Satisfied with his victory and his attitude towards Dominic Thiem (6-2, 6-3) on Tuesday at London's champion, Roger Federer was interviewed at a press conference on the release of Julien Benneteau and the possible privileges that would benefit the Swiss.
"There was some concern when you interrupted your training on Monday, the day after your loss to Kei Nishikori. Did you just have to rest on a day off?
Yes, and I will do the same thing tomorrow (Wednesday) because it worked (Smiling). What was important was not my advance, my reverse or my service, I think it was my head. And for that you need a break from time to time. I played a lot of tennis in the last two months. I saw my match against Nishikori on my way back to the hotel. A long journey! We had time to discuss it. My coach told me: Enjoy your day with your family and come back happy today (Tuesday). When you meet Thiem it's important, head, not kind. My shots are there. I felt today (Tuesday). So I'm very happy, that was the right decision. I showed a reaction to my first match.
"Not necessarily the knife between your teeth"
With retrospect, how do you explain your missed Sunday performance?
I do not know what happened. Maybe it's the format that made me. You do not necessarily need the knife between your teeth, like in another tournament where you are in trouble, know that if you do not pull yourself together, you are home in 30 minutes. There you know that whatever happens you play three games. I felt good all day. But I got a little upset during the game, I saw things in a negative way. Kei played terrible like me during the first eight games and I should have said to myself: "Good, I do not need rhythm, that's how it's good for me". But it does not matter if you do not get well. It's the first game, it's normal. I think I was too negative. So it was important that I remember how good it is to play here at the O2 Arena. I love to play in London. Today, when they spent my ten years at O2, I reminded me of all that, the pleasure and the privilege of playing in this room. There is no reason to be negative. The tournament has just begun.
Thursday you will meet Kevin Anderson, who beat you in July at Wimbledon, in a crucial game for the qualification. How do you approach it?
I could win and not qualify, it does not depend on me. It is so. If I do not pass, it's because I do not deserve to pass. The basics for me play a good last pool match here, try to beat Kevin. He is playing very well right now. He has succeeded in an incredible season. He played very well against me at Wimbledon. I focus on it. My first match was not good, today was better and I have to continue against Kevin, if I want a chance to continue on my way to London.
"Julien is a nice guy"
Are you aware of Julien Benneteau's comments that indicate that you benefit from beneficial programming? Do you have a reaction?
No, I do not have one.
You do not know what he said?
If, but I do not really want to talk about this subject among the masters, to be honest. I hope you understand why, because it's a party for tennis here. For me it's the last season. I love to play here. This radio interview took place over a week ago and revives now. Julien is a nice guy, I know him since juniors. I think all of this has been removed from its context. I do not feel the need to comment. I prefer to close the file than adding so you have something to write.
Is it true that your agent asked you not to play on Armstrong this year at the US Open? Do it usually happen for such kinds of requests?
Sometimes I'm asked: Do you want to play Monday or Tuesday? Sometimes people ask me: do you want to play day or evening? Sometimes they ask the agent. Sometimes to me. Yes, sometimes we have our word. But at the US Open, I asked to play Monday. I played Tuesday night. It has been for twenty years. Sometimes I'm helped, sometimes not. But from what I have heard many things went wrong, to be clear about this. "
Quentin Moynet in London