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August 18, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, Roger Federer. Questions, please.

Q. In your three matches do you think there's been a progression?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes (laughing).

Q. Does it feel good to finally get a straight-sets win?

ROGER FEDERER: I'm definitely playing better than the beginning. I thought today was a really solid match which I had to play. Of course the player I was playing, and obviously the serve...(laughing). Sorry. All right. I had a very funny interview before, that's why (laughing), which I couldn't complete because I was laughing. All right.

Q. Can you explain what was funny?

ROGER FEDERER: We were talking about salad dressing here in the States. I don't know why, though, but... You got a big, big selection (laughing).

Q. Does it make it any different or easier playing someone...

ROGER FEDERER: (Laughing). Are we gonna finish this, or what (laughter).

Q. Tell us about the salad dressing.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, that's the worst part, you know. It's in the back of my mind, you know.

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We're ready.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we're ready. Yeah, go ahead.

Q. I was asking about playing Olivier, whether it was easier or more difficult?

ROGER FEDERER: Than the last time or...?

Q. Because you know him so well. Does it make it any different?

ROGER FEDERER: I would say it was tough in the beginning of my career to play against friends. Now it's easier because I'm more professional and I see things differently, you know - sort of that, you know, we can still chat after the match, you know, there's no hard feelings, where in the beginning I was always a little worried about things like this. No, so we had a good match the first one we played in Miami. This one was fair, too, you know, the way I expected it to be. I was - again, same as in Miami - I was happy to have played against him because he's a tricky player, and both times I had to serve well to really get the upper hand and to make him, you know, also make mistakes on his own serves. That's what happened today.

Q. You are a free and fluent sort of player. You seemed to be hitting out very freely tonight.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I thought I should play aggressive, take my chances, put the pressure on him, and shorten up the points. It worked I think most of the time. It pays off in the end I always have the feeling. Obviously had to make sure I keep on winning my serve, you know, so I could stay aggressive on the return especially. But it's not the easiest thing to do because he's a good counterpuncher. But I definitely had the feeling I was playing more aggressive than I was the first two matches because maybe it's just a better feeling I have now from the baseline.

Q. Are you surprised how quickly you've improved in a week?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it was a very different match today, you know, than the last match. You know, again, I played night, day, night. It's not the easiest thing to always adapt, and then on top of that you're playing against different opponents every time as well. So I'm pleased how I made that transition. I'm happy the way I came through to the third round, you know, after being away from the game for five weeks or so. And, no, so I'm looking forward to the next match. This is also a match I should get some rhythm, you know, and should be able to work my way into the net. Yeah, looking forward to the quarters.

Q. You had obviously time off and you're starting hard courts now so that's understandable. But you have that kind of tradition of once you get started in the tournament, you get familiar, obviously you always win if you get to the finals. Tell me about getting comfortable at a place. Do you find you build a rhythm the longer you're there?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think it's getting the rhythm going deep into the tournament.

Q. Right.

ROGER FEDERER: It's not I can arrive here one year ahead, you know, and still not sure what the first round's going to be. So it's about getting through I think the first two that's really going to make me comfortable. Sometimes doubles accelerates that feeling; I don't know. But at the same time I played six sets yesterday, so it's not the funnest things, you know, to do before a third round here. But, you know, I still believe I got something out of it. Now if I arrive on Thursday or Monday, I don't know what the differences are. I just think at least I gave myself a chance, and the feeling deep inside of myself is better because I know I've been more professional than if I would arrive three days or one day ahead, you know, the tournament.

Q. If you hadn't lost yesterday in doubles and you continued to have to play doubles and singles throughout the tournament, you think it would have been too much tennis?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, the doubles are quite easy, you know, on your body. Of course you got to be ready for every point, you know, and sort of the intensity especially in doubles has got to stay up because you start losing rhythm very quickly, you know, because you hardly ever play a shot; you only play every second shot. But, you know, I play doubles so rarely, so when I play, I always play to win. I'm not here just to play a round and then get a walkover. I'm not that type of player and person. So I make sure I can handle it till the end of the tournament of both events. And I've realized to win things in doubles the same week twice in my life, twice with Yves. So for this reason I definitely make sure ahead, you know, the scheduling is right and I can handle it no matter how things go.

Q. You said the thing that you lost most when you have a six-week layoff is the ability to make good decisions quickly, maybe shot selection, things like that. Do you feel that's now coming back?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Yeah, I do. I do feel better. Obviously hasn't got the biggest of serves, you know, out there so never got aced. But I'm still happy I didn't get aced - almost got. But I feel like things are slowly picking up, you know. I still have to remind myself to keep moving my feet sort of. Things, you know, little, weird stuff, you know, which normally you don't have to tell yourself. But this is definitely getting better, so this is a good sign for the upcoming match I think.

Q. Are you much fresher than you were at this time last year?

ROGER FEDERER: Different, you know. It's a different kind of feeling. Last year I was playing a lot. I came from a win in Toronto so I felt extremely good, you know. But hopefully coming through the first few rounds, but didn't make it, you know. Then I went to the Olympics, and obviously big disappointment there. So I came early to the US Open again, you know. So actually the schedule wasn't that tough after all, you know. Now here I'm coming from a time off so, you know, it's been very different. I think I was fresh then, too, you know, when I came back to the Open, when I came here. I felt very confident. But, you know, we're playing professional tennis, you know; can't win every match.

Q. You've only lost three times this year. I know you've won eight titles and won Wimbledon again and that's fantastic. But when you look back at the two defeats in Australia and Paris, do you allow yourself to forget about that completely, or are you still tainted by that?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, honestly, I don't really think about it too much. When like, for instance, when I'm getting introduced like every night or every day, you know, I hear, "Semifinals, French Open; semifinals, Australian Open," I say, "Wow, that's pretty good," you know, still considering I won Wimbledon and I won other tournaments. So I'm not looking at this like, "Oh, that's a pity." The one against Safin sort of hurt, you know, having matchpoint and I thought I played a good matchpoint. I think he got a little lucky, you know, winning that point. It was a lob over whatever happened there. The Nadal match at the French, I was just disappointed in my performance, you know. Because I think I had a big chance to beat him there because I wasn't playing my best and I still was close. And who knows what happens if I win that semifinal. But, again, you know, I'm happy the way things went at the French. I gave myself a chance to win it. Didn't quite make it, you know. It's just about doing that at the French. Australian Open, I always know I can win that tournament no matter what year I'm playing in. Yeah, this solid three Grand Slams give me confidence for the US Open, that's very clear.

Q. You were the last person to play Carlos Moya at the French before he took his month vacation. How did he look then as opposed to the years before? Did he appear weaker to you, his forehand?

ROGER FEDERER: At the French?

Q. Yeah, at the French.

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, well, can't tell. I mean, the guy couldn't play. He was injured all the way. I mean, I was surprised he played through it. So for me that is a class act to do, you know. You basically know you have no chance to win and still play till the end, you know. So he must have been down. I don't think you can say he took a vacation, you know; he basically had to take one because of his shoulder. When he's on top of his game, he's dangerous for everybody. I didn't see nothing of the Nadal match, but last week he almost beat him. This week, you know, he's still struggling maybe for form, you know, who knows. But everybody knows you don't want to really have him in your draw so...

Q. Quick couple of Davis Cup questions. Could you explain why you missed Switzerland's first-round tie against The Netherlands, and can we expect to see you playing Davis Cup again soon? And are you more optimistic now that Wawrinka is coming up on your team?

ROGER FEDERER: The reason for the first tie not to be played was that I could really focus on my main goal of this season, was to stay No. 1 in the world and defend my Wimbledon title, and for this I had the feeling I need to be fresh. And if I missed the first week, I could really follow my schedule which I plan to play up until Wimbledon because there was only this one match in there. And this is basically three-quarter almost of the season, you know, three Grand Slams, and it was many, many Masters Series. So I decided to do that. Then the second question was about if I'm going to play again. I have announced I will play against England. So that is for sure. We're playing in Geneva on clay against the Brits; you know that. I'm ready to play again. Wawrinka has improved his ranking. For me, it doesn't really change much if I'm going to play or not. I have to make sure it fits into my schedule. And I thought the first week of Davis Cup or the first date of Davis Cup was not good for me, so this is why I decided not to play. And next year I have the feeling it's already better, but I haven't announced that I'm going to play next year yet. But I'm happy to see that there's a second player in Switzerland making his move and that I'm not the only one so...

End of FastScripts….

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