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January 3, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/M. Matosevic
6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Go back not too far in tennis history and McEnroe was playing singles and doubles, semis every week of the year.  How do you view tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER:  Honestly, I mean, it's something you used to do all the time back in the day in juniors anyway.  You would even play two or three singles matches in the same day.
In the beginning of my career I was playing mostly doubles, even doubles qualifying as well.
Just got to be physically in shape for it, you know.  The thing is that a trend also started when it became more and more physical and the conditions started to slow down on tour.  More and more of the top guys wouldn't play singles anymore, and that then you felt was a competitive advantage for those that didn't play for the singles against those who did play.
That's then howwe ‑‑ that's why we have the situation we have today where most only doubles players play doubles and the singles guys play singles.  Once in a while when it suits the schedule we jump into the doubles action a bit.
I quite enjoy it, I must say.  Even though I used to really love it when I was coming up on tour.  I was learning a lot.  Serve and volleying, just learning the tactics of doubles.  It was played a bit different than it was today.
Now it's quite powerful doubles the way it's played.  It's exciting because you just don't know the outcome.  That's why I think many people should come out and support the doubles.

Q.  Do you think when you play on such a quick, fast court your level of confidence is higher?
ROGER FEDERER:  Not necessarily, because obviously the margins are smaller on a quicker court.  Because let's say the first game I do get broken because he hits a few good shots and maybe I serve one, maybe two maximum serves not perfect, you're right away in trouble, which on a slower court is not going to happen that quickly.
So I feel probably a bit more confident on a slower court against a normal player.  Against top guys, they can also play very well on the faster courts as well.
I just think the margins are smaller overall on a quicker court.  Tonight I felt very good against Matosevic who can play very dangerous.  He's got a good enough serve and return as well.  But I was able to control most of the match except the very beginning.
For that, I'm very happy.

Q.  How did you find playing with that a fanatical corner of fans on his side?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm used to it.  I play many guys who get home support, so it's something today that doesn't affect my mind out there, thankfully.
In the beginning of my career you get a little antsy and you just feel the pressure more because they're sitting there right next to you and all those things.  After an ace they're chanting; after a double fault they might chanting, even though they're always very fair throughout.
By now we almost know each other because I've played so many Aussies over the course of my career.  At the end it's all respect and nice and I'm happy they're out here supporting their players.  It's good.

Q.  Talk about Chardy.
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know.  We've never played, huh?  We were supposed to play Basel first round last year and then he pulled out for some reason.  I played a lucky loser.  So that would have been it.
I did play him in the doubles, so I think that might have been good for him and me to get a chance to actually face each other's serves and returns and all these things and see a bit how we do it.
He replays very aggressive on the hard courts.  I remember seeing him play really well in Cincinnati, which is similar to here.  I remember seeing him play well at the Aussie Open last year when he made the quarters, I think.
So he can definitely bring a big game to the court, especially with his serve and forehand.  He can really dictate play.
Yeah, I got to be well‑prepared.  We'll see how I sleep first, and then I'll call him up in case I wake up so we're on even terms.
No, I don't know.  (Smiling.)

Q.  He said when he meets you in the locker room you always make a lot of jokes.  Is that true?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, I don't know.  We have good chats.  In the locker room it's really relaxed.  There's a lot of, yeah, joking going on and talking and discussing and debating, you name it.
Yeah, I think we enjoy seeing each other again, because in the off‑season we don't have any contact with many of the players because we know we're going to see each other plenty.
Then when the next year rolls around, he's always super friendly and very laid back.  I always enjoy when he's around.  We always have a longer chat than other players.  He's fun, so I'm looking forward to playing against him.

Q.  Two days ago I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Toni Nadal, and he suggested for a top player it's better to play Brisbane as the leadup to Australian Open than Doha.  What are your thoughts?  Was that a factor in your decision to play here?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I think it's all a matter of priority, of where you live as well.  As an Aussie, yeah, I would say Doha and then the Australian Open would be wrong thing to do.
But if you're Qatari, it's better to play Doha and then the Australian Open probably.  So it depends on where you come from.
So I wonder then why his nephew is playing Abu Dhabi against all top 10 players and then goes and plays Doha.  So I don't quite understand what he's trying to say.
I think this is great preparation.  There is no doubt about now I've seen it for the first time being here myself.  I think it's a great preparation.  You just got to be willing to travel those extra, I don't know, three, four days earlier and maybe miss Christmas and all these things.
So it depends on how important that is to you and your family and where you come from.  Other than that, I think this is definitely a perfect preparation for the Aussie Open.
But I don't like to see it so much as preparation for the Aussie Open.  I like to see it as a priority as Brisbane alone and not just always thinking about the Australian Open.
I always think that's just such a wrong way to see things, only to talk about the Australian Open.  This is a big event for me.

Q.  I know you don't like to think beyond the next match, but have you given any thought to the possibility of Lleyton in the final?  You used to play together.  You're good friends.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, we've never played each other in the finals here in Australia, so clearly now we're both one match a way.  I would love it.
Then again, he's got a tough task and I've got a tough match myself.  I got to double up with the doubles.  There are a lot of unknowns still out there.
I think he's got chance against Kei, even though I think he's practicing very well.  I practiced with his as well, and he's hitting a good ball and usually plays very well on the quicker courts because it helps his serve and so forth.
But it's the same exact thing for Lleyton:  The quicker court also helps his serve and his return.  He likes it flat today, Lleyton, more than ever.
Yeah, so I hope I can get there.  We'll know if he makes it first because he's playing at 1:00 before me.

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