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January 20, 2019

Roger Federer

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


6-7, 7-6, 7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is that a story of not being able to convert 12 breakpoints or something else?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, there is always multiple factors that play into a match like this. But it definitely didn't go the way I was hoping on the breakpoints. I also didn't break him at the Hopman Cup, so clearly something is wrong how I return him, what I'm trying to do. He's doing a good job to defend them.

Nevertheless, it's very frustrating, yeah.

Q. It looked like you were both playing at a fairly high level out there. How do you assess your own performance?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think it was okay. I lost to a better player who was playing very well tonight. Hung in there, gave himself chances at some point, stayed calm. It's not always easy, especially for younger guys. Credit to him for taking care of that.

Yeah, I mean, look, conditions also changed throughout the match like every year when you start at 7, go into the night. It gets harder to go through the opponent. Yeah, I thought conditions were definitely a bit slower this year than last year. Didn't allow for as much variation, to be quite honest.

But he did a nice job of taking care of his half volleys. That's maybe what won him the match tonight, I'm not sure.

Q. He's talked about idolizing you. Can you see a bit of yourself in him?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess so. He has a one-handed backhand and I used to have long hair, too. Yeah, so maybe a little bit, sure.

He has more of a continental grip than players nowadays. Sure, that's a bit more my way than, let's say, Rafa's way.

Q. Were you satisfied with the umpire and the lines judges today? A few instances of late calls.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, in tight situations like this, you'll always see tight calls. In tight calls, you'll always see mistakes from time to time. It's human, it's part of the game. I'm not going to start complaining about umpires and line judges. I used to play in the day when there was no Hawk-Eye, there were tons of those. You just move on with it.

No, I think I mentioned it to the Swiss press a few days ago. I think maybe we should consider replaying a situation, you know, when somebody serves, the guy returns, there is a late call or such a late call called by an umpire, if it's really a late call. I feel like sometimes, for instance in the Karlovic-Nishikori match, there was one. I mean, could have cost Kei the match, but it didn't. Good for him.

Sometimes there are very, very close calls, and there's a lot at stake. Maybe you could consider that. But I'm not saying it's no good what we have. I think they did a good job, to be quite honest.

Q. John McEnroe billed this as a changing of the guard. Do you see him being one of the frontrunners of the NextGen to take over the old guard?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, sure. He's in front of the mic a lot. He's always going to say stuff. I love John. I've heard that story the last 10 years. From that standpoint, nothing new there.

About Stefanos, I think he's definitely done a really nice job now the last year and a half. I mean before that, too, obviously. But beating Novak in Toronto, the likes of Anderson and Zverev, now me here. That's what you need to do to get to the next level. He's doing that. It's really nice for him.

I see him definitely being high up in the game for a long time. That was a good night for him tonight.

Q. There was a lot of coverage yesterday of you forgetting your credential heading into the locker room. How conscious are you at this tournament of always being on camera?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's different times nowadays. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. It's not like we never have anybody taking pictures or videos of us. Now it's just like everywhere all the time. It's hard to find the corner where you can actually sort of relax a bit.

But I can deal with it. It's no problem.

Q. Was there a moment in this match when you felt your game was clicking again, or did it feel it was going to be tough since the first point to the last?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I have massive regrets, you know, tonight. I might not look the part, but I am. I felt like I have to win the second set. I don't care how I do it, but I have to do it. Cost me the game tonight.

Q. Serena Williams came out yesterday and said she thought male players should be doing more to lobby for the female players getting equal pay across the board all year round. Do you agree with that statement or do you think they should be looking after their own tour separately?
ROGER FEDERER: Didn't hear about it. Look, I'm very happy that the prize money is all over the place, to be quite honest. When I fought for equal prize money for the men's game, I knew it was a dollar for a dollar also for the women's game going up. I was really, really happy for them. They deserve it. They also deserve it on the other tour, on the WTA Tour. I know they're lagging a little bit. That would be nice to see it going up.

If we can help, great. Sometimes maybe the men's game is a bit more popular, sometimes the women's game. I think we should always help each other as players regardless of who's more popular at the moment.

Q. What do you think about the crowd tonight? A little bit disturbing to you or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Disturbing? It was great. I loved the crowd. I think they were fantastic. That there was an occasional excited guy screaming in the rally, that's okay. I'd rather have it that way than the silent guys who don't make a sound. It was good fun. I enjoyed it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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