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March 10, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/D. Tursunov
7‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  We have been talking the last couple of times about how the guys in the top are older now and they have been hanging around for longer.  And for you specifically, now that you're a father, how is the tour and the tournaments changing to adapt do that?  A lot of you guys have kids now.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I don't know how many.  There is a few guys, but still the majority has no kids.  It changes everything, no doubt, because they become the center of attention, No. 1 priority, all that stuff.
So it's great being able to do it on the tour, but it takes sacrifice from everybody around the kids.  It's very interesting, to say the least, you know, day‑to‑day life on the tour.  I like it.

Q.  Have the tournaments had to adapt to that, too?  Say, if the children are coming onto the site?
ROGER FEDERER:  Sometimes.  Depends how far away the site is from the hotel, let's say.  Depends what setup the site has.  Depends if friends are in town.  Depends if there is a quiet corner, you know, those kind of things.
Or at some events they have like a playpen kind of thing.  It really depends on all these things, yeah.

Q.  Can you give us an update on the racquet, how it's feeling, how it's playing?
ROGER FEDERER:  It's good.  I'm very happy.  I mean, I'm not really thinking of it, so that's a major step in the right direction.  That's the best you can ask for when you change racquets.
Then you hope that success follows.  That's happened, too.  That's why basically ‑‑ I had a meeting with Wilson this week looking to see if there is any small changes coming up or if that's how I'm going to keep it right now.
So we're just looking to see what's going to happen the next sort of month or so.  I'm really happy about how it's playing, how it's given me extra power, easier power, just easier to play with it day in and day out.  And I think have the spin necessarily, but have the control there, too.
I must say I'm overall very happy, and it's exciting to play with a new racquet after so many years.

Q.  Do you have to adjust your string tension with it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, absolutely.

Q.  Which way?
ROGER FEDERER:  Up.  Higher.  Because I was way down with the other one.

Q.  To what exactly?
ROGER FEDERER:  22 kilos before; now I'm up to like 25, 26.

Q.  Tennis these days obviously is such a power game; there is also a lot of grace in the game.  It's almost an art form, you could say.  You have your beautiful one‑handed backhand; your forehand has a lot of flow; you move with grace.  Could you just talk about the grace in the game, the beauty of the game, and sort of what for you is key?  Is it balance?  The legs?  The reflexes?  The anticipation?  Just talk about that, please.
ROGER FEDERER:  To win, you mean?

Q.  I'm talking about the grace of your game, the grace in tennis, whether you see it in part as a kind of thing of beauty or art form.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, it's nice.  It's somewhat possible‑‑ it's nice that tennis players usually find their way to sort of nice to watch, easy to watch, please the eye kind of thing.  So for me that's something that's also enjoyable to watch as a spectator.
Then do you need it to win?  Not necessarily.  I mean, brutal is fine, too, as long as you get the victory.  I think that's what matters at the end of day for the fans and for the players itself.
But I'm happy that my game is pretty graceful, like it's got a flow, like you say.  I have been able to have the movement which allows me to play for a long time.  I think that, for me, is the most important.
Then if it looks good, it's honestly the second priority.  As long as it's a movement that I can live with for a long time on tour, you know.  That's something I guess in some ways I perfected, and I'm happy it's been the right choice and the right direction I went into over 10, 15 years ago.

Q.  Do you have a kind of pride in your one‑handed backhand that you have such variety in it?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I mean, I just really try to do what I can.  Sure, I try to hit hard and with topspin and with slice, but usually it's because I have to.  It's not like by choice all the time.
I get put under a lot of pressure on my backhand side throughout my career, so clearly I have better days than worse days.
At the moment my backhand seems like it's doing pretty good, even though today I must say it's pretty quick conditions out there.  The ball flies on you and it's hard to see with the glare on the back of the court where the guy is going to serve on the first serve.  And also when he plays a lot of topspin the ball bounces a lot, so it's a bit more difficult to control the ball right now.

Q.  You had some fun out there with the PA guy on the court after the match.  Did you lose a lot of weight while you were out there in the desert shoveling?
ROGER FEDERER:  (Smiling).  Yeah.

Q.  Is this court a little too slow for you?

Q.  No?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I think the ball goes through the air quick.  Only thing is if you play a grinder from the baseline, he can really sort of destroy the ball.  The ball becomes slow in the process, too.  It really fuzzes up.
But I think if you play the right way you can play aggressive tennis, and it allows you to kick serve well.  And the slice stays low if you hit a good slice.
Problem is if you are in defense and you can't get a cut on the ball, then it really sits up and then it's hard to dig yourself up out of a defensive position.
I like this court.  It's been a very successful hunting ground for me, and I think it's somewhat of a fair court speed considering that the desert plays faster than other places.

Q.  You won a lot on it and the speed apparently hasn't varied match.  They redo it every year.  Over the years you don't think the speed has varied that much?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I think it's been like that for years now, even though this is probably the slowest possible hardcourt you can find.  Yeah.  But just with the air it plays a bit faster.

Q.  Back to the earlier question about traveling with kids.  How much tougher do you think it's going to be with another one to travel around with?
ROGER FEDERER:  We'll find out (Laughter.)  Yeah, I mean, I think after having twins we're somewhat prepared, I'd say.  I think we know what it's all about now, you know, what we need to take on tour, how we need to set up the rooms, how we, sleepless nights kind of thing.  It's not like the first time in our life.
So I think from that standpoint we're much more relaxed about the next baby.  So for us it's very exciting times right now.  Like I said, we'll really see how it's going to go.  Myla and Charlene are happy to welcome a little brother or sister, so it's god fun right now.  It's good times.

Q.  It's not twins again?
ROGER FEDERER:  If it was I wouldn't tell you.  It's all secret.

Q.  What did Dubai do for your confidence in beating Djokovic like you did in the final?  I mean, was that a real sort of lift for you for the year?
ROGER FEDERER:  Just good to beat top 10 players from time to time.  And especially with the difficult year I had last year, I could really feel at times I was actually not going to beat the best probably.  I would have a chance sometimes, but more often than not I wouldn't make it through.
I feel different this year.  I feel like if I do play my best I can come through again.  That's like a major difference, you know.  That's all the difference you really need.
But then you need to prove it to yourself.  It's one thing feeling it, but it's another thing really getting it done.  That's why the victories against Jo and Murray and also now Djokovic and Berdych were big wins for me to start off the year.
Now I feel like I'm in a good place.  Zen on the court.  You know, I know what my solid level is.  Even if I won 6 and 6 today, I just feel like I was calm and served for the set.  Okay, got broken.  Still managed to stay calm.  Down a set in the second; stayed calm and came back.
So those are the moments where you feel there is confidence around somewhere.

Q.  After the match you signed the camera, Roger Federer is happy.  Besides winning the match, another reason?  Anything else going on?
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  I'm happy I won the match.  I'm always happy when I win.  I'm never pissed off or sad.  I like to share that with my fans and supporters and people who came to the stadium.  Little subtle ways of showing, you know, my appreciation, I guess, as well.

Q.  What's the strangest thing the twins have said about your tennis?
ROGER FEDERER:  Nothing crazy, really.  Don't know.

Q.  They think it's normal their father is a tennis player?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know ‑‑I'm not just a tennis player.  Maybe they think I do something else (smiling).  Maybe they think I'm a fireman or something.  I don't know.
No, it's all relaxed, you know.  I think they enjoy coming to the tennis.  They enjoy playing tennis themselves by now a little bit.
They can relate in some little way.  And, no, they understand that I'm always walking in and out of the house, going to practice, going to matches, and coming back again.
That's most important, is that they know I do always return, because I always have to say good‑bye a lot during the day, sometimes three times a day.  That's not always easy at certain ages, but now they are pretty cool about it.

Q.  Do they play with your equipment, the racquets and balls?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah.  They have the Roger Federer racquet, but who cares (Laughter.)

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