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September 1, 2019

Roger Federer

New York, NY, USA

R. FEDERER/D. Goffin

6-2, 6-2, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The scoreline behind your head looks like something out of 10 or 12 years ago, a good player getting four games off you. Are you at that level right now?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, sometimes these scores just happen. You catch a good day, the opponent doesn't, then things happen very quickly.

Maybe he struggled a bit early on. But I found my groove after a while and was able to roll really. Never looked back. David wasn't nearly as good as I expected him to be. He was struggling a little bit today. I was able to take advantage of it, and I think that's the key.

In a fourth round like this, if you can keep it nice, short, simple, you have to take them. I'm very happy.

Q. Last week at the Uniqlo event you were asked about Tokyo. Was that regarding the Davis Cup or something else? The Swiss Tennis Federation says if you need an exemption, they're happy to apply for one for you if you want one. What is your status on all that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's that I don't know if I'm going to be playing there just because it's still a year away. Even though the time is slowly coming around for me, in my mind, my team, my family, to find out what's the best schedule after Wimbledon next year.

Then I for sure meant also I don't know exactly the requirements, what it takes with wildcards at the Olympics, all that stuff, as the Davis Cup format also changed, all that stuff.

As I don't know if I will be playing, I don't know the requirements, it was hard to give a proper answer. But needless to say, the Olympics, the ones I played, have always been very memorable, either with carrying the flag, meeting my wife in 2000, winning gold, winning silver.

Naturally it's always going to be a possibility for me to play Tokyo if there is an exemption.

I don't know if I'm actually going to do it or not because it all depends on family, on scheduling, on body, on future. I don't know. We'll see.

Q. Yesterday's match, Naomi and Coco, where were you? Did you watch it? What were your thoughts on the ending of that match?
ROGER FEDERER: I was having dinner. I explained on the court that I was just watching it from afar in the second set. Then I realized they were chatting to one another. I figured as they were both going up for the interview, let me listen in, what have they got to say.

I couldn't get the volume to work because the remote had no more battery. I'm trying to figure it out. Watching an interview with no words is kind of hard for me.

I got it working at the end. I caught the back end of it. I saw highlights and all that.

I just thought, yeah, it was a nice moment. It showed both personalities from both players. In a way also tennis won on the night, not just Osaka. Also Coco, the way she handled herself anyway. It's incredible at 15. I can't even think being so well-behaved at 15.

Of course, everything comes crashing down on you. You're exhausted. It's finally over. There's even relief. You're sad about the result. I thought it was a big moment.

There was huge momentum since Wimbledon with Coco here in the States. It was a great ending in some ways, that interview, rather than maybe just a 6-Love set in the second set, walking out, just getting a great ovation. I think it was a nice way to show that the players care for one another on this tour.

Q. I believe it's your 56th Grand Slam quarterfinal. Fans love records. Sometimes for players they're motivation. Talk about where records have their place in your mind, and your most important record.
ROGER FEDERER: We could be here for a long time, which ones I like the most, which ones I don't.

Sometimes they've definitely motivated me. Sometimes they've pushed me. Sometimes they also created so much pressure it was almost not funny any more to some extent.

I'm complaining on a very high level now, when you're trying to go for your fifth Wimbledon, trying to break the all-time Grand Slam record, and Pete is sitting there or Borg sitting there, and you're like, Oh, my God, what are they going to be thinking?

It's definitely very special to be playing for these records. Being in my 56th quarters now of a slam is definitely a nice feeling. That was obviously the initial goal here at this tournament, try to make it so far.

So, yeah, I think I use it at the right times for motivation, I guess. That's how far it goes. I don't like to think about it or talk about it all the time with the team or the press just because I want to remember what it was supposed to be when I started.

Back in the '80s when I started, people were not only talking about records all the time. This is a new phenomenon with social media, with the press. Everything being more professional, everybody talks records and numbers. I get it, especially in this country where statistics and numbers are everywhere, we talk even more about it. I get it.

It's helped me at times. At the same time I always try to remind myself it's just a side story. What happened on the court today was more important.

Q. Speaking of longevity, going for records, part of the reason we talk about it is because we have players like you and Serena who really are bumping up against those ceilings. What do you attribute the longevity to when it comes to that generation of players? Something about this particular era with nutrition or is it more intangible?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure. Look, Serena and me, she started even earlier than I did on the tour. She's also had many more injuries than me and more time off away from the game than I did. We went about it different ways, totally different backgrounds and all that.

Still I guess you need to be successful, you need to love what you're doing, find a way to really keep yourself entertained because you go through moments where maybe being away from your home city, village, country, house, whatever it may be, friends, it's not that fulfilling. You sometimes got to look for ways to keep going.

I think what's helped me so much is stability with my relationship with my wife, my relationship with my sister and my parents, then just the friends we were able to keep throughout my career on the road. It didn't make me feel like if ever I came home I had nobody.

I always felt like our friends couldn't wait to come either meet us at the tournaments or wait for us at home. That just made time away or at home so much fun. That has helped me a lot.

I mean, success has played a big part in Serena's and my career, for sure. Maybe traveling and only winning 50% of the matches on tour, then maybe also we wouldn't be playing any more.

But because we know we can still beat the best, win the biggest tournaments, it's so worthwhile to stay there and see if you can go back to these emotions, see if you can do it at a later stage in your career, and be a totally different person almost, a different player sort of 20 years later. It's quite exciting actually.

Q. Grigor's match just ended. He's going to be your next opponent. You've had great success against him. With the roll you're on right now, what are your thoughts about facing him given the history you have and the way you're playing?
ROGER FEDERER: I practiced with him in Cincy. He was the guy I practiced with first when I just came off the plane. Know Grigor very well. He's a good friend of mine. It was fun having him also at the Laver Cup last time around. I spent a week there with him.

I'm happy that things are going better for him after he won Cincinnati a couple years ago now, last year, a couple years ago I guess it is now. Also the World Tour Finals. He had a bit of a slump.

This is the big quarters for him, obviously with an opportunity against me. I'm aware of the fact it's a big match for him.

Yeah, I've done well against him in the past. But new match, new Grigor, new me again. I don't know where we're going to be, if it's day or night, all that stuff.

But I like watching him. I like playing against him. Of course, when we play, it's as close as it gets to being a similar playing style. I think for both of us it's cool to play one another.

Q. Jimmy Connors said he played five perfect matches in his career that he thought he actually hit where he felt he could play at for an entire match. How many do you think you've had at this stage of your career?
ROGER FEDERER: More than five, just because (laughter). No.

I don't know. I feel like I've had maybe more than five. I don't know. I feel like I've had many good finals or moments where I just, like, I'm just not going to lose this match, I feel too good today. I can even pace myself during the match. Don't waste the extra energy and all that.

I see what he's saying. If you're talking absolute pinnacle, seeing the ball like a football, everything is happening, going your way, you feel like you're reading the opponent's mind and all these things, yes, maybe around that number, too.

Q. Can you recall one for me?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe finals here in '04 against Lleyton.

THE MODERATOR: Two more questions. The young lady and then Ubaldo.

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, no (laughter).


ROGER FEDERER: No, not afraid. I'd be afraid of spiders, but not of you (smiling).

Q. Companies give you detailed statistics now. Where do you find this useful and where is it not useful? Do you think it's a good thing for younger players to use?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's a tricky one. Analytics are very interesting. They're definitely coming up in the tournaments. Gives you a lot of statistics. Even during the match you see you've been winning 83% on first serving. Okay, was that just serving, was that after 20-shot rallies? What was it?

You always got to try to see it in the right way. Obviously the feelings you get playing in them is another one also you have. That's why it's sometimes good after a match to sort of wrap up with a talk with your team to see how do you feel out there as you were facing breakpoints or whatever you were doing.

I think sometimes it can be very useful against certain player types. Sometimes I honestly think it's very misleading. You have to be very, very careful how you use it.

In the future, we'll only use more of it. That's an opinion I have. Just because it's too easy not to look at them and say, He served 62% to the forehand. You're like, Do I cover the forehand at 60% or not? That can be very confusing I think for a young player.

I think the coach's job is really to feed the player with the right information, not one that actually confuses the player more.

I remember times where I looked at nothing other than how am I going to play. I don't even care how my opponent plays. You can really go about it in many different ways. But I think sometimes it is quite interesting to look at the statistics.

THE MODERATOR: Short and sweet, Ubaldo.

ROGER FEDERER: Short question. It's going to be a very short answer (smiling).

Q. Today twice on court, you said something about Coco Gauff and you when you were 15. Since I met you when you were 16 and 8 months in Florence, I would like to know what horrible things you were doing at 15? What did you do unbelievable being 15?
ROGER FEDERER: I was a boy. I was a child. What do you do there?

Q. Breaking racquets?
ROGER FEDERER: You complain. You shout. You don't do any media thankfully. I don't know. I was a silly, good boy. I was an honest kid to my parents. My coaches I think always liked me because they thought that I would improve quickly, but also I would be sometimes difficult but in the right way.

I always had a good time on the road, to be honest. I think it really made me tough. When I left home at 14 for two years, stayed with a family from Monday to Friday for two years, was incredibly homesick.

After 16 I felt like those -- still looking back, those were the two most important years of my life. I really learned how to be independent.

That is the part that I really needed, to feel like I could live alone, I could just cope on my own, going on the train, tram, bus, bike, almost manage my life by myself.

That was young still, I thought. For me to see Coco at 15, okay, she's got a team, support team and all that stuff. Just the way she handles pressure, being out on the court, we forget it's not routine to be in front of 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, and facing the pressure. That's what I mean.

Could I have handled it? Maybe. Obviously my game was not even close. I would have been playing men with beards and all that stuff. My body was not ready for that. On the women's side it's different, you grow faster, earlier. You can't compare.

But I'm happy that I lived under the radar for long enough so I could grow more as a person, as well. But in a way it would have been incredibly exhilarating also living the life that Coco has now, or others who've made the break on the tour at 14, 15, 16, or even earlier like Tiger, or Hingis, an example in Switzerland. You knew she was probably going to be world No. 1 at some stage when she was 10. How is that even possible?

I didn't have that life which was good in a way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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