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July 6, 2019

Roger Federer

Wimbledon, London, England

R. FEDERER/L. Pouille

7-5, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. More records broken here at Wimbledon: 17 fourth-round appearances, 350 wins at Grand Slams. Moves you to the top of those lists. How do you feel about those records? What is it going to take for somebody to stop your run? You looked in fine form today.
ROGER FEDERER: Thank you, yeah. I mean, the records mean something to me, but not everything just because I am very much aware that not everybody for the last hundred years played all the slams. It's really only the last 20 years that that's been going on. Traveling has gotten easier. I'm sure that's going to keep happening from now on, most of the players will keep playing.

Yeah, so for me, I'm very happy how it's going so far. I thought it was a good match with Lucas today. Of course, I hope it's going to take a special performance from somebody to stop me, not just a mediocre performance.

I'm happy that I'm able to raise my level of play. Also there was a great run of games midway through the second, also after winning the first. I like seeing moments like that in a match for me.

Q. A lot of focus in the first week on young players, new faces. It seems like the second week looming large are the familiar names, both on the men's and women's side. Does this sort of speak to the experience, the value of experience, in this tournament moving forward now, we're seeing some of the familiar names?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the surprises were definitely there that first day with Stefanos and Sascha and everything, Dominic. Now, I do believe it's nice to have experience on this surface. The problem is it's not like you can play a ton of tournaments, just say, I'm going to focus on the grass court season this year. You can, and play three tournaments leading in, then maybe you'll be tired by the third match. It's just not so simple.

I lost my first rounds '99, 2000, had a run in '1, lost first round again 2002. I don't know if it was because of lack of experience. The panic can set in quickly on this surface. I don't know if that's got something to do, and if age calms the nerves there. I'm not sure. I think also it's maybe a moment in time.

At the same time we know how hard it is to beat Novak, how hard it is to beat Rafa here. Me, as well. I have a great record here. We obviously also have better draws because we're seeded, and we're away from the bigger seeds earlier. Our path to the fourth round is definitely not as hard as maybe some of the younger guys on the tour, as well.

Q. It seems there was some risk in deciding to do the French Open, things like that, before you come down to Wimbledon. It seems like it's worked out. I know there was a little bit of nerves probably when you started to do it.
ROGER FEDERER: The clay season?

Q. Yes. How do you feel about it and how well it's been because of that?
ROGER FEDERER: How do I feel? I feel like I was able to come through really good. Number one, the first buildup I had on the clay when I started, before even playing tournaments, didn't know where it's going to take me. In practice I felt really good actually.

Fitness is always good to do. With Pierre, we know what we're doing. From that standpoint, there was no risk involved there.

The question was going to be, like, I don't know, the groin or the back, the knee for that matter, are going to hold up throughout the clay court season. It can be cold. It can be wet or slippery. You can make one bad movement you haven't seen for years because you've been on the hard courts and on the grass.

But I was very happy how I came through there. I just think for the remainder of the season, I've just got to be really, really clever of how I go about my off days. If I have an off week, I really, really try to recover as much as possible because I've played a lot of tennis this year. I hope I can keep that up.

But I have to be aware that, you know, I've played good amounts of matches already.

Q. Earlier this year you were talking a little bit about the young guys, whether it got physically harder to win a Grand Slam under the age of 20. With Coco doing so well this week, a bit of a throwback to some of the younger women who have done well at a young age, do you think there's physically anything different now that makes it harder for a woman to win a slam at 15? She's done really well to get to the second week. Do you think there's a physical problem that could stop her winning it now?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't think so. I don't see a reason why younger women players should run into physical issues or not win tournaments young. I think it's possible. She seems developed. She's moving great. I think it's one of her great strengths. And her mind, which is not usually the case when you look at younger players. I was terrible at 15. Couldn't be on a court for longer than an hour and a half. I would walk away.

I think on the men's side maybe at 15 it's not possible, I don't think, to go through a slam. At 17 and 18, what Rafa did or Becker did or Borg did, I think it's possible. I do believe the depth is bigger on the men's and women's side, so you need to beat more better players every round, whereas maybe in the past I don't think the depth was at great. There were maybe more specialists of the surface around, which is maybe making things more complicated. I'm not sure.

I don't think for Coco or any young girls coming up the physicality is an issue, I don't think.

Q. Going back to your careful scheduling. You just announced doing a match in Cape Town. How difficult is it to fit that into what's still a full timetable, especially when Rafa is involved as well?
ROGER FEDERER: It took me two years to find a date, but we have it (smiling). I was trying to be as little as possible annoying to the guy as I could have been. But still I had to force the issue at some stage. It was like, Rafa, please...

For me, anything is possible. For me, it's a huge priority. It's always one thing I wanted to do. I've always wanted to play in South Africa. I've hardly played tennis because I've barely been on vacation to South Africa. So for me to play there now, it's a proper thrill.

Of course, we hope to have a big crowd. My dream has been reached to have a match there with Rafa in that country. It's going to be great. Can't wait for it to come around. I'm sure it's going to be very emotional for me.

Yeah, I mean, it's not easy. But you know how it is in life: when something is a priority, you find time. I'm happy to go there. Obviously will take the family. Looking forward to do also a trip to one of the projects while I'm down there. Love to do a safari, as well. You name it. We'll just have to see what I can fit in, depending on the Australian Open, as well.

Q. On Monday you play Matteo Berrettini. Is he as dangerous an opponent you could face in the middle of the tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Possibly, yeah. I don't know him very well on top of it. So that makes it a bit more tricky, as well. I saw him play a little bit in Halle. Saw his run, of course, in Stuttgart. Now he's backing it up here again. That's not easy to do, especially when you're sort of newer on the tour. He played a bunch of finals at 250 levels, as well.

I always thought that's the way to go: start winning those, going deep in those. You gain momentum, you start rolling at the bigger events. He did exactly that. I almost played him in the Halle finals when he ran into Goffin, who I thought played a great match.

Yeah, I'm expecting a tough one. I hope he has no energy left after today (smiling). I'm sure he'll recover. He's young. I'm sure we'll see a tough match on Monday I guess it is.

Q. How would you describe the hunger that you had to get to the top versus the hunger you've had to sustain being at the top?
ROGER FEDERER: I think being at the top requires more hunger because in the beginning every number higher you can get, it's like, Oh, my God, I'm 50, I'm 25, I'm 13. It's just so exciting. It's easy to stay motivated.

But to be at the top, obviously it's also motivated because you can win tournaments. It's a totally different ball game. I think you need both. But I think staying at the top requires a lot of dedication, sacrifice and all that. I've done well, so I'm proud of myself there.

Q. With your South African heritage, how aware are you of some of the incredible moments of tennis in South Africa, like Mandela building a court on Robben Island, listening to the Borg-McEnroe final in prison, or Arthur going to Ellis Park and having an integrated stadium, building a court in Soweto.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. You talked about some remarkable people.

It's not always been easy when it comes to tennis down in South Africa. Of course, I hope to have an impact, as well, through my foundation, through inspiring a new generation of tennis players there, as well. I hope I have had a little bit of an impact, as well, because of my mom.

I know they show massive amounts of sports in South Africa, anyhow, but also tennis in particular. I think the people like that sport down there.

Of course, we're looking into what can I do on that trip, because it should be memorable for me, but especially also for the kids, the people, the fans, and everybody.

Of course, I'm very inspired by Arthur Ashe and Nelson Mandela, all the great things they did. I will never achieve what they did, I know that, but I can at least try a little bit.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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