was a strange moment. Totally unexpected.

Q. You mentioned that the young players, new generation, if they're able to keep up with the balance, the mind and the body. You passed through all those phases already. What are the different things that motivated you, and is it the same thing that motivated you now that did when you first started?
ROGER FEDERER: No, it's different today. I'm not playing against guys I knew from TV, you know. They're all long gone. I saw one guy today, Kuerten, who I used to watch on TV. I was happy to see him again. It's so nice to see these guys. I love that generation of players.

Actually, Severin, my coach, he played against those guys in the juniors here in Miami at the Orange Bowl. Him and Moya and all these guys. Henman. So that's what drove me a lot when I was younger, that I could play against guys from TV.

Next thing you know you're practicing with them, speaking to them, they're saying hi to you. In the dressing room you're seeing how they prepare, do their grip, talking to their coach. You're learning so much in the beginning. I think it's so exciting.

Then later for me now it's more -- I mean, it's fun playing against the younger guys and remembering how it used to be for me. Then also now it's having a family, coming back for like the fifteenth time to Miami. I know my way around. I have made a lot of friends over time here, which is something you don't have early on. You come here and you're like, What do we do in Miami? So you go to Bayside? Where do you go?

So that's how it used to be. Things a much clearer now. Yeah, I've always been open to try out new restaurants, see new places, and today we have a great group of friends that's around me which makes traveling super fun.

But it has definitely changed a lot overtime.

Q. Roger, if it is Nick in the semis, does that give you a little bit more excitement, a little bit more incentive after what happened in Indian Wells and you didn't get to play him over there?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I mean, look, whatever happened there, I'm happy he's healthy again, but it doesn't do anything for this match. I think it would be exciting regardless of what happened in Indian Wells.

I think it's nice to play him again, but it's on the same side very exciting to see someone like Zverev as well who's even younger to make a semis of a Masters 1000.

We haven't seen that so often as of late. I predict that Sascha is going to be a great player. Nick has already proven his point now.

I think they're both knocking on the door of the top 15, top 10, and ten and then moving forward. This is the matches they want to be in, and one of them will be there.

I think it's great for tennis. Yeah, I'm looking forward to playing against either one, but obviously Nick has had really, really nice run in Acapulco beating Novak there and then again in Indian Wells. It was very impressive, to say the least.

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