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November 4, 2012

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Your record in this particular championship is outstanding, six victories already.  Why do you think it is that come the end of a tiring season, you're always able to bring your best tennis to the table?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, in the beginning obviously there is no real secret to it.  You just try hard, hope it all works out and falls into place.
It's true even from the very beginning, '02, '03, '04, all of them very successful.  I came in a couple times a bit injured, just turned the corner just before.  Maybe got a bit lucky, too, at the beginning.
Overall I think I managed my schedule pretty well to make sure the back end of the season doesn't feel like a back end, so it feels more like a priority being fresh mentally and physically still during that period.  So it's also in how you look at it.  Instead of trying to dive over the finish line, it's an ongoing season, the way we have it set up in some ways.
Then maybe the indoors has helped.  Again, I won Houston, as well.  That was a time when I was winning basically everything in North America.  That may have been good timing for me.  Overall I think I've also had a good record against top‑10 players.  It just goes hand‑in‑hand, and all of a sudden you win a lot.  It's good.

Q.  It's been a tough season.  You, Novak and Andy are very close.  Do you think winning the Masters can decide the real No.1 of the season?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, the real No.1, we know who that is.  It's going to be Novak.  I don't think there should be any debate around that.
I think No. 1, you don't get there by chance.  The rankings is something that shows you how you've played over a 365‑day period.  Okay, it might all change again in two months at the Australian Open, there's no doubt about that.  But right now, it's clear.
I don't think whatever happens should take anything away from anybody.  This is a bonus for the top eight players to face off against each other, try their very best, and hopefully finish the season in good style.  Obviously it's exciting to see.
Groups are loaded with great players on both sides.  I'm sure it's going to be difficult, you know, for the three of us.
Obviously, we do miss Rafa because he belongs in there.  He won a Grand Slam this year.  I would have loved to see him here playing again.  I think I played him the last couple of years.  But, of course, whoever wins this, won something more.  That's where I think you can feel the importance of this event from all the players.

Q.  Even though you haven't finished the year No.1, it's been a successful year.  I wonder how much you felt what happened here 12 months ago can set you up for the success you went on to have.
ROGER FEDERER:  It definitely gives you a lot of confidence because sometimes you don't always have the chance to play top‑10 players regularly.  You only play them from quarters or maybe only semis on usually.  It's sometimes nice to play top 10ers right off the bat.  It can give you confidence playing them down the road again.  I'm sure it helped me.
Then again, you go on vacation, practice buildup, you come to Australia, two months have gone by almost.  It's a different part of the season.
But I think the stretch I had from Basel, Paris and London really helped me in a great way because I had a couple of tough losses last year from Wimbledon to the US Open.  To clear all that out, fill the gaps with wins against your fellow rivals was obviously great for my confidence and looking forward.  Yeah, it was a great season.

Q.  In Andy's presser yesterday he made a passionate plea about doping, with tennis in regards to doping control, especially what happened in cycling.  Tennis was already clean, but you needed more tests to be done, especially more blood tests.  Where do you stand on this discussion?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I feel I'm being less tested this time now than six, seven, eight years ago.  I don't know what the exact reasons why we are being tested less.  At this moment I agree with Andy, we don't do a lot of blood testing during the year.  I'm okay having more of that.  I just think it's important to have enough tests out there.
I don't like it when I'm only getting tested whatever number it is, which I don't think is enough, sufficient, during the year.  I think we should up it a little bit or a lot, whatever you want to call it.
So I think it's key and vital that the sport stays clean.  It's got to.  We have a good history in terms of that and you want to make sure that it stays that way.

Q.  Roger, Rafael Nadal is not here because he is injured.  It's not the first time.  Is it the same Masters without him?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, look, I mean, the thing is once the tournament starts, unfortunately you do forget what's happening around you, then the focus will be on the players, on the atmosphere.  The press writes their stories.  Unfortunately, maybe they do forget those kinds of things a little bit.
Knowing that maybe the draw is potentially a little easier, there's no denying that, because Rafa is a great champion.  I'm sure that he's missed by a lot of the fans, which would have made this tournament maybe even more exciting.  Then again it gives opportunities to maybe one or two more guys.
This year I think we have another great field with many familiar faces, maybe a couple new ones.  Yeah, it's obviously never the same if Rafa doesn't enter a tournament.  But from time to time, injuries just do happen and we, of course, all wish the best so he can return quickly back to the tour next year.

Q.  You've been knocked off No.1 in the rankings in the past and come back.  Do you think this time it's realistic to think that you can do it again?  In particular, do you think you'll play the sort of schedule that would enable you to do that in the next year or two?
ROGER FEDERER:  We'll see.  I mean, look, I gave it obviously everything I had.  I played so much tennis the last sort of one and a half, two years, I am happy I got back to world No.1.  Obviously it's also a time where you need at least a slam, if not more slams, or then at least five to 10 titles.  We're not talking about the quick jump to 1 and you lose it again.  This is a full‑on process.  It obviously takes a lot of sacrifice.
For the time being, I'm willing to do all of that.  Yeah, so I'm putting my schedule into place for next year.  There's no extraordinary changes.  It's really going to depend on how well you play at the big tournaments and if you're going to win against your fellow rivals in the semis and finals.
Of course, I'm not saying it would be helpful, but it's helpful if some of your rivals lose early.  But you don't plan on that.  You focus on yourself.  That's what you do.  That's why I didn't go to Paris.  I had things to heal, look at the big picture.  Totally different situation than all the other guys are in.  I have family, too.  Happy things are going really well for me now.

Q.  I know you don't read an awful lot of tennis in the press as you sometimes tell us, but you must be aware generally in the media there's been quite a lot said in the last three months about Murray/Djokovic being the big new rivalry in tennis.

Q.  I'm wondering if that ever gets back to you?
ROGER FEDERER:  I didn't hear about that.  But I think there's a legitimate point about it because they played some great matches this year.

Q.  I was wondering if it motivates you, annoys you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Motivates me, yes.  Annoying me, no.  They deserve the limelight.  It's not always the same guys.  It's great that we have a lot of champions out there right now playing the game.  Like I said, I was very happy for Andy that he made his move at the Olympics, and in particular also at the US Open.  So it's always going to be natural that he was going to get more limelight.
And Djokovic, after his incredible year last year, he was always going to have limelight on him, as well.  Then, plus they played good matches against each other.  Obviously, with the injury of Rafa, it's unfair to kick him out and only talk about other guys.
I think overall it was an exciting season and an exciting tournament to look forward to, and to see how next year is going to be.
I always knew that Andy and Novak were going to stay around for a long time at the very top.  So right now it seems they're in their prime and this is when they are supposed to play their best tennis, in my opinion.

Q.  I know you're focused for this competition, but I want to ask you about your visit to Brazil.  What are your expectations?  How excited are you for this trip?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I'm very excited.  I've never been to Brazil or Argentina or Colombia, where I'm going to at the end of the season.  It's something really new for me, something that doesn't happen every day, that I go to such big, exciting countries, even though I've been to 40 or 50 countries in my life.  I love it.  This is why I love playing tennis still, seeing different countries, different people, different atmosphere, all that stuff.
Yeah, I'm very excited to be going there.  I hear there's great vibe around it.  I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it and hopefully put on a good show for the fans who are going to come see me play.

Q.  Wondering about this tournament, its future.  There's some discussion that we think it's going to stay in London.  Would you like, for many reasons, for it to stay here?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, yes, I think it ticks all the boxes.  I think successful, liked by the players.  The fans have really come here in big numbers.  Media, I think the presence is big.  It seems really like it's working out well.  Obviously there's many other aspects I don't need to get into.  It needs to be fulfilled from the ATP side, whoever is involved, from the site, so forth.
If they stay here, that's great.  If they move, they better make sure it's a great place that makes sense for tennis, for the business, for our schedule.  But I'm sure at this point the ATP is going to take the right decision here.

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