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September 23, 2017

Roger Federer

Prague, Czech Republic


Prague, Czech Republic

23 September, 2017

R. FEDERER/S. Querrey

6-4, 6-2

Europe - 5

The World - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. You have put up a fantastic Laver Cup. Great idea. Brought the world together. You produce magic inside and outside the court. Congratulations for the fantastic match.
ROGER FEDERER: Appreciate it. Thank you.

Q. I want to ask you something. When you were in Australia a few years ago there was a hurricane that hit Haiti, and you produced something to raise money. Now in Mexico we are suffering with the two earthquakes. I hope you come up with great ideas. You always produce magic.
ROGER FEDERER: No, you're right. I think the tour could come together more often than what we are doing.

The thing is it's just complicated for us, because we see 20, 30 tournaments a year that we play; whereas the tournament only sees the one tournament, which is natural. When we come to a place and say let's do some charity, they're like, oh, it's kind of difficult because we only have seven days or nine days on the calendar to come up with something so short notice, so even from far away we lose a lot of revenue and so forth.

But you're right. You know, a lot of people need help, especially right now in Mexico. I feel awful, and I'm following it from afar. I wish them the very best, but, yes, absolutely, I'm always happy to consider and to see. The thing is it's hard when you're on the other side of the planet to do something for the other side of the planet. I know it sounds not so logical, but when we did stuff in Australia, it had happened right there. But sure, let me look into it, of course.

Q. Obviously there's a lot of interest you playing doubles alongside Rafa. Before this, you have always been kind of pulling in opposite directions. You have now been together, I guess here, for like four days. I'm wondering, you have known him a long time, but if there is anything that you have found out or learned about Rafa and how he is looking at it from what is a new perspective for you.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's not entirely new, to be honest, because I think the very, very new situation will be on the same side of him in a doubles that is going to be ultra competitive. That's going to be the real changer.

Other than that, you know, I have played charity matches with him, so that's when you're very laid back and, you know, you're happy raising funds. You know, you also want to have a good time. Loads of things to do. You know, that's when I got to know his family, and like when I went last year to his academy, all these things are on a very relaxed level.

So I know Rafa for so long that I have seen his relaxed mode. Now I have seen him sort of preparing, you know, within a team, and I can see he's a wonderful team player. He always thinks of the team members first. That's wonderful.

Then he's just got great energy and a good balance. I think that's why he has longevity, to be honest, because he's ultra intense when he gets on the court. Once the camera goes on to him, he's in that mode. But actually, away from it, he's very relaxed.

I feel like I'm the same way. I think like you can only manage it this way when you want to achieve longevity.

Yeah, he's a joy to be around. I'm happy that he's on our side of the team, to be honest.

Q. Two questions for you. First one, what's the reception you're getting from the black court, if people are liking it, are able to see the ball? With the success of this so far, which seems to be, in social media circles, very successful and everybody is liking it. If the women wanted to do this and one of the players or legends of the game approached you to see about doing something like this for the women's tour, how would you respond to that? And would you be interested in helping that along?
ROGER FEDERER: So the black court I think initially was interesting for the players, because the black with the white lines, it's a big contrast, so some of us were just -- you know, it was a lot on the eye. We just had to get used to it. But then sort of the second practice in -- you know, I think it was also actually to be playing indoors, as well, to be quite honest, because we have been outdoors for so long now that getting back on the indoors is always a bit of a change in the lights. You feel in here at night it's different than the outdoors. No, it's been good. I don't know what reactions have been around the world. I hope it looks good on TV of, because that's very important. That's where more people are watching. Within the stadium, I think it looks fantastic.

About a women's Laver Cup, you know, I don't know, I have to speak to Tony and the group, but we would be open. Of course we would be, you know. I love my women in my life, and they have been wonderful. And I follow the women's game as much as I possibly can. A big fan. Sure, I'm happy to look into it.

Q. I just wondered if you had felt any nerves in the buildup to the beginning of this event, and if so, when was that feeling strongest, if it did exist?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it's just like -- even though I'm a player, but I can see what a tournament director goes through. You listen at the little signs that agents and players give you, if they have looked their flights and hotel rooms, because you don't want to bother the player.

When you hear he's arrived, you're like, Oh, he's here. They're all here. Practice now the first time, how is everybody feeling? Then you see their first smile, and then you start to become more relaxed.

I wasn't too worried about the matches, to be quite honest. I knew they were going to be competitive, because we are playing to win. I think the tennis -- I was discussing this with the guys. The tennis tour is a competitive place. We struggle to play, just to play a little bit, you know, because your level drops if you're just having hit and giggles, and it's more fun to play full and see if you can get something out of yourself.

I think the people around the world also want to see the best player playing their best tennis, what they're known for. So I wasn't too worried about that. Then of course you're always looking forward to see how the camaraderie is on the team. Was I nervous about that? Not so much. I really got nerves yesterday once Cilic won that first set and, you know, you start caring about the outcome of the Laver Cup in terms of winning and losing.

That's when I started feeling nerves, especially, you know, the most in the doubles then, because that was fun supporting Rafa in the doubles, to be honest.

Q. How happy are you about the level of tennis being played right now? We had seven tiebreakers yesterday. Pretty tight games. Has it met your expectations so far?
ROGER FEDERER: It needs to meet your guys' expectations and the fans', not mine. I thought maybe for one second we were only going to see breakers for the entire tournament. I think we are happy we are moving away from that a little bit now.

No, I think the level is very good. I think the court allows for good hitting, and if you serve well, like we have seen, you know, on day one, you can also protect your serve very nicely. You can play defense, you can play offense. I think it's also not to be underestimated it is like a first round for us when you come out that first time, so it's hard to be just half-volleying, screamer shot, forehands and backhands from the baseline. You have to find some rhythm, too.

I think that's why Rafa got up at 6:30 in the morning and everybody is training overly hard to make sure they find that rhythm as quick as possible, because they know the importance of coming out with a decent rhythm.

I think the level is very high, and players seem in good shape, which is great to see.

Q. We got to see a sneak peak at what Coach Federer looks like, coming to the bench a few times and giving advice to your teammates. Have you enjoyed doing that? Has it perhaps piqued your interest that that could be something fun in the future to do?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, 40 weeks a year, not so much (laughter).

No, I mean, look, I always try to be at the service of the team, and if I can give some advice, I'm happy to do so, even more so with the younger guys who are going to go through more emotionals, ups and downs, and, you know, maybe a bit of advice from myself or Rafa or somebody else, it's just going to settle your nerves and give you a better understanding that maybe you're not doing so bad.

Like I explained, it is a first round. Don't expect yourself to hit every ball in the corners yet. Really trying to calm down the nerves sometimes. I only feel I should be up there if I can be of any help.

In the Davis Cup, you know, you sit much closer to the coaching bench, so there I would always try to speak to the captain and interact with him and then also try to help the players as much as possible. It's just something I like doing.

In the future, a coach? I'm not sure. I'm always going to be helping juniors along the way. A touring coach, it's going to be hard for me with four kids that need me more than the coaching needs me.

Q. Two things. Firstly, you have been talking earlier before the tournament started about your back and also at the US Open. You seemed to move pretty comfortably out there today. How is that feeling? Or was it just a very good disguise? Are you feeling okay? And the second part is just about going back to the court situation, I know it's easy to get yellow balls, but was there any consideration of going back to white balls on the black-and-white court?
ROGER FEDERER: Good point. No, I don't think we considered that, but good idea. If we do it, you know, maybe you're the one who can take credit for it (smiling). No, I had never heard the talk about white balls, but we'll see, you know.

About the back, look, I'm happy how I'm feeling. You know, the break was badly needed after the US Open, because the back was one of the issues I had eventually, and I was able to get rid of other things.

I'm very happy for, like you said, today. If it was a disguise or not, I'm not sure, but I was happy with the level of play. Served well, moved well, reactions were there, the energy was there. Of course it's easier also when you look over to the bench and you see a bunch of superstars telling you you have to win this point right now. Let's do this, Roger. You better get your ass moving, really (smiling).

Q. A question about the doubles. You don't play usually doubles in the tour. Will it be difficult in a way to get used to it, playing doubles again here?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, it's going to be difficult. Unfortunately, it's the truth. But, you know, I think doubles is very much a return, a serve, a volley, there. We saw the doubles yesterday. You could argue that Sock and Kyrgios were a tiny bit better maybe, especially in the beginning, but at the end, they still had to -- they were at, I don't know, 6-All in the super-tiebreaker and anything could happen.

I think it's going to be very much an intensity and energy situation for us tonight. I don't worry about Rafa, to be honest. And me being next to Rafa, I know that I'll be moving around, as well. So I just have to, you know, kind of find my groove, I guess, to some extent.

I don't know how to explain. Try not to think too much of the singles or use the singles as a great tool for the doubles. It's just weird sometimes, you know, when you don't play much doubles that you start the point at the net when the other guy is serving. It's like normally you don't start there. Normally you kind of work your way there. It's just about getting used to it again a little bit.

I have been just trying in practice to get used to that. But I think it's going to be very, very exciting. I will try my very best.

Q. You were saying at the US Open the back wasn't so much of a problem. It was more at times you couldn't get your legs going. Do you feel your movement is back to where it was Halle, Wimbledon, the best parts of this year, or do you still think there is a bit more to retain in terms of your movement around the court?
ROGER FEDERER: For first round, this was excellent. I was very happy with my movement here. There was moments when I had to defend, as well, and get to shots. You know, I did that well.

I think the next couple of weeks and then Shanghai and then the week after Shanghai are going to be very important for me, too, because next week I will go straight into training with my fitness coach. I have my rest, so now it's about staying in shape and staying fast and all these things that are so much required for my game.

I think I'm heading in a good direction right now, and I hope that I can take it up a notch every week that goes by right now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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