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March 17, 2019

Roger Federer

Indian Wells, California

D. THIEM/R. Federer

3-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A tough match. Talk a little bit about what he was able to do in the second set to kind of assert himself against you.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought that the game he broke me I didn't serve very well, so I think he took advantage of that fact. He was downwind, so that helped maybe a little bit.

But credit to him for fighting through that 2-1 game, I believe it was, 1-All game to go 2-1 down or up, and he was able to save that and then break, you know, getting the lead. I think that was a really important five minutes in the match. It was crucial.

I think I must have made some mistakes the way I was gonna serve him, construct the points. But he definitely did well there.

Q. In the third set, 5-5, the game with the two dropshots, what were you thinking then? What was your planning there?
ROGER FEDERER: To win the point, and I didn't. So things didn't go my way. He played them well. It's that simple. I don't know what to tell you.

I thought that the first one hit very well. The second one, if he doesn't pick it up quick, he's not going to be there, but he did. So the second one I should have hit it, but I didn't. So just these little things, you know, that matter today.

You know, again, he did very well when he got up to the ball, stayed calm, made the shot.

And I maybe should have covered the first one, I feel like, but again, you know, he looks good when he gets there, and that's what clay courters can really do.

Yeah, I mean, he stayed cool under pressure there.

Q. Five titles here, a lot of great success. Tough losses in the finals in recent years. Just thin margins? You think it's just the way it goes in the game today? What's your sense?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think so. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong. The return he hits on the return, on the line at 5-Aall, that's the one I needed, and I couldn't produce that. Why is that? I mean, you can start looking, digging so deep, and then you end up getting lost, rather than just saying, like, you know, he played maybe a little bit better when he really had to.

But again, I didn't feel like I played bad, either. I had my chances. I was in the points. I have the easy forehand I was looking for for Love-40. He picks the right side. I picked the wrong side. Is that a difference? Maybe.

That's why I'm not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it did feel like to some extent it was in my racquet. You know, just came up against somebody who was on the day, you know, a bit better when it really mattered.

That's how it goes. Sure, it's frustrating and disappointing and sad to some extent, but, look, I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly.

Q. Do the losses hurt a little bit more now or less? This loss coming so soon after all the celebration of a 100th title.
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe that's why I'm okay with it today, because I felt like I'm actually playing, you know, good tennis. Like, in Australia, I wasn't too down on myself because I feel like my game is there, my body is there.

I think when you feel that way, you know, you take it more, how do you say, positively? I don't know how to explain, but it's just not as dramatic. Whereas, when you're hurt and things are difficult and, you know, that maybe those hurt more. I'm not sure.

You know, at the same time I'm happy for Dominic, winning his first Masters 1000, as well. It's a massive event to win. Like you said, I just got my 100 in Dubai and I had a good week here. Really, there is no reason to get down. Plus there is more to look forward to in Miami.

Look, things are good for me. Just unfortunate today. I needed a better shot from time to time.

Q. You have played an awful lot of tennis in the last couple of weeks and then an awful lot of traveling. Is Miami definitely in the cards? Do you definitely plan for that two weeks?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I'm leaving tomorrow. I'm going to Miami tomorrow. The body is perfectly fine. That also always keeps me upbeat, and I feel it's a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament.

And like you said, I have been playing every single day for the last three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact.

Yes, the plan is definitely play to Miami for now.

Q. Do you think you can easily pick up the momentum that maybe slipped just a touch here when you get to Miami?
ROGER FEDERER: I'd like to say yes, but then I thought the same last year. I lost early there, too. Now it's totally different. Everybody's got to get used to center court or the conditions at the new site. You know, I'm eager to find out how it's going to be like. I heard it's going to be raining the next few days, so I hope to get some practice in.

Yeah, I feel really good, so why shouldn't I go into the tournament and to the event confident? But then again, we'll see what the draw is like. We will see how I feel in six days. There is still a lot of open question marks.

Right now I feel really good, yeah.

Q. You have a very even temperament on court. How do you channel frustration into something positive when you're out there?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it is, you know, just accepting a lost point for just a point and not more than that. Can be quite complex sometimes, because every point in tennis feels like it could be a momentum switch.

I think that's what I do very well in my head, you know, how I'm able to, for three seconds, analyze it, maybe be frustrated for myself a little bit, and then right away go into relax mode, go into preparation mode for the next point, and be able to think clear again. I think when you feel that way, yeah, you move on quickly.

Of course days, maybe, I don't know, you feel just more edgy, for whatever reason that is. Maybe you feel the same in your job, I'm not sure, but I think everybody has those days when you're just more edgy. Could be lack of sleep. Could be anything. That's the days it doesn't come natural. You have to sometimes really force yourself to stay calm.

Q. The average speed of Dominic's shot is apparently much higher than that of other players. Do you really notice that, or is it close to someone else or is it by far the fastest someone plays off the ground?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, not by far, but you could definitely feel like every shot in Dominic's game has got some punch behind it. I think that's why also he did well here this week.

I'm surprised he didn't do better in previous years, because I think it really lends itself to players who can put the pressure on time and time again, and who have a good kick serve. It does go up and it does fly and hard to control, especially once it gets up there.

That's where his secret lies, as well, playing well on the clay. He can hit through heavy conditions, forehand and backhand and that time and time again. I think that for most players is a secret how to achieve greatness on clay. And the best at that is Rafa, obviously.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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