Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What are your thoughts on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s tough conditions this week. A lot of swirly winds. It’s hard to really feel great out there. But I think it’s the same for everybody. I was really happy with my play today in terms of feeling was definitely by far the best one. So that was good. I’m sure Borna was feeling it a little bit from his last few matches. Again, I’ve also been tired the past and lost some. You just take it on your chin, move on, you try your best. He did that today. From my side, I think it was important to mix it up, be solid, not give him too many chances, keep showing him it’s going to be really difficult for him to win. At the end I actually played really good. I’m very pleased.
Q. How easy is it to erase the memory of losing to an opponent as you come into the match, while you’re playing the match?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it always depends how those previous matches all played out. I think for some reason the matches we’ve played against each other have all been kind of different, haven’t been the classic ones. I thought Indian Wells was really difficult to play, really windy. In Halle, I was kind of tired maybe from playing Stuttgart, the finals in Halle. Halle is always tricky to play. Then Shanghai, it’s really fast conditions. He came out swinging. I just couldn’t really get into the match, and the match was over. We played here years ago. He was still very young. It was just after a win against Murray, as well. Maybe it’s hard to back it up. The matches feel kind of, yeah, okay, it’s hard to really exactly know how Borna plays. Maybe for him as well with me, because of all these difficult conditions. I think honestly I was playing more the conditions than him tonight again. I think that maybe helped to erase any of the bad memories, if you like.
Q. Do you see tomorrow as a revenge match?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe a little bit. We already played a couple times this year, in the Hopman Cup and then the Australian Open. Obviously I was horribly disappointed and upset that I missed as many breakpoints as I did, had all the opportunities I had. That match kind of hurt in some ways. But, you know, it’s part of the game. He did very well to get out of those tricky situations. Again, he did the same again tonight against Monfils. He gets it done that way. It’s not the classic one-dimensional way. He has many ways to do it. That makes him tough to play, tough to beat. He showed me that at the Australian Open, how hard he is. I hope I’m going to play well. I’m more focused just on my own game, to be quite honest, than him. Probably reaching a hundred titles. We’re still far from it, it seems. I’m just going to try to focus and play good tennis.
Q. You played against a lot of the young guys now, watched a lot of them. If you had to pick a few unique qualities to Stefanos in particular, what stands out the most?
ROGER FEDERER: Unique qualities? By whom?
Q. Do you see anything unique in Stefanos?
ROGER FEDERER: In Stefanos?
ROGER FEDERER: What I like about him is how he’s able to take the ball early time and time again. Serve, takes it early, comes to the net. He does that all the time. Then on the backhand side, he has more air, which gives him a bit more margin, to be honest. Yeah, for a big guy, he moves well. I mean, no surprise nowadays all the big guys move well. I don’t know how they do it. Back in the day, big guys, men’s, not good movers. Now that’s changed since I came on tour. It’s nice to see all the qualities that he has. Like I said, he has different ways to win points, which makes it hard to play against.
Q. This year you will play the clay court season. Your decision to go in Madrid excludes your appearance in Roma?
ROGER FEDERER: Still far away. Yeah, it doesn’t help the chances. But you never know. All depends on how much or how little I play through Indian Wells and Miami, and Madrid, in those next three events, how the buildup goes. There’s still a lot of months left before making that decision. The decision has not been to rule out Rome. I haven’t played anything during that week, so it is flexible still to some extent.
Q. The ITF and the ATP heading towards the end-of-the-year thing and beginning of 2020, what is your take on that?
ROGER FEDERER: We don’t know how the ATP Cup is going to be yet, so we still need to wait a little bit to find out how much the players are going to love it. My feeling is that Australia is going to be successful. They like their tennis down there. All the cities from what I’ve heard they picked I’m sure are going to love it. They’re going to have top tennis in those cities. Now also we still have to wait to see how the Davis Cup Finals are going to be like in Madrid. You’re asking me a question that I can’t answer you because I have not been in the future, I am here right now (smiling). We’ll have to wait and see.
Q. You obviously spent a lot of time in Dubai, have a place here. Do you get a sense playing here that you’re embraced in a way as a local? People don’t mob you as much here. Is that a fair assessment?
ROGER FEDERER: Okay, I mean, I feel very happy here when I’m playing the tournament, no doubt about it. I feel like I do get like somewhat of a home crowd support. I do feel that in many places, I must admit, as well. It would be unfair to just mention Dubai and say the others are not like that. I’m very fortunate in my career I’ve enjoyed like home-court advantage as much as I have, even though Switzerland would be that place for me. In Basel, I don’t know if you’ve been, it’s quite particular for me there. That would be special. Gstaad for that matter, or the Davis Cup. Maybe Laver Cup, too, in Geneva. We’ll see. Yeah, walking around and stuff, I know my way around. I love taking my car and going to places, going to restaurants, all that stuff. I mean, it depends. Obviously if I would go to the mall at 9 p.m., not the cleverest move I could make. I know where to go, how to do it. That’s pretty much in all cities the same. But yeah, I mean, obviously people spot me here, it’s not a huge surprise because they know I do spend some time here.