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April 19, 2014

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/N. Djokovic
7‑5, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in English, please.

Q.  Good to be back in the final six years later.  Novak maybe not at his best today with the injury...
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Yeah, for me it comes as a bit of a surprise to be in the finals, you know, again of a tournament this year ‑ especially the first one on clay.¬† But, of course, I'll take it.
I feel like I have put in the performance to be there, gave myself the opportunity this week.  So I'm very happy with my play.
Of course, I did see that Novak was struggling at one point.  I don't know exactly what the problem is.  Maybe you guys can tell me more.
For me it was more just making sure that from my side I was playing a good, solid, tough match with some good defensive play sometimes, but mostly trying to stay on the offensive as much as I could.
I think I was able to deliver from my side, which is key.  Now I set up the dream finals for Stan and myself and Swiss tennis and the Swiss fans.  It's very exciting times right now.

Q.  You said you didn't know exactly what Novak had, but he had the brace.
ROGER FEDERER:  But the problem could be from here to here.

Q.  You couldn't understand from the way he was playing if it was his serve or forehand, there was no chance to understand?
ROGER FEDERER:  Yes and no.  Exactly, I don't quite know.

Q.¬† About this Swiss final, what is your comment on that?¬† What do you remember of the match that you lost to Wawrinka?¬† You lost to him in Monte‑Carlo, but you were coming up to some important moments.
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, first of all, I think it's incredible that we are in the finals together, the same week we've been playing well for some time now.  It matches up at the same tournament, at a big tournament like this, that we're able to have this moment together on a center court, it's so rare.  I know Spaniards have it, French guys have it, Americans might have it.  But for us it's so rare.  Last time was 14 years ago.  I played so many matches in the meantime.  At one point you think it's never going to happen again.  Not that you think of it all the time.
We've played many times quarters, semis, sometimes second rounds.  But this one is clearly very special, especially with the way he's been playing the last few months, the number of hours we spent together on court either playing doubles or practice, the times we've talked tennis.  It's nice living a moment like this together in a finals.  It's really wonderful.
So from that standpoint I think it's going to be a great day tomorrow.  I'm very happy for him that he's playing so well again.  He went through a tough Indian Wells and Miami.  But it's not an easy swing there.  It's nice for both of us playing well right off the bat here on the clay.

Q.  About the match you played with him?
ROGER FEDERER:  Five years ago?  Yeah, I think it was rainy conditions, similar to what we will experience maybe tomorrow.  Yeah, it is true, I was basically on my honeymoon.  I married on Saturday and I came over here and played him like on Thursday.
I just wanted to get some matches, see how it went.  I think Stan played well.  It was one of those matches I never kind of got into it.  Stan was better.  The match was over before I even felt all right.
Credit to him to take advantage of the moment, you know.¬† But, yeah, we know each other so well.¬† I know I have a good head‑to‑head against him.¬† I don't read that much into it.¬† He's a different caliber player now.¬† I'm sure it's going to be tougher tomorrow.

Q.  You said you were a bit surprised to reach the final.  You accepted the wild card invitation.  Does that mean you're pleasantly surprised at your level?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† Just, overall, that I'm able to move as well as I'm moving, that I'm beating, you know, good guys consistently now, that's not the surprise.¬† But I think everybody hopes to play well here but don't quite expect it.¬† They don't come in and say, I want to make a finals, have a win.¬† There's maybe only one or two guys who feel that way ‑ probably Novak and Rafa.¬† The rest are probably happy if they make it to the finals.
For me, that's kind of how I felt here.  Before this match clearly, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that I'm playing well.  I'm in the semis.  I have enough matches under my belt now here on clay.
I kind of knew if I did play well, things played out all right for me, I had my chance.  That's exactly what happened.  Clearly Novak wasn't 100%.  But that's not my mistake.  So I just got to focus on my game.  I hope I can keep it up for one more match tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR:  Questions in French, please.

Q.  How do you see the match tomorrow against Stan?
ROGER FEDERER:¬† It's always different to play him on clay than on hard courts.¬† Playing against him is different, too.¬† He's not a real clay‑courter, but he can use the clay.¬† He plays far behind the baseline and keep the rhythm.¬† On hard courts, matches against him don't last that long.¬† So tomorrow's match will be different.
Against Ferrer Stan played a different game.  Against Stan, if playing my game is enough, I will have a chance, otherwise if I don't play at my best level, there's not much I can do about it.
I must play a solid match.¬† Tomorrow is the best‑of‑three, so it's going to be a sprint rather than a marathon.

Q.¬† You played 14 times against Stan, but it's the first time you'll be playing him in a final.¬† For him it's going to be his first Masters 1000, if he wins it.¬† For you, if you win it, it's going to be the first time here in Monte‑Carlo.¬† It's going to be a special match for both of you.
ROGER FEDERER:¬† It's going to be special because I play against Stan, not because it might be my first Monte‑Carlo or his first Masters 1000.¬† What is great is that we are both in the final of a beautiful tournament.¬† Many Swiss fans love when we play each other.¬† They know there is going to be a lot of fair play out there and they know each one of us wants the other one to play well.
As to this Masters 1000, I gave myself the opportunity of winning it this time.  I've been there other times.  I hope this time I'll have a bit of luck.

Q.  What about Severin?  He's in the middle of you two.
ROGER FEDERER:  It's not the first time we played each other, so we know how it goes.  When Magnus is not there, Severin is with me, or he spends some time with Stan.  I spoke with Stan already.  We joked about it.
Tomorrow I believe we are going to be relaxed.  I'm still hoping Severin will stand on my side tomorrow, but Stan understands it.  He knows Severin will not stand in a mutual position just to please the public.
For both of us it is a dream final.  In fact, for the three of us.  So I know how it goes.  Stan knows.  We all know what we have to do.  I know how to play Stan and Stan knows how to play me.  It's in the racquets that we will find the solution tomorrow.

Q.  If you win tomorrow, the only tournament left that you haven't won yet is Rome.  What can you do to win it?
ROGER FEDERER:  I don't have a list with the names of the tournaments that I check off when I win them.  I hope I will be able to have that discussion tomorrow.
For the time being, I'm close, but also still pretty far.  What I can do now is try to play my best tomorrow.  Regardless of what happens, I'll go home with my family and be back on the tour.  The important thing for me is to enjoy myself and to be able to beat the best players, which I seem to be able to do right now.  I'm going through a very nice period.

Q.  Were you surprised the crowd was cheering for you, although Novak lives here, it's his home in a way?
ROGER FEDERER:  Well, they were not cheering only for me.  I think they mainly wanted to see a good match.  Of course, he lives here, but he wasn't born here either.  What I like to see is when the crowd supports tennis, good tennis.  I like it when I see the stands full at 11:00 in the morning, which is not always easy to do.  Seeing that here is very nice.

Q.  Tomorrow the final will be at 3:00.  What is your schedule in the morning?
ROGER FEDERER:  I have no problems warming up with Stan.  I think that will be at 12:00 or 12:30, approximately.  Right now I know I can have some sleep.  I'm happy because I'm tired after those four matches.  I will relax tonight and have dinner with Stan, who has his wife here.

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