Hope you don't mind it when I post the interview in here:
Q. Were you happy with that performance? Did you always feel in control out there?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, obviously I started with the early break, and then saved a few break points, and then had the lead ever since.
So obviously when you're in the lead, you feel better, you feel less pressure, you try a few things to see if those works and then you have options up your sleeve.
I'm obviously very happy with this first round match, so total control. He can be a tricky opponent, you know, but I guess his playing style doesn't disturb me that much overall.
I'm happy I was able to play a clean match out there today.
Q. They're forecasting 90 degrees for your next match. How is the heat going to effect yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: We will see if we play day or night, number one. Obviously has a big effect, but I'm not worried about the heat in any way.
I have practiced and played so many matches over the years in a lot of heat. I almost favor myself over my opponent in the heat. Obviously when you get the hot match, you try not to stay out there for too long. But then again, you know, if you have to, that's what it is, you know. That's part of the game.
It can be maybe an advantage for me or for my opponent, so we'll see how it goes and we'll get to see with the scheduling.
Q. He said he couldn't read your game at all. Do you know you have that effect on your opponent and are you aware of it in a match that guys maybe don't anticipate at all?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I guess the advantage for us as top players is that we do play against top players more often than they do, so we're used to maybe bigger serves all around, better movement, you know, more unpredictable stuff, which they don't get the opportunity obviously to play against, you know.
So that's I think an advantage for us, but that's why I think it's very important, the work ethic and bringing it day in and day out to give yourself that opportunity. Every match you play against a top guy is usually going to bring you a step further because you realize what else you have to improve.
You know, this guy has apparently got the biggest forehand or backhand out there, all the rest you face is going to be a little bit easier, you know.
So I didn't know I had that effect out there today, but, you know, I do have some options in my game and I used them well. You know, I kept coming in at him as well to shorten the rallies and make him feel the pressure. I guess that was the good play today against him.
Q. You're facing Sela or Davydenko in the next round. What are your thoughts about him?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I haven't thought about it much. I think they're on;y going on court now. I don't know if he was necessarily a qualifier or in the main draw straightaway I don't even know.
But I played Sela maybe once or twice before, so I know him a little bit. Obviously Nikolay, I know him, you know, a whole lot more. He's my age. He played, I don't know, maybe 15 times. I played him at a time when he wasn't also in his best streak and in his best years, really, and he was in the top 4 or top 5 for a long time.
I played him in the semis of the Grand Slams and at the World Tour Finals when he beat me. Then he got me again in Doha, and I played him here the following week where it was a very difficult draw for me to have and I found a way. You always have to expect that out of Davydenko to face if I were to play him, and not the one who's not been playing so well.
It was two years ago I think he really struggled with his serve, but seems like he's coming back around. I had a very close match with him in Rotterdam last year. Should have won in two; ended up being 4 All, Love 40 in the third.
I was very close of losing. Next thing you know, nobody talks about it. I went on to win the tournament and nobody talks about Nikolay.
So it's nice to see him playing well again. And if I do play well against him, you're aware that he is a top player who can do a lot of damage. I better be well prepared and play well.
Q. Will you be watching Bernard Tomic's match tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Is he playing first? Second? I don't know. I haven't got my plan yet for tonight, dinner plans. I saw a bit of Lleyton yesterday. I decided at the end I'd rather go out with my friends and have dinner and hopefully come back for the fifth set in case, and that never happened, unfortunately. (Laughter.)
Today maybe. I mean, I don't know. I will plan around the beginning of the match maybe. We'll see.
Q. Is this the longest break you have had between official matches that you can recall? Did that make you more eager to get out there?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. Could be. Yeah, this could be a long break. What has it been, almost two months maybe?
Yeah, I mean, I have been close in the past. I think after Wimbledon I played Gstaad one year and didn't play until after the US Open, or other years also.
You know, it obviously depends if you do count exhibitions or not. For some reason you guys don't count the South American exhibitions, but you do count Kooyong. So, okay. That's a good way to look at it. (Laughter.)
I think back from my last match in Colombia, so all of a sudden it's not that long of a break anymore.
Q. In cycling, with Lance winning on the tour, do you have any thoughts on I guess reports that he's admitted that he doped to Oprah?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm sorry. I didn't understand a word you said. I'm trying to understand.
Q. Lance Armstrong has apparently admitted to Oprah that he has doped. I'm wondering if you watched any cycling or if you have any thoughts?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, apparently yes or no. Big deal, you know, actually.
But I mean, no, I never really followed it that closely, to be honest.
I'd be intrigued just to hear the interview. There has been a lot of talk about it, and obviously, you know, a lot of focus on Lance and the cycling part.
It's obviously been a difficult situation for the whole of the sport and for him and all the people involved. So I've got to get the facts right and just hear what he said, really.
Q. I know you have put out a statement. Would you like to say something about Brad Drewett?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously very sad, you know, situation for all of us. I saw him yesterday and he told me the news. Obviously very emotional, you know. I know Brad ever since I came on tour and I started to play a bit better, I guess, you know.
Obviously it was very important to bring the Masters Cup to Shanghai, and he was the tournament director then over there and also London.
So he was so influential; he was obviously a player. He goes so far back and has touched so many people, you know, throughout his career as a player and then also as an executive and then CEO.
So it's been very hard to see him not doing so well, so we wish him the best, of course. Can only thank him for everything he's done already and more. I'm sure he's going to stay on for a bit more and do more work, so we thank him for that.
Obviously it's tough. I worked with him very closely, especially the last few years now, and he deserved to be, you know, CEO and chairman.
So it's been difficult, you know. I knew him very well and I call him a friend. That's not nice to see, but it's unfortunate, you know.
Q. You have been in Argentina lately. What do you think about the experience that you have there?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously a crazy, good experience, really. We had 20,000 people on the one night, and then 20 the next and same stadium in Tigre. It was an incredible atmosphere. One of those moments that, you know, I had the chills and the goosebumps walking in and out of the stadium.
I felt like more than just a tennis player those nights, and I cannot thank the people enough that sort of gave me such a warm reception. Juan Martin was a great host as such, really.
I had a great, great time, I must admit.
You know, can never repeat that first moment you come into a new country, you know. Like I came to Argentina and I didn't know what to expect. I also wanted it to be that way, and it was so much better than I expected.
I can say the same about Brazil and also Colombia. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to play over there. And that it was as incredible as it was, was a fantastic experience for me. I loved every moment of it.
And I want to add also the pre-tournament interview:
Q. Before the aircraft lands, do you think your great friend and mentor, Peter Carter?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess I do. Parents always come around every year to watch me play, which is nice. I feel very welcome here. I know the people well. I have good feelings here, good friends.
So it feels sort of a home away from home to a degree.
Q. How has the preparation been this year? Anything you've done differently the last couple of months?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, very much so. It's been very relaxing, the last few one and a half months. Not many appearances, no press almost. Just focusing on getting ready mentally and physically really.
Obviously, I went to South America, played some matches there for me, which was good for me, because I didn't play any tournaments leading up to this event. That was good to do that after a few weeks of vacation.
Now I feel fine. I arrived really early, two, three days earlier than in the past, which has been quite nice. I feel like I have an extra two, three days of a cushion, which is honestly good to have before a slam sometimes.
Q. Is kind of a challenge for you? Is it fun to try a different way of getting ready for this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, for me this doesn't feel incredibly different. For me to play exhibition matches like at Kooyong, not play those at all, doesn't make a difference for me. I can practice as hard as I want, make it feel also like a match.
But, of course, maybe somewhere you do feel more pressure going into the first round. I have a lot of experience. I feel like if I'm playing well in practice today, at this age, I know where my game's at, there's not going to be no negative surprises because a lot is in your racquet, you do serve, you do move the way you do, and that nobody can take away from you. As well as you're well prepared, you just have to go out and do that.
Of course, nerves play a role. Playing well at the right moments only comes with playing enough matches. The year never really stops. It sort of resets. Not like I haven't played for six months. I'm ready to go and eager. That to me right now dominates. It's important to be fresh going into a new season because the last couple years have been tough on tour.
Q. If you had gone into Wimbledon not playing the two weeks before, would you have been as confident?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I've done it many different ways. I've taken chances after Wimbledon only playing one event leading into the US Open, risking a first round loss. Very often I did go on and play well because I was well prepared.
Here it's the same thing. I purposely didn't play a lead up tournament that I'd be fresh for the beginning, hopefully going deep into the tournament. That's the goal obviously.
Yeah, like you mentioned, I think it's nice sometimes doing it slightly different than every year the same thing. Otherwise it feels like a déjà vu and that's not always a good thing.
Q. Do you think you'll be your best early in the tournament or your form will build?
ROGER FEDERER: It always determines on matchups. Some make you play better, some make you play worse. Sometimes you only play as good as your opponent allows you do. Depends on conditions, heat, wind, night session, day session.
We'll see. Obviously you hope to start bad but you win and in the end you save best for last. That's not how it goes. I play to win every match right now. Obviously you still hope that the better the opponents become, obviously your game automatically raises to the occasion as well.
Yeah, I'm not thinking too far ahead right now. I'm just focusing on my first round.
Q. You get asked this at the start of every season, but do you still love the game as much as you did five, six years ago?
ROGER FEDERER: It's hard to remember back how it was when I was sitting here six years ago. But, yeah, I've enjoyed myself. I think it's always a bit of a test for me going into the practice season. Am I hungry and motivated to wake up, go on the practice courts for hours? There was not one problem.
For me, that was good news. I was eager to improve my game, change it up a bit from all the tournaments I played this last few years now, to go on the practice court and try to improve my game there. I also go into the gym and get stronger again.
I enjoyed it. I think as long as that's the case, that means I love it very much so. Today I take much more pleasure out of doing the gym work than I ever have. I used to honestly not really like it at all until I was maybe 22, 24 maybe at times. Today things for me make sense. I know why I'm doing them. I know they're necessary. Sometimes it's not the thing you want to do every day of the year, but I know it's only a handful of weeks, then obviously you give everything you have.
Q. Your focus is obviously on your first round opponent. A lot of people have been talking about the potential matchup with Bernard Tomic. How have you seen his progression, his hopes for this year?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, obviously you would think he's definitely going to go up in the rankings than down after last year's season, which was a bit of a rollercoaster for him.
I didn't see anything at the Hopman Cup. I saw, yeah, 30 minutes maybe in Sydney. I don't know what I can tell you, but I'm sure he plays similar to when he was playing well last year.
He's a good player. We know how talented he is, what he can do. It's obviously tricky playing him in Australia. He usually plays his best over here. Even the pressure you might think it's a problem. That's what people usually say. But I always say it's best to be playing at home. You have confidence that you believe you can upset top guys. I'm sure he believes in that, as well. He's also got his work cut out, you know, in the first few rounds. He will be making a mistake about thinking about me in the third round because he also has to get there.
Q. Is he a player you can see jumping into the top 10 in the next 12 months?
ROGER FEDERER: I think we should go step by step, see how it goes. Let's speak in a year's time. Everybody wants to jump from what's his ranking 60 to 10 in a year. It's hard to do. 10 is a big ask. Don't forget how tough the top 10 players are right now.
Yeah, let's go step by step.
Q. This is going to be your 53rd slam in a row.
ROGER FEDERER: Still here (smiling).
Q. Wayne is at 56. What does the record of 56 mean?
ROGER FEDERER: I know he played a ton in a row. I used to ball boy him, then I played doubles with him. Obviously he's a good friend of mine. Something I'd like to share with him.
Then again, if I'm ready to play, I hope I can make it, I was thinking back how many times I've played already in the main draw of a slam. It's been a lot. For many years I also came here for qualifying, back in '99, for the juniors '98. I go back 15, 16 years already I've been coming here every single year. A few times also for Davis Cup.
Longevity has always been something that's been important to me. I've planned the season accordingly this year again, that I will not miss the majors because of injury. But then again sometimes you get hit with an unlucky injury just shortly before a slam. There's obviously nothing you can do about it. The best of five, the rule in tennis, it takes to get deep in a tournament, there's no easy ways.
I'm excited that I've played so many in a row and I hope I can keep the streak alive and see where it stops. We'll see how it goes.
Q. He said he was surprised. Are you surprised?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I am, too. It's not something you really plan. You play when you're ready. If you're not, you're not. When I was coming along, guys would not go to Australia. Like Moya wouldn't play Wimbledon because he just thought, I'd rather take that time to get off and get ready for some more clay after Wimbledon. It was normal.
I came through that period of times a well. But I felt my game suited all the service surfaces, so I thought, Might as well go to all the different tournaments. Next thing you know, we're here talking about it. It wasn't something that was planned in any way.
Q. At the end of every year we say last year can't possibly be better than the year that just finished. How do you think 2013 can outdo 2012?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's difficult. There's no Olympic Games. There's an opportunity less there. But I'm hoping for another good year. They're all different in many ways because this last one was very emotional. Obviously getting back to world No. 1 was a major goal of mine for last year.
So this year it's maybe more of a transition year for me, you know, making sure I practice enough, I rest enough, to look at the longevity aspect, the tournaments I enter, that I'm in full force. That's really what counts for me. So every tournament I play, I want to put myself in the position to win it.
I know I won't win all the tournaments I'll enter, but it's important that I enjoy it and I try as hard as I can and put myself deep in the tournaments like I did last year really. I had very few early losses last year, and I hope I can keep up that good streak I have going.
Q. Perhaps the sport as a whole, not just as an individual, looking at the sport in general, what can tennis do to move on and to improve?
ROGER FEDERER: There's always things we can do to improve. We try to do some subtle changes, I guess, then we do that are more extreme. I think tennis is seen in a very good way right now from fans and media alike, which is great. So it seems like it's a great experience for the fans to come see the sport.
It's not just a good live TV sport, but it's also especially great coming to the grounds and seeing it live. The athleticism, just the whole energy that builds around a big match, night sessions, day sessions, the activity around the sites, always seem as good thing to do. That's good.
Then obviously you always have to think ahead for all the slams, the whole ATP Tour, you want to make sure that the game is as good if not obviously better, that's what you have to aim for anyways five or 10 years from now.
Q. Now that you made the experience of playing in South America, can you explain the enthusiasm you felt there? Wouldn't it make sense to have a bigger tournament there that players like you could play every year there?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, this was obviously very unique because there was a big focus and emphasis on me showing up because they've never maybe seen me play live over there. So the excitement level was sky high, you know.
I was deeply impressed by the atmosphere, by the love for the game, for the appreciation they showed for me showing up. They made it one of the most fascinating trips of my life to South America.
So, of course, I'd hope to go there more often in the future. Obviously, this sport has gone extremely global in the last few years, or many years now, the ATP decided way back when. It looks like it's only going to happen more often. The more global it goes, the more grueling it becomes. Asia having the Masters 1000 there, having the Masters Cup back then, it spreads the world of the tour for us.
I think it will be ready. At least I think it's nice to see the top guys and top women going there for exhibition matches. That's also a way to showcase tennis and our talents down there. It seemed they were very happy.
Who knows, maybe exhibition tours like this are going to happen more often in the future if there's not going to be a tournament there.
Who knows, maybe they'll get the World Tour Finals eventually. It's not easy to get a Masters 1000, it's not easy to snatch up those sanctions. Time will tell. The next five years are obviously key for South America with the World Cup, the Olympics, and the good players South America has such as Del Potro and other players. I think it's a good time for South American tennis.
Q. Would you recommend to stage a Masters 1000 in South America?
ROGER FEDERER: It needs to make sense. Don't forget, if you add one, you almost have to take another one away. Who deserves to have one taken away from them?
It needs to be thought through thoroughly or you just add one. Then again, maybe other places also deserve one. I don't think it's right now on the agenda. I think South America are happy the way things are right now, they would like some minor improvements. That's all they care about. They just got Bogota, as well, which I think is a good thing. But we'll discuss more about those kind of things in the future, I'm sure. It's going to be interesting.
Q. When you look at the people that have a chance to win this tournament, anyone besides yourself, Andy and Novak that are contenders?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I think many of the top 10 guys have had a very good season. Look at how great Ferrer's season was, we know the talents of Tsonga, Berdych won Davis Cup. Del Potro seems solid. He seems back as a contender for a slam. There's always other guys just outside of the top 10 who I feel can always make a run for it. Obviously with Rafa not in the draw, that might mean for some of the players they only have to beat one of us, of the top three, maybe none. Who knows what the draw is going to do to us.
But I think so, that there could be some guys making deep runs at this tournament, yeah.