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March 23, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/T.  De Bakker
6‑3, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  In your first two matches, I think you have won 90% of your first and second serve points.  Do you think any of that is attributable to the new racquet?
ROGER FEDERER:  I mean, I definitely think some of it, for sure.  I think it just gives me easier power, especially on the first serve.  And I think as time now goes by, I'm getting a better feel for how is the ball going to react, you know, how much spin do I need to put on to stay really accurate and put it really close to the line.
Because that's something I also struggled with last year and sometimes before.  It's just to keep the pace up and keep accuracy up.  Right now I'm doing a good job.
But then again, you know, this wasn't Andre Agassi on the other side, or Djokovic.  It's just important for me to keep that up and remind myself it's going well so far.
But you also need to put in the effort again, time and time again.  Then it's not just to serve.  You know, people think, Oh, he's winning all these points on first and second serve.
But there are rallies after that.  It doesn't just stop right after you've hit a serve.  So important it's how do you back up your serve.  I think that's also what I'm doing well now.

Q.  Is the racquet a finished product or still a work in progress?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, it could be a finished product, but I'm still going to just test a couple of things in the next few weeks.
So I should know probably in a month.  I definitely will know if this is going to be it or not.

Q.  We have a lot of fans from Latin America who are soccer fans on our website, so we were wondering, what's your view on the World Cup with the group, Switzerland.  You're a big soccer fan, Basel, Real Madrid.  What's your take on the World Cup?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well they're happy first of all to be qualified for the World Cup.  It's always big for us, for any nation who makes World Cup.  And.
Clearly because it's so difficult to predict what's going to happen, it also gives yourself an opportunity to have a breakthrough tournament and go deep.
I think the group is doable.  You know, I'm sure nobody is going to underestimate anybody in the group.  But I feel like everybody can beat everybody, so it's going to be very interesting group to follow.  I think we have a great coach who I know personally, and I know some of the players.
Seems we have a good, young dynamic team who has also got the key experienced player which you need for World Cup, and I hope that mix is going to be successful for us.

Q.  In the last couple of days, Rafa and Novak and Serena have said that they would like to go to Latin America to play big events, Masters events.  That it's the time to go down there.  Do you agree with them?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I don't understand how it's going to happen right now.  We have the tournaments that we have, and Miami is not moving to Latin America or Indian Wells.  They are all in a solid place.
So, sure, I mean, I think it would be great to have big tournaments down there, but I think it's a bit not real, to be honest.  The only thing that they could get eventually is maybe the World Tour Finals, but that's in a few years.
It's in a very good place in London right now at the O2.  They have tournaments with Rio, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Bogota, and so forth, so I think it's great.
I think what many players now are doing‑‑ because there is not 1000s or slams or World Tour Finals that go down there for exhibitions like I did one‑and‑a‑half years ago.

Q.  Fans here in Miami just love you.  What do you feel about that?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, it's good coming back so many years so they kind of have a face to a name.  I'm not just this new guy they have never heard about.
That's helpful, because I used to be, you know, mixed up with another player in the past when I was younger.
So that doesn't happen so much anymore.  It's nice that they appreciate the play here, and I appreciate that they all come out and support tennis.
Because I don't know how many necessarily come out just to watch me or do they come out for the event, do they come out for their kids, do they come out to watch other players train, as well.
It's more than just a tennis tournament.  It's an event.  I'm happy that a lot of fans, especially also Latin Americans, enjoy coming to Miami.

Q.  You have talked about your racquet as successes of late.  Is there something else you can pinpoint to in terms of your recent play?  Is that something you look on, like right now, or is that something you look on later in terms of, Hey, I did this?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, I definitely think I came to the right conclusions midway through last year, which was important to feel better, put in the hard work, which you have to so I can play through many matches, many weeks of events, and that I can also rest and play and rest and play.
That's why I need to work hard so the body can handle all those changes.  The racquet change was an interesting one.  I'm happy it's working so well, because I'm very pleased with what I'm feeling now with the hand, with my stick.
From that standpoint I think that's helped my game as well a little bit.  But then again, I can play very good tennis.  I know that.  I have proven it in the past.  Just because I had a little bit of letdown last year because of injury doesn't mean I forgot how to play.
It's important to remind yourself of that.  If you don't live in the past you have to create your own future, and for that I need to make sure I keep believing.  Now the confidence is back and now everything is pretty simple like it used to be.
It was just hard digging yourself out of that hole a little bit.

Q.¬† Wondering what you have seen out of Andy Murray over the past few months.¬† It's been sort of tough results‑wise.¬† As far as him winning Wimbledon, do you think there is something about winning a title that's that big for him that can make it hard for him to get motivation or form right back up right away.
ROGER FEDERER:  No.  You mean for this year?

Q.  Yeah, this year and I guess the second part of last year?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't think he's thinking of Wimbledon every single day right now.  I think he's more thinking of getting back from surgery and making sure he gets back to the level that he wants to be at.
It's good to know he already won Wimbledon, won the Olympics, won the US Open.  You have been to World No. 2 in the world.  You know you've done that already.
So he's not chasing that.  He's not being asked all the time.  Okay, some might asking him, When are you going to play better, that's stupid stuff.
But that's not ‑‑ a piece of cake to what he had to go through before.
I think his focus right now is staying healthy and injury‑free and waiting for that moment to pounce where he's going to start winning tournaments again.¬† I'm happy to see that he's actually playing a lot of tennis, a lot of tournaments.
I haven't seen him play much in Indian Wells and Miami now, but I played him at the Australian Open.  Still looked a little bit tired like he missed some practice.
So I think that's going to be crucial for him moving forward where eventually he will have some time working the offseason too a little bit.

Q.  Do you think it can affect your hunger to have a big result like that ever?
ROGER FEDERER:  Sure.  A letdown?  Yeah, everybody has letdowns at one point.  You might only have them for a week, maybe just an hour, whatever it might be, you know.
Some have it for years.  It's just frustrating when you don't attend that level of play that you know you can, but things are still very fresh for him, so I think it would be wrong to question him at this point.
In a year's time it's different, you know, if he keeps, you know, the results he's having.  But I'm very confident for him that success will return at the big level for him.

Q.  Do you look at Dubai as the place where you turned the corner and everything kind of came together, like the health and the racquet worked in and you seemed confident, obviously had great wins there?
ROGER FEDERER:  I think it was more like a process.  Would not be fair to say Dubai was the place, because I needed Basel, Paris, London to know I can play three straight weeks under tough circumstances.
It was cold.  It's not good for your body.  Okay, I know we are playing indoors, but you know how it is.  It's not so easy waking up in Europe when it's cold rather than here in Miami when it's always warm.
So that was big for me.  Then the next big step was the offseason, and then after a couple of weeks off, when I started training again, that I could train unbelievably hard for a full month, which was key for me, knowing that I can handle everything basically from the fitness standpoint.  I could do jumps, I could run, I could mix it, and that was big for me.
And then I think the whole Australian Open trip gave me confidence, that I played Brisbane singles and doubles and came through the five‑setters, best‑of‑five‑set matches in Australia.
And that then gave me the belief that, you know, the racquet's working, my body is holding up, my mind is better.
Then Dubai, I think that's when things just ‑‑they were pretty simple.¬† Then I just played good tennis and the results just followed suit from what I had created those previous months.

Q.  Can you just look ahead to playing Gasquet in the next round, please.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, we have played many times now in the past, and I'm not sure how he's playing right now.  I really don't know.  I have to find out a little bit.
I'm not sure about his results as of late, so I have to check a little bit.
He's got great game, you know.  Gives himself time, sort of that extra second of time on each shot, forehand and backhand.
I played him in London recently at the World Tour Finals in ‑‑ I think it was our second‑round group match maybe.¬† I played a good match against him, but, you know, he's overall good player.¬† Can serve well.¬† Can volley well.¬† He's got nice shots, forehand and backhand.
So he's a good all‑around player, and I think he's done well here in the past.¬† With the wind and the slower conditions, it works quite well for him.
I think it's going to be a tough match for me.

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