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November 1, 2018

Roger Federer

Paris, France

R. FEDERER/F. Fognini

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French, please.

Q. I hope you have understood that the French public missed you very much.
ROGER FEDERER: The atmosphere was wonderful. I was welcomed. The standing ovation at the end was wonderful as well. I wanted to thank them, to salute them. It was something that is important to me. When you lose, you don't have the mic in the end. I did win. So I had the mic, I could talk to the public.

I've had very intense moments at the French Open and in 2009 as well. Everybody knows that I'm very pleased to do my comeback here. But it is also hard to prove it on the court. And once you have the mic you can actually have a few words for the public.

And it was wonderful to have such a welcome from the French public.

Q. Was it important for you to have such a match today? Are you satisfied with your game level?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it was not that bad. I think that since we didn't have any match together, Fabio and myself, it was actually quite strange. It is important to find the right path.

I served better than him at important moments. This was actually the key of the match. This is the indoor effect. This is what is crucial in a match is who serves better. And it was me today, I think. He didn't start well as well, which is always a bad thing for him.

I was correct as far as I'm concerned.

Q. Playing this week when normally you don't play before London, what could it change in terms of physical preparation with regards to preparing for the final? Is it other things that you don't usually do? Are there things that you will do better?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe even more now with this winter day, I will not do any fitness before London. Maybe the warming up sessions will be more important before London. Everything has changed as well.

With Raonic pulling out yesterday because it actually gave me an extra day of rest which I needed, because one shouldn't have too many matches in a row like this. And this is how you manage to win today.

And already I'm in quarterfinals, which is good, and you can actually target further, which I will not do, because I didn't have the preparation.

I just stopped thinking about Basel and I'm already in Bercy already. I tried to play this tournament without any pressure to see how it turns out without any expectations. It is a pleasure for me to play at such a tournament for once, because often in the past it's always good to play well because of the rhythm or because you've been preparing yourself for many weeks.

This time, it's different. It's after I won a tournament. I just tried to play as good as I can. If it turns out well, good. If it doesn't, well, too bad. I tried.

And this is good also to play in a relaxed manner for once, to find something in my game that could help me out for London. This is why I'm here.

Q. Regarding Milos' walkover, you said that you needed some rest after Basel. It was a good piece of news?
ROGER FEDERER: It was a good piece of news. I actually had a massage right away because the coach said we're not going to practice this afternoon. So perfect. I'm going to stay here. I'm going to have a massage. I'm going to have a nice dinner, and this is exactly what we did.

So I just had more time to warm up this morning, to practice, and I exchanged quite a lot of balls. I had played quite a bit already. I would have liked to play. I understand the expectations of the public. I won't say it's a drama, but it's not nice for those who had bought the ticket. That's the problem with tennis. You never know how it is going to turn out. Nobody can play in your stead.

So as far as I'm concerned, it was welcome because my body needed it. I needed an extra day and this is what I got. It was a lot of luck. And with the winter day, then it's a double positive effect, if I may say.

Q. You said in Shanghai that you didn't think about being No. 1. Novak is going to be No. 1 on Monday but he doesn't want to rejoice because you're still in the tournament. Do you think that you could end up No. 1?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't even know if I still can, to tell you the truth. I don't know the situation. So I don't know. I didn't come here to win Paris, actually, straight away. Maybe that answers to the question.

My objective is London. If I can do well here in Paris and beat him, all the better. But I'm not there yet. We'll see. We'll just wait and see.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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