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October 12, 2012

Roger Federer


6‑3, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  The next one coming up against Andy.  You have had a couple good ones of late.  What have you learned from the last two that you split about his game that you can bring to the table as an advantage tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, obviously this is a different situation.  It's not a final, first of all.  Secondly, it's not best‑of‑five.  It's more of a sprint than a marathon really.
Yeah, it changes up a little bit.  But then again, we're the same players.  Obviously more has happened for him in the last three months than for me.  He had the breakthrough victory, if you like to call it that way, at the Open.  The Olympics was, too, to some degree.  Some people still weren't happy with that.  It's amazing to see him back it up at the Open.
I assume he's very confident right now and probably playing with a little bit less pressure.  Then again, that can go either way.  It's been a long year for all of us.
I'm looking forward to the match.  It's always great playing the best players.  Those are the kind of matches you want to try to win because that can obviously then move the rankings by a little bit, even though it doesn't matter so much if you stay within the top four.
But basically at this point it's trying to give yourself a chance to win the title here.  To come all this way to Shanghai, I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be a tough match, good one.  Tactics, I haven't thought a lot about it to be honest.  Interesting ones.  He's playing a bit more offensive now than the last couple years.  That's changed up a bit.  It's pretty quick out here.  We'll see if the rallies are going to be long or short.  From my side, I haven't decided yet how I'm going to play.

Q.  This is the 10th year since Shanghai had its big first tennis tournament in 2002.  You're here seven times.  I guess you're the right player to ask about the progress, development, how you feel about this the tournament, tennis as a whole?
ROGER FEDERER:  There was a Shanghai Open way back when.  I didn't play then.  There wasn't a tournament here in 2003, 2004.  Then the Masters Cup came here 2005.  I've been here most of the times, except a couple times I missed out.
I've definitely seen changes in the city, changes since the EXPO here, changes of the venue.  It's getting better every year.  It's been voted by the players as one of the best tournaments on tour, for obvious reasons.  One of the best sites on tour, if not the best.  Plus players are very well taken care of and all those things.  So it's super professionally run and I really enjoy myself here as well.
It's a bit of a long trip from outside of the city.  If you drive 45 minutes, 1 hour 15, it's not that big of a difference.
It's a great tournament.  I love it here.  Hopefully I can come back more often in the future, as well.

Q.  Over the last few years, probably nobody has played Murray more than you.  I'm wondering what kind of input Paul brings to the table with Andy, having worked within the British setup, LTA, Davis Cup.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I haven't played him that often.  Before Dubai, I hardly played him for one and a half years.  Of course, we know each other very well.  I think he played Novak and Rafa more in the last couple of years now.  This year we played three times.  I'm not sure if we played more.
Yeah, I mean, look, Paul knows Andy well.  Andy has improved immensely since I guess Paul sort of worked with him.  I don't feel like I have the insight kind of guy with Paul.  Andy keeps on evolving, my game changes over time, you adapt to the surface, you adapt to how things have gone in that particular tournament and maybe the last couple times you've played.  Obviously Andy and myself, we've got to look back at the two Wimbledon matches we played and draw from there, you know.
Obviously, I hope that Paul can give me some good input tomorrow and I can use that to win.  But I don't know if it's that much of an advantage that he's so much coached him in Davis Cup.  I think it's a bit farfetched to be honest.

Q.  I was trying.
ROGER FEDERER:  Of course.  Why not (smiling).

Q.  You mention Andy is a more offensive player than he used to be.  Do you think that is what made the difference to him this summer in winning the Olympics and the US Open?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, maybe a little bit.  I mean, I believe he could have won Grand Slams also playing the way he was a few years ago.  But I think it gives himself more opportunities like that.
You know, I think the big difference is he's returning from further in the court now, whereas back in the day he used to return back on second serves.  I'm talking back.  Not like a clay courter, but he kind of gave you always the first hit.  By virtue of returning further in, it takes time away.
He's got great hands, great anticipation, great reaction.  I guess it's the right way to play.  It's paid off.  Now he's obviously in his absolute prime.  Hit fitness, his mind, his game is all coming together now when he wants it.
I think all the previous sort of five years, if you like, experience in his game has paid off, which I'm happy for him.

Q.  Tomas is kind of on the fringe of you four guys.  Why do you think he hasn't broken through?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, look, I mean, he's had a rough summer.  He's playing well now since Winston‑Salem, US Open and now here.  He lost back to back first rounds in Wimbledon, Olympics, didn't have a great French Open I don't think.  So there you go.  By losing early in three of those big tournaments, you know, it's hard to crack the top four, to be honest.  At least he has the game to beat some of the top guys from time to time.  It will be interesting to see the match tomorrow with Djokovic.
Yeah, I mean, look, the top four play incredibly consistent, plus we split slams.  So at this point almost you need a slam to break the top four.  So there you go.  That's what it takes.  He's come close.  I think he's been in one final.  So has Jo‑Willy.  Ferrer has almost been there as well.
Yeah, it takes something extraordinary like what Del Potro did some years back.  It's not that easy because right now you probably have to beat two or three of those top guys to make it there.  That's the difficulty.

Q.  As somebody who takes a political role in the ATP, I'm curious how you feel about the combined events, not at the slams?  Do you like them?  Don't you like them?  Why?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, look, it's a tricky situation because obviously it all depends on if the site is big enough.  I can understand that some tournaments like the setup of having men's and women's at the same event.  Some shouldn't have it, but they still have it.
I don't think it should be a trend.  That was the trend of former ATP CEO de Villiers, to have more combined events, make them bigger, make them grow, four out of eight Masters 1000s combined.  That's the time we live in right now, still being affected by that.  I'm not saying it's bad, I'm not saying it's great.  It's always dangerous to go one direction.
I am pretty relaxed about it.  Either way I think whatever works for the game and works for the fans and works for the site and the media I'm okay with.  It's just got to be well thought through really.

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