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November 16, 2017

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom


6-7, 6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. For a moment you could have lost that match, but you won. It was a good exhibition?
ROGER FEDERER: Good question (smiling).

No, it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy. I mean, look, it's a fast court. It's indoors. We've seen it now: when you miss a few too many opportunities, uhm, you can really pay the price at this tournament. So we've seen some swing of momentums in a lot of the matches this week.

I think in the beginning I was slightly overaggressive in the first set on some crucial points rather than maybe being patient. I was able to turn that around, you know, late in the second set. Then just had a much better feeling in the third set.

Maybe also Marin's level dropped, I'm not sure. But definitely was dangerous there for a while, you know, being down a set and breakpoints beginning of the second set.

Q. I don't want to remind you of bad memories, but Pierre-Hugues Herbert stuck his back at practice today. He has a Davis Cup Final coming up. You have been in the same situation a few years ago. How do you deal when you're medically injured a week before a big event?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I saw him. He said he's doing the same preparation like me back in 2014. So I wish him a speedy recovery.

I mean, what can you do? Time is of the essence here. He's got a little bit more time than what I had because he's looking at playing doubles, so that's a day later. Plus it's not Saturday, it's Thursday, so that's a difference, too. That gives him more days there.

But I think probably for him to have a chance to be on the team, he needs to be somewhat in a good shape Monday, Tuesday to give Yannick the information that he needs.

The good thing for the French team is that, like, if he doesn't play, they have a good backup in Benneteau or somebody else. But, of course, he wants to be there. So it's about rehabbing, treatment, antiflammatories [sic], whatever it takes to get better.

I guess for me it was important to play that Friday first singles against Monfils, even though I wasn't 100%. But at least it gave me information and it gave me confidence in my back and my body that I could play again maybe better every single day. Actually ended up playing really good on Saturday and Sunday.

But I think the team also picked me up. You know, Severin, Stan, the rest of the guys, they made me feel like, As long as you're improving every day, that's all we care about.

I remember days were long because you don't suddenly get better overnight. It takes a bit of time. They were very supportive. It all worked out. I hope the same for him.

Q. You competed against many generations from Masters Cup Shanghai to this ATP Finals, Agassi, Hewitt, Rafa, Novak, Nishikori and Zverev. Did you get any inspiration from many generations?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. Look, in the beginning it was like being a kid in a candy store, sharing the locker room with legends of the game, seeing them prepare, being able to practice with them, playing doubles with or against them. Special times.

You know, when you come out on the tour later on, it's different. You know, you play for different reasons. Like you said, you play the next generation, but now you're the older guy and they're the younger guys. It takes some getting used to.

But I enjoy it now in a different way. I think it was more exhilarating when I was younger because everything was new, it was fresh. I didn't know. It was the unknown. And today I know most of it, you know.

I'm very calm. But there's a deeper understanding what I'm going through. So maybe the satisfaction is when I do win and I do show up at the best tournaments in the world, like here, I know it's not normal maybe to be here, so I appreciate it actually maybe even more so now at this age.

Q. Whatever happens this weekend, you'll finish a very small number of points behind Nadal in the year-end rankings. Is there a small regret you didn't play one or two more tournaments this year, or was your schedule absolutely what it had to be?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, no. Regrets, I don't have any. But maybe losing to Tommy Haas and Donskoy ended up haunting me. I had match points in both matches. It's not like I didn't try.

To have regrets because of these matches, you know, if I miss out because of that for world No. 1, then maybe I was unlucky. But I also did win matches in Miami, saving match points against Berdych, other matches throughout the season that it could have been gone either way as well. In Australia, Nishikori. You name it. Things could have turned very quickly much earlier.

So I'm just happy I'm playing a great season. I'm so happy that I was able to reach this level of play and still being able to play also at the end of the year. It wasn't just, like, one tournament at the beginning, then nothing after that. So it was just throughout I've had a great year.

I have no regrets because I totally over-exceeded my expectations. Just happy I'm injury-free and healthy right now, enjoying myself still.

Q. You talked the other day about next year's schedule. You said that all options are on the table. Looking a bit further ahead, if you want to play Tokyo 2020, if you do...
ROGER FEDERER: Okay (smiling).

Q. ...you would have to play two Davis Cup ties at some point. Have you thought at all about when you might schedule these in?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I haven't. I didn't even know the rule, so thanks for the information (laughter).

I haven't officially retired from the Davis Cup, so not because of that reason. It's just because it's always highly unlikely that I'll play at this stage of my career.

You know, I haven't set Tokyo Olympics as a goal either. It hurt not being in Rio, but I was okay without it, too. I was flag bearer twice. I won gold. I won silver. I feel like I achieved a lot of great things at the Olympics.

I'm not thinking that far ahead, yeah.

Q. In the same sense of one of the last questions, you said you don't have no regret. Is it in your mind the possibility of finishing very near to Rafa, and to start strong next year, maybe have a possibility of assaulting the No. 1?
ROGER FEDERER: I have 2,000 points to defend in Australia, he doesn't. So there's the problem already. I know he has a lot of points to defend, too, in Australia, but not as many as me.

That's why I always said, look, it's not a realistic goal in some ways, you know, world No. 1. It is interesting. It's the ultimate achievement in tennis in some ways, it always has been for me. But at this age, it just can't be because I think I'll make mistakes if I start chasing it. I'm not sure how much the body allows me to chase goals like this. Maybe if I start thinking about it too often and too much, I think I'm maybe also not playing the way I'm supposed to be playing, maybe I tense up, maybe I'm nervous, maybe that's not good for my back. Who knows what it is.

Still far away from being close in the points with Rafa. Still need to win this tournament before it's actually really close. I'm only in the semis. The big points are really coming in now. So that's why my focus is on the semis. If I would win that, of course it's just on the finals.

The year played out the way it did, and Rafa was better. He deserves to be there. I'm really happy for him because he had a rough season as well in '16. It's great for him.

Then in Australia, I just hope to be fit again, to walk out on Rod Laver Arena and hopefully defend my title. But still very far away at this point.

Q. Another Davis Cup question, if you don't mind. The final is coming.
ROGER FEDERER: Okay, about that is fine (smiling).

Q. With the final coming up next week, what are your thoughts on France against Belgium? Who do you think will win and why?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the French are favorites just because they got a lot of depth in the team. Belgium, you know, they have a good team, as well, but it's not quite the same like when Stan and myself came to Lille back in '14. I think it's really in the French team's hands, you know, to win or to lose.

I'm not sure exactly the court speed, what they chose at the end of the day. I heard it's indoor hard, so that's different. It's a great stadium. Really thought the atmosphere was something else when we played there.

Yeah, I mean, haven't thought about it too much yet, to be honest. But, you know, Goffin clearly needs to win his two singles matches to have any chance to go through.

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