Rolex Shanghai Masters
Friday, 12 October 2018
R. FEDERER/K. Nishikori 6-4, 7-6
Q. After the first couple of matches, it’s good, I guess, to get a straight-sets win tonight? How do you feel you played?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was same length, though. I saw all three matches went an hour and 52, basically. Three or two sets, it sometimes doesn’t tell the truth. I was happy to get out in two, naturally.
It was a tough match. Obviously Kei hogs the baseline much more than Medvedev did or also what Bautista did. I think it was a different type of match.
I was very happy with the beginning of the match, to be quite honest. I played quite great there. Then the second set was key moments who was going to play a little bit better. Kei really tried to step it up one more time. I somehow got it done, so I was very pleased.
No, I think I can be very happy with the level of play this week. I think it lends itself to play great tennis actually here with the conditions, and there was some good ball striking going on from both of us today. I hope I can keep it up for tomorrow.
Q. I don’t know if you have noticed that this time in Shanghai some of your fans are highly organized. They are shouting in order, wear the same clothes. I don’t know how you see this.
ROGER FEDERER: I don’t know if they wear the same clothes, but, you know, I see they are having the same banners and the same chants. Like you said, they are very well organized.
So it’s nice to see that they are enjoying themselves and having a good time. They make me as a big priority for this week. I’m sure they prepared themselves to it, and they have a leader, as well, who probably tells them when to chant and stuff.
It’s fun to see. It’s different. That’s what I love about the ATP Tour. Every week feels different, and clearly because of the fans here in Shanghai it is enjoyable and different again this week.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Borna? Obviously you played him a couple times. Won one; lost one this year. What are you expecting?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, both matches were very, very close. Indian Wells was slow and windy, I remember, super windy in that match. Halle was faster, you know, a lot of bad bounces. Grass, at the end of the week, it’s tough there. It was close all the way till the end. He was better on the big points. It was tough. He played really well, I thought.
He’s also really improved his game, stepping up in the court and hitting through the shots more than what he used to. I think last year was a bit of a transition, maybe a year for him to understand his game better.
No, but I think it’s going to be tough. He’s good in defense. He has a transition game now too and he’s got a solid serve. He’s had a good tournament here again. I have always played him when he’s playing well. I expect it to be tough. I hope I can take it to him and play up in the court and play aggressive.
Q. I just want to ask a question about the tiebreak. It was 1-4, and then you had two service aces. You just went through. How were you feeling? Were you confident you were going to turn that game around?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, but, you know, you hope you turn it around. At that point you’re just happy to turn at 4-2 and not at 5-1. Then it’s never easy, I feel, to serve one and then turn and then serve again, because it’s just a different feel.
But, you know, it was perfect I think I way I was able to serve. I figured out maybe what I needed to do. I served my spots when I had to, and then I also was confident enough to keep going through my returns. And the same thing with my forehand, you know, back-to-back forehand winners. Maybe one was a bit lucky because I think Kei hit the tape and it popped up for me, and that gave me the opportunity to swing.
Yeah, it was good, you know, because I saw Kei was playing extremely aggressive, especially towards the end of the second set. I knew I had to step it up too, and I was able to do it, so it’s a good feeling to have, no doubt about it.
Q. We have noticed that you have been putting on different very cute T-shirts from Uniqlo. How do you select those shirts? What’s your standard for picking up T-shirts?
ROGER FEDERER: Like you pick your socks. I don’t know (smiling). It’s the same thing. Like today I like this T-shirt, you know. Thankfully I’m not being told what to wear, when to wear. It’s very nice. I feel a lot of freedom.
So today I felt like, I don’t know what shirt I wore, but I felt like — Mickey Mouse, exactly. Now I feel like I’m in the mood to wear this.
It’s actually nice to feel that way and do that and try not to look the same every single day. That would be a bit boring for me.
Q. You have been to Shanghai so many times, but you still have some new experiences here. You try Hula Hoops this year. You try Shuttlecock for the first time. And your family is here. They went to Disneyland.
ROGER FEDERER: I didn’t; they did. I was scared to go. I’m scared of the rides (smiling).
Q. Can you talk about how this kind of new experience, new enjoyment keep you fun for traveling to make you enjoy more tennis?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, I think this year is obviously very different to previous years here in Shanghai because the family is here. You know, Mirka hasn’t been here for ten years. The kids obviously haven’t been here before.
From that standpoint, you know, it’s like a completely different feel when I wake up in the morning that’s happening; whereas in the past I have woken up and go, Hello, anybody here? It’s just quiet. I don’t like that so much.
It’s great to have the kiddies here. Hearing about their adventures here in Shanghai is super exciting. Personally I have been very busy leading up to the event. And once the tournament gets going, it’s far out from the city, so there is a lot of driving going on but also playing and sleeping.
But, no, it’s definitely enjoyable to be on the tour like this. It’s a lot of organization and a lot of communication with my wife and the team, how we can make it work the best for the kids and for us as parents.
Yeah, when you don’t play as much, you really enjoy the tournaments that you do play, because every single one of them is a top priority, and it’s not easy to check in and out of the tour the way I do now, but I still feel I’m able to play good tennis very quickly, and same again this week. That’s why I’m very relieved and happy that I have actually found a really nice level this week.
So we’ll see if it’s going to continue tomorrow, but we have had a good time here in Shanghai.