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March 19, 2011

Roger Federer


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer
6-3, 3-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you just sum up this kind of average day? Not a great day, but how did it play out for you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was tougher than yesterday. I wished every day would be there with two wins. I thought I played actually well today, in singles and in doubles.
Sure, it's a bit of a pity that I couldn't get either one of them, but that's how it goes, you know, when you sign up for doubles. That's what can happen.
It's no problem. I thought I played good in the singles. I also thought the week with Stan in doubles was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.
I just thought Dolgopolov and Malisse played really well today in the final.

Q. Have you had a chance to think about what may have happened at 3-2, 40-15, third set?
ROGER FEDERER: In the doubles?

Q. No, in the singles.
ROGER FEDERER: Just checking. (Laughter.) Just gotta make sure we hit the right match. It's confusing otherwise.
At 3-2?

Q. 3-2, 40-15.
ROGER FEDERER: 2-All, 40-15.

Q. 2-All, yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, would have been 3-2 and him to serve, so you never know what happens. Scoring in tennis is tough, you know. That's why momentum swings can be quite big.
So, no, I mean, I had my chances today in the singles. I thought it was a good match, played at a high level. I know I wasn't far away at all today, because I really had him going.
But look, I guess he escaped. I guess confidence is a big thing for him at the moment. I'm sure it's gonna be a good final tomorrow.

Q. How has his play evolved?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he's gone definitely also through ups and downs in his career, which is normal. I remember he played really well - I don't know if it was the same year that he won the World Tour Finals in Shanghai and the Australian Open - but I thought he played extremely well, as well, at the World Tour Finals.
Then he obviously switched racquets, and, you know, things were still okay for him, but maybe just not at the very top of the game. Maybe he struggled just a bit more, and things have turned around for him a bit more now.
But it's normal that, you know, in your career you go through better and worse spells. It's just important to keep it at the high level, and that's what he's been able to do for many years now.

Q. He says that before when he played you he was just kind of hoping that he could beat you. Now he actually believes inside that if he plays a little bit more of an aggressive game he can stay with you. Do you notice that?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, no. That's all in his mind. In his play you don't feel that a ball has a bit more topspin or not. It's coming quick enough regardless, you know.
As a young player, when we played early on, I can see that. You know, the first time I played him in Monte-Carlo, I don't think he really probably thought and believed he was gonna beat me.
I never thought in my wildest dreams I was gonna lose against him, and still it was a three-set match. I came out of it and I thought he was a good player. But still you just expect yourself to win.
Obviously with many matches played at the highest of levels, it's normal that you start believing, you know, more. If he weren't saying that, something is wrong with the guy. So all is completely normal, which is a good thing.

Q. Since Paul Annacone joined your team you've played tough tournaments, made the semifinals each time or better. You tend to take the long view. So what is there still to do that's gonna convert semifinals or better into matches like this where you'll be able to get past someone at the top of the game like Djokovic?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, like a tournament like London when you beat five top guys in a row? That's all right. I was happy with that. I went on vacation feeling pretty good about myself. I don't know if the other guys felt that way. That was a nice time off for me.
And, you know, then I played well in Doha; played well in Australia; played well here; played well in Dubai. Just because I have a loss here and there doesn't mean I'm not playing well.
I mean, if I were to be playing well not well and feeling I didn't really have the tools or the game or the mindset or the condition, you know, to come through, then it would be an issue, but it's not. That's why I'm not even asking myself that question.

Q. Is it doubly frustrating to lose to the same person three times so far this year, or is it a loss is a loss and it's frustrating anyway?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, it's not frustrating. It's just disappointing, you know. Yeah, there is a different -- frustrating can be quite negative and quite, you know, pulling yourself down.
But, no, it's happened before. You know, I remember losing to Murray in a short period of time on a few occasions. It happened against Nadal. That's what I always said. If you get off a good start and start beating one guy, then you play him the same -- you're playing the same guy on few occasions in a short period of time, you can get quite a few wins, you know.
I did that at the end of last year against him. He did it now at the beginning of the year against me. That's how it goes, you know. I don't know if I'd rather lose against three multiple different guys, you know, ranked outside of the top 50. I guess not.
I'd rather lose against a guy that's ranked very high so I know I'm controlling the rest of the field against top guys. If I'm playing well, I know I can beat them, too. So that's what it is. At the end of the day I can't change it, and I'm happy with my game.

Q. You said in the doubles they played an unconventional game. Can you explain it a little bit? What made them difficult to beat? Because they only played just one week together.
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it's part of that. They don't quite know themselves yet what's the best way to play. They decide to come in sometimes; they stay back. It's not classic doubles, even though Xavier can play that well very easily; Alexandr, honestly I've never seen him play doubles before, so it's hard for me to know exactly, you know, what he normally likes to do in the doubles.
But, you know, just the way, you know, especially Dolgopolov returns, just goes for broke kind of thing. It's tricky, and it seemed to work.
Maybe conditions helped them tonight. It was a bit slower, you couldn't use the kick serve, and the bounce as much. But at the end of the day they won the superbreaker, which is not purely luck. They were good and tough all the way through, you know.
We had our chances, but what I liked about them is they had a good attitude, you know, maybe very relaxed. I'm also very relaxed in doubles, but still feel I need a bit more intensity to do well, which was a fun doubles to be part of. I really enjoyed it.

Q. Can I switch topics a bit? The Wayne Odesnik situation, the guy who was suspended for a year.
ROGER FEDERER: It's a great subject. I love talking about that right now.

Q. But he's been playing a couple months futures, and I'm sure you're aware of that.
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't know that.

Q. He talked to the ITF and got the suspension reduced by one year. What do you think the reception is going to be for the guy when he comes back on the tour?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I don't know the guy. I didn't know he was playing again. Ask someone else. Not me.

Q. How difficult was it to go through a tough loss today and then turn around in just a couple hours and try to bring your focus back to the doubles? Was it hard?
ROGER FEDERER: No problem. I've done it many times before. I think I did it at the Olympics. I've done it before in big occasions, as well.
It's just part of what we do, you know. I'm not a guy who's disappointed for a long time. Takes me half an hour and I'm all right, or 15 minutes sometimes.
So important for me is, you know, I know that I gave 100% out there and I tried. That's all can I do, you know. If I feel like the effort I put in there wasn't the best I could, if I could have done so many things differently and I didn't use those, then it would be very frustrating and disappointing. But it's not the case anymore for me. You know, I always give 100% and I know I left everything out there, so then the turnaround for me is pretty quick.
It was more tough I guess physically to some degree, because you come off a big match like that and you cool down, it's like a rain delay, in a way. It's fine. You know, I played pretty good in the doubles, too, and it was okay.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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