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November 22, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/F. Verdasco
4-6, 7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please, for Roger.

Q. How did you find the court conditions tonight and the playing surface?
ROGER FEDERER: Nice. I thought the crowds were great. Lighting is unique. You know, it's not something we -- sort of that we don't -- we do see the crowd, but the focus is very much on us. This is a bit unusual. But we had the chance to practice in these surroundings. You know, I thought it was very nice to play in.
It's not Wimbledon-like, but still special obviously (smiling).

Q. Playing surface itself?
ROGER FEDERER: Playing surface, I thought it was pretty, you know, medium-pace. There are some bad bounces, but that always happens, you know, with those wooden floors that we play on.
But, no, it felt like a proper court. Fair for all playing styles. If you want to play far back, you can do that. If you want to move in, you can do that, too. That's why I think it's a good surface for the World Tour Finals.

Q. What did you have to do tonight to turn things around?
ROGER FEDERER: Turn what around?

Q. The match, the way it was going.
ROGER FEDERER: I just felt that sort of at the beginning of the second set, I was starting to, you know, return better. Because the beginning, I mean, first game was very quick, so I don't even know if I can really analyze that game, because it was four points and one double-fault. So I was running after the score really because of that. The whole first set I was struggling to really put, you know, normal returns into play.
And that can happen at times. I thought he did a good job of mixing it up and playing aggressive at times, coming up with the right play.
I was down a set, and only the second set was I able to sort of get the ball into play, find my range, find my rhythm. I think this is also when I started to feel like I had chances.
My first breakpoints, I think I could have had them earlier if I played a bit earlier, but they came for set points, and it was a crucial moment for me because I knew the longer the match went, the more my belief was going up and his was going down. Then in the third, I was able to play more freely. This is when I was really in the match, you know.
But it was, you know, a crucial match for me to get off with a win in the round robin stages. Because Fernando is a great player and I'm happy I was able to come through.

Q. Compared to Paris, what about the speed of the court? Is it normal or quicker?
ROGER FEDERER: No, it's not faster. I think Paris was faster. But then again, I only played one match in Paris, so you should maybe ask someone who stuck around a bit longer.
I actually practiced in Roland Garros on that surface for the rest of the week, as well. I just felt it's a bit faster than here. Then again, it depends on who you play. I played against Benneteau, who is coming to the net a lot, you know, makes you feel like the court is even faster, as well.
But I think it's a fair playing style, you know.

Q. Did you feel on court that Fernando was using different tactics or different combinations since he's here with Darren Cahill, who actually worked with you for a while?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we worked a couple of weeks, so that's not a whole lot.
I played Fernando right after I worked, you know, those two weeks with Darren. I played him in Indian Wells. So, yeah, I mean, I think Fernando has announced himself sort of at the Australian Open, and that Davis Cup a couple months earlier, you know, of the year before that, you know. He had the possibilities to handle pressure and play well against top guys, you know, beating Murray in Australia and almost taking down Rafa as well in the semis in an amazing match.
I don't think he has much to prove, you know, that he can beat the best. It's about for him playing consistent at the highest of levels. Now he has to reach very high, which is not an easy thing to do because it's quite open at the top in a way, so everybody beats everybody. So it's not so easy to get through those, you know, top eight guys.
But he's doing a good job of hanging around. He's got two more chances here to get points for next year and play another good season.

Q. What do you think about the latest stories about Agassi?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, which one? There's a few.

Q. Admitting taking drugs.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I gave my quotes already. Find them somewhere.
But, no, I mean, it's definitely not good for our sport. We have to deal with it, you know, the best we can. The way I think the doping tests are being done these days are, you know, very tough for all of us. There's many guys that are not happy with the system because it's almost too aggressive to some degree. But I think it's necessary, you know, just to be able to keep a clean sport.
What happened obviously is not nice. At the same time, you shouldn't take anything away what he's done for kids around the world, especially in Vegas, raising the amount of money he did. He still remains an exceptional, you know, tennis player and person. It's just a hiccup. Obviously it's going to cast a shadow over his image for some, so...
Yeah, obviously it's surprising he came out with it.

Q. What type of match are you expecting against Andy on Tuesday? What can you remember about your match in China last year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously I expect a difficult match. Always fun playing, you know, your fellow rivals. I've had from the top guys, I think Andy has been one of the guys I played the most. I played him frequently at the beginning of the season, in Doha and where else did I play him? I just played him in Shanghai the week before. Then was it Indian Wells, as well? So I played him on a few occasions in a row.
From Shanghai, I remember I was not going into the match with, let's say, the highest of hopes. I knew I had a little bit left in the tank because I was sick two days before. I was injured, you know, two, three weeks before for the entire time. So I kind of just said to myself, You know what, I'll play aggressive and see what happens.
I was playing incredible for a set. Almost got a victory. But I thought it was a very exciting match to be a part of. It was unfortunate for me not to come through. But I still think the match was great. I hope we can live up to the expectations and play another good one.

End of FastScripts

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