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Following his comprehensive match win over Fernando Verdasco where Roger Federer won 20 points in a row, he gave this press interview
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
- FEDERER/M. Youzhny
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That was potentially a difficult match. He’s had some good results here.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, best‑of‑three in a quick court sometimes you just can run away with the score, so that’s where maybe a bad five to ten minutes can cost you the match.
I think it was close in that first set. I think we were both, you know, trying to find our range. I’m happy I didn’t start to play too careful after it, because it is tough to play here in Dubai with the quick conditions.
After that, I think I started to return much better. Serve got a bit more consistent. My half‑volleys were getting better. I was able to get the set and the break, and then that’s when you can bring it home.
He’s been struggling as of late a little bit. I don’t think he’s gotten the best draws, either, so he’s missing matches. I think I was able to take advantage of that a bit.
Q. Your decision not to play too carefully, was that related to the conditions here, the wind, or what happened in Australia?
ROGER FEDERER: A bit of both. I mean, the last thing I want to do is lose back‑to‑back matches playing careful. I know I can play careful tennis, but then you cannot leave it up to the other guys sometimes if you are going to win or lose. I feel over the years I have won my biggest matches in most tournaments by playing on my terms, and you can’t always do it. It’s difficult to come out and dominate every match, every point, and it’s also hard work always playing aggressive.
So sometimes it’s nice to wait at times and not force it upon the other guy all the time, but I still do believe here in Dubai, if you want to do well, you have to play on top of the baseline, accept that you’re going to play a lot of half‑volleys, and, if possible for me, I think I’m going to try to come to the net a bit.
Q. This is the first time there were fans in the upper grandstands since the beginning of the women’s week. Do you get full houses in first rounds everywhere you go, or is it special?
ROGER FEDERER: I’m not sure. You should know better than I do.
But yeah, I mean, as far as I remember, it’s usually 80% full, I’d say, depending on what time of the day you play and what has gone on during that day.
But I’m lucky enough to be put on prime time most of the time so people come out and watch me play often. I do appreciate that, because I must say it’s much easier getting excited and motivated for matches like this than being put on court 3, you know, at 12:00 during the daytime when there is nobody going to come out because everybody’s working.
So I appreciate that, and it’s definitely keeping me on the tour longer. There’s not a doubt about that.
Q. Talking about playing on court 3, tomorrow you’re on Court 1.
ROGER FEDERER: You see, that’s okay. That’s okay.
Q. I imagine there will be a big crowd for that.
ROGER FEDERER: I hope so. I don’t know. When I do play doubles, I’m excited about it. Michael Lammer is one of the guys, some of my best friends, was one of best friends on tour and in my life, and he’s a guy I have never played doubles with.
So I really want to do that before he retires because he’s not far off. And we won the Davis Cup last year. I have played doubles with Marco, with Yves, with Stan, with most of those guys but never with Michael other than back in the Junior Swiss Championships when we were 14, 16, 18. So we go way back. That’s why we are both excited about it, and I’m very thankful for the wildcard from the tournament organizers.
Q. When you have had a little bit more of an extended break than maybe you had planned on or hoped, when you get back there, do you feel like it’s great to be here again? Have you missed the actual matches?
ROGER FEDERER: A bit of both, you know. I like being on the beach. I like being in the gym and on the practice courts and I like being on the match courts. I like everything of it. I think it’s important to get the right mix of things.
I was going to take a big break regardless of how actually Australia was going to go because the body needed some healing and the mind needed some refreshing.
I needed to think about the game plan and the tournament plan I was going to do in the next few months and next year or so. I mean, pretty much I know everything till, Jesus, summer of ’16. So from that standpoint, it was good to have that break.
It wasn’t a buildup as such where the focus was only on fitness. It was important to play enough tennis, and it’s nice getting back out there and having thousands root for you and for your opponent, because you can only practice that much after a while without anybody watching you. It just gets a bit boring after a while. So I prefer to play matches after all.
Q. Davis Cup, you mentioned just now, was it a difficult decision not to defend the title by playing the first round? What do you think the chances are of staying in the World Group? Will you play in September?
ROGER FEDERER: No, it wasn’t a difficult decision. I have played for so long, and I think by winning it I can finally do whatever I please, to be quite honest.
It’s been a big burden for me throughout my career and one of the things that have caused more difficulties in my life than many other things, I must say, because I always feel there is so much guilt put on you from the Federation or from the ITF more so than anybody else. So I’m happy I was able to finally tick that off and do it altogether.
I mean, I didn’t do it just for that. I totally did it for the boys more than for me, to be quite honest. I just really wanted Michael and Marco and Stan to get it because they deserve it. So for me this year it was very clear that I was not going to play anymore after this win, but I have to see how things go.
I hope that Stan is going to play, you know, next round or September or whatever it’s going to be to keep us in the World Group. Who knows? You never know if they can win it without us, as well. It’s an opportunity, but clearly we are not the favorites now playing against Belgium.
But I’m sorry for the team because the team is pretty much intact from the staff and from captain and everybody. They are all some of my best friends, so that was the tougher part of it, less the tennis itself.
Q. So just to be correct, you have now retired from Davis Cup?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I said I didn’t ‑‑I didn’t say that. I don’t think I can, actually, as you know. It’s always those silly things.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports