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November 11, 2018

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you give us your initial assessments, what happened?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I felt we both struggled, you know, throughout the first set. You could tell it was sort of a first round. I had my chances maybe a bit more than he did. Yeah, then I started to feel better in the second set. I think we both did. The level went up.

Yeah, unfortunately I couldn't keep the lead that I got early. That was important, I think, at the end. That was the key of the match, that sort of I guess 10-minute swing at the end of the first throughout maybe 1-All in the second. Maybe being the leader rather than being down so...

Q. Before the tournament I don't know if you were joking, but you were saying in your practice sets you were not doing very well. Is that true? Did that affect you coming into the tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, I think it plays different or it's definitely slower than I think the last three tournaments that I've played. So I think everybody's making a minor adjustment, you know. So am I.

I've been feeling, I mean, fine. It's just that practice has been a bit all over the place. Practiced in Queen's, practiced on the outside courts here, then center as well. So it's not always exactly the same conditions. Overall I thought I'm hitting the ball okay. Warmup today was totally fine.

I think maybe we both had a bit of nerves, too, not knowing how to attack second serve. I thought I saw the bit of the same with Thiem, as well, early on, trying to get the right feel for it. I think we both struggled to get that early.

It's okay now, now that the first match is out of the way.

Q. Could you tell us what happened when you got the code violation. Did you approach the umpire? It was hard to see. Did you have an exchange with the umpire? Were you unhappy with the decision?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was, just because I thought what was his argument, you know, why the warning. But nothing more than that. He thought I was angry. I wasn't. Now I'm angry because I lost, but I wasn't, so...

He knows me very well apparently, or he thought so (smiling).

Q. In general, as you started to play a bit less than you had been used to, do you feel any different pressure at tournaments knowing that you need to do really well at them because you're playing less?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I used to play exactly this schedule for about 15 years, this last second part of the season. It's just that the clay has been less. Other than that, I don't see a major difference.

I want to do well at every tournament. I think fans know that. Tournament directors know that. I know it. My team knows it.

I don't think, per se, I'm playing worse because of it. I think I've had that pressure not going out early most of my career. Once I became world No. 1 anyways. Once you've been a former world No. 1, you always have that for the rest of your career, for every guy.

Yeah, I mean, that my season was never going to be exactly like last year. I knew that going into the season. If you thought I was going to have, I think you are dreaming a little bit, I think.

I'm happy how I played this season. I didn't feel like playing less was a problem, if that's what it was. I didn't feel I played less, per se.

Q. Nishikori has been playing really well the last few months. What sort of level is he at right now?

Q. Yes, his level.
ROGER FEDERER: Very good. I thought we played a great match against each other in Shanghai. I think in Paris, maybe also a little bit tired from Vienna the previous week. And today was a first round, you know, of a tournament. I'm really happy for him that he qualified for this event - not taking me out today - but I'm happy for him because he started playing challengers. That was a bold decision early on. Yeah, that deserves credit and respect. I think we all have that for Kei because he's a great fighter.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your expectations of the match against Dominic now. Also, considering he's one of the few ones that has a positive head-to-head, but you have to get to know him better on the court.
ROGER FEDERER: We haven't played in a while, I don't remember when that was the last time. I mean, okay, whatever.

I haven't thought about the match, to be honest. I haven't had enough time. I wasn't even thinking who I'm going to play next. I just know I need to do better than today. That's pretty much it.

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