Menu Nitto ATP Finals The O2, London | 15-22 NOV.

Federer Saturday Press Conference

Saturday, November 16, 2019
Roger Federer

Press Conference
S. TSITSIPAS/R. Federer

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you feel it was a very close match where the breakpoints were kind of different between you?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I mean, it was part of it. No doubt I had my chances.

Yeah, don't know exactly why it went the way it did, you know. I think getting broken with missing two smashes in one game, that hasn't in a long, long time or ever. So that was tough. That's not something you can train or practice for. That's tough, just feet were not quite there yet, still not quite getting used to the high one and all that stuff.

But, God, you know, I accepted it and moved on and actually got into the match well. Had some good spells, but the spells where things were not working well, they were pretty bad, you know. At this level, you just can't have it happen, so that was pretty disappointing today.

Q. You mentioned those couple of missed smashes early on. Didn't feel like you came out feeling the ball as well as you did against Novak, for example. I was wondering if there was anything you felt before the match that...
ROGER FEDERER: No, I actually felt I was hitting the ball okay in the beginning, to be honest. If you take those two smashes away, actually things are okay.

I know now you say, like, Yeah, well, but you missed those two smashes. But they are not forehands and backhands and serves. I was actually doing that part okay, I thought, for the first whatever, 10 games, but then again, you know, to be broken 2-Love in the second set with I think no first serves made and stuff like that, and then when you do have the chance to finally get into the lead in the second set, you know, to throw it away again however I did it, it was just frustrating.

But again, I look across the net, and I thought that he played really well. He took the ball early. I know he does that. I thought I returned actually pretty good on the first serve. Second serve of breakpoints and stuff, I guess there were better moments, but for the most part I wasn't quite getting into the rallies the way I wanted to.

Well, I think I have to credit him for pushing me to not playing at the level I was hoping to today.

Q. Are you happy with your return also on his second serve, because I thought...
ROGER FEDERER: No, first serve, I said.

Q. And also...
THE MODERATOR: One question only.

ROGER FEDERER: I answered the first one already, so... Keep going.

Q. Do you see any similarity between Thiem's backhand when he plays down the line and Tsitsipas'? Because sometimes it was causing troubles.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a little bit. Like most one-handers, they come at a certain time. I was expecting them, to be honest, because already in Basel he hit quite a lot of backhand-down-the-lines again me, but I don't think his backhand down the line today was the difference maker. The difference was elsewhere, you know.

But, yeah, he has it, you know, and he's tall and he's strong up there. He can loop it and come down on it, and that's why also I believe he's good on faster courts and on slower courts. It's going to be very beneficial for his career.

You know, obviously it's his footwork that's always on the aggressive side. Any short ball will be attacked, and I think he does that very, very well. He's one of the best at that in the game.

Q. Also Stefanos was breakpoints down as well against you. How do you feel he mentally reacted to those situations? Better than you maybe?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. The result shows. Even though spinning it into the body and then getting an error, hmm, I don't know if that's, like, mental toughness.

Sure, he didn't double fault, he didn't do anything silly, and he's tough as nails. But, look, I don't know. Look, I'm just -- I'm frustrated I couldn't play better, and when I did and fought my way back, I threw it away again.

Again, like I said, it was also parts of him. He did come up with the goods when he had to, and he was better than me today.

It's the year-end. It's over now and I can't make it better. I tried everything I could, to be honest, you know. I tried to chip it eventually, tried to stay back and hit some. I tried to come forward. And for the most part I actually tried to play up in the court and tried to play aggressive, but of course with his aggression, it's not always easy because he always takes the ball very early himself too.

I knew he was going to be incredibly athletic. He was just a little bit better today at all those little things.

Q. Looking to 2020, do you think that could be the year that the next generation, the Tsitsipases, the Zverevs could break through at a major level? You, Novak, and Rafa have dominated the slams the last 15 years. Do you think next year could be the breakthrough year from what you have seen this week?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. Nothing new there. It's the same question every year at the end of the year, and I feel like I'm answering it the same way.

But does it feel like this year might be the best year yet? Possibly. Then the only issue is that it seems like me, Novak, and Rafa are healthy, healthier than maybe in previous years, as well, because remember when Novak had the elbow, Rafa had knee or whatever it was, and I had knee myself or the back. And Murray is also not where he used to be. Yeah, like, okay he's not here right now.

So from that standpoint, I just think they have proven their point this year by qualifying for the World Tour Finals, and also now at least one of them making it to the finals and maybe also Sascha again repeating what he did last year or Dominic also what he showed again at this World Tour Finals, winning five titles beating all of us top guys.

Definitely it's that next step they need, and seems like Dominic is in his absolute prime right now. Yeah, I would think so.

But then I look at the list of who finished World No. 1, who has been World No. 1 all these years, and it's just crazy that it's always one of us. But we are not getting any younger. So chances increase not because we are getting worse but because they are getting better, I believe.

Q. Reviewing on this year, you have had a good year, 100 titles and a Grand Slam final. What do you have to do next year to make sure you're back here and the younger ones don't dominate the top 8?
ROGER FEDERER: I think, you know, I've got to keep on playing at the level like I have this year, and then I will create some chances. I thought I played some consistent, solid tennis.

Got to take care of my body, listen to the signs, work well with the team, get the balance right with everything that's happening in my life.

Then when the matches come, you know, it's not maybe as easy as it was maybe 10, 15 years ago where you're just going to play very good day in, day out, maybe you need to do extra effort sometimes for that to happen. Maybe that's what it felt like today is just things were complicated, you know, but I've got to maybe do even a better job at figuring these moments out, because the opportunities were there today, for instance. They were there in other moments as well this season, maybe Indian Wells or Wimbledon or whatever.

That can change an entire season around, the confidence around, the flow of things. But, you know, I'm happy how I played this season, and I'm extremely excited for next season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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