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August 11, 2017

Roger Federer

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

R. FEDERER/R. Bautista Agut

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. You now face Robin Haase. His first Masters 1000 semifinal. Your thoughts about playing Robin, and your thoughts about Robin coming back from a multitude of injuries to get to this point right now.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, first of all I'm happy for him. We spent a lot of time on the player council together at the ATP level. I know him well. Had a lot of good discussions about tennis politics for many years.

We practice a lot together, as well, in Dubai and here again this week. So we always chat a lot in the locker room, have good talks. I'm very happy for him that he's playing very well this week, and achieved his first Masters 1000 semis.

We actually spoke last year in Wimbledon together about his knee issue. Then I was having the knee issue. So we're just trying to compare his feelings and my feelings because he was going through a rough patch before that, as well, over a longer period of time than I did. He also I think had surgery at one point.

I think we're both happy that we're doing well again. I'm looking forward to a tough match because he can serve very well, and he mixes up his tactics a lot, you know. Sometimes he tends to just roll the ball in and use the big serve, or he uses a slice a lot and comes in. So I don't quite know with Robin what I'm going to get tomorrow yet.

But as I have practiced with him quite a bit, maybe I am better prepared than if I would have never hit with him before.

So I'm looking forward to the match. Should be a good one.

Q. When Shapovalov beat Nadal, it put on hold the going for the No. 1 ranking for yourself and Rafa. Do you think the young Canadian did you a favor last night?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he did himself a favor. I think that's what counts there.

For me, I know I can't become world No. 1 here anyway. I'm just playing Montreal for the tournament that it is, and I'm trying to win it for the first time in my career. That's going to not change with Rafa going out. So world No. 1 for me was anyway something for later in the year.

Now all of a sudden next week, maybe. Obviously at the US Open, I think it's up for grabs for Rafa and myself. I don't know how much Rafa cares about the year-end No. 1, or if he just cares about getting back to it for a short while. I don't know about myself either.

Either way it's big for either of us just to get back to world No. 1 once again in your career is a big deal, especially later in your life.

I think we'll both just try to stay healthy and keep going. It's fun that it's being carried over now to Cincinnati or then the latest to the US Open, even for the rest of the year. It's a good race and it's exciting for tennis.

Q. 16 seeds versus 32 seeds at the majors. You're probably one of the best players to answer that because you played in both systems. Some of your formal rivals like Rosset and Safin said with 16 seeds it was hard to get good results. Also from a fan's point of view, we will never see Federer-Fognini or Nadal-Kyrgios on the first dat. Your thoughts?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, you could argue that 32 seeds are too many. I understand before we had some rough draws when there were only 16 seeds. We also had bonus points, so the system was different. You could also argue, Why do the top eight guys need byes at Masters 1000s? I guess it was to protect somewhat all the players and spread them out better rather than having everybody in one section, then having a really weaker section one year. I have no idea how it all came about. At one stage it was decided at some sort of a level and that's where we are today.

I wish we have would see some more best-of-five-set matches at some Masters 1000s or in the World Tour Finals, in the Finals for sure. Also I came up there and played best-of-five set finals in Basel, Vienna, Gstaad, Indian Wells, Miami. I played them everywhere.

I think it's a pity we don't have any anymore at all on the ATP level. So there's always a lot we can change. I don't think there's that much wrong with the game right now. Don't need to fix too much.

Maybe one more thing you could argue is there's too many points on the winner's side. I think the gap between winner and finals and semis and quarters is too great when it comes to the points. Let's say you take the example of a slam, winning is 2000, a quarters is 360. I think the gap is just way too big. Quarters is not a bad result, yet you're looking at the guy who won, looks like you didn't even play the tournament. For me that's a bit too extreme. Maybe we could adjust that a little bit and just make it so it's not so brutally one-sided always that the points are starting from semis in tournaments.

It rewards the winners, and I'm all for that as well in some ways.

Q. Did you get to watch Shapovalov's match last night? What were your thoughts on how he played?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was a fantastic match. It was exhilarating for the crowd, for the fans watching on TV, for Canadian tennis. That was cool I'm sure to watch for a lot of kids, to see you can go beat your hero once if you train hard in your life, stay the course. I thought it was great start to finish.

I didn't expect it to be this way. I thought that Rafa was going to win in straights. Denis did a great, great job. Really happy for him. Rafa was all class, he was great. It's a good night for tennis in some ways.

Q. I understand you described Denis yesterday as playing fearless. I'm wondering, what time in your career do you think you were sort of fearless? When you were young like that...
ROGER FEDERER: Same time, you know. Also that whole 17, 18, 19, 20. I guess let's say the first three years on tour, first two maybe, just because opponents don't quite know your patterns yet. They don't know what you're going to do. You don't know yourself what you're going to do on the breakpoint. Are you going to take it and then go for it? Are you going to say, Let me close my eyes for one second and go for it. Maybe you shank one, then the next you belt it. You're like, Hmm, let's do that next time around. It works. It works again. You just fuel your confidence like that.

But I've seen him do it many times, you know. I think I watched his semis at junior Wimbledon against Tsitsipas. He was in all sorts of trouble. Kept going for the biggest shots, forehands, backhands and serves. I couldn't believe what he was doing.

I guess for him it's somewhat normal for him to do that. Obviously it's risky. Doesn't always play off. Playing forward, doing that on Court 4 against a journeyman is a different story than doing it on center court. We all know that. But not everybody can go up to that level. It seems that Denis has an extra gear.

I said this before this win. I like his game. I think he's going to be a wonderful player. Seems to have a good attitude, too. It was a joy to watch.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French for Roger.

Q. What was the difference between yesterday's match and today's? Today everything seemed to work out well.
ROGER FEDERER: I believe I served better earlier in the match. But I still believed Bautista Agut didn't return as well as Ferrer. Both things combined, two major factors in a beginning of a match, I was able to get into the match better.

Of course, it was tough until 4-All. But my game plan worked better against Bautista Agut than against Ferrer. I believe it's because today I was more aggressive coming to the net. It was more possible today. I was aggressive yesterday, but I couldn't carry it out because Ferrer had better momentum from the baseline. It made things more complicated for me yesterday.

Q. A question about yesterday again. Were you able to watch what happened between Nadal and Shapovalov? What do you think about the match from this young Canadian player?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I watched the entire match, in fact. I was home, and I thought I would watch. I was tired, so I ate in my room.

It was a fabulous match. It was good for all the fans here in Montreal, and in Canada as a whole. Also for Denis. I believe he played an extraordinary match. He kept moving forward, hitting the ball hard. He had nothing to lose, of course.

But Rafa will never give away a match. You have to go and earn it. He did it. It's good for him. It's good for tennis, too. A young player of 18 years winning against a legend like Rafa is always good for tennis because then we talk about other players.

I think we are going to see him in the Masters and the Grand Slams. It was wonderful to watch. They were both very intense. As usual, Rafa was very classy. He was good. He can play better than that. The surface was fast. But I really enjoyed watching the match.

Q. Some players were asked about the speed of the surface. Haase was saying it seemed a bit slower. How do you feel the surface is playing this week?
ROGER FEDERER: So you're asking how I feel the surface is playing? Well, it's the beginning of the hard court season for some of us. Not all of us. Some were playing in Washington and here before. So it's one of our first matches on a fast surface.

It's not easy to play with a ball that flies. If you play slower with topspin, you can make the rallies a bit longer, as we've seen between Haase and Schwartzman. Sometimes they play faster.

But those who are aggressive have an easier job because the surface is fast. I prefer the faster surfaces. Before we had very often slow surfaces. Here I believe it's medium fast. When you play during the daytime, it's always faster than in the evening, so it's easier.

Q. A deep question. Do you have a different personality when you speak French than when you speak English?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't speak in French. I didn't understand the question (laughter).

Q. Do you have a different personality in French, English or Swiss-German?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, when I speak French, I am more in the world of tennis, technique, physical, because I always do my technical training in French with Pierre Paganini.

It makes me think of school also. When I was 14 or 16 years old, I was in Lausanne as school. When I speak French, I always feel I'm a teenager. I sort of got stuck in the good times of the '90s.

When I speak English, it's easygoing, it's relaxed. We talk a lot of English at home, too. It's just easy. It's the whole world. It's traveling.

Swiss-German is my family, it's me. It's home. It's who I am really, I believe.

But you're right, I'm different according to the language I'm speaking. It's interesting. I realize I'm saying different things according to the different languages. It's funny, amusing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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