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August 27, 2012

Roger Federer


6‑3, 6‑2, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  A lot of European players when they first came to the Open in its wild days, like Stefan Edberg, didn't like it but grew to like it as time went on.  Did you go through that process or did you always enjoy it?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I maybe had that more at the French Open, that kind of feeling.  Never really felt comfortable, not quite sure where to go, what to do with the preparation, didn't know any people yet, you name it.
But at the Open, I always felt for some reason always super excited, a place I always wanted to go to when I was younger.
Played a good juniors maybe.  I don't know if that helped back in '98; whereas at the French maybe I lost first round, so I always felt right off the bat that this was a place that wasn't going to work out so well, but it did.
Yeah, so US Open for me was always, I don't want to say easy, but very natural and I always looked forward to it in a big way, yeah.

Q.  Compared to the other slams, is it as wearing, harder?  Some people think because of the night matches, the distractions.  How does it compare?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I can see that.  The distractions are big here just because you almost enjoy your time too much.  Not meaning you go party, but you do too many things maybe you shouldn't be doing.  Maybe when you come on court your mind is still elsewhere, those kind of things.
I do feel that, too, here; whereas in Wimbledon, you rent your house, you're full on tennis.  All you do is you watch tennis.  You eat and breathe tennis.
When you come here, you go out at night for dinners.  You catch up with friends.  You do maybe watch things on TV from time to time.  There's many more things you can follow and do, so that brings challenges automatically with it.
Historically I've always come here and I think I've at least always won at least three rounds here.  I don't think I ever lost first round.  It's also helped me feel really comfortable in New York and spend more time than just potentially thee days here or five days here coming from another a week's tournament in Rhode Island, Hamlet, or all those tournaments I used to play.
But I love it here.  The distractions are a challenge, the wind, the humidity.  The early matches, the really late, late matches, because it can get extremely late here, like in Australia, too.  That takes some getting used to.  Experience can help in that, too.

Q.  You returned to world No.1; Novak Djokovic is close to you.

Q.  Is this a pressure for you or it motivates you?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it's a great story that we have so many guys playing well at the same time.  That's kind of how I see it.
Novak to me goes in as the favorite still here at the Open because he's the defending champion.  He's probably won the most titles on hard courts the last couple years.  It's where he feels most comfortable.  He's beaten me the last couple years as well.  It's strange for me to be the favorite just after beating him a couple of times.
Then again, I've had a great summer.  So has Murray.  Rafa won the French.  It's a pity he's not here.  It's going to be an interesting US Open.  I'm happy I'm through the first round.  World No.1 right now is not on the top of my mind.
I am happy I'm world No.1, but it's not what drives me during this year's US Open.  It's actually trying to get the title or get closer to that title, because first the focus is completely elsewhere.

Q.  How would you evaluate your play tonight?
ROGER FEDERER:  I thought it was good, you know, considering I played a very talented player who I didn't know much and never played against him.  First round at the US Open can always bring a lot of pressure with it.  It was very windy out there and extremely humid.
I'm just happy I was able to weather the conditions and a dangerous opponent.  Overall I'm extremely happy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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