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June 27, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. You feel motivated by some kind of words that Juan Carlos said in the newspaper this morning, like say, "I can stop the champ"?

ROGER FEDERER: Didn't see it. Didn't see the news, no. Well, I mean, he's right. He has to be motivated and believe in his chance. I think once you've been No. 1 in the world, your whole career you believe in a chance. I think it's a fantastic player. Maybe grass, of course, is not his favorite surface. But he showed on occasions that he can play really well. I think I had to play a really solid match. I'm not sure if he's happy with his performance. But it's always interesting to play him, any surface.

Q. How did you feel about your performance tonight?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I thought it was pretty good. You know, was tough in the beginning with the sun, to be honest. On the one side, it was almost impossible to see the serve. But I got the early break and actually served all the way through solid except maybe the last game, you know, where maybe I missed a volley, double-faulted, gave him an opportunity there. That was a pity. But all in all, I'm quite happy. He played tough off the baseline, especially in the third I thought. Was getting tough to break him. I'm pretty happy with my performance.

Q. Pete Sampras would say later in his career that he would admit openly, "I choked in the situation." Did you feel nervous at all? Do you get nervous in those situations?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, always. Breakpoint for me or against me, the pulse goes higher. You're a little worried, you know, because you've just played long rallies. On a breakpoint, you're not allowed to miss any more. So I definitely feel the pressure then, too, in those moments. I thought I didn't play that bad of a game. I just think he played a real consistent, solid game.

Q. How would you compare today's weather conditions on Centre Court with Saturday conditions?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, today I thought it was extremely slow somehow. That was my feeling. Maybe it's because of him. He was not missing. He was making me -- playing me left to right, as well. Never really had the -- it was very hard to overpower him, I thought, where normally this is really my strength. I really had the feeling I really had to go for an outright winner to finish the point or take chances. He was very good I thought also off the defensive side. Where I came to the net on dodgey balls or pretty okay balls, and he passed me it seemed without a problem. I had the feeling the conditions were slow, so maybe it's going to be different again next time.

Q. Gonzalez is your next opponent. He hasn't lost a set. He seemed to be surprised about that. What about you, are you surprised, too, or not?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, looking at the players he beat, in a way yes, in a way no. He is a good player. You know, with his serve and forehand, you know, he can be a danger for anybody, but that he puts it together consistently for four matches, it's a good result for him. I thought Youzhny could be a problem for him. But, then again, I'm not surprised he beat him. Maybe straight sets is quite solid. But I think he had two breakers in that match today. But, you know, I was close of losing a set to him at the French. But grass should favor me. I'm looking forward to play him. He's always got good shots for the crowd. I think we'll see some good tennis.

Q. What has been the best part of your game through the tournament? Has there been different aspects in each match?

ROGER FEDERER: I think I'm serving really consistent. You know, if I look to serve, first serve percentage, I think that's pretty good. Just a little hiccup in the match against Kiefer where I served two double-faults at 30-All which I didn't like to see. But other than that I'm really happy with my serving so far. Movement has been pretty good, as well. I wished I could have served and volleyed a little bit more. But as long as I keep on winning also from the baseline, that's okay. Obviously, I would wish I could come to the net a little more.

Q. You're very much the dominant force in the modern game. What career targets do you set yourself?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I always have goals I set myself for beginning of the year. Last year I definitely played much better than I ever expected because the year before that was already fantastic itself. My goal for this year is, you know, Wimbledon, No. 1 in the world. I'm right in it now. I have to prove it - to myself especially. Other than that, I've got many dreams left which I would like to chase.

Q. It was often said that Sampras had a kind of aura or presence, intimidation factor. You may not want to answer this, but would you like to get that quality stronger than you have it now? Do you sense you have a little bit of that now?

ROGER FEDERER: I think now over the last two years with the little matches I've lost, right away you start to feel that. It's like when you see other players, like Roddick there for a while on the American hard court circuit, where he hardly lost a set, or he doesn't lose a match, you see that from far away. If you're up to play him, you expect an incredibly tough match. Maybe it makes you go for more. Maybe as Nadal on clay. When you see as much as he won, when you're going to play him, you have the feeling you have to do something special. I think I definitely created the same thing around me also for a while, say if it's indoor or hard court, especially the grass, too. I think it's all about getting it done on the clay, but it's sort of difficult because I hardly play any tournaments.

Q. It affects your point, but also gives you more confidence, would you say?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes, definitely.

Q. When you do have that sense about yourself, during a match do you have the sense that an opponent thinks there's going to be very few chances against you? Do you get that feeling?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't like to think too much this way, that anyway everything's going to fall in place sort of thinking, because I got to come up with maybe the ace on the breakpoint or I've got to come up with the good shot in the breaker. So it's not just going to be handed over to me either. So I always take every match from zero. Once I'm in a tough position, I always try to prove it to myself and to the people that I can do it over and over again. And sometimes, of course, it's impossible. It's hard, you know. But I'm really happy the way I've handled all the pressure and situations over the last few years.

Q. How hard does Gonzalez hit that forehand compared to other players? How difficult is it to read?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, reading... I mean, he definitely gets in play quite quickly. He gives himself time to set up. He goes for broke on every forehand, so it doesn't really matter. I can also go for broke on every shot, but it's just not my philosophy from the game, you know. But he's quite consistent of it, too. I mean, you can sometimes see where it goes. But even if you're the right way, it's so quick that you can't really handle it. That's his dangerous part of the game, that he just goes for outright winners. I think his serve has improved over the years. Sets himself up nicely for the forehand. Other than that, I think maybe mentally he's become stronger. I don't know. I haven't played him enough.

Q. When was the last question you didn't expect and what was the question and what did you answer and when? Do you remember?

ROGER FEDERER: Don't know. Maybe one of yours. I don't know.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about the slow conditions here. You're obviously not coming in behind your serve as much as you did two years ago. Henman says a serve-volleyer is not ever going to win here again. Do you think it's impossible for a pure serve and volleyer to win here at Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: I think the players don't work on their volleys enough these days any more. It's as simple as that. When you have an hour of practice, I think we play 40 minutes from the baseline and 10 minutes at the net and serve 10 minutes. That's how the practices are now. Especially being with Tony now, they would only be the net. I think that makes a big difference because we're half good as they used to be. If I still hit with Tony, I can see why they came to the net and why we cannot. One is because we don't volley that well and we don't cover that well, plus the conditions have slowed down. I think it's got a lot to do with circumstances and the way tennis has progressed. But I think if you are brought up, especially as a youngster, to improve your volleys and become a better volley player, then you definitely can win Wimbledon again. The way kids are brought up these days, it's just almost impossible.

Q. What has been the key thing that Tony has conveyed to you about grass court player?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's the same almost for the hard court or for the clay. Just got to, you know, use my strength, which is my game in a hole. How should I say? I've got many options. I've got to use that, but use it right. I think it's just been trying to improve little things, if it's on the serve, on the volley, also on the baseline, you know, the way of playing. It's very important to play right.

End of FastScripts….

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