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Meet the press: How Federer finds an edge where rivals see problems

Published: Updated:

Maria Sharapova once used a pithy obscenity to describe them, Nick Kyrgios says he hates them, but every professional tennis player, when requested, has to do them.

The post-match press conference can be the bane of a player’s life, especially when they have lost, but while Sharapova and Kyrgios would rather be anywhere else, Roger Federer has found a way to use them to his advantage.

The 19-times grand slam champion, who will face the media every other day as long as remains in the Australian Open, has long used the obligatory interaction to process his matches.

“Sometimes that’s why sometimes my coaches are also watching the press conference, because they feel they also get some insight, some information of how I felt,” Federer told reporters on Saturday.

“I can replay the match also maybe again through my head. That’s why sometimes I take enjoyment out of doing the press conference.”

Paul Annacone, Federer’s coach from 2010 until 2013, said the Swiss is almost unique in the way he deals with the media.

“It’s typical of Roger’s personality because he doesn’t take things personally,” Annacone told Reuters.

“He doesn’t pass judgement very literally, and he knows there’s a lot of different people with a lot of different jobs, so unless you overstep your bounds, he’s just kind of chatting about what he thinks and why, and by the time he gets out of there it’s over, and he’s on to the next thing.”

Federer said he took a while to learn that they could be useful.

“I was very wary, very afraid to be misquoted, misunderstood,” he said.

“We’ve had issues in the Swiss press with other athletes in the past.

“I just said, ‘look, I don’t want to have a 15-year or 20-year career where I go in the press room, and it’s like a shocker and a horror show every time I look around, I can’t believe this guy is sitting here again’.

“I just said, ‘I’ll take that out of the equation. I’ll just go in there, give solid answers’. And through time I started to really enjoy myself.”