Paris: He is yet to start his campaign at Paris Masters but Roger Federer was still at his best on Wednesday, this time with his replies to the questions posed by journalists during a media interaction on the eve of his opening match at this prestigious tournament.
The former World No.1 fielded questions ranging from his performance this season (not having won a single Grand Slam trophy) to the issues plaguing men's tennis.
On his title win at Basel last week, Federer, who has only one more ATP title to his name this year (Doha), remarked that once he was in the semis he felt more relaxed. "It was great to have played well coming straight from a six-week break without any problems to the body."
When asked whether he had bouts of nerves especially entering a tournament on home soil after a six weeks break, Federer said it was normal to feel nervous.
"In the first round, you feel the pressure. When you are practising, you don't feel the pressure. But after six weeks (break), you have to turn the fire on again. For some it is easy, while others have to force it. In a way, it was good to feel the nerves," he said.
When asked about reports on young players on the Tour asking for changes to the schedule and share of prize money, Federer replied that there was nothing new about this issue.
"I have been on the Tour for over 10 years now. I don't remember one year go by without any talks. For the moment, we have players with niggling injuries who the press brings up and becomes a story. We are trying to figure things out. Everything has its positives and negatives. It would be better to show the positives than the negative side."
On the possibility of players going on strike, Federer replied that the whole idea was a difficult one. "Till date, we have never managed to strike or boycott. If you strike, you miss what you value most at heart."
He said that one has to really think hard before going on strike. "Look at the NBA, if they miss a game, that's what harms them more. I found that with a little common sense, we can solve many problems in our sport," he added.
Federer, who is yet to win the Paris Masters title, said that despite performing well in indoor tournaments throughout his career, the lack of success in Paris was disappointing.
"There are many reasons behind it including injuries. Until two, three years ago, I didn't feel comfortable at the centre court, quite similar to Roland Garros." He added he got a different type of feeling on the this court.