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MIAMI OPEN PRESENTED BY ITA├║


March 31, 2017


Roger Federer


Miami, Florida

R. FEDERER/N. Kyrgios

7-6, 6-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Exciting victory. Congratulations.
ROGER FEDERER: Thank you.

Q. Another final here with Rafa, but we'll get to that later. First, talk about Nick a little bit. How good he could be for the sport? Do you almost feel bad for him when the crowd is so against him and picking on him for minor things that I bet you didn't really care about some of things he did?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, I think people are really getting to know him now. They see him play more often. It's his second, third year on tour now, so he's coming back for the second, third year now to tournaments, which is good. You really see how he's evolving as a player and person.

I think it's exciting following youngster because they change the look a lot or try out things, play differently; they get to know their game much better.

He's clearly got a big time game; he has one of the best serves in the game. He's got great focus now on his serve, which I like to see. You know, it's just going to take time for him to really be able to focus point for point and improve that.

But you're right, the crowds jump on it pretty quickly. But it makes for a good atmosphere I guess at the end of the day, so it's not all that bad. Of course I think he's good for the game at the end of game.

Q. Early in the first set he did your patented saver move a of couple times and a couple other things along the way that might have seemed maybe not disrespectful, but a little bit like he's going to show you he's not intimidated. Does that bother you? Do you think about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was expecting him to do it today. I was expecting him to do trick shots and all that stuff. So I would've been surprised if he didn't do it or didn't try to do those kind of things.

For me it was really important to do the same: try actually to also play the game that way and make him feel that, well, that's how I actually also play the game.

I think I was able to do that on a couple of occasions, too, but at the end of the day stay concentrated, be focused point for point, make him work hard, and hopefully he runs out of gas towards the end, which never really happened.

I was very happy with my level of play and it was an exciting match with some great shot making. Yeah, so I was expecting all those things. Also the saver. Not on the first serve particularly, but on the second serve, which he didn't do.

Q. How much of a toll have the two back-to-back matches taken on your body? Thinking about taking another six months off?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't jinx stuff. No, look, I actually felt really good this morning.

I don't know if it's a surprise or not, but I was expecting to be maybe more stiff or hurt or something, that I would feel something really. I actually woke up and felt great, so that was good. Throughout the match I didn't have any problems, and now actually feel pretty good, so having a day off now is clearly nice to have.

I could play tomorrow regardless, but it's definitely good. Maybe not a bad thing that it's not best-of-five sets anymore in the finals. Even though, you know, knowing that I won't play for a while, it's easy now to just compress all the energy you have and give it one last push.

I'll try hard on Sunday.

Q. Throughout your career you've always surprised people with amazing shots that are not even in the book of tennis, but especially this tournament. Is this something because you're enjoying more your game? Does that come with age? Is it like 2017 Roger edition?
ROGER FEDERER: I think I always pulled off some nice shots along the way. The thing is you have to remain in the tournament to pull them off. In practice nobody really cares.

It's good to do it on center courts when you got all the camera angles and then it looks even more incredible. It's the truth, you know.

When you're winning you're always right and everything is even more golden and beautiful. No, look, I'm definitely trying to play creative tennis; trying to go for my shots, I do believe then good things do actually happen.

So, yeah, I did play some good shots, especially also in Indian Wells and also in Australia. I'm able to take the backhand earlier, which allows me also to hit more backhand winners off the baseline, which I enjoy a lot.

Q. I know all the victories are gratifying, but is it especially gratifying to be able to win a match like that where at your age you had to really -- this guy was obviously fearless coming at you. You had to sort of be young again and brash and creative. Does that...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it did feel very good, because you don't very often play three breakers in a match. Maybe last time I did it was against him. I don't know. Probably. Then the time before that I did it was probably against my coach here in the finals. So it's nice to win those, you know. And winning breakers is always such a thrill.

So I try to really fight for it like I did against Berdych. I know I can't always show my fighting skills because everything else sort of takes over. It's great winning this way, especially of course I remember the loss against him few years ago, which I think ended up being 14-12 in the breaker in the third.

So, yeah, it was rough. It was the birthday of my boys. I wasn't with them and had that match. Anyway, it was just a bad day. It was nice to get this one tonight.

Q. Considering where you were sort of at last year, away from the Grand Slams, how big an achievement do you think it would be for you to sort of complete the double, Indian Wells, Miami, and especially playing Rafa for it?
ROGER FEDERER: How special it would be?

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I have not thought about, to be quite honest. When I came to Miami I just thought, Ahhh, this is probably again -- like I did in Indian Wells and in Australia. I just thought eventually it's just going to catch up with me. Miami is probably not going to work that well because it's slower. I already won Indian Wells.

So let's be realistic here. Semis would be an unbelievable run. Here we are in the finals and I get a chance to win the tournament. Still I feel like there is a mountain to climb in Rafa. He's not won it yet before. He's definitely feeling fresher than I feel right now. That's not a problem. I'll be ready on Sunday.

Should be really exciting because we had this epic match in 2005. The finals was unbelievable. It was a turning point in my career, to be quite honest. For me to be able to focus for, I don't know how long we played, maybe four hours, smashing forehand after forehand down the line I remember, I felt like I had to learn how to fight in matches, and there I showed it to myself and my team that I could do it.

It was against somebody who ended up being my biggest rival. It's definitely going to be very special playing Rafa here again. Of course I'm thrilled for him as well that he came back as well as he did after the comeback, the struggles that he had last year. Feels like old times. We're playing each other every week now. We can't get enough of each other.

Yeah, hopefully it's not our last match.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the relationship with your coach, Ivan Ljubicic, what kind of coach he is and what you think he brought into your game.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, last year was hard, you know. He came in in a time when I actually felt pretty good at the beginning of the year with Australia, and then things got complicated. What does a coach do? Supports you through the tough times. He's a friend of mine, so I think he helped me with decision making and just staying calm, like everybody else on the team.

There was no panic. We always got together regularly and talked about what's the next plan. He was incredibly supportive and he always reminded, me that the good times are going to come around. It's not going to be easy. It's just what it is right now; make the most of it.

Once I got back in practice it was really just a lot of fun. He's a good guy. He definitely has ideas. I told him, Look, whatever he has to tell me, as big the criticism is, that's why he's on the team like everybody else. They can criticize me left, right, and center. I don't care. That's why I pay them and have them around me.

He's great for that, and he's also got a winner mentality, which I like. He wants me he to win every single point, every single match. He definitely is great for the team. It's going very well, so very happy.

Q. You left the court after the second set. You had some alone time.
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I was just changing my whole outfit because I was drenched. Wasn't really for myself.

Q. Was what going through your mind at that point? You were in the middle of a real dogfight.
ROGER FEDERER: That was after the first set.

Q. Right. Did I say second?
ROGER FEDERER: That was after the first set. For me, just really a quick change. I did not think much of it. Just get out there quickly, not it interrupt the match.

After the second set maybe more interesting for you. I was just sitting there and actually feeling good about the match still, even though I had just wasted -- squandered maybe match points. I still felt I was really calm in the tiebreaker.

I felt like, Okay, I went for the backhand on the return on the second serve. Maybe I should have chipped it. I don't know. Okay, it's fine. I'll move on with it.

But the first set I was much more nervous about it for some reason. I think that calmness that I actually had after winning the first set carried all the way through until the very end. I think I that's why I stayed calm and trusted in my shots. I miss fired a couple but stayed calm.

When I was sitting there I was, Okay, no problem. We'll take it from scratch here. Yeah, it was a good feeling to actually feel that way. You can feel really frustrated at times and I didn't let that happen, which is good.

Because I'm here. We got time, right?

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