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November 14, 2008

Roger Federer


A. MURRAY/R. Federer
4-6, 7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Give us some comment on the crowd. They're always with you whenever you perform.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was definitely a great match for the fans, no doubt. Yeah, people know how much I appreciate it, you know, when the fans around the world cheer me on.
It's definitely nice to see they were so much behind me. I know I have great fans here in China, so I'm looking forward to come back next year.

Q. Was there any stage in the match when you considered quitting?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't quit once I step on court. Guess you got to drill me one in the eye, then maybe. But otherwise I don't quit.

Q. Can you tell us how your back was.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, back was, you know, okay. Under the circumstances, obviously also getting stiffer, you know, but that's more muscular. That's okay. That you can handle.
But I guess there's a lot of compensation going on already the last few days. So body was hurting, you know. Normally best-of-three match, it's peanuts. So it was a pity I couldn't handle it today.

Q. It's a pity this is your last match of the 2008 season. Could you give us some comments on the whole season of 2008.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it was a good season. I was happy I could win the US Open for the fifth straight. I'm looking forward to next year, you know, to go for six. It was an incredible match at Wimbledon, you know, to be part of, so that was good, as well.
Obviously very emotional victories, again, in Basel, my hometown. And winning the Olympic gold for Switzerland was a big moment for me. It's been a good year, you know. But tough to start off with. Tough to end.
So obviously a little bit of mixed feelings. But I think it gives me the opportunity to start over all new again next year.

Q. At the end of the first set you looked in a pretty good situation. What happened at the beginning of the second? Was it a mental letdown, or...
ROGER FEDERER: I was actually very happy, considering how poorly I played the first two matches, how I came out today and played. You know, I mean, I played offensive, aggressive. I took the chances. You know, it worked well. He didn't get the serves pass me like he did in Madrid, so that was good for me.
You know, I was mixing it up well from the baseline. I was coming in, staying back. You know, I'm definitely not great on my serve yet. You know, I mean, I can't mix it up. You know, my first serve, my second serve, I'm not using the kick a whole lot.
That then takes away options. That then takes away surprise. That then makes it difficult. Because I'm not used to playing like that. So I knew -- I mean, Andy's a good player. I think he started off I think with a return winner, Love-15, Love-30, then it goes pretty quickly.
Yeah, I mean, I was already getting tired, you know, just because of everything I went through this week. So considering, I'm actually pretty happy.

Q. If you had gone through, how much energy would you have to play tomorrow and how much energy do you think that match has taken out of Murray?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, look, pretty happy I don't have a match tomorrow, to be honest. You know, I mean, wouldn't have been a whole lot of fun to go out there. I would have played Davydenko, is that correct? That wouldn't have been a whole lot of fun. Against him, you have to defend and run and stuff.
So, yeah, look, it's over right now. Of course I'm disappointed. You know, I mean, I wish I could have played the matches I played here this week, you know, under better circumstances. But, you know, I tried. I almost made a miracle happen, you know. I can't believe how close I got, to be honest. So I'm actually very happy.

Q. You won the US Open this year, but you could not get the title Masters Series under this Masters Cup. I think it is not enough for you. Do you agree with this?
ROGER FEDERER: What's enough for you? You tell me. I'll do it next year. Win nine. I'll do nine next year, okay. Eight, whatever.

Q. Can you break it down for us about your back, how much it affected you, at what point it was bothering you the most, if it affected your serves, groundstrokes, volleys, your strategy?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, yeah, definitely -- you know, look, when you play on the offensive, it's you who decide how you move, where you put the ball. When you're on the defensive, you know, this is where you can't control what you're going to do.
Obviously you have to always pick the offensive game plan. That then has a lot to do with a lot of errors. Sometimes you look like an idiot, as well. But you don't have an option sometimes.
The first match for me was key just to sort of actually feel like the back was okay so I could actually play the Tennis Masters Cup because I didn't force it before, which then, you know, created a whole lot of other things: compensation, unbelievable muscle pain after a two-hour match.
I play four hours in slams, it's not a problem. Here I play two hours, in the morning I can hardly wake up. On top of that, I got sick. All those things just made it really difficult today, this week.
But on the serve, I never felt comfortable all week. You know, I started to feel better and better as the tournament went on, but today obviously energy sort of went away. It's not easy to all of a sudden say, Okay, I guess the back's fine; let's just go full on. Always a little bit worried.
But still happy the season is over. Hope I can recover from all of what happened this week because it was tough, so we'll see how I'll feel next year again.

Q. Would you say this is the strongest top 10 we've had in many years? Are you excited about next year?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I wouldn't say that. I mean, we've always had a good top 10ers all the way through. Remember when Agassi and Sampras played? They were okay. Before that we had some great ones, as well.
I mean, you know, a lot of young guys here. You know, they're doing well. So, no, it's exciting for tennis at the moment. You know, I'm excited to see how they'll handle next year under the pressure, because they've had a good year now. But, yeah, things are looking good for next year for everybody.

Q. It's early days, but is it possible that you and Andy Murray could develop into a similar sort of rivalry you've had with Rafa?
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm. I mean, difficult, I guess. At the moment it's Rafa and myself. I really still feel it's that way because, what has it been, three French Open finals in a row, plus a semi, plus two Wimbledon finals in a row. You know, or three.
Yeah, so we've played on so many occasions, big events. So, I mean, we still have to play a few more Grand Slam finals. If that's the case, I'm very happy from my side.

Q. How much do you think that might have taken out of Murray today?
ROGER FEDERER: Not my problem. I hope it's going to be good matches tomorrow and the weekend. I mean, that's really what I care about. It's going to be hopefully good for tennis, you know. Three new faces. I hope the crowd's excited about it.

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