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August 19, 2018

Roger Federer

Cincinnati, Ohio

N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was that a tale of two returns today? You were struggling to make returns against Novak. He was putting very aggressive returns to play against you.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. It was definitely not my best day on the return. That's it. It was just awful. But it's okay. You know, I mean, he served well, whatever. But missing every second serve on the forehand side, I don't know what that was about.

But, look, I don't even want to look for reasons why it happened. I just think it did. Novak totally deserved to win today. This was not good enough. It's okay. Good week, but I'm happy it's over and I need to rest. So it's all good.

Q. (Question about serve at Wimbledon.) Was it the case today, as well, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, Anderson was different. For three sets I was in the match. I mean, it wasn't like I was getting aced left, right, and center against Novak. Today was just about being on the ball and missing, so it was even worse of a feeling, to be honest.

I just think my feet weren't moving probably at the end of the day, and maybe the late finishes from the last couple of days had something to do with it, you know.

No, I mean, look, it's a bit frustrating, but I guess these matches just unfortunately happen sometimes. And then Novak, you know, he's a great champion and this is what this should be about, this press conference; not about me missing second-serve returns. It's about him making history. That's my opinion.

We can go into whatever points you want, but I think that's what the headline should be about. This is an amazing accomplishment, and I hope he's extremely proud and extremely happy about this moment.

Q. On the history, how to you put this in context of all the other things that guys have achieved? He's now the first one to win all nine Masters. He was the only one with eight and now he has nine. Where do you put this in terms of how tough that would be to do?
ROGER FEDERER: It's hard to tell, really. I think it's -- all these records that a player creates, you know, at the end you're going to all judge it all together, bundle it up and say, Okay, what was the coolest thing you ever did? And this might be it for Novak besides winning all the slams and all the other things he's done already.

It's just something that the previous generation couldn't even aim for, because we had the Super 9s, okay, but it wasn't like a goal of anybody, because you had so many experts on all different surfaces. And then all of a sudden things slow down. Everybody starts to play from the baseline. Only then you could win all four almost or you could only win all the Masters 1000s.

But I think as generations will go by, more and more players will probably get a chance of doing something like this, but he is the very first one to do it.

I think it's extremely difficult to win a Masters 1000. These tournaments don't come easy. You saw my performance today. It's just a long week. It's tough, grueling. The best players are playing. You play against tough guys early on in the draw. So you don't have much time to find your rhythm and actually almost work on your game throughout the week. He's done that maybe better than anybody. So it's a great credit to him. Yeah, I think it's an amazing accomplishment.

Q. The weather has been a challenge on tour for the last three weeks. Here, obviously, too. You were one of the some that had to play two in one day. That was only two days ago. Do you think that may have had some carryover into today?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe. Who knows? Who cares? It's over now.

Q. Both you and Novak have done amazing things on court, but really off court through your foundations you have done even greater things. Serena is shedding light on what I will call mind health maybe more than mental health. I wonder if you consider teaming up to support something like that? You had Mardy Fish, Nicole Gibbs talk about their own struggles. As parents, as well, for young people there is a lot of issues with that today, a lot of young kids struggling.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, explain to me again. I didn't hear the part with Serena that you were saying.

Q. Well, being a new mom she's had some...

Q. ...communications about new mom, not every day is bliss. It's okay. I'm having a bad day too.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, yes. I mean, look, I'm always happy to shed a light on these things. Always happy to support in any possible way I can for people who are struggling. You know, I do it through my foundation, but then, of course, I do it in a different way, as well, when you meet people sometimes who have had it difficult or people who maybe don't have much time to live anymore. You meet those people.

So there is a lot going on that sometimes you don't see, but I understand in the public light, you know, it obviously creates bigger waves. What I know is I will team up with Novak in Chicago for his foundation. I will show up at his charity event, which I'm very excited about.

I think it's nice when players get together and do things, especially for charity. I think we could even do more, but, you know, we have a busy schedule. It's a lot going on in our lives. A lot of people always tell you, Don't forget you are a tennis player at the end of the day, and the last thing you want to do is come into the press conference and say, I have been really busy in charity; that's maybe why I lost my match. People will go, Okay (smiling).

So you have to always balance it right. You know, yeah, I'm happy to help if ever down that stretch. I don't know. But probably for the time being, while I'm still a player, I probably will focus on helping other charities and my own, and then if it happens that this is the subject, sure, I'm happy to do it.

Q. You, Novak, and Rafa have won Grand Slams this year. Novak and Rafa split these two Masters events. I wonder who you think is the favorite going into the US Open? How do you see the men shaping up in New York?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it will be a very exciting end to the season, because everybody's going to probably be healthy or healthier again. It's nice to see Novak has come back, and Milos has been playing great tennis again. Stan seems solid again. Same with Nishikori. These are all guys that we were missing for the last nine months or so.

So that's going to be fun. I'm not the favorite; they are. Rafa and Novak, in my opinion. I'm happy that my level, you know, is there. I just need to figure out my game, get used to different balls. It's always beautiful when you play with different balls here and there (smiling).

That's going to be just something I'm going to be working on. I just gotta come up with a lot of energy, and then hopefully I also have a chance after 10 years to do something special again at the Open.

I think it's going to be an interesting US Open. I don't know if it's going to be 16-seed for sure at the Australian Open, but it looks good. I still think this US Open draw, as well, is going to be quite entertaining, and I can't wait for the US Open to come around.

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