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October 10, 2019

Roger Federer

Shanghai, China

R. FEDERER/D. Goffin

7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you take us a little bit through that first set? It was a tough one for you. Then after you got it, did you feel like things were going your way?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, not necessarily right away, but, you know, I thought I had some chances that hopefully were not going to come back and haunt me there in that second set.

Yeah, I never really felt like I had the upper hand over David today. I thought he did a really good job. He was so much better than at the US Open. I don't know why he couldn't play at that level in New York. Maybe just one of those off-days, you know. Of course it was day session. It was different in New York than here. It was maybe quicker, too, which always makes the margins smaller.

But I was pretty happy how I played, too. It was really him that was able to, I don't want to say dictate play, but I think he was very clear in his shot selection, when to do what also in terms of the scoreline. I thought he took really a lot of good decisions, and he was super fast on his feet today, which I think made it really hard for me to get my freebies and winners off the baseline, because he was getting to all of them.

It was a really tough match today. I think that first set maybe ended up being key. Who knows?

Q. Just to check on your ankle, there was a little scare towards the end of the first set. Is it okay?

Q. Ankle.
ROGER FEDERER: Ankle. I thought the floor was already there but it wasn't (smiling). So you know how, when you look for that? I still don't know where it is. I'm still looking.

But, no, nothing happened. Maybe looked worse than it is. I haven't seen the replay, but, yeah, that was a bit embarrassing.

Q. Your coach, Ivan Ljubicic, is actually the agent of Chinese young player. I saw the picture...

Q. Yeah, he's doing really well recently, and he's our new hope now. Could you talk about your practice session and what's your impression about his game?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, our practice session was more of an easy hit than anything else. I practiced with him once in the past in Monaco and another time.

Yeah, looking at his level, it's just very important to keep on doing the right things, keep on practicing with the best guys, to get used to that level, you know. And he seems like a very nice guy, easygoing. I joked with him at the end and he knew right away I was joking. I thought maybe I was able to fool him but not so. He was great.

And Ivan also thinks he's got some good potential that he can go further, hopefully top 100, and I hope the same for him, too, yeah.

Q. You have phenomenal support here in Shanghai. How aware of that are you during the match? Does it raise your spirits coming particularly today when the first set was a bit iffy? Did you feel it kind of driving you on?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. You know, I don't take it for granted, but it's true. I get used to it a little bit around the world that I have such amazing crowd support, you know. This is not football where you get whistled when you're away and not on home soil. We don't have that really in tennis.

From that standpoint, I always really feel like I have the crowd at my back, which has been amazing to have that for so long. You know, I know I can bank on them if I'm in trouble, that they'll be there to cheer me on.

If I either look to them or I pump myself up, I know they will react to that, and I really never try to abuse it, either, because I know players in the past a long time ago used to abuse the fans and rally them up against the opponent. I told myself I will never do that. I will just do it so they support me and stay fair towards my opponent.

It's definitely really special here, because they sit in one block like sort of in football to some extent, which is highly unusual for tennis, especially when you think of it at a tennis tournament.

Q. Tmall Cup, that's big news for China. Unfortunately we are not invited to attend that press conference. Could you share some stories behind the scene and your feelings about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was approached by, yeah, by Hangzhou and from the promoters of this event here. They run such a great event here in Shanghai, Michael and Charles and the Juss Group.

When they told me the idea of what they're trying to build up in Hangzhou and towards the Asian Games, as well, they would like to attach me to me playing in China and in Hangzhou for many years, I thought that would be something that's exciting.

I know I will be in Asia more often also through Uniqlo and also through this tournament, I believe, because having opened the stadium here and having built the friendship with this tournament is going to keep me around here.

I always believed a lot in tennis here in Asia, as well, so I'd like to help out if I can in some ways. I like to play in new places, as well. That's always been a big thrill for me. That's also why I'm going back to South America, and Asia and South America for me have been places I have nearly not played enough for my liking as a professional tennis player.

Throughout Africa, did that, as well. Never really played there except for Morocco back in 2002, so that's also why I'm incredibly excited to go to Cape Town with Rafa. So I'm really trying to make the most of it at the back end of my career, to go to places I've never been to and where I can also promote the game. And exhibitions were something that were completely normal back in the '60s, '70s. Everybody were playing 20, 50, 100 XOs a year.

They have gone away a little bit, but it allows us to go to places that doesn't see tennis that often. It's very exciting to see actually also new fans who maybe cannot travel and come see me. We're like musicians. We go see them.

And Hangzhou was just something I thought would be this year good preparation for the Australian Open and also something that would be very exciting for me to go and play.

Q. Do you think you'll play the Davis Cup ever again? Pique said a few days ago that he's working on it and he hopes you can understand each other one day, but I get the impression you're not really that interested.
ROGER FEDERER: I have never met him, so I don't know what we need to work on. We didn't have a fallout.

I put in a lot of energy into the Davis Cup over the years, I must tell you. I played a lot of matches. It's been a lot of work. Winning in '14 was a dream come true for Stan and me and the team, and Rosset, even though he was not on the team, he thought it was the greatest thing ever, and it was.

And also for my coach and captain, Severin, who is still the Davis Cup captain, I will never forget my good days there. I have not officially retired from the Davis Cup, so that means I don't know what to tell you, maybe, but obviously more likely no than yes, as I'm getting older and I have other things I would like to also do and go to places I have never played before.

It's one thing and then having the four children and the wife is another. You know, I just can't be everywhere. I always said when you play the Davis Cup you have to miss out on Masters 1000. Is that worth the give? Not always. Not for me anyway.

And then you add other things too. I had a great time at Hopman Cup back in the day. I had a great time now at the Laver Cup, which is a priority for me. And it's not like I'm going to play much more, you know, of a bigger schedule.

That's why it's just going to be hard to do. Look, I'm still in support of the Davis Cup. I hope it's going to it go super well in Madrid. But like I said, I just don't know and I can't plan that far ahead, but this year definitely -- well, I'm not playing because we are not qualified, anyhow.

Q. Is there any difference between this trip to Shanghai than before?
ROGER FEDERER: Difference of?

Q. The different trips before in the past 10 years. How do you feel about Shanghai?
ROGER FEDERER: In terms of the city itself?

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's been -- it's really improved a lot, you know. Not that it was not good before and now it's great. Not at all. I always thought it was amazing.

I really felt the Expo made a big change. I remember going to the Expo, actually. I went to the House of China, Switzerland, South Africa. I went all around. Was busy then. I liked it a lot. I even went on a ski lift in Switzerland. That was odd. It was funny.

So I think really the sort of the city cleaned up a lot. The Bund and everything is much, very different, at the Hilton Hotel around there. I thought it was -- the area was different. You know, you go walk around everywhere, you look around, it's clean, and it's really well organized. Also, I feel like they drive much safer nowadays than before, to be quite honest.

Yeah, I'm happy. I saw it grow. It's just incredible, the size, the highways and the bridges the whole time. This is stuff that we almost cannot relate to as Swiss people, but I'm highly impressed by its progress here in this city, yeah.

Q. There seems to be stretches of time where you are more active on Twitter than usual. Is this something you do to unwind and reduce stress or is it something else?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's the energy level and obviously being around my kids, try to be good role model not having my phone in my hand the whole time.

My kids are not here, so they don't read the press so they don't know I'm on the phone. Yeah, I have always enjoyed interacting through social media with the fans, you know.

But I took a nice break after Wimbledon, because I was spending a lot of time with the family all the way till, I don't know, US Open maybe. I didn't post anything because I was just tired, you know.

I always said and I swore to myself I will never start on social media if I have to post every day two times. That's just not the idea for me. Even though people say that's what you've got to do, but I don't care what I have to do because I'm not on social media to make money or anything.

I'm just there to have fun with the fans and it's fun to interact. I have been doing it when I'm on the massage table or hanging out in the morning and not doing anything besides, you know, just having good conversations with my team.

Now my parents are here, so probably that's going to slow down just a little bit because I want to spend quality time with them, so social media goes again probably on the side a little bit for the rest of the week.

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