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November 9, 2013

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Del Potro
4‑6, 7‑6, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.¬† At Love‑3 down in the third set, how worried were you?¬† Were you thinking your year was perhaps over?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I was probably slightly angry more than, you know, thinking it's going to be over soon.  It's one of those moments today because I kind of fought back the whole match, the first, second set.  Here we go again.
I thought I was really getting angry at myself, how maybe I could just play a loose game, why is this happening.  I'm trying to focus so hard for it not to happen, and it did, so...
Because of the last few weeks probably I stayed relatively calm inside because I had a lot of ups and downs throughout the matches in Basel and in Paris, then again here.¬† So for that reason I think that helped for me today not to worry too much.¬† Okay, it's just a break.¬† Sounds like a lot, 3‑2.
But I wasn't in many of Juan Martin's service games, so I kind of felt like probably I will get one more chance to break back.  It's exactly what happened.  Once on even terms, I was able to play a little bit more freely.
For the first time I was almost feeling like I was kind of in the lead.  Great finish.  I was very happy.  To get the victory was a great feeling, so I was very happy.

Q.  If we would write today that today we saw the best Federer of the year 2013, would you agree with that?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not really, no.

Q.  When have we seen him?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  I'll have a chance tomorrow.  I mean, I did play very well in Australia.  I don't know where you were.  Were you under a rock (smiling)?
I think I played a great match against Tsonga and a great match against Murray.  I think that was probably the best tennis I played all year.

Q.¬† Indoors you are 4‑Love against Rafa.¬† You beat him four times, all in the Masters Cup.¬† You have less than 24 hours to recover.¬† Do you have any special strategy for tomorrow's game?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† If I have a special strategy?¬† Yeah, I mean, I think for me first now is just to‑‑ the recovery bit is more mental I think.¬† If the body hurts or if the body is tired, that is secondary right now.¬† That you can sort of, to a degree, blend out and say, We know that's the case, end of the season, for everybody it's difficult right now.
Maybe for me a little bit more just because I've played a lot the last couple weeks.  This is my third week straight.  Plus I played a lot of tennis here this week.  I just played a tough match with Juan Martin.  That is what it is.
But then, you know, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  There's two more matches and that's it.  Then the season's over for me anyway, if I were to beat Rafa tomorrow.
I just have to have the right mindset to give it one last go, maybe play with a little less pressure than I have in previous matches maybe with him.  I don't know.  I just feel like I need to look at it more as being an underdog a little bit because of circumstances, because of my year, because of his year.  Maybe that free swinging is what I kind of need to do a little bit more tomorrow.
I mean, we know each other that well.  He's going to do exactly what he needs to do, I'm going to try to do what I need to do.  Hopefully it's going to match up good for me.  If not, he deserves it.  He's had a wonderful season.  We'll see how it goes.

Q.  I guess your achievement before starting the tournament would be to win it.  To make it to the semifinals is a good goal?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, clearly the goal is always to win every tournament.  But I think I had to be slightly more realistic in recent weeks and months, you know.  I knew that sometimes just getting a few rounds into the bag was positive.
So now I think the first goal every player has here is trying to make the semis, I think especially for Novak and Rafa, who were the leaders of their group.  Then once you're there, clearly it's the win that counts now for the four of us really, with Stan.
It's nice to be in this situation now.  Takes some pressure off.  I mean, I was happy that today was like a shootout with Juan Martin, the winner goes through.  So it felt like a finals.  That was a nice feeling after all the calculations we've had in previous years.
Yeah, so I don't know if the goal was necessarily for me to try to win this event right off the first match.  I knew I had so much work to do with Djokovic in the first round, having played Basel and Paris.  I was curious to see how I was going to adapt, how everybody was going to adapt, to the London conditions.  For that reason I'm very pleased now.
I feel very happy and very upbeat.  Like I said, I'll give it one more big shot here tomorrow and hopefully I'll make it to the finals.  We'll see how it goes.

Q.  Your forehand has been a major weapon for you.  Seems like the ups and downs you've been having have shown in that shot.  Is that fair to say?
ROGER FEDERER:  The forehand is always going to be the one where I have a little bit less margin.  That's always the one that is going to draw a lot more errors.  So that whole stat thing I don't look at anyway.  I'm not blaming the stat guys.  I've said it once before.  I feel in the Masters 1000s and the World Tour Finals, I just see many more unforced errors than I see at other events.
I think they should add more forced errors than make it unforced errors, because the matches look shocking with so many unforced errors.  That's what the media then reads into.
No, clearly my forehand has gone a bit up and down in recent months.  But I feel like it's getting better.  I'm getting more timing off it again.  I'm getting sort of my movement to it is better.  I'm feeling I'm getting more confident.  Coordination is coming along, which wasn't really happening for me in previous months.

Q.  When the match is tight in places like that, the fact that 17,000 people are mostly cheering for you, do you take energy from that?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, look, I can't read minds.  I don't know if exactly they were all behind me or not, or they're just there for a good atmosphere.
But it is true when you do get more crowd support, that feeling, it's like that playing‑at‑home feeling.¬† Having that home advantage, maybe in any sport, soccer or tennis, I just feel you give it a shot, you kind of go for it, and the risk pays off.
When the crowd isn't necessarily against you, but for your opponent, you might play a little more tentative.  I think that's what's been happening for me.  I've been willing to take the risk, move forward, willing to go for my shots, even though the unforced errors are piling up.
I think that's the reason where these last couple weeks have been nice for me.  Playing at home with home advantage, with Basel, that's where I was born.  But Bercy, that was an amazing atmosphere, I got a lot of crowd support.  It's been ongoing, as well, other than the Gasquet 2:00 match.  That was a bit subdued.
When it comes to the crunch, I hope that the crowds are going to be very fired up and very supportive of the players.  I always say if they're on my side, I'll appreciate that.

Q.  Tomorrow two Swiss men playing, you and Wawrinka.  Could you talk about this moment.  Historical.
ROGER FEDERER:  Historical, absolutely.  I don't know if I'm more excited that I won or we're both in the semis, to be honest.  I'm very happy for Stan.  I think he's had a great season, an amazing, tough match with Ferrer.  The way he was able to turn it around and get the victory was beautiful.
I was hoping to be there, too, make both of us get to the semis.  Here we are playing the best two players of the season.  I think it's incredibly interesting for the two of us, for Swiss tennis, for the Swiss media.
I think it's, yeah, historic like you said.  I think we're gonna speak to each other a little bit later and I'll tell him a few things that I know and he'll hopefully tell me a few things he knows this week about the players we'll playing.

Q.  About del Potro, a lot of ups and downs during the match.  We asked him.  He said he doesn't know exactly what is the solution.  Do you notice it?  Is there any kind of solution for the ups and downs in the match?
ROGER FEDERER:  Who had ups and downs?

Q.  Del Potro.
ROGER FEDERER:  I thought mine were more severe, if that makes him feel any better (smiling).

Q.  Coming from you probably.  But in general, not just today, you follow him a lot.  You play a lot against him.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't necessarily see him fluctuating as much.  I think it's been me.  Look at the matches Basel, Paris and here, it was always sort of up to me if things were going to go good or bad for me or for him.
I think he is the kind of guy, if you give him a chance, he'll take advantage.  I feel like if I play well, I can take advantage.
It's not so much up to him necessarily.  He clearly has a big serve, forehand, all these things.  I think he's very solid mentally.  I mean, physically he's had a lot of tennis, as well, the last few weeks, plus he had all that Asian swing, plus he's played a lot more tennis this year, plus he's a bigger guy.  It doesn't go unnoticed.
I think the way he's actually able to keep it all together mentally and physically, I'm very impressed.  For him to be maybe a little bit up and down today, if that's what he says, it not surprising because it's been a long season, a long last few weeks for him as well.
He did arrive late after Shanghai.  He went back to Buenos Aires.  Came back to Basel, won that.  Made the quarters of Paris.  Here we go.  I think it's one of those matches he probably should have closed out, found a way.
Honestly, I think I also played actually good tennis coming back into the match.  It's one of those things that one guy fortunately or unfortunately has to win.  There's no draw.

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