Rolex Shanghai Masters
Tuesday, 8 October 2019
R. FEDERER/A. Ramos-Vinolas
Q. How did it feel out there? You must have been happy with your serve. You didn’t face a breakpoint at all.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I thought it was good. Had a really good first set. You know, I focused and had good energy, because sometimes, you know, when you travel around the globe, you’re missing a bit of energy. Those first few games or matches can be sometimes a bit tricky.
So I thought that went very well for me. Like you said, I think serve was solid. I was hitting my spots and really was never in trouble there. But of course all of a sudden, being in a breaker, you know, how do you say, calls out for different play sometimes and different momentum. He had his chances, but it was a nice comeback for me, and overall, I was very happy.
Also the way I felt on the return, how I moved was very solid first round for me. So very happy.
Q. How much was the 2015 match against him on your mind as you prepared for today before you walked out on court?
ROGER FEDERER: All the time. The truth, yeah, I was thinking about it. Watched highlights. Remember how it felt. I had my chances. I won many more points that time than I lost, so I should have actually won that match.
But he did very well there and things turn very quickly here in Shanghai. Of course that got my attention. I know I also played him another time where I beat him very easily in Wimbledon, but, you know, doesn’t matter what happened there. Shanghai, in that match, to play him again in the same circumstances basically I knew could be dangerous, and that’s why I’m very pleased how I was able to control the match out there today.
Q. We all know how far you are from the city, and you talk about you spend a lot of time on the road. I heard for the first time you moved to a very exclusive hotel not very far from here. Could you talk about the new experience, and how does that make your life easy?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, so last year that was the plan, too, but then we really enjoyed our stay in the city as a family, and Mirka and the kids prefer to stay in the city. Lots to do, lots to see.
So I said, Okay, no problem. If we can handle it with the hotel room and everything, you know, we’ll try to make it work. It was possible. Somebody actually moved out of that room that we stayed in so we didn’t have to move suites, which was very kind of that man. And then we ended up not staying just around here.
So this year, as the family is not here, I thought I’ll try it out, because I do remember for years I would finish late, drive home, sleep, have breakfast around noon, and then drive back here, get ready for my match, and just do that for four days.
It’s not a problem for me to do, but I think it’s going to be just a bit more relaxing. It’s a different experience. I moved into the hotel yesterday and it’s beautiful, so I’m very happy here.
Yeah, after many years doing the same, it’s also maybe nice to mix it up a little bit. But I was in the city for five days, so I enjoyed Shanghai (smiling).
Q. Very often you’re playing in front of audiences who support you a lot, and, you know, like every time you lose a point there is a collective sigh. Like tonight, for example. Does that drive you to try to win more points, or do you feel dragged down by the pressure?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it can be a bit of both, you know. As much as it lifts me up, it also creates some sort of a pressure that you feel like the crowds want to see more, they want to see better, they will see a better play by my, better decision-making.
So, yeah, it can work your mind. But I think with experience I know that they’d rather see me win the match, not play as pretty and as, you know, spectacular but see me in the next round rather than me trying to hit the crazy shots all the time and trying to please them and then actually go out.
So at the end, I try my best. I thank them every single time because I don’t take it for granted. Today again was special playing in front of so many fans of mine, so yes, it can create pressure, for sure, no doubt about it.
Q. We saw that your daddy and mommy were sitting in your player box.
ROGER FEDERER: They did.
Q. Is this the first time for them to visit Shanghai? Is this idea from you to invite them to visit Shanghai?
ROGER FEDERER: So, yeah, my mom has been here I believe in ’02 and in ’05. That was the first year of the Masters Cup, right? And she came to the first two editions, basically, and not since.
My dad’s first time I believe in China, so first time in Shanghai for him. He told me, Can you please play next year so I can come back again? Because he’s having such a great time.
So I’m, All right. I will try my best to be back here again next year. So that was funny.
Anyway, but they’re having a good time. They are sightseeing. So this was the first time my dad has seen the center court and the site. Very impressed, very excited.
And I’m happy that they’re here. They are also going to travel with me to Tokyo next Monday. They have never been to Japan, my parents. That should also be an exciting trip. And they have just came from Singapore where my sister was, so they are on an Asia tour. They are having a good time.
Q. From the outside it looks like the next-generation players are all about the same level. Does it feel…
ROGER FEDERER: Same level how? All ranked number what? All the same? No, I’m joking.
Q. You know, anyone can win on a day. Does that feel like that for you when you look at them, or is it different?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, what I like is that I’m seeing big improvements now. Not like there were none beforehand, but now they are playing with the big boys, you know, and really able to challenge us, beat us, having good rivalries also within each other, which I think is important for them to improve as players. Because you look — I mean, I remember when I was coming up and I had Safin and Roddick and Hewitt and Ferreira and everybody. You don’t want to be the last guy of that group. Sure, preferably first, but if you can’t be first for the time being, well, you don’t want to be last.
So I think it really creates good intentions to actually wanting to improve faster, and I see that right now. We didn’t think that Tsitsipas was going to come up as quick as he did. He had an unbelievable year from a year and a half ago. And to Medvedev now, his run is crazy. Khachanov winning Paris, that was unexpected.
Each one of them has really shown some really good matches and some great runs. Same with Shapo and Felix and Rublev, also. Obviously Sascha was there before. Nick, we know, too.
I think really it’s a lot of guys, which helps for them to really make a move now. Yeah, they’ve got our attention, no doubt about that. I think it’s going to be a very exciting year-end now also with a few guys going to be at the World Tour Finals, and then next year it’s going to be hard to keep on winning all those slams between the best guys right now as we know, so it’s going to be interesting.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports