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October 30, 2013

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/K. Anderson
6‑4, 6‑4

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Well played.  23 consecutive slam semis; 12 consecutive appearances in a Masters.  Do you have an opinion as to which is a bigger achievement?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I'm just happy right now to have made it again, you know.  It's definitely somewhat of a highlight of the season for me after having a tough few months to still make it to the World Tour Finals.
It's great news actually, because it's one of the goals I set myself at the beginning of the season.  So it's nice achieving things this year, because many things I couldn't achieve that I wanted to.
It's a good moment right now sitting here knowing it's secure.  Clearly every year since 2002 has been great qualifying for the World Tour Finals, just seeing the prestige of the event, all the top guys showing up, the event growing to going from different places.
Now it's at the O2, and you know what a great event that is.  So it's something I can really look forward to and get my adrenaline up for another couple of weeks now.  It's nice.

Q.  As many times as you have made it, even tonight when you're serving at 5‑2 and then serving at 5‑4, are there little nerves playing around there a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not because of the World Tour Finals, to be honest.  It's just been tough for me, you know, the last week, as well.  I don't think I went clean an entire match, you know, not being broken.  I was so close again, you know.
I had it against Pospisil the same way.  There I had to go three sets at the end, I think.  I think I served for the match and got broken; then maybe here I had a double break, so I was pretty relaxed until 15‑40, you know, in the other service game.
But, no, I just guess it's a tough time right now and details are so small right now.  Makes a difference of getting broken and not broken.
But overall, still I was very happy with the way I played and the way I came out today and was able to get a head start, keep it, maintain it actually till the very end.  And also the way I finished it out at the end.  Served it when I had to.  Gives me confidence, regardless.

Q.  I think you mentioned the word "tough" three times in that answer.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, tough.

Q.  Can you elucidate a little bit on that?  How tough?  I mean, how tough is tough for you?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm still in the World Tour Finals, and that's tough to do (smiling).
So I'm happy.  Tough isn't always negative.  I like it when it's not so easy.  But it's true, I had to get up again after being sort of knocked down numerous times this year.
I feel really good again, probably the first time ever since maybe Dubai.  So this is a good thing.  I'm happy that I can play this way right now.

Q.  You had a good run in Basel.  What about your confidence?  I mean, can make a huge difference.  Do you think it's where it should be for you to play at your best?
ROGER FEDERER:  It is where I want it to be?  No, I definitely feel an improvement over Basel, no doubt about it.  That's also because I was able to play some matches, get some information, know where my game is at, my body is at.
Got a lot of info and I could feel it out there, the way I was taking decisions, the way I was moving.  It was very clearcut.  No second‑guessing.
So it's really ‑‑it's nice playing this way again, even though Basel was good too, you know, to fight through almost every match.  It's not something I always had the chance to do.
So it was an interesting week last week, to say the least.

Q.  Can you remember 2002, the match that settled your qualification?
ROGER FEDERER:  I do, yeah.

Q.  Which one was it, for those of us who have terrible memories?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I think it was maybe beating Tommy Haas here, and then he went on to his shoulder surgery for one‑and‑a‑half years maybe.  He couldn't serve at 100%, so it was a good draw for me (smiling).
Then I think I still had to wait after that, that maybe Escude had to beat Henman, which he did.  I think that secured it for me then.  Good couple of days.

Q.  What are your feelings on the condition of play here, the court, the balls?  What do you think about it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, balls are the same or supposed to be the same to last week.  Maybe feels a little bit faster than last week, just a tiny bit.
Might have also just a tiny bit more bounce, actually.  So it's an interesting court.  But I do believe if you play good attacking tennis here it can pay off, even though we know how many great retrievers we have in the game and great movers.
The court I guess clearly also invites you to neutralize your opponent if you hit hard and flat and deep.
If you serve well and, you know, prepare your game well, it's a good court to play on for all styles, but particularly the attacking style.

Q.  You heard about what happened to Marek Jaziri and the pressure he felt with the religious and political pressure.  As a player representative, what do you think about this?
ROGER FEDERER:  A few weeks ago, wasn't it?  Yeah, I mean, I heard about it.  Clearly some reason politics always finds a way into sport, even though you don't want it.  It's a tough situation for him, and just something you don't want to see happen, let's be honest.
But it did, and I guess you just have to move on.  Not much can you do about it.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French.

Q.  During this past month, did you really have doubts about your qualification?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I didn't think about that too much.  After the US Open I just thought, Now practice is all that counts.
I sort of entered into a tunnel.  I was practicing so hard because I needed it that I kept focusing on myself.  Of course, in Shanghai I was pleased to see where I was standing.  Well, I played a tough opponent with a good serve; in Basel I was happy to play home.
Of course, London was in the air somewhere.  I just thought that either I'm good enough or I'm not good enough.  If I miss, I miss.  But it was clear if I made it, I would be happy.  Now it's the case.
In a way I'm relieved, but mainly I'm happy and proud of having been able to do that in a difficult year.

Q.  12th qualification for the Masters.  What does it mean for you?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's one of the highlights for all the players, all the top 10, top 20 talk about that from the beginning of the year or during the offseason.  They all say, This is something I would like to achieve.
So after, you live this dream and I know this is something very important for Stan.  It was like that for me.  Now I'm more relaxed about it.  But still, being among the very best is very enjoyable.
Also, it's one of the tournaments where I hadn't the greatest success.  So if I go there, I believe something might be possible.
So now I'm relieved, because I can just concentrate on this tournament here in Paris to try to raise my confidence, and I hope I will finish this season well, as was the goal.

Q.  You only won one tournament this year and you went to no Grand Slam final this year.  Do you feel that the way other players look at you has changed?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  You have to ask the question to the 150 others.

Q.  Well, yes, their way of looking at you has changed, they say.  You believe they have more chances against you, or they think they have?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, in the locker rooms everything is very relaxed.  I'm calm.  My friends are my friends.  Those I wasn't talking a lot with, I'm not talking a lot with because we know each other less.
And on the court, I was so busy with myself that I just can't tell if others feel it or not.  Maybe it's just me, that I'm letting them play better.
So sometimes instead of being down a break they are at 4‑All against me, and that changes for them.  Also, I'm not as highly ranked, so maybe they have more confidence.
It's not because I have less results that you should believe you can beat me.  The match between Nadal and Rosol in Wimbledon was spectacular.  It's good to see a player really hitting hard and being relaxed.
Against many players I have a very good head to head, and this, you can't forget it that easily.

Q.  Your back problems are in the past?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes, I feel good again.  I had no problems the whole week last week.  I can play freely.
Today is the day I felt best, and after a tough week last week I feel fresh.
I'm surprised, in fact, how well I was able to rest in two days.  I'm very happy about that.

Q.  You just had a bitter experience in Switzerland because Del Potro won the tournament, but you might maybe play against him in the quarterfinal.  How do you see that match?  If I'm allowed a second question, we have been talking for a month of the beginning of the end of Roger Federer.  You, personally, do you want to say maybe to us, just let me alone, let me play?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, for Del Potro, I would like you to ask the question tomorrow.  I hope you will.  We're not tomorrow yet.
Me, Kohlschreiber, Dimitrov, tough opponents and indoors everything is possible, as I was saying.  I'd be happy to play that match, but first I have a challenge against Kohlschreiber.
So now, talking about the end, I explained a hundred times why.  I know why the year was difficult for me.  It's not because I can't make a forehand anymore or can't move.  It's because I had physical injuries, and I still played in spite of the injuries because I'm not going in a corner and wait for four months.
So I took that risk.  I took the challenge.  I played tournaments I shouldn't have played.  Started the tournament because I felt good, and after a couple matches I didn't feel good anymore.
Little by little I lost my confidence in my movements, in my game.  But it was not that bad, because I just qualified for London.  We were talking about it, because there are other players who had a great season and they are not qualified.
People accept only semis or victories sometimes.  It was not possible for me this year.  I tried my best, and as long as I know I did my best, people can write and say what they want.  I'm not affected.

Q.  The fact of having a hard time qualifying yourself for this Masters, is it going to give more value to this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  A qualification is a qualification.  It doesn't bring you any points or anything.  But it is a prestige no matter how you might qualify, as long as you're in if you deserve it and you had a good season.
Okay, one was injured, Jo didn't play since Wimbledon, so things were easier for us.
The year was difficult for many players, but in the end I'm there in spite of all.  I'm happy to be in London.  But maybe what is more special is the first qualification in 2002.  It was really tough, and I qualified and I went to the semis.
It was an extraordinary experience, and that gave me a lot of energy for the rest of my career.  Because every time I wanted to qualify again, every time I had the possibility, I did it.  I can't believe I made it.  I never missed more than two months in a season playing from January to November, so I'm very happy it happened that way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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