Shanghai Rolex Masters
Friday, 13 October 2017
R. FEDERER/R. Gasquet
Q. It’s been decided on a few points. First set, 15-30. At 4-5, what did you feel on the court today?
ROGER FEDERER: I felt good. Like you said, I thought it was a really good match. Some big points, important shots at the right time for both guys sometimes to stay even, and we both created chances. Both used our chances sometimes, you know, like the break and rebreak in the second set.
I thought we were able to keep up the level from the beginning till the very end. Even the roof was open today. Conditions felt a bit cooler and a bit slower maybe, and that allowed us to maybe hit bigger. I’m not sure.
But I enjoyed it, you know, because it was slices and topspins and angles and power and finesse. I think the match had a bit of everything.
Q. Why receive?
ROGER FEDERER: Why not?
Q. Usually you serve, right?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Just felt like I wanted to see his serve first. I was on the side where the wind was in my back, so I thought, you know, if he serves first and doesn’t get a good first game, against the wind it’s always tough to serve first, and I was hoping that was going to make a difference. It didn’t. Didn’t matter at the end, so…
Q. Is it a kind of an odd situation for you now? I’m sure you know that Juan Martin went to the hospital to have an MRI on his wrist.
ROGER FEDERER: I didn’t know that.
Q. Oh, yeah. He fell on the court.
ROGER FEDERER: Thanks for letting me know. It’s screwing me up now completely, but it’s all good. (Laughter.)
Q. Sorry about that. Does that make it kind of a strange…
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yes, now that I know. I mean, we all hope it’s precaution more than anything. What’s an MRI tell you? Gives you confirmation sometimes that something happened or not. At the end of the day, the pain you feel is the one that leads, especially in a situation like this where you don’t have time to rest, either you play or you don’t play.
So I hope for him that it’s nothing serious. Of course it’s on the wrist, as well, that he’s had problems in the past, so this is where, you know, he’s worried, rightfully so. For me, at the end of the day, nothing changes, you know. I’m ready to come out here tomorrow and see the match like it’s a revenge chance for the US Open, you know, where it was tight and I couldn’t win. So I see that more than his injury.
I did see the fall. I saw the match. It was a good match. Troicki played well. It was a tough break for him to get after that. That’s why he was so upset and so frustrated, Viktor. It was a tough one for him.
But I hope for now that Juan Martin can recover and we can play a normal match tomorrow.
Q. About what you said yesterday on French players and the press making them stars too early, Richard just told us that for him it was only his fault if he didn’t become No. 1 or win a Grand Slam. First, what do you think about it? Do you think French players such as Jo, Gaël, Richard, did as much as you guys, Rafa, Novak, Andy, and you to become champions?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m not sure if I understood correctly what Richard said, what he meant.
Q. (Off microphone.)
ROGER FEDERER: What I was saying is the media is not helpful in the process. Yeah, people put him on the cover of Tennis Magazine at 10, 12 years old. I don’t think that’s ideal. It’s cool, in a way, as any kid, but it ended up being Richard, and it changes the mindset from then on for somebody the way that people look at him. That’s not his mistake. It’s just how it is.
Every step along the way, there is much more media attention in France than maybe in any other country because you guys are tennis crazy. That’s why we love going there.
But you make the quarters of a tournament, and it’s, like, wow, amazing. In other countries you have to win, I don’t know how many tournaments, to get the same appreciation.
So it can be a hindrance. Yet it can also be a tailwind, you know, where you feel, jeez, I’m doing so well already, the press is loving it, my friends are loving it. Everybody is in euphoria. But I think if you analyze it all together, I don’t think it’s the best thing.
But you guys of big French newspapers, sports sections, you have to cover the tennis players, too. So it’s a tricky one, and that’s where I think the entourage is key in the player development to remind them, okay, you maybe made first page of the newspaper or the magazine or whatever it is, but it doesn’t change one thing of what we’re trying to achieve, you know.
A lot of people have to have the right mindset at the right time, and along the way, not everybody can be this way. People get carried away, and that’s unfortunate. But, look, everybody did really well. Everybody is having a great career. I don’t know how they work in the offseason. I don’t know what they do, you know, away from tennis, what they do on the road. It’s really hard for me to judge. Only they know if they are giving it all and more, you know.
I know I have tried my very best. I have made my mistakes early on, as well. I reacted. From the outside, Rafa looks like he’s done everything right. He won 10 French Opens, and he’s had a Hall of Fame career. But I’m sure also he thinks he could have maybe done things a bit different.
So I was more referring to the media than the player himself.
Q. Both of you have very beautiful backhand. There are actually four players among Top 10 play one-handed backhand, and also Denis Shapovalov coming up very strong. Ten years ago people think one-handed backhand is dying. How do you comment on its future?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, from moving now on forward we will see double-handed backhands predominantly, which is how I would teach my kids, as well, to play tennis. I think it’s just easier. Double-handed backhand, you can always fight a wrong position with the left hand, let’s say, if you’re a right-hander. You know, on the return it’s the same thing. You might have a little bit less reach, but you can also let go and still reach it.
I think a double-hander is the way to go, but I hope it’s not a dying breed, you know, like you said. I think it just looks nice, a one-handed backhand. You mentioned Thiem, Gasquet, Stan, they all look good, those one-handed backhands, especially if there is power and in defense it looks great. Grigor, same thing.
So it’s nice to see Denis also keeping that alive and same with Thiem and young guys coming up that it’s still going. But I think we will always be outnumbered from this point moving forward. Unfortunately Björn Borg had too big of an impact on this game. He just doesn’t know it sometimes (smiling).
Q. You played all your matches at 8:00 p.m. Is this a groove that you like, or is it tougher for sleep or recovery or not changing anything?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, it’s always good when you play more or less the same time in the same environment. The harder is if you go to day to night to day to night and you keep switching it up like this.
But if you’re going all night, it’s okay. 8:00 is late, to be honest, you know, like we explained in the beginning of the week. Getting back now, it’s 11:00 already. Probably by the time I’m able to sleep it’s going to be 3:00 in the morning. But, I mean, it’s okay. I’m, like, on a Swiss time zone, so actually the jet lag won’t be so severe when I come home. But I don’t care about the jet lag right now. I’m trying to play a good tournament.
So it’s late. If I could choose, I prefer to have, like, a 4:00 or a 6:00 slot here, just because of the commute is far. But the tournament asked me to play 8:00, and I’m okay with that, too. No problem.