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September 1, 2018

Roger Federer

New York, NY, USA

R. FEDERER/N. Kyrgios

6-4, 6-1, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You seemed to up your game considerably in the second set after the first set. Can you talk us through that.
ROGER FEDERER: I think it was probably a combination of the sun being gone, always plays into how good you see the ball and how you can feel, and obviously the beginning of the match can be rocky sometimes, and then I think with the one-set lead, you also do loosen up a bit. I think it was a combination of those three things.

Q. When you look across the net at him, do you see a spectacularly, unpredictable guy or a guy who is maybe not as professional as he should be, pulling his stuff together and maybe not getting the results he might otherwise?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, when I'm playing, I feel like unpredictable player with an enormous serve, who can just turn it on whenever he wants to do it. That changes your mindset a little bit as a player, as a top player, that all of a sudden, you feel like you have to be the consistent guy, you know, rather than you being the flashy guy, just because he has a tendency to throw in the odd shot that you just don't normally see on the tour like that.

Q. Flashier stretch in the third set, around-the-net-and-post shot. Do you think he was trying to make highlight reel points? Did he set you up for some of those shots?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was thinking about it while he was doing it, you know. Other guys play the shot you're supposed to hit, and then if you get beat, you're, like, Maybe I should have hit Nick's shot.

Nick goes the other way around. He hits that shot, but then if he doesn't win that point, maybe he tells himself, Well, maybe I should have hit a normal shot. It just goes the other way around. And he's very good at doing these shots, too.

Clearly at 40-15, he should have hit a normal forehand in the open court, and he chooses to go for sort of the dropshot, which at the end cost him the match.

So clearly when you play that way and you lose, it's always, like, you feel like he's so much to blame, but that's just how he plays.

Yeah, that's why we go back to being super consistent, make him hit that one extra ball, because when you play like this, it can also work against you. Rather than someone just going for it, you have a tendency to play safe, as well, which can be an advantage for him.

But today I think he didn't come up with the goods when he really had to, and I was good, I think, by making him hit that extra shot. Things worked well for me today.

Q. These flashy spectacular shots may not win slams, but they are fun and fans love them. You hit that great overhead in Italy years ago off of Roddick's overhead, I imagine you recall it.

Q. Basel.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, homeland. I remember (smiling). It was not Italy. I can tell you that.

Q. Sorry for that.
ROGER FEDERER: No problem. I was able to plug Switzerland, so it's all good.

Q. What do you think your greatest spectacular shots have been in your career? Was that one up there with them?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was definitely one of the more unique ones. Like I explained on court, you don't get an opportunity to hit around the net post very often, because in practice, you -- I mean, you can't really train them. The net is out further and the court is more narrow, so for a shot like this to happen in a practice, you will be running into a fence and you will hit it into the net.

So these shots can only really happen on a big court where you play with the single posts in the doubles alley.

I have hit a few throughout my career, and, sure, they are always fun, just because sometimes you can sort of aim for them it because you realize you have an option more, which just never have. As you're hitting it, you're, like, Oh, I can just shove it down the line and just flat. That's what happened today.

I definitely think it was a special one, no doubt about it. I do believe the smash off the smash against Roddick was special just because it was way back in the court, as well. And then there was one more in Dubai against Agassi on break point. I was able to flick a ball. I still don't know how I did it today. It went for a lob over him. I don't know. It was just a massive point on top of it, and it was against Andre.

And then the one through the legs here against Novak, just because of the magnitude of the shot, as well. I think it was 6-5, Love-30, it was just also a big-time moment in the game, which obviously always matters, as well.

Q. What do you most want other players to learn from the way you conduct yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: I think to play fair and play tough, you know. You know, I don't know. I hope they look to me or parents look to me and think that they will be happy that maybe their son would behave like this on a tennis court or try tried as hard as I did.

But there are many other athletes and especially other tennis players who do a wonderful job, as well. If I can be any sort of inspiration for guys coming up on the tour, that would be great, you know, in whatever shape and form that is.

Q. How important do you think, not just for that particular moment of the match but maybe for the tenor of the match moving forward, was that 3-All Love-40 game? I'm wondering in the moment, do you sense that that could be a very pivotal moment moving forward?
ROGER FEDERER: I think against any big server, 3-All Love-40 is a big game, because it could be that a big server also himself won't see that many opportunities down the stretch. That's what happened for him, too. And I know if I can somehow dig myself out of that game, I don't know how I got into the Love-40 game, into the Love-40 position, it's just huge to try to get out of it somehow. Doesn't have to be pretty. Doesn't have to be crazy shot-making. Just you have to get back to deuce somehow and maybe you can breathe a bit.

I know the importance of it, as well. I have been around the block for long enough. I just struggled early on, you know. I struggled with the backhand, hit too many errors there. Maybe it was part to do with the light, I'm not sure.

I thought Nick was inspired. He knew what he wanted to do. I didn't quite, off the baseline, get the right balance going. And I think then after that, there was also a lot of -- a long deuce game, too, after the Love-40. I think it was important to somehow get out of it and stay within 4-3 and probably look at a tiebreaker.

But I was able to break earlier, which was clearly great because I had no sniff on any of his service games in the first three or four. I didn't get discouraged and I think that was also the key today.

Q. A general question about tiebreaks. You have a fantastic record in tiebreaks through your career. How differently do you play tiebreaks compared with any other games?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it really depends on how the set has gone. You know, do you play better as the set goes forward, or sometimes you also have the feeling that you go in a breaker and you're just like, It's just not happening, I'm not feeling the serve, the return's not happening, the play is going his way.

I think when you go in with a negative mindset into a breaker, very often you also either start poorly and then you lose it anyway, or you actually start well, and you're, like, I probably shouldn't be in the lead, and then you end up losing it. So I think a very positive mindset is good.

Obviously if you have a good serve, that's always helpful. So, yeah, I mean, you want to play patiently aggressive, I would think. You don't want to go for broke, don't want to do crazy things. But it os does sometimes pay off as well. You have to balance it right.

Yeah, but the tiebreakers are huge, you know, especially in big-time moments like Grand Slam finals or finals in general. That's where you really, really want to win the breakers.

Q. Were you aware that he imitated your serve in the first set, and what do you think of a player doing something like that during a Grand Slam match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, doesn't matter if it's a Grand Slam match or a first round of any other 250 tournament or any place. We have all imitated serves. Sure, it's unusual to happen against you with your own serve.

Yes, of course, I knew right away when he imitates my serve, and I have seen him doing it several times over the last few months. Also that he's been using my serve sometimes to great effect, which I'm very happy to see. It's a technique that worked. No, I'm joking.

It's good fun. Look, I take it like just as it is. I think in Stuttgart, maybe or some other place, he warmed up against me only hitting my serves. I know it's about warming up the shoulder. Other guys probably use their own technique. Other guys probably use it differently. It's all good.

Q. A lot of players are very superstitious. Are you? If so, what sorts of things do you do or try to avoid on the court or before a match? I have also heard you're partial to the number 8. Is that true?
ROGER FEDERER: No, 8 only because I'm born on the 8th of the 8th in '81. I like that number. So not that much more to it, to be quite honest.

And then, no, I'm not very superstitious. I don't know how much I can tell you. I can try to dig and tell you -- I just try to be on time, so I'm not late for my matches, because, you know, I go back to the junior days where all of a sudden, it's, like, Okay, where is this kid, Roger? The match is on, and, I don't know. You're nowhere to be found, and you're, like, playing games with your friends in the forest and, they're like, Okay, match, and, sure, here you come.

I'm always scared I'm going to miss a match because I'm stuck in traffic. I just like to be on time wherever I go.

On the court itself, I have no superstitions, to be honest. I don't mind stepping on lines. I don't mind which side of the court I sit on or which racquet I start with. No, thankfully not.

I always told myself, also, the box doesn't have to sit the same. You know, I know everybody has different -- I'm not like that. I always said, if it's another round, I can still play tennis. That's better if they're there. I just want it to be independent, to be honest. I think that's what it is, as well.

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