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October 10, 2013

Roger Federer

Ze Zhang


10 October 2013

6‑1, 1‑6, 10‑8

THE MODERATOR:  Questions for Roger and ZE ZHANG.

Q.  Zhang Ze, you played two matches with Federer.  What are your biggest thoughts about that?
ZE ZHANG:  (Through translation.)  Actually in the first match, of course we played better than the second one because we had enough time for preparation.  From the moment that I got to know I can play with Federer, we had enough time for preparation.
But for the second match today, how can I put it, it's not like we think the rivals are very easy to handle, it's just that we didn't prepare enough.  That's why in the first set we were not playing very stable.  Roger just finished his singles match.  I should have given him more support.  But we lost the first one too quickly.
The second set, both of us were a little bit easier than in the first set because it is our last chance.  But when it came to the tiebreak, a lot of times it's all about luck.

Q.  What do you take away from the two matches you played with Roger?
ZE ZHANG:  (Through translation.)  Of course I think the fact that I played with him is already a big takeaway for me.  I can learn a lot of things from Roger, especially how you handle the key points.

Q.  Zhang Ze, when I interviewed the other stars, Djokovic said one thing that is most important to the players is how can you adapt to such a life that involves a lot of traveling.  Have you got any thoughts about yourself and this kind of life?
ZE ZHANG:  (Through translation.)  Well, I think it's the beauty of tennis.  It's not like other sports that has a fixed location that people can prepare.  We have got matches every week.  Maybe you're in Asia this week and in the next week in Europe.  I think this is our way of life.
How should I say?  We could more easily adapt to the traveling life with jetlag.  For us, it's not really a problem.

Q.  Roger, did you have suitable rest between your singles and doubles match?  It was less than half an hour.
ROGER FEDERER:  It was about 45 minutes.
To me, honestly, if I had half an hour or five hours, it's the same thing.  I'm going to play today.  It was maybe actually easier for me to continue.  They gave me the choice to play after the Wawrinka match or rather quickly.  I thought my body was warm.  It's going to cool down a little bit, but if I warm up again, it's going to come back quickly.
I thought the other guys played pretty well starting, and we didn't play that well as we did in the first match, particularly serving.
It was a different type of match, so maybe it also took us some getting used to the situations on the outside court.  The first match was indoors, I think, as well, so that changed a little bit.
But after that, we played like in the first round and we had a great first set.  Could have and maybe should have won in the super tiebreak.  So it's disappointing.
But the rest was suitable.  They asked me.  From that standpoint, I was happy to go and play quickly.

Q.  In what ways can Chinese tennis be improved?
ROGER FEDERER:  You go ahead.
ZE ZHANG:  (Through translation.)  I hope that we have more chances to play with better players in the world.  That's what I hope.  How shall I say?  Like this time we have got the opportunity to play with the top players in the world.  We will learn a lot of lessons.
ROGER FEDERER:  What was the question exactly?  I want to make sure.

Q.  Because this is the first time you partner with a Chinese male player, the Chinese level from China is still quite low in the world.  From your partnership, what do you think can Chinese tennis be improved in the future?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I don't want to say you might know better.  But you spend more time here in China than I do and you write the press, so I don't read the Chinese press.  Unfortunately I can only look at the pictures.
Other than that, I just hope because tennis is in the news in a good way, that this week shows that ZE ZHANG is playing at a high level, competing with quality doubles players.  Second round was quality doubles players that play singles.  In the first round, we were able to beat them convincingly.
That should give Chinese tennis a lift, in my opinion, hopefully make the generation of ZE ZHANG and the younger players ‑ maybe older for that matter ‑ believe more they can play with the best.
A week like this where all the best players come to the world and play in your country and speak with kids and fans and media can only be positive for future years or future weeks or months, and hopefully he'll be really motivated from now on to move ahead to his next challenge.
I think as long as it's in the press in a good way it's a good thing, and many young kids can aspire to be a future ZE ZHANG for that matter.

Q.  Roger, China is look for its first top 100 men's player in its history.  Do you see the potential in ZE ZHANG and in what areas do you think he can improve?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I believe he can become in the top 100.  I don't quite know what his singles ranking is right now.  For me, anywhere between 75, 150, even 250, that's very close.  You're talking about little details.
If anybody goes from 75 to 35, that's another step, in my opinion.  Anything to 75, if you're dedicated, professional, love it what you're doing, and that the travel and the jetlag, it's a fun thing, not a burden, he has his chances.
It's in his racquet.  He seems like he's fit.  He has a good attitude.  That's important to bring that every single day without forgetting that it's also supposed to be fun.  This whole process of being a tennis player, it's a dream come true.  Many other tennis players, or for that matter people in this country, would like to be in his shoes.
It creates a lot of pressure at the same time.  But tennis is a very particular sport where you need to be also a bit of a child sometimes, I believe, to perform well on the tennis court.  Because if you do everything just by the book, say I wake up at 7:00, train at 8:00, then I do this, it doesn't become fun, it's like a regular job.  That's now how it works.  You're not going to be successful on the tennis court.
That balance is where I think the friend, coaches and parents can help.  I think that's what's going to be important for him for the next few years now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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