Rolex Shanghai Masters
Wednesday, 10 October 2018
R. FEDERER/D. Medvedev 6-4, 4-6, 6-4
Q. A bit of a test out there for you tonight. Can you talk about the match and what you felt during it.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I started well, which I guess settled the nerves a little bit, because conditions are fast here, maybe some of the fastest we see on the tour. So you always are slightly on the edge at the very beginning, I believe, of a tournament like this because you know margins are slim, and you play one bad service game and you can lose a match because of it.
So I think I was happy I started off well. I think Daniil started to serve well, you know, midway through the second set and third set, or that’s how it felt, anyway. It was just tougher to get into his service games.
Overall I think I played a really good match. I was able to mix it up. Really also took some chances, serve and volley, second serve. In the third set I really started to figure it out, as well, how aggressive or how tactical I wanted to make the match, and by trying, you know, everything, I found a solution at the end, which was a great feeling to have, so I was very happy.
Actually, overall I thought it was a great first round for me against a guy who’s been playing excellent and still has a lot to look forward to. So I was impressed how he played.
Q. What did you make of the shot he played where it bounced back onto his side of the net? How often have you seen that before?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, look, it happens quite often in practice. I mean, often, not like every second ball. But we do practice more than we play matches, so it happens more often, and you also kind of go for those shorts.
You know, what was great about that shot is like he didn’t maybe want that, but he gave himself the best chance to make the ball. You know, when you have the right intention and right belief and right stretch and things, good things do happen. This was one of the perfect examples that we both played a great point, and at the end, sort of a little magic happens.
It was good fun to see it. In the beginning, you’re like, I can’t believe it happened. Then you’re actually happy for the guy that he actually pulled off a great shot.
Q. You’re playing Bautista next. You have won the seven times you play against him, have won all the sets. What are your thoughts about the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I saw he was struggling today against a friend of mine, Mackie. I saw he was down 6-3, 4-2, in trouble, so great fight back for him. I’m sure the end to the match gave him a lot of confidence for tomorrow. That’s good for him.
He’s done well here before, beaten Novak, so obviously I’m aware of that. I haven’t followed his season super closely, to be honest, because I check in and out of the tour too often recently.
I have a lot of respect for him. He’s just a tough guy, you know. So you have to bring it. Could be similar like today. A lot of long rallies potentially, but maybe because he doesn’t serve as big as Medvedev, maybe I can take bigger cuts at the ball earlier.
Yeah, I’m excited playing Roberto. I like his demeanor. He’s a great fighter. I like playing against those kind of players.
Q. Just wondering if you watched a bit of Nishikori and Wu’s match before your match. I would love to hear your comments about our boy’s game because he’s our biggest hope now.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I saw a little bit. I actually watched more of Mackie against Roberto, but I did see some of it, and I also watched a little bit of the first-round match of Wu, and I thought he played great, you know. Good first serve, easy backhand, easy power, seems like, and also some good defensive skills.
It’s all about learning how to play point for point, make the right decisions at the right time down the stretch now, but he’s still so young. I think you’re pretty safe for the next years to come. He’s doing great. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but it seems he has a good attitude, as well. I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun watching him in the future.
Q. (Question in Chinese.) At the last set, the audience was cheering or rooting for you, the spectators. Did it come to your mind, is it possible you might lose this match? How much pressure they were placing on you? How did you feel at the third set, the audience all were cheering for you. Were you afraid you were going to lose?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I like when the crowds cheer. If they cheer for me, that’s better, but if they cheer for the opponent, that’s okay, too, as long as there is a great crowd. But I’m very thankful and very happy when I see everybody’s having a good time. Thankfully I’m used to it. Good, big crowds, loud crowds.
Of course I feel pressure from the tournament organizers, the fans, my team, myself, because I know that sometimes coming through a tough first round can be the key to what’s to come afterwards, you know. Today was very close to maybe not getting that next step. Now I did and actually can look back at a really good fight and the match I believe for a first round I actually played pretty well.
No, I enjoy myself and I really feel also parts of the victory today belongs to the fans here in Shanghai. I thought they were phenomenal for the first round and they understood I was in trouble and I appreciate that.
Q. We have some crazy and passionate fans here. What impresses you the most?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you very rarely get a chance to see a group of guys getting together like this, sitting in a row, I don’t know, a hundred, and a few rows up, as well, and holding up massive banners. It’s not what tennis usually is about. It’s splintered, splintered groups all around the stadium.
I feel like that’s very unique here in Shanghai. They devote their time and creativity, almost like a football fan, and they are all together there to support me.
So I appreciate that they take the time to think of me also when I’m not here in Shanghai, and when I do show up, they are so excited and so happy, and that obviously gives me a lift, a big one. I can’t thank them enough.