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August 10, 2017
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
R. FEDERER/D. Ferrer
4-6, 6-4, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. You mentioned the other day it's been a great start to the year, with two majors. How far into the future do you look? 2020, is that on with the Olympics?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not far away. It's like tomorrow. Yeah, that's why I'm here, because it's on hard courts and I'm preparing for 2020 Olympics (smiling).
No, I'm not thinking that far ahead. I'm just really probably I think the scheduled up until Wimbledon next year for the moment just because now I'll be on the hard courts throughout the year basically with, you know, possibly some clay next year.
Not everything's finalized, especially for the clay next year. I still want to see how I finish the season. Staying healthy is most important. And 2020 is way too far ahead for me to think that far. Especially after the surgery I had last year, and the problems I had in the second part of the season, I just have to, you know, take it a bit slower these days. But that's all good.
Q. You haven't lost many sets this year. How did it feel to be in a battle today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, it's only but normal, to be honest, to lose sets and lose matches. You can't win every set, every match you play out there. I like to expose myself to those kind of matches.
But look, I show up, and I actually feel really happy because I know I can play a lot better. David can play a lot better, too.
We battled, both tried to find a way to win. You know, he had a good start, I had a better finish. That was important, you know.
So for me, take it how it is and hope that this match gives me some better rhythm and confidence, you know, against Bautista Agut, who plays actually very similar to David today.
Q. How different is it not having your family with you here this week? I heard a story today about how you had to discipline your kids one time five minutes before you went onto court, they were close by, how you were able to win that match. How different is it having to prepare without your kids and family around?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it comes very natural to me to bounce in and out of my tennis life and personal life. Because I played so many matches throughout my career, if I have to make a phone call one minute before I walk on, I can handle it. So it's fine regardless.
I think the tennis player has to have a flexible mind because times are never the same. It always keeps changing, everything.
But of course, I miss 'em, number one. That's what I feel the most. Secondly, I know I'll see them very soon, so I'm fine there. It's not, like, the first week of my life where I'm by myself. I'm used to it, as well.
But, you know, I still somehow am very busy. Trying to sleep as much as I can, preparing. Now that I'm playing every day, you know, there's not that much time. Came here this morning at 11:00 and I'm leaving late. Then I got treatment, press, everything. So it's full days, you know.
I'll try to relax tonight. But, yeah, I thought it was going to be more quiet this week, but it wasn't, so...
Q. He's a very good player. Some people might think you feel a little bit sorry for him, have a little sympathy for him when you play him. Did you ever imagine a career where you lost a match because you felt sorry for a guy you were beating?
ROGER FEDERER: In the juniors, yeah. Probably my two times when I beat Chiudinelli, because we grew up together in Basel, we played soccer against each other. We were best friends way back when. We played twice on the tour, once in Qatar, once in Basel in our home tournament, in the semis. Both times I won, I was like, Ah, shit. I wished he won as well because it would have done much more for his career than for me.
Yeah, in the juniors, I just felt sometimes when I used to play guys, you know, somewhere in the world where I felt like technically maybe they were struggling. I just felt like, Oh, he's trying so hard, he's such a fighter. I don't know, I feel like probably he works harder than I do, so he probably deserves it more. Then he beat me and I'm like, I feel so bad. I'm such an idiot for falling into that trap.
Ever since I came on tour, I just feel like you go out there, try your best. Afterwards, if everything's relaxed, again after the match you can go for coffee or whatever you want to do. In the moment itself, I don't think you want to feel sorry for the guy.
I'm not 100% comfortable with the head-to-head I have against David because I just have way, way too much respect for him.
Q. I asked you yesterday what parts of your game specifically you might be working on this week. You told me basically you're just trying to transition to the hard court season, figure out the wind and the courts. Today it looked like every shot was not quite what you wanted it to be.
ROGER FEDERER: 'Every shot' is rough, but it's okay (smiling).
Q. What do you work on now and how do you go forward? Also, do you agree with my assessment?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't quite agree that every shot was bad or every shot was average or dodgey or whatever. I actually thought there were some good shots out there. I liked the match point. Digging out the great volley and finishing it that way was great.
But, you know, because I realized I was struggling off the baseline, I was trying to work my way forward. I was struggling finding my groove on the serve, just getting the motion right, finding the accuracy on the serve. It took me a while to get that right as well.
It was strange. Conditions are actually playing fast. That should help my serve. There was no wind. So it was actually perfect conditions to actually play a good and clean match. That's not the way it is.
David had his role. He plays extremely early and plays deep and hard. A lot of the times you have to play up. It's going to be similar tomorrow against Bautista.
As it is already 7:00 and I'm tired, I need treatment, I won't go out to the practice courts and work on my game. All I have tomorrow is 20 minutes in the warmup to just get the body woken up, then I go back into the match. So I have zero time to work on anything.
But that's okay because that's how we do it. I'll speak about the match with Ivan, about tomorrow. In the match itself, I'm sure I'm going to feel different because every day you feel different. Because the match was the way it was, I feel like I'm better prepared for tomorrow, you know. I know the conditions better now here in Montreal. I hope that's going to be helpful tomorrow, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.
Q. How could you describe your match today? How did you analyze your performance?
ROGER FEDERER: For me it was more of a struggle. As you know, you don't always feel the same, and each opponent is a different problem.
He started very well, especially on the return on my second serve. I was not able to serve my first serve where I wanted to, and he hurt me on the second serve.
From the baseline, I didn't have enough rhythm. The court is fast here. Of course, because of the surface, that it's fast, you can't just decide to put the ball in because physically David is very strong. You can't do that. You have to go into the battle. You have to accept you're going to make mistakes. But you have to keep moving forward.
I tried with my intensity and focus to change the match, and this is what I was able to do. I was able also to change the angles, and that helped me win the match.
Q. How were you able to find your rhythm in the match?
ROGER FEDERER: I started playing better at the end of the first set. He was up 5-2. I fought back to 5-4. I had a game point for 5-All. That was good for me. I was able to break him in the beginning of the second set. That was a good period in the match for me.
But later I was frustrated because I had the break, and he was able to fight back. That became dangerous for me. So I was happy that he was not able to keep up his level.
He played a poor game, and this gave me the break, which cost him the match. So I think in the end, he helped me a little bit.
Q. I don't know if you know the statistics, but it was your 17th victory in a row against Ferrer. How do you explain such a winning streak?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe in the beginning he was not as good as he is now. Also maybe I won five times because I'm better than he was. I was No. 1 in the world. I played him on hard courts also. I didn't play him often on clay. Maybe once in Hamburg. I don't know if I played him elsewhere on clay.
Also, there were many tight matches, so maybe it became a mental thing for him. He was afraid he would never be able to win a match against me.
The last match we played were three tight sets in Toronto, then three sets Cincinnati, and again today. So these statistics are a bit ridiculous, because I have a lot of respect for David. As a person, he's very nice. He's a great fighter on the court. So this type of head-to-head is a bit strange.
I'm sure he will have another chance next time.
Q. You were talking about the surface, that it's fast. Can that explain some surprises we had in the beginning of the tournament? Some players who started playing later in the week have an advantage there.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know how the surface was before because I don't come to play here every year. But for European players, it is the beginning of the hard court season after Wimbledon. You have to play highly ranked players very early in the tournament. You are not in a good rhythm yet. You only find your rhythm in Cincinnati or even at the US Open.
It's more because it's early in the season than because it's a fast surface.
Q. To follow up on the previous question, in your career, do you believe you were able to beat so badly other players than Ferrer? Are there any other players you beat so badly?
ROGER FEDERER: The accent is difficult for me to understand. I think I understood only 30% of it. Could you say it again, please?
Q. Have you already beaten a player as badly as you did David Ferrer?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, no, not with so bad statistics. But I already beat other players 17 times. Sometimes I played them maybe 30 or 40 times. They ended up beating me at a certain stages, like Roddick, Gonzalez, Soderling. Sometimes I beat them 10 times in a row. At the end they always ended up beating me.
That's why I have a lot of respect for this match today. I know it can't continue that way. 17 is a lot.
Q. The USTA announced today that for the US Open they are going to introduce a rule to allow coaching for the quallies and for the juniors this year, and maybe later for the main draw, men and women. What do you think of the possibility of having a coach on the court, or even between points?
ROGER FEDERER: From what I understood, they are not going to come on the court. They will be able to talk to us, but from outside the court. At the end they will come with us on the court, they will hold our hands and run with us. You will need very fit coaches (laughter). Soon they're going to throw the ball so we can serve better...
Well, if you want to try all these things, you can. We'll see. I think we'll have to see what happens, how it works in a few weeks. It's difficult now to talk about it before it happens.
I believe it's because of the time we have. Many players have a sort of ritual with their towel, they have habits. Sometimes they are losing time with that. At the same time, the game is very intense. I think it's good if players have a bit more time.
If you finish a point at the net, you need to walk back to get your towel, choose the balls. This takes 20 seconds very easily. So we'll see how it works.
What is good is that when you have a precise time, you can practice physically in order to get used to it. You know if it's 15 seconds or 35 seconds. When you practice, you can use that figure, 35 seconds of rest, for example, so you can practice to become stronger.
So what I'm saying is that it's going to be interesting to see. I'm not for or against, I'm just curious to see how it's going to be.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports