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SHANGHAI ROLEX MASTERS


October 11, 2012


Roger Federer


SHANGHAI, CHINA

R. FEDERER/S. Wawrinka
4‑6, 7‑6, 6‑0


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You were in deep trouble there.  Tell us how you dug yourself out of that hole.
ROGER FEDERER:  Look, just keep on trying.  You know, I had my chances in the second set.  I was up a break.  Then I think I was down breakpoint at one point at the end of the second set.  Obviously that was like a match point.  So obviously I knew I had a chance going into the breaker.
I thought we both played a pretty good breaker.  Could have gone either way.  Consider myself a little lucky.  I never stopped believing, pushed till the end, then got off to a good start in the third set.  Basically that was it.
It was a tough match.  He was the better player for basically two sets.  It's great finding a way out that way, that's for sure.

Q.  After this win, you will definitely have over 300 weeks as the world No.1.  Will you say something about that.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, look, it's obviously an amazing number.  I never thought of something like this when I was a little kid, that's for sure.  I was just hoping one day my dream was going to come true to play on the regular tour, play Wimbledon, maybe become world No.1 at some stage.
So here I am at 300 weeks.  It's pretty incredible.  Probably one of my biggest accomplishments.  I'm very proud of that record, no doubt about it.

Q.  Shall we bring your memory back to February 2nd, 2004, your first week at No.1.  Do you still remember the excitement?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I do remember it very vividly actually.  It's not one of those moments that happens and then you forget.  It took me a lot of great performances to get there.
I had an opportunity I think in the match against Roddick in Montr√©al.¬† Lost 7‑6 in the semis there against him.¬† It took me to win Wimbledon, the World Tour Finals, then basically get to the finals of the Australian Open.¬† After beating Ferrero in the semis, I knew I clinched it, but obviously I wanted to finish the tournament on a high note winning the Australian Open as well.
That's what I was able to do then.  But I remember after the semis how happy I was becoming world No.1.  It was for me back then sort of the ultimate accomplishment next to winning Wimbledon.  That all happened in a span of sort of nine months, which was so intense, huge relief in some ways, but a big satisfaction.
Yeah, here I am eight years later, even more.  It's pretty special.  Obviously I lost the world No.1 ranking a few times, but I also stayed a long time once I got there.  I always felt tennis was easier for me playing as world No.1 than actually getting there.

Q.  You are 31 years old, same age as Li Na.  She was always pissed off when she was asked about retirement.  You've been asked about that a lot.  Have you ever been tired of such thing?
ROGER FEDERER:  Diplomatically or the truth (smiling)?
You can only repeat yourself that many times.  If people don't want to accept it, don't want to hear it anymore, it's not your probably eventually.
Look, it's a normal way of how the tour works.  Eventually you hit 30 and people think, okay, that must be it normally.  Actually I guess at times it could have a mental effect on some players.  Unfortunately I think some players might have been pushed out of the game because of it.
Then again, once you've been top five or No.1 in the world, you don't want to be low ranked, playing on the small courts eventually.
It all depends on really what you're happy with.  Sometimes you're just happy playing.  Some people, some media unfortunately don't understand that it's okay just to play tennis and enjoy it.  They always think you have to win everything, it always needs to be a success story, and if it's not obviously what is the point.  Maybe you have to go back and think, Why have I started playing tennis?  Because I just like it.  It's actually sort of a dream hobby that became somewhat of a job.  Some people just don't get that ever.
So for us, the players, it's logical that we love doing what we're doing and you want to do it as long as you can.  That's why for me it's been somewhat simple answering the questions hundreds of times.  I think also eventually it's going to stop a little bit and then it's okay.
I think I've managed it fine.  It's true that it sometimes does take a little bit of a toll if you come into each press conference and have to repeat yourself unfortunately.

Q.  Talk about your friend Stan.  He has been always living under your shadow, like today.  People were cheering for you, all the court.  They were almost cheering for Stan's unforced errors.  Do you have mixed feelings about beating your friend?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, I didn't think they were cheering for his mistakes or anything.  But I do have many fans around the world.  I obviously have the big platform week in, week out, wherever I play I get a center court appearance.  I've been around for a very long time now.
There's no doubt about it, it's difficult playing against Stan because he's a good friend.  It makes it complicated.  We don't have 15 players in the top 100, so we don't play countrymen on a regular basis.  This is always pretty unique.  It's not my favorite match out there.
Then again, I think he's also profited from being in my shadow.  I've given him a lot of advice.  I think he's been able to work in peace while I'm in the limelight.  He can work in peace and become the great player he is today.
If you ask the players on the tour, they have a lot of respect for Stan, what a great player he is and has become, maybe better than people thought he would become.  I think he's taken advantage of his situation as well.  I thought today he was the better player for two sets, like I mentioned.  I got a little bit lucky at the end.  It was a tough match, but at the end a memorable one because of the 300 weeks.

Q.  A moment ago you used the word 'satisfaction.'  You won today, broke a record.  You've been breaking records for so long, you're breaking your own records.  That satisfies people that watch and follow tennis.  Knowing that really satisfies the thousands of people that were watching today, what really satisfies you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Just getting to an incredible milestone, that all the hard work I've put in has paid off.  I never give up.  Show up, tired, injured, doesn't matter how I felt mentally so many times over the years.  It's gotten to this incredible number of 300.  It's a great reward for me.  I feel a great sense of satisfaction because of that incredible number and because of all the effort I've put into it.  I know how much work it has been.  It's not easy to stay at the top for so long and handle all the obligations that go with just playing tennis.  It's not how I envisaged the whole career really, having to do so much press, promotion work, you name it.  It came sort of out of the blue for me quite honestly.  I think I've handled it really, really well.  That's also one of the reasons I've been able to play for so long and so successfully I think.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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