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January 1, 2014

Roger Federer


R.  FEDERER/J.  Nieminen
6‑4, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  You played a doubles match the other day.  What do you learn from a match like this, first one of a tournament?
ROGER FEDERER:  The singles tonight?

Q.  Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER:  Most important is that you win the match so you get a second chance to judge your game a bit better.
Tonight you come out of it and think, Okay, I've been serving okay, my forehand is going well, my movement is okay, I'm seeing the ball okay, I'm getting used to the conditions.
That's why it's most important to get an extra day or two.  Now I have doubles tomorrow and the singles the next day, so it's really good for rhythm and good for your game.
I expect myself to play a bit better in the next match, even though today was already very good for a first match in so many weeks, to be honest, and against Nieminen who can play very good tennis.  Particularly here in Australia he plays well.
So that's what you kind of take away from it.  You don't want to overrate, it but you also don't want to underrate it.  The worst thing that can happen is if you lose early and then you have to go back on the practice courts, and you think you're actually playing okay and then the matches roll around and you don't end up playing so well.
So that's a good scenario now about tonight winning my match.

Q.  What do you want to work on?
ROGER FEDERER:  Now I've been practicing so much, so it's really about learning what's been going well and not so well in the matches.  It's all about details now.
Shall I play more aggressive on not on the break point?  Shall I play more angle?  More spin?  Do I need to do anything different on my serve.
So it's in the details, really, that can make you win or lose a match, because even though the score sometimes is one sided, it's not like that if you really follow it closely.

Q.  Are you concentrating on getting to the net more?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not necessarily.  Just really trying to get used to conditions here.  Because it's quite fast, it's actually hard when somebody hits deep into the court to actually, when you're level half‑volleying, you know really coming to the net.  So you want to almost do it on your terms.  With your serve would be an idea or then second serve chip and charge or within the first couple shots of point.
There are not many long rallies, so on a slower court it's almost easier to tell yourself, Okay, I'm going to make my way to the net eventually.
A quicker court it's more a decision you got to take earlier on in a point or just for the match, and I didn't necessarily do that tonight.

Q.  How is the speed of the court?  You played doubles in the day.  Any difference?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not much.  I think also just the sun not sort of burning the court up and making it extremely hot.  It doesn't make the conditions fly like crazy.
On the outside courts I think it's faster.  When your practicing you can feel the courts hotter.  The ball bounces a bit more, flies through the air a bit more.
So I think with the roof it's a nicer feel to it, and it's actually very comfortable to be playing.  The difference isn't extreme from day to night session here.

Q.  A few players have talked about the speed.  Is that good or bad thing as far as Melbourne?
ROGER FEDERER:  Depends how Melbourne is going to be playing, but I prefer to go from fast to slower because then you usually return better.  All then you got to adjust really is your patience level and just a little bit of your shot selection from time to time because you're going to get more balls coming back.  But at the same time, you can also defend better because used to such quick courts here.
But I like it a bit faster, to be honest.  It's just nice when the slider drags a bit or the slice stays a bit lower and guys don't just eat it up, even though it's a decent slice.
So I think it's a good thing that it's a bit faster here.

Q.  Can you remember when was its last time you played a tournament for the first time?
ROGER FEDERER:  I should remember.  Well, I played the South American tour, which for me I know it wasn't a tournament, but still it was my first time in respective countries in Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.  So there was big excitement there as well.
That's what I enjoy really, when you're going to a place for the first time either in many years again like I did in Gstaad last year or Hamburg where I haven't been in many years and then I come and I finally play again, so it's something that builds up.
And here as well I've never played, so I feel it's really special for me.  The people really get into it, so that creates extra buzz and pressure maybe a little bit, but I don't mind that at this point in my career.

Q.  Following on from that, when you know most of the crowd out there are watching you for the first time, do you feel an extra sense of responsibility?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, absolutely.  You want to do well.  You try everything.  You're very focused.  I know I would like to have a bit more sort of smiling and all these things going on, but inside I'm doing that.  Don't worry, you know.
But on the outside I need to focus, a little focus poker face.  I just want to move on in the draw, because I would rather present myself four times out there than just one time and then it was a good show.
You're right, it's very special for me playing in front of a crowd that's maybe never seen me before.  I'm sure some have, but the majority hasn't except on TV.
It's great seeing the crowds coming out for not just my match, but for all the other matches during the day.  Many kids coming out, which is really cool.
Yeah, creates good energy, and a lot of fun for us as the players.

Q.  You obviously got a great response tonight and the crowd was behind and excited to see you.  Are you expecting to have that the next time?  You play against an Australian, Marinko.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I would assume he gets some support, you know.  I don't know if he's from Brisbane or not.  He's not?  That's good.
No, you know, I go the match and try to play a good match.  I'm already very thankful that I always get a chance to play in front of a sell‑out crowd usually, and all the support I do get is so appreciated.
Again this week it's very special experience me.  You never know quite what to expect, if they're going to come out and be excited.  You would think so because the tournament director is and all the organization is, but then does that translate to the actually local crowd or maybe national crowds, TV.
So it's nice seeing that happening, and it's definitely going to lift my game if it continues this way.

Q.  You practiced with Robin Haase in Dubai.  Tell me more about that.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it went well.  He's nice to practice with.  I know him from the player council.  He's a council member as well.  We've spent some time talking more the politics about the game.  It was nice getting out there and playing some tennis as well together.
Yeah, it was good conditions to practice with.  He was around.  We helped each other out to become better players.  He's here as a well, so we keep on catching up and chatting together.

Q.  You gave him some tips?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, he had his coach there.  No, not really.  He doesn't need that from me.

Q.  With a bigger racquet, how did you find that?  Is it still a work in progress?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm actually very clear in my mind, you know that ‑‑ been practicing‑‑ I had a much longer time to get ready for this swing than I had last time around after Wimbledon before the American summer.
So I'm not thinking about it when I'm going out there, which is a great thing.  I'm hitting the ball really well, so I'm very pleased with the racquet.
I had a doubles as well yesterday, which was good for me to get that out of the way, and now the first‑round singles.
So now it's just down to forehands and backhands and tactics and movement.  That's kind of what you want it to be, because unfortunately it hasn't always been that way last year with my issues.

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