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November 26, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/D. Ferrer
7‑5, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Give us your thoughts on today's match and reaching the finals again.
ROGER FEDERER:  I thought it was a tough match.  Could clearly see why David beat Murray and Djokovic here.  You know, he takes the ball really early, is able to generate great angles off his plays, super consistent.
I think he's serving better than he has in the past, although I don't think he had his best serving day against me today, which helped me get into more of the baseline rallies.  Obviously was a key 5‑4 game for me to hold and then break the next game, then actually break again early on in the second set.  That was a crucial sort of 15, 20 minutes for me.  I'm happy I was able to decide the match right there.
After that, I was able to serve well, mix it up, be dangerous for him.  It was a bit more straightforward.  But I really had to dig deep to find a way to beat David today.

Q.  I'd like to know if you are more surprised by the records that you keep making, the stories you are making in tennis, or about the emotions that you keep having every time you win and someone reminds you what you have just done.  Are you more surprised about how emotional you are about these wins or not?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  The emotional side I'm not surprised because I've always been an emotional tennis player.  You know, I used to be so emotional when I used to lose.  Then eventually, I think it was the first time in Davis Cup against the Americans after winning singles, doubles, singles, I was so exhausted, the pressure left me, I think I had tears in my eyes after winning.  It was the first time I had winning tears.
Ever since, I've had many of them.  I've been an emotional player when it was all said and done really.  But I try to keep my emotions in check while the tournament is going on because I feel like I need to save it in case there is something more.  Can't be an emotional rollercoaster throughout the whole career, season, or match.
So I'm more surprised in all the things I have achieved.  I'm shocked every time that I've reached so many finals or won against so many players or whatever record it is.  It strikes me and makes me obviously very happy and very proud that I've been able to do it for so many years at the highest of levels.

Q.  This is your victory number 12 in 12 matches against David.  Why is it so easy for you to play against Ferrer?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's not so easy as it might look and seem.  It's a lot of hard work.  I think today, again, was very close.  I've maybe had some easier matches against him.  But lately they've all been very tough, very physical.
He's improved a lot.  He's really cemented himself into the top 10, now even into the top 5.  I expect him to have another very solid and good season if things fall in place for him.  You can see why.  He's one of the best returners we have in the game.  He's got great mental toughness.  He's extremely fit.  Then he brings, you know, a lot of shots to the table.
So he's a very tough player to play against.

Q.  Could you sum up your thoughts going into tomorrow's final and really how much it would mean to you to lift that record sixth title.  Also talk a bit about both players for us.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, it's obviously a special occasion for me tomorrow playing my hundredth final, possibly winning my 70th, winning my sixth at the World Tour Finals.  That would be a record.
Anyway, there's a lot on the line, and in a way there's not.  All I can do is try to play a good match against a dangerous player.
In Tsonga, we have someone who is very confident right now, has played well on the indoors.  If he makes it to the finals, even right now in the semis he's going to be extremely dangerous.  He's going to believe in his chance.
Same thing for Berdych.  They're both great shot makers.  I played Berdych as well in Paris.  I thought he played an amazing match against Murray, the match before me.  Maybe got a bit unlucky having to back it up against me after that epic match.  I was able to take advantage of that.
It's not totally in my control with the power these guys have.  I have to out‑maneuver them, out‑play them a bit.  But it's good that I've actually beaten both players the last couple of weeks.  I think that's an advantage for me.  Then again, it's another match, another final.
But it will be quite funny to play Tsonga in the finals of Paris on the first day on Sunday and the next Sunday again.  We'll see how it goes, but I think it's going to be a very close match and I'll follow it as close as I can.

Q.  We were having a discussion on the radio the other night about why, even though you haven't won a major for two years, whether you're a better player now than you were a couple years ago just because of the level of Djokovic and Nadal.  What do you think?
ROGER FEDERER:  I just think it's normal to improve as a player.  Why should you move backwards, you know?  Confidence is one thing, but that can be temporary and that can fade as quick as it came really.
But then you have a certain base that you can always work with.  I think as time goes by, as much as you practice, actually the matches make you a better player.  I used to have a weak backhand.  But then everybody played to my backhand.  So obviously I was always going to improve my backhand eventually.
I think the same thing kind of happened to many different players.  I don't think Novak's forehand used to be a strength.  Today it's a weapon.  Rafa the same thing.  He used to struggle if you hit hard into his forehand.  Today it's no problem for him anymore.
It's interesting how you evolve as a tennis player.  For me it's only logical to improve.  But you have to have the work ethic, the professional side of things, to sleep, drink, live healthy as a tennis player, because no one else is running but ourselves.  We have no substitute.  That makes it extremely difficult mentally.  I think the top guys have done actually really well trying to maintain that high level of play.
Like I said, I have also been amazed myself how long I've been able to keep it up.  But I'm happy my level is still very high and my body's holding up.

Q.  You equaled the childhood favorite of yours today, Stefan Edberg, with 806 wins.  Can you tell us what it means to equal him in particular?
ROGER FEDERER:  If I equaled him today?  Look, Stefan was my idol.  I had a chance last year to sort of finally play with him, which was a dream come true in some ways.  So to achieve something that he achieved is obviously very nice.  I don't think it matters much, but it's still very nice to get reminded that you equaled your idols' or heroes' achievements.  A lot of dedication, like I mentioned.  You have to stay injury‑free, otherwise all these things don't happen.  So I'm very fortunate.

Q.  Can you describe in a few words what this tournament means to you and what is it like the few seconds before you enter the stage?  Is it like goosebumps on your body or the same every year?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, it's different.  Then again, you don't feel the same every single match.  Sometimes you are extremely nervous because you feel like your game's not quite working, then other times you feel fantastic.  But that's also not a good feeling because then you're a bit too confident, you're maybe not as nervous as you're supposed to be, and you think it's all going to happen automatically.  You'll be surprised if things don't go well.
I think the show's nice here.  Ovations we get are amazing.  I can't tell, but it seems like it's standing ovations.  That's really nice as well.  It just makes a great setting at the O2.  I really enjoy it.  The fans are super polite.  They know why they've come here.  We try to perform every day, make something special happen.  That I've been able to play so many matches on centre court over the years has been really nice for me.  I hope for something similar again tomorrow.

Q.  Could you ever put yourself in the shoes of a player walking on court against another player with a 0‑11 record?  What kind of thought process do you think you'd walk on court with?
ROGER FEDERER:  You believe that you've done well this week and you believe that you can beat that player who just walked on in front of you or after you.  I think the 0‑11 record maybe comes into play more when he's down a set and a break than the first game of a match.  It's up to me to really remind him of that record.
But other than that, it's not very helpful, I don't think.  It gives me a sense of security to some degree, but not him.  I don't think it scares him in any way.  We respect each other at the top anyway a lot.  For that reason I think he goes in there with lots of belief.  I mean, anything else would surprise me.

Q.  It took you five deuces to close out that 10th game in the first set.  How do you keep your frustration under control or don't you feel frustration in moments like that?
ROGER FEDERER:  Uhm, well, a little frustrated.  I thought, you know, in the 5‑4 game I probably should have closed it out probably two or three times at least.  Before having to go over multiple second serves at deuce, which against Ferrer, who is in my opinion one of the best return players we have right now, especially on second serves in the game, is very tricky.
But I'm happy I didn't double‑fault.  I'm happy I didn't give him any easy points.  I'm happy I stayed tough.  So then you just think shot for shot and you actually try to block out all the negativity and you try to pick the right decisions once you're in the lead again.  Also when you're down, you're trying to do that.
It all happens very quickly out there.  It might look like we have a lot of time in between points, but you feel the stress level because of the pressure the opponent is putting on, because of the crowd being there, because of the moment, the importance.  You're aware of it all.
But, yeah, it's a lot happening in your mind at that very moment.  I'm happy I was able to handle it well today.  So hopefully one more match tomorrow and then I can rest.  So looking forward to that.  First the match, though.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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