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November 13, 2018

Roger Federer

London, England, United Kingdom


6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There was a little bit of concern when you canceled your practice court, it was reported yesterday. Did you feel like you wanted to refresh yourself by having a day off? Was that an accurate report, that you didn't practice yesterday?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. And I will do the same again tomorrow because it worked. Important was not about my forehand or my backhand or my serve or anything. I guess it was my head. For that sometimes you need a break.

I've been playing a lot of tennis the last two months. That's why yesterday -- sorry, I saw the Nishikori match on the way back to the hotel. A good, long trip. That was positive. Had a lot of time to talk.

We came to the conclusions, or the coaches thought, Take it easy, enjoy the day with your family, and come out happy on I don't even know what day of the week it is today. Again, when you play Thiem, that's what we care about, the head, not the shots.

The shots are there. I felt that way today. So I'm very happy that that was the right decision and I was able to show a reaction from my first-round match.

Q. The television program that you recorded with Bear Grylls was on British television last night. I take it you've seen it. Are you happy with it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't know, I had a good time. Now, if it came across good or not, that's up to the people to decide. He's a great guy. Super friendly, super positive as well.

Yeah, he wrote me, too. He was excited it was airing. He wanted me also to show a reaction today because he wasn't happy with what he saw.

But, yeah, I thought it was a great trip. I'm happy I did it. I'm happy it finally aired here in Britain, as well. I hope the people enjoyed it.

Q. Anderson is your next opponent. Everyone looks a bit further.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I can't, but go ahead.

Q. Do you think you're going to stick with the tactic and have a day off all the time now, conquer Anderson and then the next one?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know. I could win and still not make it, so from that standpoint it's not in my power. That's okay. If I don't pass, I don't pass, and I deserve not to pass. Important for me is to play a good last match here in the round-robin, try to beat Kevin. He has been playing great. He has had a wonderful season. Played great against me as well at Wimbledon. Today he had obviously a good game for him.

So that's my focus. I can't talk about what would come next because it's a hard match in itself. My first-round match here wasn't great, so today was better, and I need to keep that up against Kevin, obviously, if I want to have a chance to stay here in London.

Q. Any favorite for the final?
ROGER FEDERER: Any favorite?

Q. For you as an opponent. Zverev? Djokovic?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah there, you go. Anybody. If I'm in the finals, anybody. I have no preference. But I don't have that luxury right now to talk like this, so please forgive me.

Q. With the Nishikori match, looking back on that, was that a one-off blip, and now you feel mentally you're in the right place to go through to Sunday?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I feel like I'm ready to go for the day after tomorrow. Yeah, I mean, I don't know what happened against Nishikori. Maybe it's the round-robin format that got to me. You don't feel like you have the knife here, like in another tournament, where if you're struggling in the first round, you know if you don't get your act together, you're home in 30 minutes. You know here you're going to play three matches. Sometimes that's going to make you feel, I don't know.

I just came in with a bit -- I felt good all day. I just got a little bit edgy in the match, saw things the negative way. Kei was playing horribly as well for the first eight games like I was. I should have said, That's great, I don't need rhythm, he needs rhythm. Things are looking good for me. It's okay to not start well. It's the first round. It's normal. Sometimes you feel that way.

But I think I saw it too negative. So for me it was really important to remind myself what a thrill it is to play here at the O2. I love playing in London, always have, always will. It is my 16th year qualifying, so sometimes it's just another match. I think that's maybe what happened to me, and in a very disappointing way.

Today, when highlights were showing from the last 10 years here at the O2, I really reminded myself again what a pleasure and what a privilege it is to play in this arena. This is when you start playing better tennis instead of thinking about all the bad things that are going on. There's no reason to get that negative. The tournament has only just started.

Q. Does the Wimbledon match come into the mind at all going in to play Kevin? Same city but obviously different surface, situation.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think a whole lot, to be honest. I don't know if I'll look at it or if I'll look at other hard court matches we've played against each other to prepare. Because I played great, you know, for three sets against him, and then after that it got tough. He maybe started to serve better. I blinked and he took advantage of it, got back into the game.

Obviously, I don't know, 5-All, 10-All in the fifth set, at that point it's who believes more, who plays a bit better on the opportunities you have. And he was better at the end.

I don't think I'll go into the match thinking, like, too much of it. I think I have enough things to focus on from my own side, from my own game, to make sure I play a good match against him here in the next match.

I'm really excited to get a chance to play him again, to be honest. I've played well against him in the past. I hope I can reproduce something like that.

Q. Are you aware of the comments made by Julien Benneteau in a French radio interview suggesting you getting favorable scheduling? Do you have any reaction to that?

Q. You don't know about the comments?
ROGER FEDERER: I know about the comments, yeah. But I don't really feel the mood during a World Tour Finals to discuss that topic, to be honest. In all fairness, I hope you understand why, because this is a bit of a celebration for tennis. For me it's the year-end finale. I love playing here.

The radio interview that happened over a week ago that surfaces now in French, Julien, who is a nice guy, I know him since the junior times, I think all of this has been totally taken out of context.

I don't feel like I need to comment on this. I'd rather put it to rest rather than adding to it so you guys got something to write about. Thank you, guys.

Q. On that note, is it correct the claim that your agent requested that you not play in Armstrong this year, and would your agent normally make a scheduling request like that?
ROGER FEDERER: I get asked, Would you like to play Monday or Tuesday sometimes. Sometimes I get asked, Do you want to play day or night? Sometimes they go ask the agent. Sometimes they ask me, you know, Asia wants you to play at night.

Yes, sometimes we have our say. But I asked to play Monday at the US Open. I played Tuesday night. It's all good, you know. I've had that problem for 20 years in the good way. Sometimes I get help, sometimes I don't. I think there you have it.

Yeah, sometimes they come ask, sometimes they don't. But a lot of the facts are not right, just to be clear there, from what I heard.

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