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BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS


November 10, 2012


Roger Federer


LONDON, ENGLAND

J. DEL POTRO/R. Federer
7‑6, 4‑6, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How do you feel physically going into the match tomorrow in the semis?  Any problems?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, no problems.  I should be fine.  I hope I am.  Tomorrow morning will answer the question.  But I'm not even worried.
I am excited to be obviously in the semis, playing hopefully a good match.  Still waiting to find out who I play and when I play.  That will obviously be answered tonight.

Q.  I know we shouldn't build up too much to two defeats in two weeks.  Is there something about his game you find difficult to deal with?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, not really, because I actually have a good record against him.  Yeah, I mean, the matches I played, extremely tight at the moment.  Not having much difficulty on my own serve, to be honest.  I think I had one break today, fine.  I think if I were to break more often, things would be quite different.  I think that's my biggest struggle right now, to find a way to break him more consistently, more often like I should have in the first set.
But he's doing a good job, playing clean tennis, bringing the heat on the serve, hitting his shots when he has to.  His credit for really making it difficult for me in the last four at least, I'd say.  Since Paris and then Olympics and then now, the last two he's won, so credit to him.
I hope I didn't have to lose against him again today.  But good effort by his side to get me twice in a row now.

Q.  What in your estimation was the difference today?  Can you also talk about the management of his serve in the last set.  I don't think you got more than one point on any of his service games.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it's disappointing, you know.  Not happy about that.  I had a good feeling going into the match.  Definitely the right game plan.  Broke him very easily all of a sudden at the beginning of the second.  Thought I was a bit of a better player in the first maybe.  Next thing you know, it's like a struggle at the end of the second, don't really get into his serves any more in the third.
Okay, it's indoor tennis, he has a big serve and all those things.  But still the surface plays somewhat slow, so I expect myself to get more returns into play and all that stuff.
But important is to move on right now, to be quite honest, not talk too much about this match for me, also.  Mentally, it's important to look ahead and rest because it's a quick turnaround till tomorrow.
Obviously, was tricky under the circumstances.  But I tried everything I could and was a bit frustrated at times, but it shouldn't affect me tomorrow.

Q.  Do you think the players who are resting today will have an advantage going into tomorrow?  Would you prefer to play the second match to have the extra time tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I mean, look, it's a slight advantage maybe for Murray and Djokovic having started the group stage matches a day earlier than we did.  That's purely luck because we had to wait and see in which group Ferrer was.
That could be helpful maybe in the finals, let's say, because playing three in a row is different than two in a row.¬† I don't think it's going to make a difference.¬† But potentially some year, playing three in a row at the end, depending if you play three‑setters or not, how the matches play out.
I don't think it has any effect on tomorrow's matches.  Ferrer is the guy who plays last tonight.  Yeah, I think me and Juan Martin will be fine for tomorrow.

Q.  22 times the ATP Finals have been won by a player who lost a match in the round robin, and 12 players won it altogether.  You have been playing many finals.  Do you see any difference when you won it having lost one match in the round robin or having won it when you didn't lose any match in the round robin?  Does it make any difference in terms of confidence, psychological impact, or nothing?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, today was different than when I lost the match against Gonzo, I guess.  Don't even know which year that was, who I played in the finals.  I remember it was in Shanghai.
I mean, once it's in the past, you move on.  That was the first one.  It was a close match.  Makes you more nervous in this one today.  If I could afford to lose one match, it was the one today.  So this one has, in my opinion, not much of an impact for the rest of the weekend.  All I could do is try my best and hopefully win, sort of give Ferrer a chance, I guess.  So disappointed for him.
But Del Potro earned it, as well.  Also played great tennis the last few weeks.  For me, if I win the title, regardless of how you do it, at the end, you don't care.  You could lose two matches in the round robin for that matter.  I'd still be as happy.

Q.  We don't know who you will play tomorrow yet, but there's a good chance it will be Andy.
ROGER FEDERER:  Depends on how you view it and how much you respect people.

Q.  You played Andy a few times this year, some big matches with him.  It's been a big year for him.  How do you think his game has changed since you first played him five or six years ago?
ROGER FEDERER:  Whew.  Yeah, definitely changes like you would expect really.  I played him, where was it, Bangkok the first time around.  Obviously he's gotten, mentally, a whole lot tougher.  Physically, now it's no problem for him anymore to hang tough and believe that he can bring it day in, day out.  I mean, I guess tactically he's stronger because he knows now where people can hurt him and not so much.
I think the confidence just overall is higher today than it used to be just because of all his victories, all his performances day in, day out over many years now.  It's not just this year.  People forget how consistent he's actually been already since many years.
To me, he was always probably going to be a player who needed just a bit more time than let's say a Nadal or a Djokovic.  He's more in my category where he just needed more time to file out your game.  But when it's all really happening, I think it's a great package for Andy.
Right now I think he's playing great tennis.  Obviously the last six months have been amazing for him.  I expect him to be extremely tough in the semis, if that is for me, or for Del Potro.

Q.  Having already qualified, do you think at all before or during the match, Okay, if I win, I play Murray, if I lose, there's a chance I might play Djokovic?  Does that come into the mind at all?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, it does cross my mind.  But don't think it really affects you.  But, of course, you know, you think about these things.  We're human out there.  We know sort of the scenarios.  I try not to want to know too much going into it.
This one was obviously different because at the end if I play Novak or Andy in the semis for me, there's no difference.  I need to play good tennis to beat either one.  That's not the finals yet.  I have to look ahead.
It would have been helpful to win today.  But now that I didn't, I just got to forget this match quickly and move on.
It's true sometimes your mind plays tricks on you.  You're walking around, sitting on the change of ends, you're thinking about all sorts of crazy stuff.  That's any match, not just in the round robin matches here at the World Tour Finals.  It's different, not a situation that happens every day.  I guess if I could have lost one match this season, this was the one, so...

Q.  You touched on it briefly, but do you feel a bit of sympathy for David Ferrer?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes.

Q.  Quite an odd situation for a player.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I was thinking more about David than I was thinking about Andy and Novak, to be honest.  I really wanted to give him a chance and give myself the best possible preparation for the semis, really hoped I could win.  Not that I prefer David over Juan Martin, no, not at all.  I think he's had a stellar season.  For me was anyway a given I was going to give my very best.  But more disappointed for him than I am about losing today, to be quite honest.

Q.  A lot of people would suggest that Andy Murray's season and his career took off when he won the Olympic gold medal on the same court you had beat him only three weeks earlier.  Having reflected on that, why was he able to win that gold medal against you in a fashion which perhaps surprised most of us?
ROGER FEDERER:  Why?

Q.  Why three weeks after you'd won the Wimbledon title Murray could come out.
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, why not?  He's not like a country club player.

Q.  I appreciate that.
ROGER FEDERER:  He's very good.  Okay, maybe you expect better from me in the finals.  We had different paths to the finals, let's not forget about that.  Not to make an excuse out of it.
I think he played a bit better than maybe in the Wimbledon finals.  Maybe I allowed him to play a little bit better, maybe as well.  Those are only just things you throw out there.  He was just better.  Then I tried to mix things up and I couldn't.  Yeah, he just played great tennis.
I just think he set himself a goal, as well, like I did, that we hoped we could win either one, Wimbledon or the Olympics.  I think his drive was so strong at the end, that carried him through.  Whereas maybe I already got Wimbledon, I already had the silver, so maybe that last thing was missing, even though I gave it everything I had.  But maybe deep down somewhere that does affect you, as well.  It maybe prevents you of playing your absolute best.  I don't know.
But Andy did great.  I always hoped he would have a reaction like this, to be quite honest, even though it cost me maybe a gold medal.  I was a bit disappointed in his reaction after the Australian Open finals, when I beat him there, then he went on a bad spell I think through Rotterdam, Indian Wells, Miami.  He didn't really play so well.  Instead of taking positives out of a great tournament, because he was playing great tennis, he took the negatives out of it.
I don't think he did that mistake again after Wimbledon.  That's the sign of a champion.
So, yes, you can say it sort of started for him at the Olympics.  He did put himself in positions time and time again in the past and I think he's learned from his mistakes now.  Now he's up there and he will be for a very long time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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