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Roger Federer: 'Post Fab Four Tennis will be different but not worse'

Roger Federer: 'Post Fab Four Tennis will be different but not worse'

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by Gatto Luigi

When Roger Federer speaks, you should always listen and learn from what he says. And his press conference following the win over Alexandr Dolgopolov wasn't an exception. Analyzing his win, Federer compared it to Schwartzman's and said: 'Different match, you know.

Dolgopolov takes bigger cuts at the ball, keeps the points shorter, has a bigger serve, so the points will never be quite the same. I served very well today, 80% first serves. So when that happens, then the rallies are short there, too.

So I think it was really a fast-court match. He was standing on the baseline or in the baseline on my serves, so that also changes things around a bit. I felt good in the first match, I must tell you. So I felt, I think, the same.

I think maybe the matchup was maybe a bit easier and I took my chances more. Had a better ratio of winning on the break points that I didn't quite have against Schwartzman. That's maybe the biggest difference of both matches, so I'm happy I was able to do better today on the break points.' This year people are happy that you and Rafa win Grand Slams again and Big 4 era goes on.

However, some people might worry the Big 4 era is too strong, is very hard to repeat and follow. Obviously ATP is doing good job promoting NextGen players, but do you have worry for the future after your generation? 'Not really.

I mean, there's going to be a certain void, you know, when Rafa retires or Novak or myself or anybody of that stature who has been in the game for 15, 20 years and done great things and records and all that stuff, which we all have in our own ways.

Our fans, you know, hopefully will still follow tennis, or it's going to be different for them or unfortunately they will leave tennis. You know, the new generation is going to bring in new fans. The wheel keeps turning. There is all the Masters 1000s every year, the 250s, 500s that keep moving on, same as the slams and the World Tour Finals.

It's going to create new players, new legends, new Hall of Famers. It's always going to be fine, in my opinion, as long as we respect the legacy that the players have left behind, remember who have paved the way for us, and if we do it with class, you know, because I think our sport is very classy and I hope it's always going to remain this way.

So we will be fine there. Sure, it's going to be a change and then adjustment to be made, you know, because the chances are that we are going to retire, you know, somewhat around the same five-year period, so it's going to be different after, that's for sure.

But not worse, in my opinion.' So these quick matches, two two-set matches like today and yesterday and also the quick matches before you, I think that's help your preparation for the next day, because I remember, you know, last time or couple years ago you were still here like 1:00 a.m.

or something. 'Right. No, I mean, I'm definitely sort of on time, on schedule, you know. I went to bed at 3:00 in the morning last night, so I don't know if that's great. Because I do have to drive back, I do have to have treatment.

By the time you rest and you shut your eyes, it is late. The good thing is I've got experience with these kind of things. But, sure, the short match helps the recovery the next day when you wake up, unlike the two five-setters I had at the US Open starting the tournament.

It's always a bit of a problem for the remainder of the tournament. So this start now, it's perfect, you know, like it's not too late. I've got time till the next match tomorrow. I like playing Gasquet on fast courts, so I hope I can again put in a similar performance like today.' Talk about the 1:00 a.m.

in the morning, no matter it's 1:00 a.m. in airport or 8:00 p.m. in the Nike lab, there are always hundreds of fans waiting you? 'Hundreds of thousands, yeah (smiling).' And also, nobody is supposed to know you practice indoor a few days ago, but we got your picture on social media.

I'm wondering, do you sometimes, like, jeez, these guys really well informed as they know where to find me? Do you still have the surprise? 'Yes. Yeah, there's people everywhere I go. I don't think there is a leak or anything, but it's just how it is here.

There's just a lot of people in this country. So they tend to be there, or there is always people around somewhere in some place. But, no, I enjoy the attention here, because I'm never here, so it's 10 days of the year that it's maybe a bit extreme.

Plus my family is not here, so I care less that they're there. Like I said, it's actually quite enjoyable to see so much support and so much care by them, because they are very caring and very respectful. If I don't have time to sign autographs or take pictures, they understand.

If I find it dangerous for them, I won't do it, they get it. They are very understanding, and it's nice to have those kind of fans, I must admit.' You have been coming here many years and you have seen the way that China has tried to bring itself in line as a tennis nation.

You can't knock what they do in terms of the tournaments and the facilities, but almost as long as you have been playing, they have been trying to bring through a male player. Now they potentially have one in the boy that won the US Open.

Can you imagine what kind of pressure he will be under? 'Probably not (smiling). Because I come from a country that's sort of laid back, I would think. We believe in education and then sport comes at some stage; whereas here it opens all possibilities, you know, if you're good in sports.

I'm not sure how the press is. You have to ask your friend over here how press is towards the athletes here, if they allow them to work or if they make them stars way too soon like it happens in some other countries. France, an example, I think they make their players too big too soon, and then they become a bit, I don't want to say "spoiled, but a bit too happy too soon rather than finishing their development at every stage throughout.

So I'm not sure about that. But I also have to tell I think any junior feels pressure. When you go out there and you know that you're trying to hang with the guys or with the men, it's a different vibe than in the junior locker room.

It's more competitive. You're playing for money, playing for points, playing for rankings. You're trying to move up, you're trying to establish yourself, and that always creates pressure. I almost don't -- I think it doesn't matter almost the background.

Murray has had a ton of pressure, if you think about it, and he was able to manage it in sort of an easy way. Okay, you could argue that he was also struggling at times with having Wimbledon in his backyard, but somehow, if you're good enough, you get it done somehow, because you have enough opportunities to play away from China, in Wu's situation, or Andy's situation.

He can go play in Bangkok or Basel where it's not the attention quite like home. You feel, as a player, you can get away from it all at times. I think just as important is that you don't get carried away too soon as a player and you really want to try to become the best player you can become and not just be happy to be famous for winning something in the juniors or winning a few matches on the tour.' ALSO READ: Del Potro: 'Young Federer broke rackets too, so everyone can do it!'
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