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January 8, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/N. Davydenko
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Nikolay said that that was the best you had ever played against him. If he's right, and considering you've played 16 times, that's saying quite a lot, isn't it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think so. I mean, look, I think his serve has very much improved over the years and he's become so solid and so, how do you say, just accurate with his shots over the years that he really, to me, when he's in shape, and -- you know, his results show he's won the World Tour Finals, three I think Masters 1000, he's got a phenomenal finals record. I think he's won Davis Cup as well. So, I mean, he's won a lot, you know.
I feel like if things would have gone maybe a bit his way, he maybe would have had chances to win a few slams, as well. So I think I've always kind of matched up well with him, but the last couple of years have really become more difficult because of the player he has become.
When he's on, he's easily top 10 if not top 5 potentially, and that's why this is obviously a huge win, because I thought he was playing well. And like you said, I thought the level of play was extremely high. I was very happy with, from my side, I was almost flawless, and I was able to play offensive when I needed to, and when I wanted to it all worked out. So I'm really pleased with such a great finals.

Q. You seemed to play a lot of fast rallies and hustle him a lot. Was that one of the things you were trying to do?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he plays fast himself, so I can't just trying to outslow him into corners, you know, get there and then hit it hard. So I had to, you know, go the pace he also goes at.
I mean, he's serving also quite big on the first serve now, so he also goes through a couple of service games where, you know, there's not much of any rallies. So that's also due to his good one-two punches he has.
From my side, I really made sure I served well again, like I did all week, and then, when I did have chances, that I go for it, and it really worked out well.

Q. You usually say that you like to win the tournaments, but as preparation for a Grand Slam this was pretty good as well, wasn't it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, people almost put too much of an emphasis that it's purely a preparation tournament, and I don't like to see it that way, because regardless of how I go here, I still have a week in Melbourne where I'll prepare for the Australian Open. That's preparation week for me.
This is important to do well here. I'm not just only using this to get ready for the Australian Open. This is a pleasure coming to this part of the world where I actually do spend quite a bit of time, and I've always had, you know, good friends here in Qatar. I love playing here, been successful here in the past. That's the reason why I come here, not because of the Australian Open really.
I mean, there's parts of it that maybe I need some matches, but I got those in Abu Dhabi already, and if I don't get them here, a week of practice, with my experience, is plenty, as well. So that's why I'm really happy to have nevertheless played so well here this week.

Q. After you won the first tournament in 2011, do you think you will get back to No. 1 this year? What's your steps for that?
ROGER FEDERER: We'll see how it goes. Look, obviously Rafa has a lot to defend, but at the same time, he's very confident and he's the one who is world No. 1 and has all the confidence, really.
So, I mean, it's going to be very difficult, clearly. But if I keep playing at the level I'm playing and reaching only, you know, almost all these finals lately, and then obviously you feel like you'll have a chance.
But I have to keep it up, and you need to do something special to get to world No. 1. It's not enough to win a Grand Slam and the World Tour Finals anymore. You almost need to do more than that, and I'm prepared for that, so we'll see how it goes.

Q. Do you think it would have been different for you today if you were playing against Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, clearly it would have been a completely different matchup because he's a left-hander with a lot of experience, but Davydenko is also not the youngest anymore. He's actually older than Rafa, so he has a lot of experience. It would have made for a completely different matchup.
But in terms of toughness, it would have been equal to the one today, because Davydenko played unbelievable yesterday and today again, but I was able to find a way to beat him today. So I'm very happy.

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