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January 18, 2012

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  What are your thoughts?
ROGER FEDERER:  Surprising.  I didn't know anything about it.  I saw him in the locker room, and he came up to me.  I was like, Hey, what's going on?  Good to see you again, because he's a good friend.  I've practiced with him in the past in Switzerland.
He said, I'm not so good actually.  I have a bad back.  It came as a surprise.  He said he had a lot painkillers and pain during the last match.  I think it happened four, five days ago.  He doesn't want to risk it early in the season, best five sets against me.  Nothing he could have done, even though he would love to play against me.  I guess it's the only smart decision for him to take.

Q.  What does it do for your rhythm for the week?
ROGER FEDERER:  Look, I would have loved to play.  Feel sorry for the fans, you know, whowere excited to see me on Hisense today.  I was ready to go.
I was just coming for my warmup hit, so I was completely focusing on the match, saying, Okay, I'll probably have two, three hours to go.  So from that standpoint, the energy was there.
Now I'll just take it easy this afternoon and come out tomorrow and hit intensely tomorrow, and then I'll be ready for the next match.

Q.  It was quite ironic, because a lot has been made of the fact that you played your last 52 matches here on Rod Laver, and I think you were put outside, so to speak.  Now the match isn't going to take place at all.  Were you aware that you had such a record of length of service on the main court here?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I knew it's been a long time since I've been on ‑‑ back then it was Vodafone still.
So, yeah, but I mean, at Wimbledon and at the French we always go at the second court.  It's just here and at the US Open where with the night sessions they have more night sessions and more space for men's matches on the center court that it's really difficult for you to be moved out.
But when the draws are such that me and Rafa are in the same section, and you have Tomic, I guess, I expect it to happen.  Especially when I saw that Rafa played an Hisense the first day, I expected my second‑round match was going to be there, too.
Yeah, I mean, I was excited.  I wasn't disappointed to hear that I was going to play there, to be quite honest.

Q.  They have played men's matches here first in the evening the first three nights.  Is that something that the players wanted to have, as if they felt as though they should play first, or is it that it just seems to have happened so far this year?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I don't know.

Q.  I didn't know whether it was something perhaps you've said, We always seem to play second.  Could we perhaps play first?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's nice that the guys get to play first once in a while or 50% of the time.  Yeah, I mean, of course then it's tricky.
If the men's match goes four hours, then it gets late for the women.  You know, the women's match is not usually going to last potentially six hours; whereas a men's match could.
So you have‑‑ I mean, I think it's fair.  I don't think it's good that they always had the women's match first.  I think it's good to mix it up.  I like it that they do how they think it's right.
If it happens that three women's matches are first again in the night, it's no problem.  I just think that's important that the tournament has flexibility.

Q.  Playing at night, Serena complained about the bugs and said she didn't want to be out there at night again in in this tournament.  Did you notice that on the first night?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not that much, actually.  I saw like one.  (Laughter.)  Maybe they come out at 1:00.  I don't know.  We had a couple in Qatar, I believe.  The ball boy destroyed one.  I just wanted to get it moved.  He didn't want to take it in his hand like the girl did yesterday.
So, no, it wasn't so bad for me, anyway.  I don't know.  I don't remember.

Q.  You had a walkover.  Can you recall if you had one in a slam before?
ROGER FEDERER:  I do.  I had Tommy Haas at Wimbledon; Andrei Pavel somewhere; maybe US Open.  Not sure.

Q.  That's it.
ROGER FEDERER:  That's it apparently.  Good memory.

Q.  Anything different you do now?  Chill out a bit?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  Relax this afternoon and just go for an intense, bigger hit tomorrow.  Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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