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August 19, 2005

Roger Federer


ROGER FEDERER: I'm okay today. No giggles. You never know, huh, but...

Q. Nothing like a surprise.


Q. Someone's left a bottle of salad dressing for you.

ROGER FEDERER: Put some there? Oooh, thanks for that (smiling). (Looking at a bottle of salad dressing). Never heard of this one, actually. "Raspberry walnut vinaigrette." We don't have that stuff in Switzerland (smiling).

THE MODERATOR: We're ready for questions.

Q. Roger, you did a good professional job, but the conditions are very different, aren't they?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, they were, but I thought it was not as tough as it was against Kiefer. I thought I had more control from the baseline, you know. Now my serving is also better. I had the feeling I'm more consistent. So I had the feeling it was easier, you know, even though first set was up and down. But had something to do with my game, with his game, you know, the whole start. I could have been up, you know, 5-1 maybe, but I also could have been down 4-3 and a break. So in the end, you know, I got to be happy the way I played. I thought I relaxed a little bit more in the second set. It was all right in the crucial points. I thought it was a really good and tough performance.

Q. Are you still having to think about the feet, or are they moving automatically now?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it's fine now. Also on the serve, you know, I started to read more and more my opponent's serve, which is a great feeling. So I have the feeling I'm back, back in the flow. That's definitely a good sign to have.

Q. So what happens to the balls when you're playing on a hot, humid day, compared with an evening? What sort of difference is that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's maybe the ball travels a little bit quicker through the air. It's hard to say, but it's more the bounce off the court. You know, the court obviously heats up during the day where at night it cools down and it's sort of more dead, you know. It doesn't take as much spring out of the court. During the day that's why the balls, you have the feeling they shoot all over the place, you know. The slice stays lower, the spin comes up higher, you know. And that makes obviously a big difference. When you play, you got to adjust to that. But for me maybe it was more difficult because I haven't been playing. So if I would have been in the flow, maybe I wouldn't have had the difficulties I've had this beginning of the week.

Q. Can you talk about playing Ginepri. He is coming in on a pretty good hot streak.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, he definitely plays well in the States, you know. Probably if you look at his results he's had most of them here, you know. Obviously, not to underestimate him here in the States. He's beaten Marat, who I think is one of the best players in the world. Yeah, so I definitely have to watch out even though I think it's a good draw, you know, to play against him. He's won, what, Indianapolis, and played well again here. So, you know, I really have to watch out. And I know he can play aggressive, play good. I mean, he played a great match against Marat today. He's definitely hot, and hope I can cool him down (smiling).

Q. Would you have wanted to play Safin, or is it better not to have to worry about it this week?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, I don't know how Marat's knee is, but I guess if he's playing, it's all right. I guess it's better to play Robby than Marat, you know, because with Marat you never know what you can get; he can play an awful match the one day and a great one the next day. With Robby I have the feeling he's a little bit more consistent maybe overall, but not as great, obviously, as when Marat is at his best, you know. Yeah, so, prefer to play Robby in the semis of a Masters Series.

Q. Robby Ginepri talked about how much confidence he's been gaining this summer, especially this week. Every match he wins, he gains more confidence. I'm curious, what do you gain from this week? You're the No. 1 player in the world. I wouldn't think you'd need any more confidence.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me, imagine my confidence after all the wins I've had through the last two years, you know. No, I mean, you always take every match from like new because that's where you start doing and you want to give your opponent a hard time to beat you. I'm No. 1 in the world, you know, so I don't want to give away wins just like that, you know, as presents. I want to make sure when I'm playing, I'm on, and when I'm not feeling well, I don't play, you know. Like in Montreal I didn't feel like I was ready yet. So I'm very happy to see that when I come here, I feel like I'm ready. At least then I go the distance, I go far into a tournament. Now I'm in a great situation, a great position where I can do better than semis, you know. And really looking forward to that challenge. Yeah, my confidence is back, you know. You lose it when you don't play, and you got to earn it again. On this I really have the feeling I achieved this week.

Q. You said sometimes when you play Marat you don't know what you're going to get: A great game or just an okay game. With Ginepri, are you playing the No. 58 player in the world, or are you playing a guy that just beat Marat Safin? It would seem that you don't know who you're going to play.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I never have the feeling I'm playing the ranking anyway, especially when it comes down to semis. The guy has won, what, four matches. He is well into the tournament. He is confident, like he says. Then it doesn't come down to ranking anymore. So you play the player; you play the situation. That's what I will be doing tomorrow.

Q. You seem to be using that intriguing squash shot a little bit more than usual. Is that because you're getting to a few more wide balls than you used to?

ROGER FEDERER: Or maybe a little late, I don't know. Could be both (smiling). No, usually I have the feeling if you can play a squash shot, you can play a normal shot, too. It's the first reflex you sometimes get. I don't know where it comes from, you know, the reflex. But I don't like to use it, to be honest, because it really says that you're in an awful position, you know; it's tough to come back from there. Because forehand slice is not really my favorite shot to play, but as long as I don't miss it and sometimes win a few crucial rallies like I did on set point, I think that's great.

Q. You've won so many matches, so many tournaments. You haven't won this one. I think you've won five of the nine in this series. Do you check them off as you win them and say, "Okay, now I've got this one," does that mean anything to you?

ROGER FEDERER: Tick them off? No, not quite (smiling). But it's obviously great, you know, to win many different ones. It's also nice to win Hamburg three times in a row. That's fantastic, you know, if you hear 2002, 2004, 2005, it's great. But it's also nice at the same time, you know, to win different events. This is one I've never been able to do well, not even come close to winning it. So to be in this position now, it's nice. Haven't really given myself chance either in Madrid, Paris; two I haven't won yet. And Rome I was in the finals. Monte-Carlo at least quarters, you know. So this is a break for me here in Cincinnati, and I'm happy about it.

Q. Does that provide any extra motivation, though?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. It's more for me looking at getting back in shape, playing well, looking ahead for the Open, staying ahead in the Race, my ranking. Those sort of things.

End of FastScripts….

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