THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You alluded to this out there with the anticipation that the crowd has, media, players. Now that it’s going to be a different matchup, how do you go about adjusting your mindset?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, you mean for tomorrow?
Q. Yeah, for the final.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it’s like you have played, but you didn’t, so physically you feel better, you know. And you have, you know, over 24 hours to get ready. So there is nothing really extraordinary happening from now on forward after I have done the press.
But it’s just that the last, I’d say, two, three hours have been very different to a normal match day where I have warmed up, ready to go, and then all of a sudden getting a message from Rafa saying, I won’t be able to play. I haven’t told anybody yet.
And you’re like, Okay. Then you wonder, Do I have to do press? Is there anything else I need to do?
And you wonder how you can help out the tournament in a situation like this where fans have paid a lot of money for a ticket. So instead of worrying about forehands and backhands, you’re worrying about the health of the tournament, and also what is best for me personally, individually, for the finals tomorrow.
But I think from now on things will calm down because I can actually also speak about who I play now, because up till now I have been watching a bit of the Raonic/Thiem match.
I’m just excited to be in another finals here, to be quite honest. It’s not the way I wanted to get there in a semifinals walkover, but, as we know, it’s how it goes sometimes in tennis.
Of course I’m also disappointed that that match with Rafa didn’t happen, because we are both — or I was ready to go. And I told him I hope it’s nothing serious. So I hope he’ll be back strong for the clay.
Q. So this was a total surprise to you? You really didn’t have any idea? Because, I mean, yesterday he indicated…
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I saw yesterday what had happened, so I knew there was going to be a chance that maybe he won’t be 100%. But as a player, you always go in with the mindset he is at 100%, you know. We know overnight things can change sometimes.
When I went to warm up, he was warming up, too, on the outside court. So I knew about that, so my mindset in the practice was not one, well, maybe he’s not going to play. It’s he’s playing and I’m playing and this is happening. It’s only when I got back that I found out that he won’t be playing. That also disrupts things a little bit, you know.
Yeah, I mean, I saw what happened yesterday and how he was battling with his knee. You know, so I knew that knowing Rafa that the season is still long and there is clay coming up.
You know, the pain he must feel, you know, especially he played with it from the beginning of the match pretty much, I think that’s just not worth it taking any chances. If it maybe was the last match of his life, okay, you find a way somehow to just play through it. But this is not this match.
He knows his knees too well that he needs to be smart about his decision-making here.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-16 21:03:00 GMT