Roger Federer Sunday Press Conference
by ATP Staff|
R. FEDERER/A. Murray
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How decisive do you think the first set was moving into the second?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously, it was big. Particularly, it's the same, best‑of‑five set match, best‑of‑three, so you've got half of what you need to win, you've got it in the bag with the first set. Plus he was up a break. It was always going to be hard to look back at the set and think you should have won it. Then you end up being down a set.
So for me, it was obviously huge. Basically I really tried to pull myself together in this breaker today, where I thought I didn't play great in yesterday's tiebreaker first set against Del Potro, and not being able to come back. Margins of small, best‑of‑three sets. It was obviously an important moment in the match.
Q. You are used to playing everywhere with a lot of people cheering for you. Did you expect something like that also here in London? Are you surprised? You were playing against a British guy, Scottish guy.
ROGER FEDERER: Careful, careful (smiling).
Q. We were surprised. Were you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we have played here twice before, and twice the crowds were amazing, electric, and sometimes even in my favor. So today was somewhat similar again. I was very happy to see what a great venue this is for tennis after all, how amazing the spectators get into it, make it special for us.
Of course, you can't expect the crowds to be for you every single time. You can't expect them to be cheering for you if you're playing Andy Murray here in this country. But I do respect their support obviously, and don't take it for granted. I think it's very special I do have amazing crowd support all around the world, not just here in England where I probably have achieved some of my greatest moments in my life.
Q. Can you remember the last match where you didn't feel you had a lot of support?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I always get a lot, but sometimes the opponent gets more. It's been a long, long time since I haven't gotten any support. Let's put it that way.
I have always the opportunity to play on center court or on the second court at the big events, which is like a center court, too. It's something definitely that makes playing well easier, to be quite honest. I guess because I've been in the game for so long, I do have many people who just enjoy watching me play or feel like it's a throwback maybe to the back‑in‑the‑day times when they used to play with one‑handed backhands, and they like me because of those things.
I don't know what it is, but I do get a lot of support and do it appreciate it. I don't remember the last time I didn't get any support.
Q. Your net game seemed particularly effective tonight, especially compared with yesterday. Did you tweak anything or did it click into place?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was practicing all night making sure (laughter).
No, I was tired. I went back to sleep and slept till 11 this morning. I didn't do any tweaking on my volleys or anything.
Tennis sometimes is a funny sport. We, you, I think all of us always underestimate how much sometimes matchups matter. I think some matchups, it's just easier for you, more natural for you for some reason, than others.
Of course, I was looking at having lost the last two matches against him, so I thought it was up to me to change things around really and come up with a game plan that maybe was different than at the Olympics or Shanghai.
So the pressure was really on me. I'm happy with what I chose with my coaching staff today. Obviously the tournament's not over yet, I want to keep on playing well, but I'm happy that the offensive play did pay off and it gives confidence doing more like that in the upcoming match tomorrow.
Q. Talking about that match, facing Novak Djokovic, how would you evaluate the final?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, exciting. Look, no doubt about it, I love playing against Novak. He's had a great year. He's had a great tournament so far. He played another good, tough match today against Juan Martin, who had him in the ropes. So credit to him to really come back and win.
For me, I think for both of us, it's pretty straightforward. I think we've got to press out the last juice that's left in our body and make it a successful year end, even though it's been successful for everybody who has been taking part in this tournament.
But it is a big opportunity playing sort of the last match of the season, and facing off against Novak obviously is always special, especially here at the World Tour Finals.
Q. You just mentioned you slept this morning till 11. Given the fact that Novak was done eight hours ago, how do you manage your day tomorrow and make up for that deficit?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I've been lucky in the past, like maybe in Cincinnati years ago when I played him in the finals and he had the short rest. I think the finals is later tomorrow, 8:00. So I have enough time I think to recuperate. It would be really tricky now if I had to come back for a 2 p.m. finals, especially with the media, the trip back. It's not like it's a five‑minute ride to the hotel. You lose more time by virtue of that.
You know, I think we both played a tough match, even though mine was straight sets. You know what, mentally it's somewhat easier because you know you are going to be able to rest after this. So you just give everything you have and don't care how you feel the next day. I do think that will help the cause that I should be totally fine tomorrow.
Q. Just speaking about matchups. You look at the other three guys out of the top four. You have the best record against Novak. What is it about playing him that maybe you feel more comfortable compared to Rafa or Andy?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, there again, you have to look back historically when have these matches been played, on what surface, how early did I catch these guys when I was in my dominating phase, they were just up‑and‑comers.
So to me, the head‑to‑heads don't always tell the truth. I think obviously with Novak, we've played 30 times almost, just about, and I think we always have close matches, especially the last 10, 15 matches have been very back and forth. Similar with Andy, as well.
It's been an interesting four‑way battle between the four of us, if you look at it.
I don't know what I like or not like about Novak's game. It's pretty much straightforward. We both play aggressive tennis. We're natural attackers. That makes for exciting tennis. I hope the crowd will be entertained tomorrow.
Q. Novak set the bar pretty high at the press conference. He gave us chocolates. Any Lindt chocolates or Rolex watches for us?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I can hook you up (laughter).
That's very nice and thoughtful to Novak at year end. I must say, I'm impressed.
Q. What sets Novak apart? Is it the return? The intensity? The depth of his shots? The ability to counterattack?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he's similar in a way to Davydenko in his defensive skills. The defense, he can turn that into the offense, as well. And I think his movement is obviously outstanding, especially on the hard courts, on clay as well, but especially on the hard courts, compared to the average of all the other players.
If you look at the top 50 or whatever it is, his movement is definitely outstanding. I just think he's good off both wings. He goes for it when it's important and he can deliver, it seems like.
Yeah, he's obviously cleaned up his serving game. He's volleying cleanly. That gives himself opportunities. Then when he's confident, he's a great frontrunner. He returns well and is great. He has many assets to his game that makes him a very difficult competitor to play against.
Q. About the ATP World Tour Finals, you are the world champion indoor. The other is No. 1 in the world. What counts more?
ROGER FEDERER: What do you mean, No. 1 in the world?
Q. No. 1 in the ATP rankings, Djokovic is going to be No. 1 regardless of what happens tomorrow, and you could be the ATP champion indoor. They're two different things.
ROGER FEDERER: I can't become world No. 1 anymore.
Q. I'm saying, what is more important?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, the focus right now is not the rankings. The rankings have been long decided. Maybe he's been living under a rock, this guy.
But seriously, indoors, outdoors, grass court, clay court, we care about winning the World Tour Finals right now, making it the good year‑end finish, competing against your fellow rivals in the top 10.
I would love to win here again, regardless of the rankings, regardless of indoor or outdoor.
Q. You played a couple effective chip‑and‑charge points. Is that a shot that gives you a particular pleasure, a shot that has almost disappeared from tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: A little bit. I got guys serving better I think overall, if you look historically as well. First, second serve, the speed, the kick players are able to put on. Then obviously also I think the passing shots with the strings has become a little easier. Then players just probably move a bit better.
Obviously they don't serve and volley as much anymore. This allows you to throw in the occasional chip and charge. It's a great feeling if it works. If it doesn't work, you feel a bit stranded at the net. You have to accept those from time to time. I think it is a good play to do for me sometimes.
Today it worked out, so I'm happy. Don't know if I'm going to throw in those kind of plays tomorrow. But Novak is probably going to have a word to say about that.
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