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January 19, 2018

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

R. FEDERER/J. Struff

6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Everybody else suffered a brutal day in the heat. The conditions tonight were pretty close to perfect?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I mean, Rod Laver are usually perfect, especially at nighttime. We know it can be very hot here in Australia. I remember the days when we had four days of 40 degrees in a row a few years back. Now we got two. Most of the guys now have to play in 30-plus degrees conditions.

It's definitely a challenge. It's hard to prepare for that in some ways. But you know when you come down here that can happen. Sure, I'm happy I played at nighttime. But like I said on court, I would back myself playing during the daytime also. Used to go to Dubai when it was 45. 38 seems almost okay.

The problem is at that temperature, sometimes your body just reacts funny just because it does. It is hard to get out of it, that feeling of not feeling well. Sure, I was watching the other players suffer. As long as nothing bad happens, it's all good.

Q. The last few years you've chosen to acclimatize in Perth rather than the Middle East.
ROGER FEDERER: I was in Brisbane for three years.

Q. How has that helped you acclimatize?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, I don't know how different Brisbane is from Perth in terms of the weather. It's pretty much the same.

I've done all sorts of preparations. I did preparations with Tony Roche in Sydney, went back to Doha, then came back for Melbourne. That worked.

This time I've done Perth now twice. I've done Brisbane in the past. I feel like having kids, later on in my career it feels like Hopman Cup is a really good option for me. I love that there is not 450 players like here basically. There's only maybe 20 players, which is great.

Wonderful center court. Great crowds. Not that that wasn't the case in Brisbane. But it is a jetlag that's simpler coming from Dubai. It's only four hours. I didn't have any jetlag. The kids also not. I always think of them first. For us, it worked very well this year again, like last year. Plus I won, so seems to be working so far.

Q. You said at the start of the week someone your age shouldn't be favored. You haven't had to overexert yourself so far. Are you starting to believe maybe you should be favorite?
ROGER FEDERER: It doesn't matter what I think. It doesn't matter who makes those calls. Still a lot of tennis to be played.

I did say the first two matches you're going to see who's doing well and not so well. With Stan, we saw he's definitely not at 100% yet. Novak seems good to me, coming through the heat today. I think that was a good test for him. Should definitely give him confidence. Zverev seems also to be in good shape. Rafa the same.

I think the suspects, the usual suspects, that we thought could win the tournament, seem to be around. Yeah, but there's definitely some guys missing, so the draw is going to have some openings. DelPo is also in good shape.

Should be an interesting tournament. I'm happy I'm still part of it really, because I knew Struff could be tough today.

Q. Talk about how our game has changed over these many years. What do you think the key things in terms of change are since you came into the game?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, if you look at the last two matches that I've played, I felt like both of my opponents pretty much kind of went for broke. That's from the baseline. Usually we don't have that so much back in the day. If you had a dangerous player, he was a serve-volley player, a chip-and-charge player.

Today everybody, when they see a mini chance to get on the offensive, they just go for it. I think the racquet and string technology has allowed that to happen, especially on faster courts. As you don't want to be in defense too much, the moment you see an opening, you go for it.

It keeps the points short now, too. It's just become extremely athletic in the process. I feel like that's been the biggest difference for me in recent years now.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about levels of prize money.

Q. Prize money, percentage of prize money, the possibility of a players union. What are your thoughts on those?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you got to be exact. Level of prize money where, what, how?

Q. The percentage of the revenue, the tournament that's paid in prize money, is it enough?
ROGER FEDERER: Which tournament?

Q. Well, all.
ROGER FEDERER: It does matter.

Q. The slams in particular.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, they could definitely pay more, no doubt about it. But we don't need to talk about that right now in the third round or second round of a tournament.

They know that. We're not partners. We're just players. It's always hard to rally. We had a good agreement, in my opinion, that made the Grand Slams happy, the players pretty happy. Seems like that has run its course.

The moment that happens, there's not the same increases any more, so players have to rally, get back together again, put in the effort. The Grand Slams know that. They will only react when we do so. We're ready to do it. It's going to be the same process over and over again.

It's a bit boring, to be honest, always having to ask for stuff. If you look at the revenue, the sharing process, it's not quite where it's supposed to be. But, look, you can't go from here to right there in a day. We know that. We just hope they realize and they do appreciate us maybe more all the time and not just in waves, you know what I mean?

But it's all good. We have good contacts with the slams. It's all good. But it's going to be a never-ending story.

Q. A separate players union, is that something you'd be in favor of?
ROGER FEDERER: I think what's good is that all the players are talking to one another. When the players don't talk, nothing gets done. If the players talk to one another, it's interesting. It's not something we can do every day. We don't have the players in the same room at all times. We can get together in locker rooms, have a quick huddle-up meeting all together. But to get organized all ourselves, it's not always easy because everybody has different schedules. We just got to make a conscious effort to get together and talk to one another.

I think that's good, whatever the topic is, to be honest. I'm all for that. It seems like we're talking, which is a good thing.

Q. Did you see the film "Battle of the Sexes"? If you have, what did you think of it?
ROGER FEDERER: I watched it on the plane. I enjoyed it. I thought it was a nice movie.

Q. Was there anything that you learned that you didn't know about before?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, I knew some of it, but not all the details. It's Hollywood, you know. Like the Borg-McEnroe movie. Was exactly every situation like this? I don't think so. Same in the "Battle of the Sexes" movie.

But as a spectator, as a guy that goes to the movies, sees this movie on the plane, it's powerful, it's moving. It was great acting. The story with Billie Jean is a very interesting one. She's always been incredibly supportive of me. Of course, I thought it was nice the movie was done about her because it was important times in our sport at the time.

Q. Do you feel like the organizers are doing enough to look after the welfare of the players? There's so many tournaments now, forced to play in conditions like today. Do you think you're being looked after well enough?
ROGER FEDERER: I think so, yes. But of course, on a day like today, what do you do? You stop all matches? The lucky guys on the big courts, they get to play under the roof. The other guys get postponed till the next day? Is that great? That's not great either. Is everybody going to finish at 3 in the morning, like a rainy day in New York. I've had that, too. Is that better? I'm not sure, honestly.

At the same time you do know when you do come to Australia with the heat, it's going to be sometimes problematic. Everybody has to face the similar issues.

I mean, I can't complain. ATP is doing a nice job. There's a lot of physios. There's a lot of communication going on from the officials towards us. Same with the slam level. I feel like we're all trying to coexist. It seems great. That's why I think you see a lot of players still being on tour, because it is a nice tour. It's fun. I enjoy seeing all the tournament directors, all the tournaments.

There's a lot of things we can still improve. Look, we've come a long way in all these years. I'm not here to complain. I'm actually very happy. That's why I'm still on tour.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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