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August 20, 2010

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/N. Davydenko
6-4, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. An unexpected day off yesterday. Would you have rather had that rest or played after a full week of tennis last week?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, now that I won today the rest was perfect. But it was a bit - not scary - but an a bit, Do I have enough play on these kind of courts in a match moment? So I was really hoping to kind of get a decent match in today, play solid, and come through and then feel really like I am really in the tournament.
Because before it didn't really kind of feel that way. So there's a bit of a sense of relief from my side. Right off the bat kind of beating a top 10 player is not so easy, you know.
Nikolay has been playing well at the beginning of the season. Had some injuries after that, but I know the danger. He's the reigning world champion, so it was a tough match for me. But I felt like I played really good considering I had not played well this week yet.

Q. He's won two of the last three matches against you, but you've dominated the series. Was there anything you did differently in light of those two losses that you used in the match today against him?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, I mean, the London loss was a really close match. I had 5-All, Love-30, I think, in the third - or 5-4, Love-30, I don't remember - but I was a couple points away from the match and lost 7-5 in the third. It's a bit of a pity not giving myself the chance to maybe make the finals of the Masters, or the World Tour Finals.
In Doha I thought he played well. Right off the bat I think I got broken a couple of times. I think he had like 100% first serves in the first set there I remember. So, I mean, he was just better on the day.
I've had some close matches all the way through this year with him actually that haven't been that one sided, you know, even though I think I beat him over ten times in a row, I think.
So I just tried to play offensive, mix it up, you know, make it hard for him to get any sort of rhythm. I was able to play well really when I wanted to.

Q. It's really nice to see you play great this year, because your result in Cincinnati during odd and even years is so drastic. Do you feel strange sometimes? Why is that?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, these tournaments are tough. Early on you catch a good player, you can crash out of these kind of tournaments quite easily early on because you maybe don't start with a guy ranked sort of outside the 80s or ranked outside of the top 100. That has a tendency to happen in Grand Slam play sometimes. So you have to be much more aware. Best-of-three-set matches can be over in a hurry, you know.
Today I had a good ten minutes, and all of a sudden I'm up 6-4, 2-Love. You don't know what happened, but you're in the lead. So it's just the way it goes. You got to make the best of it, and I'm happy and it's another successful year for me here in Cincy.

Q. The only part of the game you struggled in was breakpoints. Did he do anything differently when you had a breakpoint against his serve?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, second match point, which was a breakpoint, he hit a screamer crosscourt, which I couldn't believe he came up with that. But that's what Nikolay does. He comes up with shots not many other players can hit. He always stays on the offensive.
Obviously on the breakpoints there's a lot to play for, so you maybe try to be a touch more passive on the returns especially, and this is when he takes huge cuts at the ball. I don't think I played poorly on my breakpoints. I think I always gave myself chances.
Thank God I created myself many chances, so I able to break a few times today. That's at the end what counts to me, and not if I won 100% of the breakpoints or not.

Q. Would it be strange to play Rafa and not have a title? It's a semi.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I get what you mean. We've played twice before in semis in the Shanghai Masters, so it's not like it's the first time. It's fine whatever it is. You know, it had to happen sooner or later that we're gonna be in the same session once, you know, in the semi section.
It could happen. He has to win tonight, so we'll see how it goes. I always enjoy playing him. I haven't played him much as all here or in the States before except Miami, so it's hopefully gonna be a good match.
Otherwise, I'm happy to play Baghdatis, too.

Q. Was today's match just a little easier than you were expecting?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, you always expect tough matches, especially with him. And, sure, it stuck in my mind that he played so well at the end of last year. He dominated the end of the season together with Del Potro. Del Potro won the US Open; Davydenko won the World Tour finals. Who won -- I don't remember -- I think he won Shanghai as well, and then Djokovic won Paris.
But they were really on a roll, especially Davydenko, and beat many of the top guys. So I knew the danger, but with this result I'm very happy.

Q. Do you think his level was lower today than some of the other matches?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, tough to say. I mean, I think I'm playing a little bit better, to be quite honest. I was struggling at the end of last year. I couldn't play as freely. I was returning terrible. That kind of made it hard for me. I had a lot of pressure on my own service games.
Beginning the season in Doha he was playing good. I had a sore arm a little bit, I remember. I couldn't serve properly. He just dominated me from the baseline, which was not a big surprise because he's so good.

Q. I know you like to get to venues early. Obviously New York is coming up. When are you gonna get to New York?
ROGER FEDERER: Whenever I'm done here, I'll travel to New York, get really there. I have stuff to do, sponsors, media, practice, days off. So I'll have a busy schedule.

Q. Speaking of New York, any thoughts on Serena dropping out of the Open today?
ROGER FEDERER: No, haven't heard. Pulled out?

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, big news. I'm surprised. I don't know the reason, so what do you want me to say?

Q. It's a loss to the tournament though, don't you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, it's never fun when No. 1 seed drops out. It's obviously big news. It's disappointing for her, for the tournament.
Yeah, you wish if an injury catches you, it happens during a time when there's no tournaments. But that's rare. (Laughter.) We like to play a lot on tour. So, yeah, especially for her, being an American, I'm sure it hurts.

Q. In the event that you face Nadal tomorrow, I think you have a lead on him on hardcourts.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know.

Q. What's the key to trying to beat Nadal? You've played him really close.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess at our stage now it comes down to a lot of how you play on the day. Pick the right tactics, and even then if you do, the other guy has his say because we're such great players.
I would love to play against him again. We haven't played that much the last few years. I don't know if it makes it easier or harder to play each other because then you don't quite remember how things are or how you've evolved as a player.
I think he definitely plays more aggressive on the hardcourts; me too, and this is a quick court. This could work in my favor. But then again, he's improved on the hardcourts, and he's had a better run than me in the summer. I'm sure it's gonna be a good match. We're both gonna have our chances to win.

Q. You talk about a racquet technology earlier in the week. I play with BLX Roger Federer racquet. How big the difference between the racquet we got and you got?
ROGER FEDERER: Very similar. I asked them to do the same one, because in the beginning there was some changes, some differences...

Q. I thought you had a much heavier racquet.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I adjust the weighting just a little bit so all the racquets are identical on the weight. I don't think they're far off from what they selling in the shop, yeah. Because I wanted the fan to be able to play with basically the same racquet. I didn't like it that maybe in the past, years and years ago, that it wasn't exactly the same.

End of FastScripts

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