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March 13, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/K. Anderson
7‑5, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  After 5‑5, you got on that roll against him.  Can you talk about what happened from that point on to take control of the match.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I think I maybe could have broken earlier, 3‑2, Love‑40, 3‑All, Love‑40.  I didn't.  It was tough.
But, you know, gave myself chances and started with a few more returns in play, I guess, at 5‑All.  I was just also now in the match at that point, feeling good movement‑wise, feeling good absorbing his pace.
Then also being aggressive myself.  I think the combination there in those 10 minutes, they all worked out for me.  So it was big to win the set and then to go on to break early in the second.
Then double break was like a bonus.  From then on I was home basically.  It was a really good match for me, basically.

Q.  I don't know what to call it, it's not a renewal, but reinvigoration of freshness in your career now.  Talk about how that feels, and is that something you're proud of that you have achieved this in your career?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, look, last year was difficult, so I'm just happy playing enough matches where, you know, you feel like you have momentum, you have some confidence as well and you're enjoying it at the same time, because last year wasn't always the case, you know.
Good, better moments, but then also tougher ones.  So I think just things are easier now, and I'm able to take advantage of the fact that I'm just healthy.
Last year I wasn't quite, you know, for most of the year.  So then I can't also expect so much from myself.  But then when I do feel good again, this is kind of what I expect from myself.
It's nice proving it to myself and the team and my fans that they can still count on me.  It's nice giving yourself opportunities to win a tournament, no doubt about that.

Q.  In many ways does it surprise you at all in that joy is a central part of what's happening?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, surprised, I think it's surprised it's all happening so quickly now, especially the finals in Brisbane.  Okay, some might expect that.  I was the No. 1 seed and all that, bye in the first round, and then right away Australia to beat who I did and keep momentum going with Dubai and now here and Davis Cup, I played a lot of tennis this year.
I think it shows when I'm playing out there.  There is a sense of calmness to my game right now.  Also confidence.  But also that grit and wanting to win badly feeling is out there, which was hard to find at times last year.
So now I got it all.  That results came as quick as it did, maybe that did surprise me a little bit, yeah.

Q.  It's been a fairly unusual tournament.  I think only two of the top 10 guys made the quarters here.  Guys outside of top 10 say they feel more belief now, especially after Stan's win in Australia, that they can breakthrough.  Do you sense that?  What do you think took so long for the rest of the guys really starting to believe they can start to beat the top guys?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, they have to prove it.  I mean, one tournament doesn't do it all for me yet.  I mean, it's nice they believe more in it, and it's nice that they take Stan as an inspiration.  That's great.  That's what it's supposed to be.
I think they should believe more in beating the top guys than just one offs once in a while.  Of course it's not going to be easy beating Rafa or Novak just like, All right, that's great.  They beat those guys.  Let's get rid of them.  That's not how it's going to work.
They are going to be around.  Same with Murray and the rest of the guys.  It's just a question, does it happen frequently now or is this a one‑off event?  Novak and myself are still in the draw, so we will see who's going to end up winning the tournament at the end.
Because that's where the points are, that's where the prestige is, and I think it's great to see new players, you know, getting opportunities to play on center court, in quarters, in semis, maybe in finals of Masters 1000s.  It hasn't happened very often, but this might be the time.  We'll see.

Q.  Did you sense when you were on court ever that those guys, they felt like they couldn't beat you?  Did you ever get that sense when you were out there?
ROGER FEDERER:  I guess you kind of do.  It all resets.  You know, scoring system always resets.  Even win a set, always reset.  You always feel the finish line is never quite there.  Can't wait for time to pass by and you're going to make it over the finish line.  You always have to go earn it.
Sure, when I was on these monster winning streaks, sometimes you do feel a little bit invincible at times.  But that's like five minutes during a match.  I'm not like walking around the grounds and going to bed at night.  It's not like that (smiling).

Q.  Were you worried when you saw that weird wind blowing through here it might stay around and affect you later?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, it was curious, you know, to see what was going to happen, if it was going to stay around or not.  We did see it in the distance when I was going to dinner.  I was like, What is that?  Is that rain way over there?  But I thought it was like a sand storm or something.
Windy for both guys.  I have played a lot of windy matches in my career, so I tried to be confident and say, you know, if it's this way maybe it's better for me.  Maybe it wouldn't have been.  I would've lost 2 and 2, who knows?
But I still told myself when the wind came in.  Now that it wasn't as windy, clearly it was nicer for better tennis, that's for sure.

Q.  Over the years you have been extremely effective at neutralizing ‑‑
ROGER FEDERER:  Whoa.  I got the button with my foot.  Sorry guys.

Q.  Over the years you have been extremely effective at neutralizing big servers.  Same was true tonight with Anderson.  Is that something you have always been able to do?  Do you work on it?  How are you able to read serves like that so effectively?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't know if there is a real secret to it or if you can actually really work on it.  Maybe there is a way to practice your reaction.  It's more an instinct and a sort of confidence and momentum with returning.
You can see a lot with the best players and best returners, when they are on a roll we can't get past them anymore.  And then once you get them going by serving close to the line and hitting maybe an ace here or there, everything shifts in the advantage of the server and the returner is under pressure having to readjust.
But when you are zoning in on somebody's serve, it's hard for the server to breakthrough until he gets that maybe one or two aces or service winners he's been looking for a while.
Yeah, so for me it's not something I ever worked on.  I guess with my one‑handed slice I have a better reach sometimes than double handers.  Mine is a bit more it is a chip and not a hit like what Novak does or other guys do.
So it's just a different style of returning and I'm happy it kind of worked okay against the better players over the years.

Q.  Earlier this evening Alex was asked about playing you.  He said, Well, what do you want to know?  He's won 17 Grand Slams, broken every record.  Figure it out.  Turning the tables, what are your thoughts on playing Alex?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm excited.  I like to play against him.  I have practiced with him a fair bit in Dubai this year at the end of last season and in the buildup.  He was there for a long time in Dubai.  So was I.
So we caught up and played some practice matches.  It was really good fun.  He was playing really well in practice, you know.
He really takes the ball early.  He likes to take advantage of the fact when there is a short ball he just smashes it, and he's got a great serve.  He's super athletic, you know.  Maybe the hard work is paying off right now.
He's already been higher up in the rankings.  I was anyway surprised he dropped as low as he did.  It's nice for me to see he's working his way back.
And now playing him, I think it's going to be an interesting matchup.  We both like to take charge of the point, and it's going to be interesting to see how things are going to go.
Definitely going to be some interesting shots out there.  That's what he has a tendency to do.

Q.  I don't know if you happened to see any of the Stephens/Pennetta match earlier, but there was a bunch of on‑court coaching.  They kept losing games after they had their coach come out.  Wondered if you thought how it might work on the men's side and how you might use it, if it has a place in tennis, on‑court coaching?
ROGER FEDERER:  I really hope it doesn't.  I really do.  Hanging on.  If it does happen, it's hopefully after I have‑‑ you know, I'm done playing.
I really don't think it's necessary.  I don't think it's fair maybe necessarily, because not everybody can afford a coach.  Not everybody‑‑ you know, it's just not right.  We'll see girlfriends walking out, we'll see parents walking out.  It's not going to be pretty, you know, (smiling).
It just won't.  It will look amateur‑like in my opinion.  Yeah, I hope we'll stay as far away from that idea.

Q.  Do you think it's something that diminishes the women's game?
ROGER FEDERER:  No, not necessarily.  Seems like it's working, you know.  Maybe commentary likes it.  They have a different angle to talk about.  Clearly when the coach comes on and they go on a three‑game losing streak, that wasn't helpful (smiling).
But it is what it is.  It's not the coach's mistake; it's not the player's mistake.  Might be, who knows?
But I just think tennis is one of those sports maybe we should ‑‑it's nice.  It's cool to figure it out yourself.  You can look over to your coach for comfort and support, but other than that, I think tennis is one of maybe ‑‑ could or should be one of those unique sports where you don't get coaching.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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