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March 25, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/R. Gasquet
6‑1, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Was that as easy as it looked from the outside?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, look, things went well out on the court today.  The first set he had a chance to come back into the set.  I think that, you know, ended up being the key for the match almost for him.
So I think I played a good match.  Just kept under pressure and hoped to win the match as quick as I could eventually, because you never know if there is going to be a change in condition or he's going to start playing better, me worse.
You just take what you get and you run with it.  I think I played well.  You know, I served well.  I made my returns I had to and stayed aggressive, so I didn't let him just make errors.  I forced him to do stuff.  It was a good match for me.

Q.  You seem more and more comfortable in the tournament.  Do you feel that way?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I definitely think today was the first time where I have kind of felt good going into the match, because the last couple of matches were different.  Karlovic, you never know what's going to happen; de Bakker had nothing to lose.
This was the first sort of normal match.¬† It was against a top‑10 player, so it was difficult.¬† I've played Gasquet in previous conditions and it was quite windy out there, so it was a matter of how was it going to be.
He thought the wind was going to help him more than me, so I'm happy I came out and used it to my advantage.  I definitely think I'm playing really good tennis right now, which is encouraging.

Q.  Next opponent is Kei Nishikori.  What do you think about the next matchup with him?
ROGER FEDERER:  He had obviously a very difficult match with Ferrer, but a great one which everybody watched in the locker room and the player restaurant.  It was one of those thrilling end to the matches, you know, into the tiebreaker with match points saved.  It had the whole drama.
Either one could have won, but in tennis always one guy's got to win.  Kei did a good job getting it done at the end.  I only played him twice but practiced with him many times, so we know each other well so there are no real secrets out there.
Clearly I think it's an advantage at this point now that I had a quick match today and he had a really brutal match against Ferrer.  Can I take advantage of it?  Can he recover quickly?  We will see tomorrow.
But I'm sure we will see him out on the court, and he will give it everything he has.  He always has.

Q.  Do you remember the first practice with him 2007?
ROGER FEDERER:  I do.  And I thought he was a very good player.

Q.  What's his improvement?
ROGER FEDERER:  I'm not even sure what it is.  It's getting used to playing top guys and used to traveling the world every single week, being strong mentally and physically.  Just handling all the stress that surrounds playing tennis.
Because playing free tennis when you're a junior to going to becoming a pro it's a bit of a change.  Some prefer it and some think it's really difficult.
I think Kei had good balance.  He got rid of his injuries.  He's now being healthy, and that's also why he's close to the top 10 or soon to be in the top 10 again.

Q.  You have played Kei two times, but it's going to be the first time for you guys to play in outdoor hard court.  How much do you think it affects your guys' matchup?
ROGER FEDERER:  Who are you talking about?

Q.  The surface.

Q.  Hard court.
ROGER FEDERER:  Outdoor hard court.  First time I played Kei, you mean?

Q.  Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, we've played outdoor Madrid.  That was outdoors.  And then indoor hard in Basel.  Clearly this is different.
And, again, different year, different match, different circumstance.
I don't know if it's an advantage for anyone.  I think it's a surface that we are both comfortable on.  Probably this might be one of our most preferred surfaces.  So I think it's even playing ground for both of us.
I would have thought I had the advantage in Madrid on the clay, but I didn't.  I lost.

Q.  Speaking of different times, it's been a decade, 2004 I think your first match, first tournament here.

Q.  Where you played against Nadal.  What do you think and how do you feel about that?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† It was a tough tournament.¬† I came off of sunstroke in Indian Wells after beating Henman in the finals.¬† I was in bed for four or five days, and then came here.¬† I beat Davydenko somehow 7‑5 in the third.
Then started feeling better and played Rafa, who was a new guy on the tour.¬† I remember it was one of those matches, 6‑3, 6‑4 maybe.¬† I don't even remember what the score was exactly, but never really got into the match.¬† Still maybe a bit tired but he played great.
But he played great and I was impressed with what I saw.¬† Don't quite remember what I thought of going into the match, you know, what the buzz was around him, but ‑‑ I'm not sure who he beat to get to me.
But, anyway, I mean, that was clearly for him a big arrival on the scene, you know, especially on the hard courts as well to beat ‑‑I was world No. 1 at the time as well.¬† Because that's always a big deal if you can beat a world No. 1 on the hard courts, like when I beat Hewitt here I think a couple years earlier.
It's just like it's a big deal.  I think everybody thought he was just a clay courter, and he proved that he was probably going to be more than just that.  Went on to have this great career many expected him to have.

Q.  Miami is so Latin.  You hear the noise here.  How can you tell to Latin peoples follow your career?
ROGER FEDERER:  Can't say much because I don't speak Spanish (smiling.)
No, I mean, oh, look, I'm very happy to be here in Miami again.  It's one of the tournaments I have probably played the most in my career, because I got a wildcard here in '99.  I love coming back here every year since.  Just missed last year.
I always thought I got, you know, good support throughout.  In the beginning clearly people didn't know me so I was put on the outside courts, which is normal.
So I just had to grind my way through the outside courts.  And then finally, you know, 2002 when I made the finals here for the first time and people got to know me a bit better.
Then I started to play well throughout the year.¬† Now since many years I get great support here in Miami ‑ unless you might play against an Argentinian or Brazilian.¬† Then it becomes very emotional.
I remember playing against a few guys, and it's difficult because they are just very passionate about their country, what they are supposed to be.

Q.  What is your opinion about Del Potro's likely to miss the rest of the season because of wrist operation?
ROGER FEDERER:  Right.  Yeah, we talked about it, what was it, four days ago or something.  I said, We hope he's back soon.  Not quite.
So it's very disappointing for the tour, for him personally, for Argentina, I guess, as a sporting nation.  And to have someone be out for this long in tennis, it's rare.  We have injuries that take a few weeks, a few months, but six months, an entire season.  We are not even in April yet.
It's a big shock for the tour, but it didn't come as a huge surprise at the end because he has been struggling with his wrist for a few months now.
I just wish he has a quick recovery or a good recovery and that, you know, he's going to get the support he deserves and needs from family, fans, and everybody involved.
Because it's a long road.¬† It's the second time he's had it, and it's not so easy ‑ other than he knows how to get through it.
But we just hope he's going to come back strong like he did the last time around.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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