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November 3, 2018

Roger Federer

Paris, France

N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer

7-6, 5-7, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Tough match. How do you feel you played and what do you take away from such a tight match against the new world No. 1?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think the level was good from my side. Clearly I have some regrets. You know, when you lose a close match like this you always have. Wherever they are in the match.

But overall it was a good tournament. I can look back and think it was definitely worth it to come to Paris. The welcome was great. I played some good tennis so I can be happy.

Q. Quite an extraordinary shot in the second set when it hit the net and you somehow managed to get that back. When you talk about your regrets, given the extraordinary level you played at, what would those regrets be?
ROGER FEDERER: Set point, 15-All points, 30-All points. There's a lot when you play over a hundred points in a game. They could be at the beginning of the point or just overall maybe some shot selections. Whatever it is. Sometimes they're bigger and sometimes they're smaller. But they're all around you at all times and you try to make them as few as possible.

But for the most part I can be happy. Losing is never fun, so that's why I guess I have this face right now.

Q. Would you say that your rivalry with Novak has irretrievably changed after Chicago? And how would you describe it now?
ROGER FEDERER: The same. It's intense. It's good tennis. We care about winning. We don't like losing. So I can tell you that right now.

And yeah, it was a fun week in Chicago. I really enjoyed playing doubles with him. I think it was interesting for both of us to see into our minds and into our lives a little bit more.

But I think you saw today it didn't change much, you know, and that was our wish as well. It shouldn't change. I think people enjoy the rivalry. We do as well. So, yeah, it's tough and fair, like the way it's supposed to be.

Q. I'm afraid to point out during the last rally, someone screamed out twice. Did you hear it? Did that affect it?
ROGER FEDERER: Are you asking me because you saw it, my reaction? Yeah, but I think at that point if I win that one I'm still down 6-4 maybe. It's just unfortunate it happens and at the end you lose the point, the match, the rally. You're quadruple frustrated.

It happens. It's good. People are into it. It's all good. It didn't happen for the entire match basically, that the people screamed into the rally. But people were on the edge of their seat, and it's fine. It was just I was like, once, twice. I mean, thank God the rally ended. It would have been like five times maybe if it continued maybe.

Q. You said last night you wanted to come to the match and play like you felt like you had nothing to lose. To what extent do you feel like you accomplished that today? And you have spoken a lot about playing freely. Is that the key for you of playing freely?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, sometimes there's only so much you can do on a fast indoor court. You're not going to swing for the fences when you get aced sometimes. You got to first get the racket on the ball. First you got to get the body behind the ball. All of these things matter.

Novak is obviously on a roll. You can feel it. He protects his serve very well. I think I did the same as well. And at the end it came down to a few things here and there.

But overall, you know, I'm happy with my game. It's better than last week in Basel. There I won the tournament and here I played in the semis and it needed somebody of Novak's caliber to beat me. So that's all right.

And I'm looking forward to a rest now and a good preparation for London.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. You may have had some doubts as to how your body would react but it seems that in the end after the end of the week you didn't suffer that much.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's especially thanks to Raonic' withdrawal, because five matches in a row is a lot, you know.

But I'm very satisfied with the way I feel now. It's a good thing. I'm not injured. I'm quite happy about that.

Q. At the end of the match, the whole public looked at that encounter and they wondered, Are we going to see you again in Paris? Is it likely for us to see you at the French Open especially?
ROGER FEDERER: No idea if it were the last match. It was a good one actually. I am sorry I lost. Because it's never fun and nice to lose. I don't know. As I said for the French Open, I will decide at the end of the year to see how it will have an impact on my physical training.

Bercy as for next year, it's like every year, it's always difficult. I can't foresee too much in advance but I don't think it will be my last match here.

Q. You came here to test yourself out before the Masters in London. Do you have the answers to the questions that you asked yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if I really came here to find answers. Last week, I obtained the title and it gave me a lot of confidence. I saved a lot of breakpoints. I wasn't tense. I wasn't nervous. So I got used to playing matches again. You know, having points after points you get into your cruising speed.

I'm not saying that it is totally different from London. We're going to play against the top 10 at the first round. It's not simple. As I said before, my body is in shape. Mentally I felt tough. So it's a good thing as well. And I did the semis. It's all right already. I can still be satisfied, you know.

Q. It's been a long time now that you haven't won against Novak but you have always won against Rafa. Is Novak a problem for you unlike Rafa on matches like this?
ROGER FEDERER: When you lose 7-6 in the third set, it's not like one or two, you know? This is where everything lies.

They're totally different, you know. And I can answer you not because I just lost, but we know how they are so different one from another. Sometimes it depends on whether you're on a good roll or not. Like when I played against Murray, it was the same thing. If you are having a good momentum it's not the same as if you were on a bad roll.

What I would say on Novak, I always like the rivalry. It's also tactical but it's a different tactical approach than with Rafa. The whole geometry of the court is different because he's left-handed. And that is the case with all left-handed players not only Rafa.

Apart from Cincinnati and now, I can't remember the previous matches we played before we were injured, and then we go back two, four years ago. So I hope that he's won more than lost during this phase because he was No. 1 worldwide. So it's as simple as that.

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