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January 4, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Chardy
6‑3, 6‑7, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  How did you feel after two matches, especially singles?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, it was okay.  I feel fine now.  I felt a bit funny at the beginning of the doubles just getting off the singles match and then the short break and then jumping into the doubles.
I felt fine walking out, and then the first few games I just felt a little shaky, you know.  But once I settled into the doubles match I felt fine.  Actually now I feel fine, which is a good sign after five sets.

Q.  Getting this many singles and doubles matches in the first week and getting to the singles final, how does it feel?  Pretty good with how your season is getting under way?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I think most important, like you say, is to play enough matches.  Number two, physically holding up, surviving the shock.  I mean, you can train as much as you want, but it's never like the match.  Not saying the match is tougher, it's just different because you're going to stretch for that extra ball here and there.  That can hurt the body sometimes.
When you're doing fitness and training you're going much harder overall.  It's been a good week so far, and I hope can play a good finals tomorrow.  I look forward to that finals with Lleyton.

Q.  As far as the racquet goes, do you still feel any adjustment is needed, or like it's always been that way?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I mean, now at this point I'm not going to do any adjustments anyway.  We will see down the stretch.  Right now very happy how it's feeling.  I've been able to put a lot of the hours on the racquet in practice and now in matches, so that's very important.
We'll see how quick the conditions are in Melbourne, if we have to change tensions in the racquet and so forth.  But, yeah, the focus is elsewhere now.  It's not the a racquet necessarily.

Q.  Given the likelihood of a dogfight with Lleyton, Jeremy testing you and taking you to a third, even though you probably wouldn't want to be there on there with the heat, do you think that a good test for you heading into a match against Hewitt?
ROGER FEDERER:  Maybe.  I think now we're both totally in the tournament.  We've played plenty of matches this week.  You would expect both of us to play our best tennis in the finals.
Maybe it was good to have a test, you know.  Yeah, the good thing was that I was again consistent on my serve.  Was a bit tougher on the return, but then Jeremy has a great serve and made it difficult for me for a while there.
It's going to be quite different against Lleyton.  We'll see more rallies from the baseline.  That's kind of what we're both looking for more frequently, and that's why it's going to be interesting to see how it's going to play out.
We know each other very well, so both of us will find our groove and know what to expect from one another.  I think we can really look forward to a good performance match.

Q.  How much are you looking forward to renewing your rivalry?  Are these the matches you look forward to?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, very much so.  We go way back.  I don't play many guys who are older than me or my age.  Even though there are quite a few guys around who are hanging on.  I think last year at the French Open we had 30 guys over 30 years old in the main draw.
A lot of those guys are still around, and it's nice practicing and playing with them.  Lleyton is clearly one of the guys like myself who haven't retired yet like Roddick or Safin and Ferrero and that generation of players.
So I think we're both really looking forward to it.  My rivalry with him was pretty intense.  Never nasty or anything, but just good matches.   We're total opposite from one another the way we play.  I play with the one‑handed backhand; he plays his double‑handed.  His attitude on court is totally different to mine.
I think that's why it's always an interesting matchup for both of us.

Q.  Is a match against him on Australian soil a perfect buildup to the Australian Open?
ROGER FEDERER:  Maybe, yeah.  Any match is a good one at this point.  I don't see finals and semis and Brisbane as a warmup tournament for the Australian.  I know everybody talks about that, but I can't stand it when people say that.
For me, this tournament is important.  I'll any way have enough time to get ready for the Australian Open.  Clearly this sets up a good start to the season for both of us.
For me now, if I speak personally, I'm very happy to be back in the finals, because sometimes it didn't happen so often last year.  So to start off with a final for me is great, and I hope I can keep momentum up throughout the year, not just next week.

Q.  Looking back at your rivalry with Lleyton, you won 15 straight against him.  What do you remember about that stretch that kept it so in your favor so consistently?  Pretty remarkable run against a pretty top player.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I had the tough match where I lost the Davis Cup here in 2003 in the semis, and I was up two sets to love and a break serving for the match.  Ended up losing 6‑1 in the fifth.  I think it's after that that I went on the run.
I think it really proved to me that I could play great tennis not just for a set, two sets, but three sets or maybe even longer against the toughest guys out there.  Lleyton at that point was the guy you had to‑‑ probably the toughest to beat in the best‑of‑five set match also physically and mentally.
And for me to be able to not just do it tennis‑wise but physically and mentally gave me the big belief that I could hang with the best, and especially with him.  Then I went on a run like I did.  I never thought that was going to happen, because he has the game to cause me a lot of problems.
I just think the confidence I had and the amount of then variation I could bring to the court was just difficult for Lleyton.  But I always felt like it was just not only my racquet.  The moment I dip my level he was going to be there and take it.
So I see it again the same thing tomorrow:  The moment I don't play great, he will be there to take it, especially on a quick court like here.

Q.  If the Australian Open courts play like this one, is that a good result?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I think it is.  I think the Australian Open used to be played mostly during the day ‑ finals, too.  Now semis, finals, quarters, everything is basically at night.  That has slowed down conditions drastically over time.
You can speed up the balls as much as you want.  They're going to be so fuzzed up after two games that it's just going to be hard to hit winners and service winners.
If that's what people want to see, just rallies, rallies, rallies all the time, then it's good to have a slow court.  If you want a bit more even ground for everybody, even the lower‑ranked guys and more danger for the top guys, you go with a faster court.
Maybe we'll get more serve and volley back into the game or more of the unknown, which I think is nice.  I think it's quite incredible how things have slowed down over the years.
I remember when I came up or tour with Lleyton things were so different.  We had to change our games around to be able to still compete today.  So I think it's a good thing.  I don't know if it's as quick as this.  I doubt it.  If it is, it's going to be a very interesting Australian Open.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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