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November 18, 2017

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom

D. GOFFIN/R. Federer

2-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I understand it's difficult, but can you try to explain what happened after you won the first set. Was it him, you, both?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, yeah, I mean, I think it was a tough game to get broken at 1-0, I think it was, for him in the second. I had I think multiple game chances to get out of the game and go 1-All, keep the pressure up.

I think I didn't serve as accurate as I should have. In that very moment he connected well on a few returns to keep him in the game. I think in hindsight that was maybe a bit of a key moment in the match.

I think things really turned around for him at that moment. He started to feel better from the return, from the baseline. He wasn't missing as much any more. He was returning also much better off the second serve after that.

Yeah, then I just think he raised his game. I couldn't follow any more. Maybe my game dropped naturally a little bit because he was playing better. Maybe never really reached my best level because the first set was all right, you know. But he didn't play very well in that set, I don't believe.

Yeah, so it's pretty disappointing. But at the end he did play extremely well, and he was the better player on the court. I feel like it's okay like this, you know, for him to win.

Q. David said yesterday that he had a plan for playing you slightly differently this time compared with the six previous losses. Did you feel he did change things up a bit this time, had a different approach?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, he played better. That was a good plan (smiling).

It's that simple. I didn't feel like you could do that much different things on this court, you know. If you told me that he was going to play way back in the court and roll the ball up and try things like this, then it's really a big change. Other than that, I didn't feel a big difference to previous times.

He struggled for the first set and a bit anyways. So I just think he was able to raise his game. Maybe I helped him doing it, maybe not. But, look, I just think the better returner won over the better server today.

It's a bit disappointing for me because it's indoors, it's a court I like to play on. But I had my chances and missed them. When he had them, he was very committed. I think that was the difference today.

Q. Obviously today is a big disappointment, but could you sum up your whole season, how you feel looking forward to next season, what your main goals are.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's been an amazing year for me. Been so happy that I was playing at this level from the beginning till basically the end, till today. So it's been great. Really enjoyed myself in the process.

I felt I was, you know, playing in a way that I also, you know, like - you know, playing forward, playing attacking tennis. I wish I could have done that a little bit more today. It's kind of disappointing to finish on this note. But whatever happened today is less important than if I look at the entire season. With that season, I'm extremely happy.

Looking ahead, look, clearly the buildup is not going to be six months like it was last time around. It's not going to be six weeks of tennis. It's just going to be two, three weeks. It's going to be short. But I did that 15 years previously, so I know how to handle the buildup.

Then I'm just looking forward to some time off now, away from the match court, away from the pressure, then hopefully play well in Australia. I can't wait to play there again. I had the best time of my life this year, so can't wait to go back there.

Q. We're used to seeing you raise the level in the big matches. Are you surprised the base game didn't click right away or did you feel it coming this week because of the surface, your game?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I'm not that disappointed that I wasn't able to raise it because I just felt like I was never quite feeling it 100%. I think that's also where maybe the frustration came in the previous matches.

I still believed that I was going to be able to lift it. Maybe if David wouldn't have, you know, been able to lift his game, I would have found a way to win today. Then who knows what happens again in the finals, give myself one more opportunity against a different type of player.

So, uhm, look, it is what it is now. There's no need to dwell over it, especially when it's the last match of the season.

I wish I could have played more aggressive today, but just never really felt comfortable taking the ball on. Started with the return, started with the first shot after the serve. There was never like this simple 1-2 punch, return, first strike. I never got 100% comfortable with it throughout the entire tournament.

Regardless, I still played a good tournament, if I consider.

Q. You know David pretty well. Sorry to ask you, but do you feel that he can go till the end with this game?
ROGER FEDERER: In this tournament, you mean?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, of course. Otherwise he wouldn't be in the finals. I hope he didn't just beat me for fun and then to roll over in the finals.

Clearly I believe he's got a chance. Again, totally different match. It's really difficult to back it up after you beat someone like Rafa. We saw it in the next match. Somebody like me, it's the same situation. It's just a different match, a different atmosphere. But he's crushed me too many times in practice not to do it also once in a match situation.

No, look, I'm very happy for him. He's a great guy. I like him a lot. I think today he played so nice that he deserves to be in the finals. That's what I told him at the net, as well. I hope he can play a good finals tomorrow.

Q. Away from the match, I just wanted to ask you this question before the end of the season. How do you react to the fact that Nike your equipment supplier has developed some strategies to avoid paying taxes?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not the moment at the last press conference of the season. I don't know anything about it, so...

Q. How will you rate your health body situation?
ROGER FEDERER: The health?

Q. How would you rate your health situation after the season and through the whole season, your back, your knee?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, knee's no problem at all. Back was just in Montreal. Then there was this phase of, you know, finally feeling confident again, getting stronger and stuff. Took a little longer than I thought it would take, to be quite honest because I didn't feel it coming in a brutal way in Montreal.

I mean, when it happened, look, it was sore, it was bad, didn't allow me to play any more properly. Maybe should have been better to stop, not make it worse. But I don't think I made it worse just by finishing the match. It happened at the very end of the match, the beginning of the second, I thought I was okay. Faster, but it took actually quite some time.

Even after New York still, I still did feel it. So I'm actually very relieved that I was able to finish strong now in Shanghai, Laver Cup, Basel, now here again as well. It shows that things are in the past now. It's good to know that I can bounce back, you know, and get my confidence back.

Other than that, I didn't have many problems other than I had sort of a groin issue after the Australian Open that I played on for probably about 10 days of the tournament. But then again, when I rested, I came to Dubai, I was okay again.

So considering how last year went, this year was perfect (smiling).

Q. You touched on Australia. How long will you give yourself total break, not do anything? When will you really start working for Australia?
ROGER FEDERER: I'll probably take two weeks off, two weeks' vacation. I feel like it's what we always need at the end of the season, not just myself, but my wife as well, and my kids, too. We all need to spend some family time together. We love that. Most important time of our lives, to spend the time together like that.

After that, I'll start the beginning of December my training again. Maybe on vacation, obviously I'll start moving around a little bit so the comeback into training is not so hard, you know. Then I leave at the end of the year for the Hopman Cup to get ready. I think I'm playing on the 30th, my first match. That's the plan there.

Q. You said yesterday you were confident. The level of David, does it surprise you today?
ROGER FEDERER: No, because I know how well he can play, you know, in practice. In practice I've gone through phases where, you know, I've seen this level before like today. It's just that in practice, my level is not normally as high as in a match. So then I allow him to play better. But I know, too, what level he can raise his play, especially on the return side.

If you're not moving your legs, if you can't hurt enough from the baseline, you can find yourself in all sorts of trouble. When he starts feeling it, like any good baseliner, it becomes very tricky sometimes. If you can't wrestle away sort of -- if I can't come with the power any more, it's difficult, you know, because he's fast and so forth.

So that's why I'm not surprised, to be quite honest.

Q. You obviously made a fantastic comeback this season, having taken time off at the end of last year. What do you expect from Stan and Novak and Andy? Are you expecting them to come back strongly or is it going to be a slow process?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you always got to expect a slow process. Then if it goes fast, that's great.

Look, we all had to take a time off. I didn't choose to take the time off last year. You make me look like a genius sometimes. You take time off, you come back, you're good again. That's not how it goes.

I think if we could have played, we all would have played. So it's not like by choice that we probably did this, or I'd say maybe -- I don't know. I think we all couldn't play. That's a problem to start off with.

Coming back is always a challenge for the body. It's a challenge for the team because you got to be extremely patient yet positive. Not so easy, you know, in some instances.

Yeah, so I expect obviously from the likes who have been extremely high up in the rankings, who have won slams, like Stan, Andy and Novak, of course I expect greatness from them. When they return at some stage, not maybe from the very beginning. But I wouldn't be surprised if it worked out for them as well like it worked out for me. And Rafa, so...

The others, I have no idea exactly what's problem is. I hope also Kei, Thomas and Milos all find their way back on tour and prefer to be in Australia because that would make it quite epic, comeback for all the guys. Then you mix them together with the new guys from the World Tour Finals here who have just come off a great year, obviously are confident, want to stay in the top 10, want to make the World Tour Finals again. They are sort of weaving their way in. Not so fast, guys, we also want to make it. You have the young guys coming through.

I think it could be a very cool start to the year, which I'm really looking forward to.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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