Rolex Shanghai Masters
Thursday, 11 October 2018
R. FEDERER/R. Bautista Agut 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Q. Another tough match for you. What’s your thoughts on your performance tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m actually quite happy, you know. I thought that Bautista really had to raise his level of play in that second set to stay with me. I mean, he really caught fire, I thought. I served, I think, 80% in that second set and got broken twice.
So it shows you that he connected well, he read my serve well or picked the sides well, I’m not sure. I hope he was more picking sides than reading serves, but overall I thought, you know, we had some tough rallies from the baseline, like expected. And conditions were — you know, they are what they are here in Shanghai, especially when it’s cool. Ball feels heavy, feel hard, and it’s sometimes hard to generate as much as you would like and it’s hard to outmaneuver the player, because you can’t go for too many angles because the ball skids nicely here.
You get into these baseline rallies that very much look alike, time and time again. That’s where Roberto can be very good. I thought he played a really good match. At the end he got tight. I’m happy that, because of my match yesterday, I was able to stay maybe more calm even this time around and come up with a really good game to break at 4-All and then serve it out was great. I was very happy.
Q. What a match today. Your wife and the kids keep company with you in Shanghai together for the first time. Do they like Shanghai and go some sightseeing around Shanghai? And do they give you more courage in fighting on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm. I’m not sure if they give me more courage fighting on court, but they were here today. I was telling myself, like, particularly tonight I cannot do this because they were there, but I don’t know how much I draw from that, quite honestly.
They are enjoying themselves in Shanghai. They have been on the road for a long time now, almost three months now, ever since we went to America. They haven’t been back to Switzerland. So I think we are looking forward to go home again.
They told me only positives. Mirka is super happy to be back here again. She hasn’t been here for 10 years. She’s over the moon, and she’s seeing Shanghai change and grow, you know, in the last 10 years. They are having a great time, you know. Yesterday went to Disneyland, so everything’s good there. They are having a blast while I’m working. It’s all good (smiling).
Q. A lot of players are saying that they won’t play the new Davis Cup because it’s at the end of November and not, like, the best dates. What are your thoughts on that? Are you going to play? Have you decided?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don’t know a lot of things for next year. I don’t even know the clay court season. Yeah, I don’t know yet.
I have a hard time seeing myself playing in February. I haven’t spoken to Stan, haven’t spoke to Severin, haven’t spoke to my wife, haven’t spoken to my team. From that standpoint, until not long ago, we didn’t know where it was going to be and what was the format and all that stuff, so it’s all new.
No, I highly doubt it, of course. We’ll see what happens, you know. I don’t think this was designed for me, anyhow. This was designed for the future generation of players.
Q. A bit off-topic question, but I’m working on a feature about nutrition. From what I get from nutritionists or fitness trainers, it has changed a lot the past five or ten years, a real discipline, and it’s part of the performance. Have you changed anything the way you deal with your diet throughout the season? Do you feel that it’s been changing much the past five or ten years?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, but you’re asking the wrong guy. I have not done anything really very much. I like to eat a bit of everything. I’m a healthy person. I like to have my desserts from time to time. I like to have a glass of wine or a glass of champagne. I like my pastas before the game.
I don’t read into it too much, you know. It just can’t be excessive, in my opinion, especially if you’re a professional athlete. Obviously you want to be healthy. But, you know, I respect everybody who does different types of diets and tries everything out.
I think it’s also more of a mindset and also of a well-being and you can draw confidence out of, you know, what you eat and how you go about it.
For me, food and drinks and all that stuff is also a way of life to enjoy myself, you know. It’s also part of a hobby for me. I’m not going to change it now, to be honest. I enjoy myself this way.
Q. Your next opponent is going to be Kei. He had injury last season, which made him pull out of the rest of the season. How do you see his performance this year? He’s actually doing pretty well, I think, these few tournaments. What kind of match do you expect?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I saw him play only a little bit, to be honest. And, yeah, of course I’m aware that he’s been injured for a while and now he’s back. So that’s great.
When he has come back, you know, he’s stayed healthy, which is key, obviously. You don’t want to have a setback, so that’s nice for him. He’s played a lot of tennis recently now, obviously with Tokyo and now here. I think it’s going to be tough.
As we know with Kei’s game, once he finds his range and his rhythm, he’s very tough to play. Not sure if fast courts suit him better or not, because I feel like he actually plays well on clay, grass, hard. He can do it all.
I think when you have that good of a backhand and fast legs that he has, you know, and a good fighting spirit he always shows, surface almost doesn’t matter for him.
I think it’s going to be a tough match tomorrow. I hope it’s going to help me that I played against Medvedev and also Bautista Agut, two really good baseliners, to be honest. From that standpoint, I feel like I found a rhythm. Now it’s just up to me to play a good match myself. I need to focus a lot on my serve to make sure I can, you know, always keep the upper hand there.
I’m excited to play against him, because I haven’t played Kei a whole lot in my career, it feels like, anyhow. I’m excited that it’s happening here tomorrow.
Q. Just back to Davis Cup a second, I know you’re interested in the history of the game and things like that. Can you take something that’s been so historical and blow it up so majorly and then consider it still Davis Cup, or is it really just a totally different event how they have designed it?
ROGER FEDERER: Time will tell. It’s hard to answer that question now. I think you need to give it a fair chance, you know. Clearly it will never be the same again, you know, unless they change it back, you know, which is highly unlikely at this point.
But let’s see how it’s going to play out. Look, I hope it’s going to be successful. I hope it all works out. I hope the players love it. I hope the fans enjoy it and it’s going to be successful, but I don’t know what I should say about it, you know. Time will tell. For the moment, it’s all like a huge question mark, which is normal for all of us.
Q. Talk about year-end top 1 final. Do you have any thoughts of that?
ROGER FEDERER: Any?
Q. Any thoughts about the top 1 year-end.
ROGER FEDERER: About No. 1 or the finals?
Q. The No. 1 final.
ROGER FEDERER: What’s the No. 1 final?
Q. Yeah, ranking, year-end ranking.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I’m far away (smiling). That’s my thought. It’s not the concern. My concern is to make break point at 4-All in the third set against Bautista Agut and holding serve right after, and now being ready tomorrow for Nishikori in the quarters and not in the finals of Shanghai or winning that and winning Basel and then hopefully having a chance for World No. 1 at the World Tour Finals.
I’m too afar away at this point, and it’s good it’s that far away. Other players have played better and deserve it more.
It makes me focus very much on what’s ahead of me, you know. Right now I just want to play a great Shanghai, and that’s all I care about right now, which is helpful, I think, for my game.