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November 15, 2018
London, England, United Kingdom
R. FEDERER/K. Anderson
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Everyone is going to start talking about the number now, the number you said you didn't want to think about too much, the 100th title. You're two wins away now. What is it going to be like for you going into that match? Does this tournament bring out something special in you to win it here?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think regardless of the numbers this is a massive tournament for the players. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but I've loved being part of the Tennis Masters Cup at the time, today World Tour Finals. I've always tried to pace myself in a way, set up my schedule in a way that I would have something left in the tank, I would peak at this event.
I'm happy that this is another week like this. Didn't look like it maybe 72 hours ago. But I was able to come back and play good tennis.
Personally I'm still not thinking of the number 100. I won't let that get in my head, make me go crazy because it should be something I'm excited about and not something I should feel extra pressure. As long as I think Novak is in the draw anyhow, he's playing so good again, it's never going to be easy.
My next opponent, I don't know who it's going to be, I think it could even be Novak, but I doubt it's going to be. I think it's just going to be hard to finish it. I'm happy I gave myself the opportunity. I'm happy that I'm raising my level of play throughout this week. This is what I hope to do. Yeah, it's exciting to be in this situation now, of course, no doubt.
Q. We showed some breaks against Anderson. How do you analyze that? You're physically well?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm feeling great. I'm very happy that I still have energy left in the tank. Mentally I feel fresh, to be honest.
In terms of the breaks against Anderson, you're talking about the service breaks?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the first one he kind of gave it to me a little bit. I mean, I had one good connection on the return, then he double-faulted twice. Obviously that helped. But still I was able to get it done.
Unfortunately I had a rocky service game myself after that. Didn't let that frustrate me or disappoint me. I kept on plugging away, kept on trying.
I think my attitude was good today. I think I had an aggressive playing mindset, a good variation as well with my slice. I think, yeah, it was just a good match from my side. Maybe also for Kevin. Maybe it wasn't simple because knew he was maybe through. This is the round-robin concept. It can play tricks on your mind maybe. Maybe also he's thinking ahead, of the semis.
For me, I always wanted to win this last group stage match regardless of whether I was going to go through or not. For me, it was fairly straightforward in terms of my mindset going into this match today.
Q. Did you follow the same recipe as the last match, not practicing? Others play with motivation, motivation the biggest talent there is, competitive fuel, you have a couple of Euros in the bank, a couple of trophies, how do you manage to be that motivated?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, everybody does it differently. Everybody has got different coaches and entourage that give you different advice.
Look, I'm a big believer in vacation. I'm a big believer in taking time off sometimes. When I go to work, I go hard, I go the right way, I go professional about it with my team.
I didn't think of taking a day off, to be honest, after the Nishikori match. I thought, What are we going to do? Where are we going to train?
They said, How about a day off?
I said, Sure, I'm happy for a day off. It's only if you guys want it.
This is how we took the decision quickly. The day after Nishikori, as we realized it made me happy, relaxed, motivated for when I do come on court, that it's working. We kept that. I didn't practice yesterday. I doubt that I will practice tomorrow.
I think if I can't practice on center court, there's no reason to go on a different court, feel a different type of atmosphere. Here it's great. I can warm up with the matches great intensity and I'm ready to go.
I played so much of my career, so much this season already, especially recently, we just don't feel the urge of having to work on anything. It's all about matches at this point.
Q. After the Nishikori match you talked about the difficulty of adapting between three different sorts of courts. Having stuck to center court, has that improved your rhythm? Is it often a problem when you switch to a new venue?
ROGER FEDERER: It's the same for everybody, for every player. It just gets a little bit complicated sometimes when you're constantly adapting. Arenas change, temperatures change. It's just a different atmosphere. Speeds can be different, they vary. Some courts they didn't resurface the way they did center court, didn't do it at the same time, all that stuff.
Look, I don't complain. It is what it is. But sometimes when you're seeking rhythm indoors, it can be frustrating regardless. It's fast tennis. You don't see that many long rallies anyhow. I think it's very often a mindset on how you approach losing a lot of points in a very quick manner, how you digest those points.
Yeah, so for me this week I'm doing it this way. It's one of the first times I've done it like that. I'm happy it's paying off so far. But I got to be very, very focused the moment I step on court for the practice, the warmup. I think that's key, as well.
Q. Since you were in Lille four years ago and won the Davis Cup, can you give any advice to Croatians how to prepare?
ROGER FEDERER: To prepare?
Q. The environment in Lille, it's quite usual in the stadium. What do you think about that final, last final in this old format?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, my preparation wasn't ideal. It was anything but ideal, coming with my massive back pain from here where I couldn't play the finals, which was a massive disappointment for me. Basically not practicing, I don't believe, until the Wednesday or Thursday before the tie. I was on edge. The team was on edge. Nobody knew if I was going to make it.
We had a great time in Lille. I do believe in a situation like this, in a finals, with everything that has gone by for a team, it's just super important to have great team camaraderie.
Yeah, you prepare as well as you can. Obviously for everybody it's complicated to go from hard to indoor clay. I think that's going to test the nerves a little bit more for the players, especially on Friday.
I thought the atmosphere was wonderful. It's a big stadium. I thought it was going to be cold, but they had put these heaters in. Actually from that standpoint, I think it was quite enjoyable from the fans and the players alike and the teams.
Yeah, I think it's going to be a good finals, to be honest, with top players, especially on the Croatian side, and the French always have a very, very solid team. They have a lot of players to draw from that are good on basically all the surfaces. They cover all bases. Both have really good doubles team.
I think it should be an exciting weekend, maybe one I'll also peek in to see what's going to happen.
Q. Djokovic and Zverev talking about burnout this week, the longevity of the season, what would you like to be seeing going forward? A new tournament launched today as well for January 2020. What can be done for players to ensure the players aren't going to be burnt out come November, December?
ROGER FEDERER: You can get rid of 20 tournaments. I don't know who wants that. Not those 20 tournaments. Not the 200 or thousand players on tour. That's one option.
The other option is as a team, player and team, to decide which are your priorities and how much can a body take, how much can a mind take, how much travel can someone endure.
The good thing is we as players are not employed by a club. I can walk right now out of the door and go onto vacation if I want to. Nobody is going to stop me. They won't like it, but I can. That's a massive privilege, I believe, that a tennis player has.
I think we've done a nice job from a player standpoint to understand it's not something we do, out of respect to the fans, the tournament organizers, the sponsors and so forth, and also just for the integrity of the game.
There's two ways to look at it. One, it's nice that there's so many tournaments. When you get injured, not like skiing, you're going to miss the entire season. The other way, it would be amazing to have five months to work on your game. You could really maximize the player you are, the potential you have. Obviously with the little time we have, there's only so much you can do.
Both are positive and negative. But the way the tour is structured right now, I just think you have to be very disciplined within the team to decide what's best for that player, and the player needs to also give his opinion.
It's a tricky one, but a good one because we have a lot of highlights in tennis that we really can't complain.
Q. You know today was the ATP Cup presented. Last night Djokovic said better quality than quantity, better one event than two or three team events. Today Craig Tiley said there are many sports with many team events in the same year. What do you think? They are a little bit in contradiction, I think. If a player is invited to play the Laver Cup, later when he goes to the Australian Open --
ROGER FEDERER: Are you reading?
Q. Yes, because I'm afraid to forget.
ROGER FEDERER: I like to listen. It's like a goodnight story (smiling). Beautiful voice.
Q. Later when he goes to the Australian Open, he would make some kind of request, court, scheduling, would he be under the spotlight as a conflict of interest? I'm not talking about you, just in general, one player is invited to Laver Cup, then asks something.
ROGER FEDERER: Afterwards you have to repeat the second question, it was long and I missed the beginning because I couldn't believe you were reading. But I get it. You had to be very precise.
The first question was about?
Q. Several team events. Djokovic says no.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we haven't seen the new Davis Cup yet. We haven't seen a new World Team Cup yet, which used to exist in Dusseldorf, which now is in Australia. They just announced today.
I think we have to wait and see how it is. Like I just finished the question here about it's so nice that we have so many highlights, so many tournaments to choose from. Clearly if the World Team Cup is going to be held, players will want to play that first week of the year, so you would think it's going to be exciting.
The Davis Cup has incredibly rich history. You would think the players are going to play that. From that standpoint, I think there's not that much change, per se, or more tournaments on the calendar. It just happens that there's more team events, which I think the players are happy about.
I remember the IPTL, the exhibitions sometimes. If you make it in a team format, it can be fun. Players enjoy being with somebody else than just fighting for yourself. I see it in their eyes. I remember at the IPTL, talking to the women players, they were like, Oh, my God, this is so much fun for three weeks. Be on a team, support one another on a team, practice with one another, be with one another.
You forget how I don't want to say it's lonely as a tennis player sometimes, but when you win sometimes like tonight, game, set, match, Federer, you fist pump, look at your team, I'm happy, but you're on your own.
Team, like Davis Cup, Hopman Cup, Laver Cup, you're playing for somebody else, something else, a country, a region, whatever it may be. I think that makes the player quite happy and gives a different feel that it can actually also fuel you for other ATP events or other just tournaments.
We've seen that the energy that some players brought at the Laver Cup, we've seen the emotions in Davis Cup, which we'll see also in the World Team Cup in the future. I see the point. We don't know yet. As we don't know yet, let's wait and see what happens.
The other one? You have to remind me. It was so long. I need to answer precisely as your question was so precise you had to write it down.
Q. Someone plays the Laver Cup, then the next January goes to play the Australian Open, they ask to the same tournament director, Can I play this court instead of other? Can I play at night, in the morning, something like that? Would he be under the spotlight in conflict of interest?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I think the tournament will do it in connection with the ATP, checking all the requests with what they always do, with the TV demands. I don't know how much sponsors have to say, to be honest, at a Grand Slam. But usually it's TVs and home market. They go after that.
I don't know about what all the other players are requesting, or if they get asked. So, no, I don't worry about that, to be honest. I think, sure, there's conflict of interest in this sport. We know it. We know where they are. They've been around for a long, long time. They will never go away. I don't think there is any there in this regard, no.
ROGER FEDERER: You're very welcome (smiling).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports