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January 22, 2018

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. FEDERER/M. Fucsovics

6-4, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is the biggest difference between playing in the day and playing at night for you?
ROGER FEDERER: That there is a difference. That's basically it.

You know, you might get a bit more wind in the daytime. Usually in the evening it always slows down. And then here in Australia, actually, between maybe 11:30 and 1:30 there is a tough spot in the sun when you're serving. More so than anywhere else in the world, to be honest.

It flies a bit more in the daytime, just because it's warmer. Yeah, that's it.

Q. How did you go about studying your opponent today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, because I practiced with him for a few days in a row in Switzerland. That helped, you know, knowing his strength and weaknesses a little bit. He was not completely the unknown opponent that maybe people thought he was.

Because in practice I also play the best-of-five set practice match against him in Switzerland. So when you play, you know, multiple sets in a short period of time against somebody, you start to understand their strengths and weaknesses a little bit.

But then again, it's been a while. I didn't see his matches. I haven't watched him play much on TV. I started forgetting a little bit on how he played exactly.

The goal for me was really trying to be focused on my own game and take it to him and play tough.

But he hung with me for a long time. So it was a good match.

Q. You're playing Tomas next. Could you talk a bit about the match you played against him last year? I think most of us watching were surprised by how well you played and wondered if you surprised yourself that day, as well.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, against Tomas sometimes in the past when I did play well things went my way, you know. Same for him when he beat me on those occasions, he also played extremely well.

I don't remember what I thought was going to happen in the third round. I just remember looking at the draw and thinking what a horrid draw it is. But, okay, if I lose third, fourth, or quarters, doesn't really matter because it's all about the same as long as I get home injury-free and I'll be happy.

I think I was just in a good place and played free. I don't know if Tomas was playing good or not. I don't even remember. I do remember the Miami match where I saved a couple of match points, to be honest, you know, a few months after that. I started very well against him, and then eventually I lost my way and should have lost the match and ended up winning it. Ended up winning the tournament. Sometimes you get lucky, you know.

We have had some good ones over the years going back all the way to the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to play against him. He seems in good shape, and I'm happy he's over his back issues that he also had at the end of last year. That's a good thing.

Q. Last night Kyrgios captured the imagination of so many people. He plays with great athleticism and certain freedom but doesn't have a coach. I don't think you had a coach or an agent for a while, either. Could you talk about him as a young player and where he's at, what you think about his game, what he has to do?
ROGER FEDERER: From what I heard he has a coach. I didn't have a coach for only about a year and a half. Maybe not even after I split up with Peter Lundgren, I believe, back at end of 2003. Had a trial with Tony Roche in September of '04, I remember.

I think at one point it's good to have coaches, you know, to be honest, because they remind you day by day, you know, the little things if that's what you're looking at. Other guys do an entire organization for you. Some guys are really there to inspire you and motivate you. Everybody needs different type of coaching, you know. That can come from any angle. Doesn't almost necessarily need to be a tennis coach, per se.

But I'm sure Nick has got some people in his team that where he gets what he needs for the matches, you know, to be honest.

I enjoyed the match last night. I watched it all. It was close. I thought that Nick was serving unbelievable again, and Grigor was doing an unbelievable job of staying with him. He was playing very well. I was impressed at Grigor's grit of staying in there with him for as long as he did.

It was a tough match, and, sure, we can expect more. But, you know, now we'll see what happens. Davis Cup is next for him, so, yeah. It's not one match or one week. It's every week of the year. I'm excited to see what's next for Nick now.

Q. What is the importance of Pierre Paganini in your career?
ROGER FEDERER: Very important. He's been -- I guess I was very lucky, you know, to meet Pierre when I was 14 years old and I joined the National Tennis Center. He was running the program as a fitness coach. He was also taking care of the tennis coaches and everything. Because he was already very experienced, having had, you know, with the Maleeva sisters, who were very successful; one played for Switzerland and the other for Bulgaria. He also worked with Marc Roset in the past, who was part of the Davis Cup team.

When I met him, he was already very experienced at the time and knew exactly, coming from decathlon, what to do in terms of fitness in tennis because he's very creative.

I worked there with him for a little bit for two years. He was taking more care of the older guys, Severin, my coach, actually. I saw him from time to time but I had a fitness coach who was using the methods that Pierre was telling him to do with us.

Eventually I starting with him -- I didn't work with him from 16 to 19 and starting in 19, ever since I worked with Pierre again, you can imagine the impact that he's had on my career as a fitness coach but also a little bit as a mentor, to be honest, because we do a lot of talking besides working. You always count an extra 45 minutes where we just talk about everything.

I love every session that, you know, we worked together, and without him I don't think I would have been as fit or as fast in my career, so a lot of credit goes to him.

Q. You played Berdych so many times in your career. Is it necessary to try and go see how he played here, or do you think you don't need that anymore?
ROGER FEDERER: I did watch a little bit, you know, today against Fognini. I saw a little bit against Del Potro. For me, I think personally it is important to see a little bit, just because he might be using different weapons this week, you know. He might be taking the ball earlier or later or serving different patterns, you know.

So it's good to know. Of course, the coaches are going to get more in depth of, you know, into Tomas' game. Me, personally, I'm going to try to focus on my own game, understand and absorb the information that I get from my coaches. But then sometimes it is good to see for myself a little bit, because I have the feeling of having played him but also see him play. I think that combination is important for a player.

Q. Talking about the coach, Ivan Ljubicic, what is he bringing up to you now different than maybe last year? Because when he started with you, we saw that you were changing a little bit your backhand in a way, attacking more, covering more. Now, where do you concentrate more your work?
ROGER FEDERER: I think as a team we are -- well, we're talking tactics a lot obviously before the matches right now. Like I explained before, it's really the little things, you know. At my level, when I train, you know, the quality needs to be good. I need to be reminded of a few things, but those things can be the crucial ones, you know. If they want me to try certain things, that can sometimes make a big difference in the game than not.

I feel like he's constantly thinking how he can make me a better player, you know. I think he does believe that I should play, you know, aggressive tennis. Severin thought the same. Edberg thought the same.

So I thought in this regard, I feel very comfortable and confident doing that. He fit in very nicely. He was friends with everybody, too, before he started working with us, which is clearly very helpful.

Q. The lob that went through the roof and that point that you won, is that something you practice often?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, this one was the biggest joke of a point maybe I have ever played (smiling). That thing should be anywhere else but on the other side of the court in a position where you cannot finish the point. I did some good defense after that, but, yeah, normally you don't get that lucky. Thankfully it didn't decide the outcome of that second set. That would have been too much of a joke, to be honest (smiling).

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