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August 18, 2012

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/S. Wawrinka
7‑6, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You mentioned that you warmed up with Stan earlier in the week, but the first time you played him in match play since 2011.  He's a had a great week.  Can you assess his game, where it stands at the moment?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I saw another improvement from his side, you know, physically and mentally and then also in his game.  He used to always take sort of two steps forward, one step back, two steps forward.
So I thought he was on the right track for sure a after tough spell after the French Open where I thought he played some amazing tennis.  So it's nice to see him probably crack the top 20 again and maybe have some better seedings as he goes on at the end of this year.
I thought he played really well today for at least one and a half sets over one and a half hours.  At the end he let go maybe a little bit after he got broken.  But those are just little things he might still be able to improve.
Overall I thought he served well and gets a lot of returns back and exchanges off his forehand and backhand, too.  His is supposed to be his maybe weakest surface, you know, fast hard court maybe.
So I thought I was very impressed by his play.

Q.  Hew had a 140 yesterday and another one today.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, he's always had a big first serve.  Then the question is just how good is your second serve, how consistent are you, and for how long.  You know, not just in the match, but throughout the year.
I think he's got more consistent as time goes by for him.

Q.  How much of a test do you think today's match was for your own game?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, look, there was not that many rallies.  I was predicting many more rallies.  Then again, it is a quick court, so the moment you see an opening to take advantage of a higher ball that's kind of sitting there, you go for it and then you cut rallies really short.
So obviously playing sometimes with high risk, but it pays off, I think, to move forward and play aggressive.  So I'm happy with how I'm playing.  I could have served a bit better to keep me out of a bit more trouble on my own serve.
Then again, I only had to save a couple of break points.  Overall I'm actually pretty happy.

Q.  Is it tough to play a countryman in the semis of such a big tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it is hard.  It's not something you're that used to.  There are only two of us in the top 100, so as you can imagine it only happens a couple times a year.  So when it happens, it's always kind of a big news in Switzerland.
I'm happy that particularly in a Masters 1000 that we were able to play in the semis.  It's great for Switzerland and it's great for us.  It's something to look back at for us in our lifetime.

Q.  You face Novak in the final now.  How important will this match be going into the US Open, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER:  I guess it will be helpful to win, but then again, it's not going to decide the outcome of the US Open.  We're on opposite sides of the draw at the US Open and might not even play each other.
So there you have it.  But I'm going to try my best.  I hope I'm more recovered than he is.  Again, he's had a pretty easy road to the finals here this week.  I don't think he must be too tired.  Might be more tired mentally just from traveling right from the Olympics, straight to Toronto, winning there, and then coming here.
So he's done an amazing effort and great results so far.  I hope I can stop his back‑to‑back victories here at the Masters 1000 level.

Q.  Stan was able to save a lot of break points.  Was he doing anything different at all on those against you today?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, look, it's quick.  I thought I was unlucky on a couple.  On some he played well and on some I didn't play so well.  Next thing you know, you miss maybe seven or eight.  I did have opportunities on a few second serves, and that's maybe probably where I could have done a bit better.
So I have to definitely make sure I do a better job in the finals if I want to win.

Q.  You're known as a guy who loves tennis' traditions.  One of the big traditions you've never done is climb into the stands to celebrate with your team after a big win.  Is there a reason for that?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I'm not a fan of it.  I don't like it so much.  I don't know, maybe‑‑ whatever.  (Smiling.)  I just don't.  For my opponent I don't think it's what I want to do.
But then everybody, they do what they think is right and what they feel is the way to celebrate, because it is a unique moment when you're deciding to do that.  Very often happens in Grand Slams.  Some fans love it; some press love it; I don't know, maybe the photographers love it, too.
Overall I've just said I will never do that in my life, and I've stuck to it my whole career.

Q.  Do you remember in 2003 Wimbledon if it crossed your mind?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  No chance I was going to do it.

Q.  So if you win tomorrow, you you'll be a five‑time winner, the only one.  Right now you're tied at four with several other people.  How much do the small records mean to you compared to the big ones, like the 17?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's a nice bonus, really.  When I was a kid I wasn't thinking of winning five Cincinnatis, but then again here I am in this great situation being able to do it, the first man ever.
So I'm obviously excited.  Very often when I do now reach a finals there is something on the line.  Here we go; there is something there.  I'm really excited.  I have loved this tournament for many years and played really well here all the times I've come here.
Now I'm really just excited to be back in the finals against Novak.  Obviously couldn't have a tougher test, because he is playing so great on the hard courts.
Then again, I'm going for my fifth and I'm feeling well, I have no issues, and I can just really go for it and make to happen tomorrow.

Q.  And yet another record keeps on going, and that's the No. 1 ranking.  Looks like you'll hold onto it for a few more weeks.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  Is it safe tomorrow?  I don't know.

Q.  Yes.
ROGER FEDERER:  Good.  Good news.  (Smiling.)

Q.  Do you think about that at all and just marvel at what an achievement you have come to?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, look, obviously it was a big goal since‑‑ I don't know when I lost my No. 1 ranking even.  For me to come back to world No. 1 was obviously a goal I always had.  When you lose it you want it back right away.
Then when three months go by, six months go by, and you understand how much more difficult it is to get back there.  You know it's going to take one or two slams or at least between five and ten tournament victories.  You need the World Tour Finals in it and you need to win the big tournaments and beat the other top 5, top 10 players on a regular basis.
If you don't do all those things, you're probably not going to be back to world No. 1.  You want to stay strong mentally.  Takes a lot of hard work, dedication, sacrifice, the traveling from everyone involved.  And so when you get there it's a great feeling, because doesn't happen by chance.
So when you can stay there for one more week, I'm obviously happy.  The goal has already been achieved by getting back there.  If I would do everything for it, I would have gone to Toronto and played there as well.  I have to look at the long‑run, the big picture, and I'm in a completely different spot than all the other guys are.
So I have to look at the long term, and I would like to stay around for as long as I can.  For that reason I have to peace myself at times, but I'm happy I'm playing so well again right off the bat again here in the States.
Obviously I hope I can keep it up tomorrow and then also in New York.

Q.  There is a lot of the inconsistency every week, seemingly a different ball.  Novak mentioned the different ball takes its toll physically.  Do you find it takes a while to get used to it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, absolutely.  It's been an ongoing battle on the tour trying to fix that.  It's just too different.  To be quite honest, I've given up on telling the tour we should play with same balls everywhere we can.
There are different manufacturers, and then obviously they make their own deals with certain tournaments.  Then some have a three‑year deal, a ten‑year deal, and you're just never going to get it right, I don't think.
It's not like we're playing with stones one week and then with tennis balls the next.  I know there are differences and your shoulder starts to hurt from time to time, but that's where a healthy lifestyle and rehab and all that stuff is important.
I think we're doing okay considering.  If you look at all the wear and tear, I think the professional tennis athletes are doing well considering.

Q.  With all you won and accomplished in your career, you obviously get asked a lot about the records and the greatest‑of‑all‑time questions.  Is talking about yourself in that way, are you comfortable with that?  Has that is gotten easier over time to talk about yourself being so good?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I don't know.  It is awkward in some ways, and it's a bit of a trap at times because you answer it 50 times and you have to answer it 50 times exactly the same, or you change it up a bit and then it sounds different.
People pick out whatever they want to hear, so obviously I've gotten used to talking about it, being in the conversation.  And looking at my results, obviously I'm amazed how far I've come myself.
Then again, I'm still playing, and as a long as I'm playing, for me there is no reason to start comparing to the other ones because I haven't finished.  I think I should be judged then.
At the same time, obviously I'm very pleased how well my career has gone.  I am more comfortable today in front of the press and in the public eye than I used to be.  There is no doubt about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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