Satisfied with his victory and his attitude against Dominic Thiem (6-2, 6-3) on Tuesday at the London Masters, Roger Federer was interviewed at a press conference on the release of Julien Benneteau and possible privileges that would benefit Switzerland.
"There are some concerns when you cancel your training on Monday, the day after your defeat to Kei Nishikori. Do you only need to take a break on a holiday?
Yes, and I will do the same tomorrow (Wednesday) because it works (Smile). What's important is not my forehand, my opposite or my service, I think it's my head. And for that, from time to time, you need to rest. I played a lot of tennis in the past two months. I saw my match against Nishikori on the way back to the hotel. Long journey! We have time to discuss it. My coach told me: enjoy your day with your family and get happy again today (Tuesday). When you face Thiem, that's what matters, head, not punch. My shot is there. I feel it today (Tuesday) So I was very happy, that was the right decision. I showed reaction to my first match.
"Not necessarily a knife between your teeth"
Looking back, how do you explain the Sunday performance you missed?
I don't know what happened. Maybe that's the format that made me. You don't need to have a knife between your teeth, like in other tournaments where, when you're in trouble, you know that if you don't work together, you are at home in 30 minutes. There, you know that whatever happens, you will play three matches. I feel good all day. But I was a little upset during the match, I saw everything in a negative way. Kei played amazingly like me for the first eight games and I should have said to myself: "Great, I don't need rhythm, that's very, good for me". But it doesn't matter if you don't start well. This is the first match, this is normal. I think I'm too negative. So it's important for me to remember how great it was to play here at the O2 Arena. I like playing in London. Today, when they spent my ten years at O2, it reminded me of all that, the fun and privilege of playing in this room. There is no reason to be negative. The tournament has just begun.
Thursday, you will face Kevin Anderson, who beat you in July at Wimbledon, in the decisive match for qualification. How do you approach it?
I can win and not get away, it doesn't depend on me. Like that. If I don't graduate, it's because I don't deserve to graduate. In essence, I played a good last swimming match here, trying to beat Kevin. He plays really well now. He has succeeded in an extraordinary season. He played very well against me at Wimbledon. I focus on that. My first match was not good, today is better and I have to continue to fight Kevin, if I want to have the opportunity to continue the trip to London.
"Julien is a good man"
Do you know Julien Benneteu's comments that show that you benefit from profitable programming? Do you have a reaction?
No, I don't have one.
You don't know what he said?
If, but I don't really want to talk about this during the Masters, to be honest. I hope you understand why, because this is a celebration for tennis here. For me, this is the final of the season. I like to play here. This radio interview took place more than a week ago and reappeared now. Julien is a nice guy, I have known him since middle school. I think all of this has been out of context. I don't feel the need to comment. I prefer to close the file instead of adding so you have something to write about.
Is it true that your agent requested that you not play at Armstrong this year at the US Open? Does it make this kind of request normally?
Sometimes I am asked: Do you want to play Monday or Tuesday? Sometimes people ask me: do you want to play day or night? Sometimes they ask the agent. Sometimes for me. Yes, sometimes we have opinions. But at the US Open, I was asked to play Monday. I played Tuesday night. It's been like that for twenty years. Sometimes I am helped, sometimes not. But from what I heard, many things were said to be wrong, to clarify this. "
Quentin Moynet in London