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August 17, 2018

Roger Federer

Cincinnati, Ohio

R. FEDERER/S. Wawrinka

6-7, 7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Difficult day, obviously two matches in one day. Wondering how you went about planning, after you won the match, what you did prior to playing Stan.
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, well, I was happy, first, that the easier match came first, so like this, actually the break was fairly comfortable, fairly easy. We were renting a house here, so we went back to the house and I had dinner with the kids, which was great.

And then I watched a bit of Raonic against Djokovic, and then I eventually came back over. Actually, for me, it was quite comfortable. It was just odd, you know, sort of packing up again. I actually left my stuff here. So, like, Okay, I quickly go play a match. See you later, kiddies. It was just a bit of a different feel.

But I don't know. It was exciting, you know, to go through something new, only it was something I have done for the second time of my career maybe at the professional level.

Yeah, felt like two separate days, actually, because this morning it was daytime, or this afternoon it was daytime, windy and breezy, and then we came out in the nighttime and it was black, and sky, totally different. No wind at all. Different atmosphere. It was quite interesting, actually.

Q. Just Davis Cup for a second, two parts. Your thoughts on, you know, the vote, what happened, how it's going to be, they say. Also, do you think the fact that if Davis Cup goes to three sets that young guys --
ROGER FEDERER: Three sets?

Q. Best of three instead of best of five. That young guys, like Tsitsipas and Sascha, all those guys are not going to really now how to play many five-set matches?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, as we don't know what the format is going to be like -- or I don't know if it's best of five or best of three. Do we know? Okay. So I don't know what to tell you.

Like I said on The Tennis Channel, I'm for more five-setters from time to time at some key events, starting with the World Tour Finals. I think the finals has to be best of five. I don't know why we went back to best of three. I was in the voting room when it happened, and all the players were for best of three. I couldn't believe it.

I was the last guy to vote, so it was, like, Well, it doesn't matter what I say anymore, because all the other players voted for best of three. That was back in Shanghai in '06? I'm not sure how long ago it was now.

And then for players' health, and I understand we just said throughout, you know, across the board, we had to do best-of-three finals because we also had changes, as you remember, with the TVs deciding, well, we have a slot for best of five, so this year it's best of five. Next year you came in and we had a slot at 10:30 in the morning at Indian Wells. You're like, okay, we'll have only best of three then. And it was over in an hour. I remember the match, Hewitt against Henman, for instance.

It just couldn't go on like this. I think we just had to take a decision, and the tour had to take a decision. That's why I think we see no more best of five at that level.

But sure, it's not easy, then, if you only play best of three to all of a sudden show up and only play best of five at the slam level, because you do need some experience for that.

Then for Davis Cup, I don't know how the votes work, to be honest. But clearly the ITF has never historically involved the players, so that is saying -- but the federations, yeah, we're kind of there but we're actually not there. They decided to do that.

I'm still a bit surprised. I didn't get involved because I didn't know the solution. It was definitely flawed in some ways, you know, the Davis Cup, the way it was running the last few, you know, years, maybe the last decade or so, but last ten years. So for me, I don't know, I feel sad about it, you know, not to have the Davis Cup as it used to be. Will never be the same. So that will be just -- this is for the next generation, and I just hope that every penny will be paid of that mass of money that has been paid for the next generation, because we have seen a similar situation way back when with the tour and it set us back in a big way. I don't want that to happen again.

But, look, I'm all for innovation, and gotta give them a chance to some extent. It will be interesting to see how it's going to work.

Q. Looking at tonight's match, first two sets were super tight. You had couple looks at a break. Stan shut it down. Got to the third set and you kind of cruised last couple of games, nine points in a row. What changed for you to seize control of that final set?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure. I think he changed his tactics a little bit in the third set. I think he was probably not so happy with his first-serve percentage because he was hovering around 50%. I think he wanted to get that up, and I think he was actually able to do that in the third set.

Maybe he came out a bit heavy after the rain delay. I also felt heavy for a second, because it has been a lot of tennis and a lot of focus we had to put into it. Maybe it felt a little bit easier for me and maybe it was a little bit clearer what I wanted to do also from the baseline. And I just didn't want to overhit, to be honest, because I felt like I did that quite a bit the first couple of sets.

But again, you know, Stan has the power, and I'm so glad he's back on the tour and playing well and moving well. So I really enjoyed the match for what it was. It's difficult, you know, to always play against him, but I'm happy I was able to find a way in the breaker in the second, because it was a frustrating night, you know, for me, for the most period, and in the third I was able to find a way.

I think it was partially because he maybe dropped his level, for sure, but maybe me, I also played a bit better then.

Q. Staying with the match, it seemed like you were creating most of the opportunities except for a very short period in the first-set tiebreak, which kind of got away from you.
ROGER FEDERER: A lot. It went away completely (smiling). I was not even there.

Q. But then again, you're creating opportunities, had a break point in the second set, and then you had break points in the third set. How were you keeping your attention and your focus, thinking that maybe this is going to get away from me and I have had all the opportunities?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, like I explained, I think, sure, it's okay to be frustrated, you know, but you can't let that dominate every single shot after that, because sometimes it's Stan who played well. Sometimes I did everything right but he came up with the right answers. So then it's very dangerous to see the glass half empty, and then everything you do after that seems wrong. And maybe I got a little bit in a spell like this especially during that bad period at the end of the first set where really I played terrible, you know. That first-set tiebreak just completely went away.

I just tried to remember the core of the match was focus on your serve and try to do what we talked with the coach beforehand on the return games, but it was just never really connecting at the right times, you know, my way.

So I just had to hang tough, not get frustrated, and hope that I was not going to throw in a horrible, you know, service game or that he was going to connect perfectly. So, you know, it was a close match today, so I'm just relieved that I got through it somehow.

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