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February 26, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/R. Stepanek
6‑2, 6‑7, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Roger, well done.  How did you find a way to win the match after it looked a little bit dicey at the start of the third set?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, you know, I think in a match sometimes you start to play the right way; sometimes you start to play the wrong way.  Not necessarily badly, but I think that's kind of what I realized as I'm down a break, as I'm playing, I'm trying to analyze everything, what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong, and I'm playing shots as well the same time.  There is a lot of thinking going on out there.
It's not very helpful, but I do think I started to understand what I was doing wrong, which made me maybe play a little bit tentative from the baseline, what made me not make enough shots, why I wasn't playing as aggressive as I wanted to, couldn't find the right balance between offense and defense, no transition games at all.
It was almost a bit too late for everything, but I kind of hung around and, you know, I took the positives out of the match.  Like in the first set, it was a good first set, and I just was ‑‑it was a tough match because I was broken in all three sets in the first game, so you're never really quite, you know, playing the way you're supposed to be playing, and you're not quite analyzing the match the way you're analyzing it, because you're always either down in the score or in this dicey match.
Radek did a good job of putting the pressure on me and mixing it up.  From that standpoint, it was a really difficult match.  I'm very pleased to come through.

Q.  When you're sitting in a courtside chair in between the breaks, throughout your career you seem very composed, very analytical.  Are you?  Or is your mind racing and are you annoyed and just don't show it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Ah, well, as you know, tennis is a lot of, like, moments where you're just thinking.  I don't want to say it's blank, but you're just there and the time is going by.  Sometimes you're analyzing it, like I explained before, and sometimes you're like, Oh, that's a nice flag or (smiling) that's a cool Mexican wave, you know.
I mean, it depends on the scoreline, it depends on who you're playing, what your feelings are, but clearly I think as a tennis player you're so used to just sitting there.  You know, so you drink, and I think it's more about just trying to relax as much as you can, stay focused, but at the same time sort of use that moment to physically and mentally relax a little bit before you attack again for the next sort of couple of minutes or maybe five minutes or ten minutes, depending on how long those next couple of games are going to go.

Q.  When I sit there, I feel the music in the bar outside the stadium quite loud, but when you are really focused on the court, it's like you cannot hear the music at all?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know when it started, but I did hear U2 in the third set (laughter).  I don't know if it was going on for the entire time.  I don't think so.
I was hearing the waterfall in the first set behind the royal box, and there was like a fountain or something outside.
But then I told them, and then I didn't hear it.  Maybe they stopped it or the focus is on.  It really depends on your focus a little bit, and the less good you play, the more irritated you become of all these little things.
When you're playing well, it's just like, yeah, you don't feel those things anymore.  It's just a blur.  You're just like playing.  It's nice.  It's nicer.

Q.  The fans, when the chips are down, the boisterous noise, I mean, is that noise or encouragement for you?
ROGER FEDERER:  Oh, it's encouragement for me.  I really do feel I have great crowd support here in Dubai.  They really get excited.  The Mexican wave was a treat, you know, to be a part of that.
Also, the last match when I hit the shot through my legs, you know, it was amazing, standing ovation at the end of the matches, all those kind of things.  I really do appreciate that, you know, to see sort of sellout crowds in the first couple of or first few days of the tournament.  It's amazing.
I remember how it used to be, you know, 10 years, 12 years ago here.  It wasn't always like that.
So it's nice seeing this game, the tournament grow and fans here in Dubai coming to the stadium and having a great time, you know.
So that's what it's about, you know, for them, anyway, and for us, as well.  If we can win, you know, it's nicer, but I do appreciate all the support I get here.

Q.  What happened at 5‑2 in the third set, the double faults?
ROGER FEDERER:  The tiebreak?

Q.  No, in the third set when you were serving for the match at 5‑2.
ROGER FEDERER:  Oh, just a bad game.

Q.  Lack of concentration?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, maybe.  Just tried to get out of it, for the first time maybe a bit relaxed.  Finally I'm in the lead, finally I got the double break, and finally I can play a little bit freely, and yeah, took wrong decisions.
He's just swinging, and next thing you know, it's like you're messing the game up.  It was good to react right away.  It shouldn't happen, but today was one of those matches, you know.  I got broken first game, got broken last game.  It's just perfect (laughter).

Q.  I have a question about your forehand technique.  I'm not sure this is the right place to ask such a question.
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not sure if I can answer it.  Go ahead.

Q.  What exactly is your forehand grip?  Some people say it's Eastern and some say it's Semi‑Western.
ROGER FEDERER:  I have no idea.  Honestly I don't know what my grip is called.  That's not how I was taught my grip, hold it, you know, Western, like (laughter).

Q.  Do you change your grip based on the surface you played last?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, I think the forehand grip is always the same.  Yeah, it is.  The backhand, I mean, yeah, I mean, obviously for the slice, and coming over it is totally different, and the serve again.
It's just all automatic.  I don't know how to explain.  Sometimes clearly you have the wrong grip and you're trying to make on the return, especially it happens to most because the ball comes quicker so you have less time.  But I honestly don't know what it's called, my forehand grip.  I have to find out.

Q.  Into the quarterfinals, you're going to play the Czech, Lukas Rosol.  How do you look upon that match?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, no rhythm, heavy hitting, big serving, taking huge cuts at the ball from the baseline on my serve.  That's kind of what I see coming my way.
I really remember his match vividly when he played Nadal at Wimbledon.  I was watching it, like, I just couldn't believe it, how he was serving at the end and how he was just, you know, he was running around and he was doing his thing.
That's kind of what I remember.  But then again, I haven't seen him play that much, to be quite honest.  I maybe have to ask around a bit, but at the same time, when it's quick like this, you have to just make sure you play solid, good tennis, mentally, better than that one game I was talking about at 5‑3.  Just from start to finish try to play solid, aggressive tennis.  That's kind of what I need to focus on tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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