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November 2, 2013

Roger Federer


N. DJOKOVIC/R. Federer
4‑6, 6‑3, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q.  Your first set was really impressive.  Do you think that maybe the intensity at the end got back to you a little bit, or was it something else?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it was a tough match, you know, in quick conditions.  I think I started well, and I was able to keep it up for some time.
I don't quite remember the second set, how it all unfolded.  It's a bit of a blur right now.  I had my chances, and it's a pity I ‑‑ did I miss a volley there?  I thought on the one breakpoint it was going to go out, and at the end, you know, I just ‑‑I left a ball, but who knows if that would have made a difference or not.
But Novak was playing good tennis, as well, I thought.  He had spells where he's serving better, serving worse, so that sometimes made it easier or harder to break.
I had my chances, you know, second and third set. Disappointed right now, but overall it was a good week for me.

Q.  Obviously it's a very quick turnaround for you, possibly playing as soon as Monday in London.

Q.  You're playing Tuesday?
ROGER FEDERER:  Tuesday with Novak, yeah.

Q.  Okay.  So how does that tournament go for you?  Do you leave tonight for London or...
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, probably tomorrow.  Yeah, I will try to make plans now as we speak.

Q.  How hard is it to go back to play the same person if you know you're playing Novak?  That doesn't happen much obviously, especially against a top guy.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, it's unusual, no doubt about it, you know, to go back‑to‑back matches against Novak, for instance.  I think I got also Del Potro in the group, who I just played as well, and I think Gasquet.
Yeah, look, I'm always excited about those challenges.  I have had a good couple of weeks now, and I hope just now ‑‑ most important is to recover as much as I can, so maybe the extra day I will get over Novak now, who knows, could be an advantage.  But I doubt it, you know.
He didn't play Basel.  So for me, it's really important to rest right now and make sure I sleep enough and do all those things before our match on Tuesday.

Q.  You played a tough three‑setter against Del Potro yesterday.  Do you feel maybe you didn't have much gas in the tank left in the last set today?
ROGER FEDERER:  Maybe last couple games is tough, you know.  I mean, he did well to get the break at 4‑2.  I served a good serve, and he returned it great and hit a perfect winner forehand.  Then he had many first serves in the last game, you know.  Things go very quickly.
But clearly it's been a long couple of weeks now, and I don't think the fatigue level had that much to play with it.  I was pretty happy with my level of play.  I wish I could have kept it up for a bit longer and put him under pressure, but Novak battled well to stay in the match in the second set and the third set.

Q.  Obviously you're playing better now.  When you're playing better like this, what are the shots, the certain things about movement or whatever that tell you you know when you're playing better again, when you sort of have your game?
ROGER FEDERER:  The whole thing.  You're not thinking about anything else but the next shot or the next tactical play you have coming.  It's very clear, you know, when you're hurting the way I was last few months.  Everything is like fragile and everything is in doubt, so then you can't focus on your opponent.  You're focusing on yourself, and you have to play.  That's pretty simple.

Q.  Just a bit of a different question.  One of the news items this morning was that at a train station in Paris here Del Potro had one of his bags stolen from him today.  I'm just wondering with all the travel you do all the time, has that ever happened to you?  Any port in your career having a bag stolen?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't remember stolen.  I remember forgotten (Laughter).  With all the bags, so many Nike bags lying around, next thing you know instead of taking five you take four along or something like that.
Plus if you're traveling in a group, you have 10 to 15 bags sometimes, and they quickly get lost.  But not stolen, really.  I think we have once seen a guy just take our bag off the, how do you say, off the baggage claim.  He thought it was his.  We stopped him doing that, so...  He never did it again.  We never saw him again.

Q.  Is that something you worry about, though?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not so much.  I mean, eventually you just have to trust that it's going to be fine.  Hopefully Juan Martin was nothing important like racquets.

Q.  You have some connections at Wilson.  Have you talked to Juan Martin about the fact he's just down to two racquets?  Can you help him out in some way?
ROGER FEDERER:  How do you know?  Has he talked about it?  Yeah, I know about it.  I spoke to him about it in Argentina.  That's why I hope it's not his racquets, if know what I mean.
No, but, yeah, he's definitely got some issues there.  He's still playing good tennis.  It's not affecting him mentally in a big way.  I wonder how long he can keep it up.  I hope for him things will be resolved and he will figure things out with Wilson, clearly.

Q.  Do frames go dead?
ROGER FEDERER:  After four years they will.

Q.  Would you think with yours they would go dead?
ROGER FEDERER:  After four years, for sure.  Yeah.  But not after three months.  That's why I keep on changing, so they always have the same sort of stiffness.  But if you play with them for a long time, you'll never get that same racquet ever again, because then you need a racquet that's been played for four years.  That's not what comes out of the machine, so...
It's different.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

Q.  In the first set you did a lot of volleys and chips, but in the second you didn't do that so much.  Was it because he played deeper and prevented you from doing that, or did you feel you were sort of getting into his own game?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's difficult to answer that.  Maybe it's because of the way he played or I was missing a bit more first serves than I did in the first set.
Maybe I returned less good and he started returning better, generally speaking.
It was more or less always the same points we were playing.  Sometimes you don't even do it on purpose.  I think as the match progressed I was not returning as well.
In the second set he started playing more aggressive, so it was more difficult for me to defend.
I mean, these little details make a great difference in the way the point goes.

Q.  What information do you draw from this week about your shape?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I'm happy that I was able to keep playing after Basel.  I played three times three sets, and again here twice three sets.  So I played a lot of tennis during the past 10 or 12 days.  It gave me a lot of information.  I know what I have to do now.  I know what I did well, what I can improve.
I know physically where I am, and mentally I have a lot of confidence.  I know my body is keeping it up.  I still have another week where I have to give it all.  After it will be long holidays, so now it's going to be easy.
When I started playing in Basel, I just didn't know what to expect with this tournament after that.  But now I know where I am.  It's clear.  So I believe physically and mentally it's going to be simpler.

Q.  It didn't happen to you too many times in the past, but coming into the court as an outsider, as an underdog, does it feel strange?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I'm used to it.  I played Nadal in the French Open several times.  I know what it is.

Q.  Talking about tactics, the quality of returns and defense of Djoko and Nadal, do you think you can still have tactics playing quickly against them, or do you always need to chip and mix it up?
ROGER FEDERER:  As soon as a player plays with a one‑handed backhand then mixing it up is important, but players like Berdych will not find a way to win by using these type of tactics.
I think you need to keep the rhythm and play better on important points and play the important points better than they do, which is difficult.
I think for me, Richard, and Stan, mixing it up is maybe a solution, but not for the others.

Q.  We feel that now you are relying a lot more on being aggressive and going up to the net.  You always did that, but even more now.  Maybe are you deliberately doing that?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I tried to do that more today, because I believe if you serve well, you can put pressure on your opponent.
But unfortunately, you won't see that so much in London because the surface is slower.  So serve and volleys is of the past already, but it is nice, good old times.

Q.  So you know about the round robin.  Can you talk about the opponents?  You will have to play maybe other players you played this week.
ROGER FEDERER:  I have experience in those situations.  At the time I was playing Rafa every week, and sometimes I played Jo three times in a row.
With Safin I think we played once in the final in the Australian Open and played in the first round in Dubai after that.  So that exists.
I think it's interesting.  Like me with Del Potro, sometimes he wins; sometimes I win.  Djokovic beat me, and maybe in three days I will have another opportunity for playing him but in different circumstances and a different stadium in a different place.
Now the turnaround is so quick.  I like that challenge, but it's not easy.  He knows how to play tennis.

Q.  And if it's Richard instead of Stan, do you prefer?
ROGER FEDERER:  I prefer Stan not to be in my group because I like to have the two Swiss players separated.  Like two Spanish players shouldn't be in the same group or the two French guys for example, at the time.  It's better.
But things are the way they are.  Maybe that will let me practice a bit more with Stan or having an easier week because we see each other as a member of the same team rather than as competitors.

Q.  You said London was slower than here.

Q.  They are supposed to be very similar.
ROGER FEDERER:  For the time being, I've just played here.

Q.  But London last year was slower.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I thought.  Maybe I'm wrong.  We'll see tomorrow.

Q.  You were talking about long holidays.  What are long holidays?
ROGER FEDERER:  Two weeks.  Not bad, no?  What is it for you, three weeks?

Q.  Six weeks.
ROGER FEDERER:  I can if I want, but after, when I come back, I'm a bit out of shape.  You shouldn't ask about Australia then.  I will have enough holidays when I stop playing tennis.

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