THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You continue to have Stan’s number. Things went great for you tonight. Talk about how you felt out there.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think I felt good from the beginning. You know, the breeze picked up a little bit for the evening, I thought, you know, but I didn’t feel like it had that much of a play in it.
You know, I think for me the plan worked. I was able to mix up my game, cover my serve, be dangerous on the return. Maybe take some rhythm away from Stan, like I always try to do, but you can’t always make it work.
Tonight it worked well, so I think it was a good match for me.
Q. How close is he to being back to the Stan you’re used to playing, would you say?
ROGER FEDERER: I think he’s right there, you know. I think maybe all he’s maybe missing is match play, you know, a higher ranking so he can get some better seeding so he doesn’t have to face the toughest guy early on in tournaments.
I think he’s right there. Let’s be honest, also he had a brutal match against Fucsovics, so maybe also that took a toll away from him.
But I think he’s ready to go. I thought he played great already in Cincinnati last year against me. He’s played some good matches since. He had a good Rotterdam. Acapulco, he played good from what I saw against Nick and again this tournament, too.
So I think he knows, as well as I, that he’s very, very close and it’s just a matter of time until he’s going to break through again.
Q. He pushed you in Cincinnati, but why do you think specifically you have been perfect against him on hard courts?
ROGER FEDERER: Don’t know. Got lucky maybe a few times. Because some matches were extremely close. London, for instance, that was not controlled anymore at the end, how things worked out there. So sometimes you just got to get lucky to keep a streak going like this.
Yeah, in all honesty, I don’t feel like I have, you know, dominated him on the hard courts, you know. He had a set and a break against me in Stockholm. He should have beaten me in London. On grass he was a big threat for me at Wimbledon one year. Australian Open was five sets. Cincy, he could have gotten me. There is a lot of matches there. Somehow I was able to squeeze those out.
You know, he also crushed me at the French and in Monaco. So it doesn’t mean much to me that record, to be honest.
Q. Next match, Kyle Edmund. Any thoughts about him?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I never played him, and so that’s exciting, especially an established player.
I’ve gotten to know Kyle a little better through Laver Cup in Chicago. He’s a great guy to be around. I had once upon a time an appearance with him in London. I think he’s a really nice guy. Trains hard. He’s got good balance. Very similar backhand to Murray in some ways, also, by the technique of it. And the forehand really goes. You know, he’s got some major power there. He can also serve big in the first serve.
I think he’s a tough player, and I think top 20 for him is just around the corner.
Q. A question about your return on clay later this year. You said many times you just look forward to playing on clay again. Can you explain what makes playing on clay fun to you and what changes you make mainly?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the fun part is that I think you can play the angles a bit more. You can open the court more. As much as people think that clay is a slow surface, sure, if it’s rainy and stuff, it becomes horribly slow. But when it’s a good, nice day, you can play — almost serve and volley easier than, for instance, tonight.
So I think there is many different ways you can win points on clay, so that makes it really exciting. I mean, sliding and hitting, I know nowadays a lot of guys do it on hard courts, too. I don’t do it that much.
So for me I like that aspect of the clay, and it reminds me of my childhood. I grew up on the clay every day in the summer, in the winter. I was always on the clay. So it’s a surface that, you know, I connect it together with my childhood.
Q. When you go into a match against Stan, do you change your mindset at all compared to if you’re playing Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, or anybody else, considering the record you have had against him and also the fact he’s one of your closest friends?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think it depends on where I am in the season, you know, and how much maybe we have trained together, how much time we have spent together.
Like, you know, in the years where we played a lot of Davis Cup or where we would train almost every other week, you know, you also stay in touch more. And then you feel like, oh, this is just like another practice match, just this time around we are playing for points and prestige more.
Whereas, this match, particular one, if I’m talking about this one, I haven’t seen Stan all that much, to be quite honest. I haven’t practiced with him, I feel like, for some time.
For me, this one was a more easier, more simple, you know, mindset going into the match. The worry was I didn’t quite know Stan’s level, but I saw quite a bit and was highly impressed with his match against Fucsovics. I thought they played some sick points there.
But, yeah, overall it’s not been easy playing Stan. I know he knows that I know, et cetera (smiling). He feels the same way, so that’s very awkward sometimes.
Q. I heard last year either you or your wife bought some pieces of art from a local artist, and if that’s true, what is it about his art that you like? Two, are you familiar with his back story?
ROGER FEDERER: The back story of?
Q. Of the artist, Nicolas Kontaxis.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, so that was a Mirka decision. Yeah, she was very excited. We knew the doctor. I think the father, is it, maybe of the artist? Yeah, he’s a doctor here.
We have had some sick children over the years here sometimes in Indian Wells, and we have seen him plenty, and we started talking about it. Mirka really liked his art.
Yeah, sometimes we go in spells, we’re more into art and some months we are not so much into art. It depends how much space you have on the walls at the end of the day, too.
Q. What do you think of his art?
ROGER FEDERER: I actually don’t remember that much of it, to be honest, you know. I have to see where we have it or if it’s been ordered and all that stuff. I have to check with Mirka back what the situation is, but I remember talking about it here last year.
Q. I know you get a lot of questions about playing as you get older. There has always been revolution and scientific thinking. I saw if you’re in your 20s in the 1970s and been running regularly, you still have the same muscles now as a 25-year-old. Is that the kind of thing you tend to be aware of, or where do you place that in the personal experience?
ROGER FEDERER: Say again? Back in the ’70s? Give me an example.
Q. If you were in the 1970s, if you were in your 20s and you started doing running regularly and kept doing it, you now still have the same muscles as a 25-year-old. Not everything is the same but your muscles are the same. Is that the kind of thing you would be aware of and that would influence your thinking, or do you base everything on personal experience, personal feeling?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yeah, I don’t quite understand what you’re saying so clearly. I’m not aware of it, and I’m not putting a lot of emphasis on that side of the story.
I guess the thing for me which is maybe different than for others is that I have had the same fitness coach for so long that we don’t do any more tests or — I don’t know what. Like how they do in soccer, preseason, and they check you out and all that stuff. We just shake hands and go, Nice to see you. What’s the plan? He tells me what the situation is, what we’re gonna work on, and that’s it.
It’s all about managing the schedule, managing, you know, the energy and making sure, depending how much longer I want to play, that we adapt my schedule to that.
But in all honesty, I haven’t gone into scientific things by any stretch, you know, in my career.
Q. You don’t speak that often about women’s tennis, but Belinda is on this incredible run. You have known her for a good while. Could you just talk about her and the big picture? Her comeback from all the injuries and how she’s really surging now.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, No. 1, I’m very happy for her, of course. It’s one of those dream runs everyone wants to get on and win a bunch of matches in a row. It’s a wonderful feeling for a player. You work so hard for it to string wins together. When it finally happens, it’s very rewarding. So that’s nice for her.
I think she’s — yeah, she’s a great girl. I think she’s worked extremely hard, and I think it’s been difficult for her the last few years, you know, fighting through several injuries, you know, and just getting things right I think in the game but also in her head.
I feel like she’s really — was extremely close, I thought, this year in Perth already, you know, but still a little bit too emotional for my liking. I try to just talk to her a little bit about what I thought she needed to take it to the next level.
We talked last year in particular a lot about her team, and I just tried to give her sound advice from somebody who’s got no need to — there is no benefit for me. It’s all about her. I think probably she enjoys talking to somebody who really only cares for her well-being.
I’m happy that she was able to turn things around so quickly right after Australia. I thought it was going to take much more time. I’m very impressed by the steps that she’s taken by herself and also with her fitness coach and her dad, that it’s all working out. I’m just really happy for them.
Q. We’re all very excited to see you coming back and playing a little more clay court tennis this season.
ROGER FEDERER: I hope it’s going to be more than two matches. We’ll see.
Q. More than two tournaments. With regard to the change in the Davis Cup format, does that allow for you to be able to set that week aside and be a part of the brand new format that they’re going to roll out this year? Obviously you have a Davis Cup title to your credit now, but will you jump in there and mix it up with those guys this year?
ROGER FEDERER: In the Davis Cup?
ROGER FEDERER: I can’t, because we are not qualified for the finals.
Q. Excuse me.
ROGER FEDERER: No problem. There goes your question. Better research next time, buddy. Not my mistake, I didn’t play, or maybe it is my mistake.
Yeah, no, so I don’t know what to tell you.
Q. That’s a good answer.
ROGER FEDERER: Sorry. I’d like to elaborate more, but I just can’t.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #366 at 2019-03-13 04:12:00 GMT