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June 29, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you. We'll start in English.

Q. How much fun was that? How much fun is it to play a player like Fernando who hits the ball so hard?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's always interesting to play against him because sort of have to always weather the storm against him. He hits the ball with so much pace. Not much you can actually control in a match like this because he always takes the first swing at the ball. But I still enjoy it because, you know, you get good rallies. I have to really work hard on my defense. Sometimes things I don't do so often.

Q. Is he completely unlike any other player out there?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, he's different, you know, because he dominates from the baseline where he can play against a big server. You're just trying to get the serve back. But with him, I always have the feeling I can get the serve back. But then right away he covers his serve very well with incredible forehands. And also backhand, he takes big swings at the ball. He's quite unique, I would say.

Q. What did you think of the shot he put at you at 4-All in the first set, huge wind-up and slice? Do you know the one I'm talking about?

ROGER FEDERER: (Looking quizzical.)

Q. You got it back.

ROGER FEDERER: Hit a reflex volley?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the ball was very low. Of course, to take a swing at such a ball is a little weird. But, you know, it comes back with a lot of spin, so you have to watch out because you know the ball's going to bounce different. He hit a good reflex volley, because I went sort of at the body, but with a lot of spin. He hit it well to win that point. But I think we had some other good ones, as well. I lost them all, so... (smiling).

Q. Considering Gonzalez would probably climb into the stands to hit an inside-out shot, you did a good job of getting on his backhand and staying there today, didn't you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think I especially also returned pretty good. Which gave me quite a few chances always to break. I thought in the third I was playing really good. Then I lost those two points which would have given me breakpoint, which would have given me a chance. But all in all, I'm really pleased. I really got to his backhand well and thought, you know, it was a really -- a match like I wanted to, you know, to play against him. I know he can't play through the entire five-setter, you know, hitting just incredible forehands. He's going to have his lapses. That's when I had to take advantage of it.

Q. How did you find playing on No. 1 court as opposed to Centre Court?

ROGER FEDERER: I made against Minar on 1, I found it was very similar. So today, I had the same feeling again.

Q. Have you watched any videos of Hewitt's games here or anyone telling you how he's playing or is he a known quantity and also you've beaten him in the past?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I don't need to watch his matches on a tape, you know. I've seen him enough live this week because we're in the same section of the draw, if you like. So you always wait around, or if you're already at home and he's going to play, you're going to watch him play. We've played on so many occasions now that I think we know each other's game so well. We don't need to have more spies around because we're not going to change our games very much. So I think we're both looking forward to that. I mean, I'm very happy to be through my third consecutive semis, you know, to be honest. Now against Lleyton, I'm really looking forward because this time he's fit, not like in Indian Wells, you know, where I don't really count that match. It's going to be interesting to see.

Q. The last time he beat you was in that fairly famous Davis Cup match.

ROGER FEDERER: I don't remember (smiling).

Q. I was wondering if that match and what happened in that match has been a factor in the way you've played against Lleyton ever since? Does it fire you up to not let that happen again?

ROGER FEDERER: I think what really -- that match in a way gave me a lot of confidence because he beat me on many, many occasions before that. I really had the feeling I could dominate almost for three entire sets against him. And that feeling I never had before against him. I was up two sets to love, a break, serving for the match, you know, and I was really playing incredibly well. Then he fought back and we all know what happened. But I think that match in a way, you know, of course it was a killer for me, but in that moment it gave me a lot of confidence knowing that against Lleyton I can actually get my act together for three or even more sets, you know, in a row. I think that's why I could turn around the series for me.

Q. Your defensive game now looks as good as your offensive game. Maybe that's your biggest improvement in the last months, maybe not a good news for your opponents if you're still improving.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I think today I've been pushed very much into the corners. I have to come up with something. I thought I really did well. My slice is working well, you know, like I want it to. But I've always been relying on my defensive game as well because, like this, don't only have to attack all the time. It gives me sort of two options. I always thought I'm good at it. You know, today I just have to prove it once again.

Q. Your streak against Hewitt is now seven matches in a row. Can you remember ever being on the wrong end of that kind of a streak against a player and what it's like walking out on court that you've tried so many times and haven't been able to beat this guy?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I never lost seven consecutive matches I think against a player. Very few bad records against players, you know. Maybe the most, maybe four, max maybe five I would reckon. I don't know how it is. He's beaten me enough to believe in his chance. He knows. He hasn't been playing any tournaments. We don't know how hard he worked, how much he's changed really his game, and what he's got. And on grass I think anything can happen against him. He knows how to win the title here. I'll just take it a match at a time. I think it's a tough match ahead of me.

Q. Tony has obviously worked a lot with Lleyton previously early on in Davis Cup. Does that help? Does he give you much in regard to Lleyton?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not at all. We have hardly spoken about Lleyton's game, to be honest, with Tony. It's more concentrating on my own game and actually preparing for how the other opponent's going to play. You take that in consideration, of course. But most important is how I play. Because at the level I'm playing, you know, over the last few years and the confidence I have, I can allow myself to think this way, you know. But I don't think we'll go into this match any different just because he worked with Lleyton. I didn't even know that he did sort of. So I don't think that's going to play any role.

Q. If form holds and you beat Hewitt, you would face Andy Roddick. What do you respect most about Roddick's game?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, we're not there yet. But Andy, I think on the grass with his serve, you know, he's so dangerous. I like his humor on/off court. We get along well. We've had some good match over the years. I've got a great record against him. No matter what, I always enjoy playing against him. He's always fair. Especially in the States, he's very, very well-liked. It's good to have a great American now that Andre, Pete, Chang, Courier, they all sort of -- some are leaving and some are gone. It's great to have Andy.

Q. We've seen a lot of Andy's American style humor this week. How would you describe it?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I saw him today in the locker room. He was nice, so... I don't know what else.

Q. There's been a bit of controversy about the seedings. Who do you think you should be seeded to play in the final?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, it's a tough call, you know. The rules are the way they are. It's the only tournament in the world where it is like this. But I think it's understandable. We're at Wimbledon. I understand everything what Wimbledon decides really because this is where it all started. Now that Lleyton is through to the semis and maybe Andy is also going to be there, of course these questions are going to come up again. But I think the way Andy played the last two years, I think he deserves to be No. 2. But also Lleyton deserves to be No. 2 because he's No. 2 in the world. It's a tough call. You know, I hope that neither of those two guys is angry about it. Maybe, of course, Lleyton is more. I don't think it's going to play a role in our match.

End of FastScripts….

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