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August 30, 2019

Roger Federer

New York, NY, USA


6-2, 6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did we make too much of the slow starts in your first two matches?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really (smiling). It is what it is, you know. At the end of the day, I think what matters the most for me is that I am in the third round, after all, after those two sort of slow starts. Give myself another opportunity to do better, and I did.

You almost tend to forget what happened and you move forward. You're, like, I actually can go through, you know, three sets in a row playing really good tennis. You know, I showed that also in the last couple of matches.

Today was good. You know, different conditions. I was able to adjust and take care of business. So it was good.

Q. After your first two matches you lamented the unforced errors. What adjustments did you make and what was your approach today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe not overplay so much in the beginning today, because I also felt that Danny obviously knew about it and he wasn't also doing that much like in the previous matches that I played against him where he really tries to hit big on the forehand and tries to come in on the backhand. He also wasn't pushing it. I felt like he was giving me the opportunity to miss.

I had spoken to the team, and we just said, Look, we're not going to overplay in the beginning. Take care of your serves. If he can smash winners, well, that's too good, you know.

Because I guess we are talking faster conditions today. Naturally whenever I'm behind the ball I can hit a decent rally ball. Naturally it also hurts a little bit to the opponent. Over time I got very comfortable and very confident. It's a good feeling to have after the last couple of matches.

Q. So many of your shots and strokes you're so good, but which of your strokes gives you the most pleasure of yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: My forehand, or my serve when I need it, because then the rally is over (smiling).

Q. Do you think the scheduling was a bit tough on Dan, given he played a pretty long match yesterday? He might have expected to play you in the evening as you often do play at night here.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know when he finished yesterday? 5:00?

Q. 6:00.
ROGER FEDERER: 6:00? I mean, look, yes, regardless of when he finished it was always going to be a competitive advantage for me. So there you have it. Now, is it a big difference if we play at 12:00 or 2:00? Not really. But I think at some stage every hour might matter.

We have these rules in place, you know, 16-hour rules from semis to finals nowadays because of that reason, that you have maybe not enough time to physically recover but also mentally recover, you know, from the whole, I want to get into the next round and try to play Roger, and then it's going to be a big match, and then you finally make it and then you have to get up for actually D match that you maybe were actually looking forward to.

I have been there. I know what you're talking about. Yeah, you could definitely argue that the scheduling was not in his favor. But it's anyway not fair for me to play my match under the roof, get it done, sit back, relax the next day while he's battling out a four-hour or a three-hour match, whatever it is, against Pouille. The problem already starts there.

That's tennis. It's entertainment, and the show must go on. I've lost maybe matches this way. I've won some this time. Luck was on my side. There you have it. So, yeah, I understand if Danny is, like, a little bit frustrated.

Q. Do you have a good nickname?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really (smiling). Where I come from we don't use nicknames very much. So no.

Q. You have talked a lot about conditions match to match, year to year changing. Is that only a positive to know that stuff like you do or do you have to say forget what it was like before, there's the ball, just hit it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, there is two ways to look at it. You start looking into it and thinking about it too much as you get older. You know, you're like, Oh, at night it does this and during the day it does this. And today it's 28 and the humidity is this. Where maybe when you're young, you're just like, I'm just going to go out there and smash winners. I'm just going to go for it.

This is where I always try to remain young in my mindset and think back to how I used to think maybe and take the positives out of that.

And also don't do the things when you were young like underestimate the opponent, actually respect the conditions. Prepare well if it's hot, prepare if it's windy, not to get frustrated.

Yeah, but overall obviously experience is a good thing to have on your side, yeah.

Q. Daniel talked about your slice as being one of the toughest shots in tennis to defend. How has your slice evolved over time and where did it start?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know if it's evolved ever. It's the only shot I could hit when I was younger because of lack of power in my shoulder. I struggled to come over when I was little. Then I remember when I went to play in front of the National Tennis Center, the coaches, if they were going to pick me or not, I was like, Well, I better come over my backhand otherwise they think I can only slice, which I could only really do. Of course, the courts were also extremely fast where we had to play.

They picked me. Then as I grew stronger, my backhand started to evolve in terms of my coming over the backhand. But my base, in a way, has always been my slice. I always enjoyed playing that shot, anyway.

I think definitely I was able to lift it up one more level when I started working with Tony Roche, who in my opinion had one of the great slices ever. He explained to me how important it was to punch the ball, how important it was to not have just a defensive slice but also an offensive one, and one with variation that sets up stuff beautifully.

Some conditions allow you to hit it better than others. Yeah, nowadays with slow conditions obviously it's sometimes harder to utilize, but I still think it has a great place in the game today.

Q. This is a question about taking care of the legacy and tradition of tennis. Today Vic Seixas is 96 years old, living in San Francisco, elderly home. Can you speak about bringing and drawing attention by current champions and the current tour, taking care of an elderly champion? Have you ever considered to support naming the US Open men's singles trophy after him?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that's the first time I hear about the trophy being named after him. I don't know if the trophy even has a name here, actually. I know that Australian Open has.

So, yeah, I mean, look, I have heard of his struggles a little bit. I have heard about him. I think as an ATP Tour, I know they look at things like this when somebody is maybe struggling or not doing so well.

I always explain my kids that obviously they're my No. 1 family but I also have sort of another family which is my tennis family, all the guys I know from the tour, you name it, all the people I have come across for many, many years now.

I don't know, I feel like it's my other family. We should definitely try to help each other. I remember I came across this subject once with the tour about Vic, so I hope something's being done.

Yeah, I mean, it's a good point to bring up. We could definitely look into it but it's not my choice at the end of the day, as you know.

Q. Did you get a chance to see any of Coco last night? What do you make of what she's doing here and her chances against Naomi tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it's going to be tough, you know. Obviously Osaka is going to be the favorite. She played so great here last year already.

But, you know, I think playing at home, there is always a shot and a chance, and she's done so well again here this tournament. I think we're all a bit surprised that she's able to back it up after Wimbledon, you know, which was already an incredible run.

Yeah, she's got the pressure that she can't play every week like some other touring pros. She only plays sometimes. So when you play, you feel like maybe there is extra pressure, but she's able to handle it and dig deep and find ways to win.

Again, the same thing yesterday, crowds were really going with her. For her to strive in those conditions shows she's going to have a great future ahead of herself. I like that also she's taking her days off, she's really taking days off and not doing extra media and extra stuff. Let her parents do that stuff. You know, let her relax.

It's going to be a big day tomorrow. I wish her all the best, of course. And I was watching yesterday. It was exciting.

Q. (Question about requesting today's time slot.)
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I don't remember that I asked for something. Yeah, yeah. It's maybe nice to be out of the sun, as well, I don't know, I thought. But I definitely didn't do it intentionally. I don't even know if the team asked for day. I know there was questions to have a preference.

But that doesn't mean like, "Roger asks, Roger gets." Just remember that, because I have heard this shit too often now. I'm sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.

We can give our opinion. That's what we do. But I'm still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4:00 in the morning.

Q. Maybe it sounds like a stupid question...
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe (smiling). Like my stupid answer before (smiling).

Q. But if you had to guess where you will be or you wish to be when you will be 70 years old, what would be your answer now?
ROGER FEDERER: Hopefully still alive. Yeah, and healthy.

Q. One place?
ROGER FEDERER: In Switzerland. That's where I'll be. In the wintertime in the mountains and in the summertime at the lake. There you go.

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