June 25, 2005
THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.
Q. Tough match.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah (smiling). It was tough. Like I expected really. We've played on several occasions. He beat me also a few times - once on grass, once we played in the finals of Halle as well on grass. We know each other's game pretty well. I think at times you could see that because we took advantage of each other's game, even though I thought we didn't play bad. I have the feeling I should have won in three, but in the end I'm happy to have won in four really.
Q. There's obviously a fine line between getting a good workout at this stage of the tournament and really going into a tough match. Was the fine line that tenth game of the fourth set when you were a break down?
ROGER FEDERER: In the end, you know, if I win in five, five hours on court, or in one hour, you know, it doesn't matter as long as I keep on winning, you know. I think I have to keep that in mind. This was definitely a test today, absolutely. I think I had to survive some tough moments. Tiebreakers are always tough. I should have never lost that one. But he stayed in it, you know. In the fourth I had to really turn it around. I just started to play better in time. I'm happy, you know, in the fourth set how I played, and I'm also happy how I played at the end of the second. The other two sets, you know, the score showed what happened.
Q. Two points from the end of the match, you hit a running backhand short angle shot. For all of us who only dream of hitting that shot, could you explain how we could do it also?
ROGER FEDERER: Got to work on your forearm, work on your footwork, and work on your mental part (smiling). No, it's a beautiful shot. I hit it, and once I looked it was already on the other side of the net. As I keep my head quite down quite long. It was an important shot, you know.
Q. Are there any shots that you actually amaze yourself by playing?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, occasionally. That one was a good one - at the right time.
Q. Overall on the circuit, who do you consider your toughest rivals?
ROGER FEDERER: The ones at the top right now.
Q. And of them?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, they're the same. I mean, I've beaten them all. I've lost to them all. Yeah, I have the feeling that they're very consistent, you know, even though maybe the one or the other has lost here. I think the guy just behind me in the ranking, they've proven that they are the most consistent player on tour. Those are in my eyes the most dangerous.
Q. Can you talk about the difference of your mentality in the first week versus what's going to be happening next week.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I had to wait all day yesterday, you know. I was back at the apartment, so it was not too bad. I was last match on, which actually in the beginning of the day, I don't want to say I planned on playing today, but sort of, you know, was just waiting. So today I'm happy we got this match over. You know, of course I'm happy to be through to the second week because that was definitely my goal at the beginning of the tournament. Now that I'm in the second week, you know, it's just four matches left, you know, once again. I hope to get the second week. You know, it was a good performance (indiscernible). I don't know who I'm playing actually. Is the match over?
ROGER FEDERER: So that's a nice match because we haven't played much over the last few years.
Q. Within yourself, is there more pressure or less going for three in a row?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the pressure's there anyway if you're going for your first or 10th, you know. No, I feel definitely it's a special year, you know, trying to make it three in a row. But, I don't know. I stay focused on what I have to do. I mean, the opponents are not getting easier from here. First I have to make sure I get the chance for three. For this I have to make the finals first.
Q. You gave some attention to your feet during that match. Are you having problems there? Not too much gold in the shoes?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not too heavy. No, it's just the tape was bothering me once again. I just preferred to take it off than it moving in the wrong place. Yeah, my foot couldn't really move in the shoe like I wanted it to move. Maybe the tape was too thick or anything. I already spoke to the physio. He didn't make a bad job. It was just bad luck, I think. I'd rather take it off than having a problem with (indiscernible) during the match, and maybe after the match especially. That's what I did. I have no problems with my feet right now.
Q. Do you always tape up like that, rather like a boxer going into the ring?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, all the time.
Q. Why especially?
ROGER FEDERER: Why not (smiling)? I don't know. I do it -- I mean, I don't do it every single match on tour. I do it mostly during Grand Slams and best-of-five matches, occasionally when I play on a surface which I consider quite dangerous, maybe a wet clay or, I don't know, a tough hard court, then I do it. Otherwise, practice I never tape up. It's just more for maybe mental part of my game.
Q. Late in the fourth set, I believe it was when he was serving for the fourth set, there was a shot, sort of a lob, he kind of raised his hands almost perhaps to distract you. Did you notice that at all?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, I hit an overhead winner?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw he was doing something, but I thought he was going to throw the racquet already, not happy with that lob. That's the feeling I got. It didn't bother me. I was wondering what he was doing.
Q. With all his gestures, Lleyton Hewitt, his calling out, he's generally considered to be the most intense, in-your-face type of competitor on the circuit these days. After Lleyton, who would you say would be the most intense or in-your-face competitors on the circuit?
ROGER FEDERER: Where are we going here (smiling)? I don't know. Do you want me to say names? I mean, the guy who gets pumped up is definitely Nadal. In your face, it's Stepanek. I feel he's a little in your face. Depends if you like it or not. I turn around rather quickly. Don't really pay too much attention. But from what I remember of playing him...
Q. Do you like Hewitt? Does it bother you with Hewitt?
ROGER FEDERER: Not any more. Used to.
Q. You just block it out?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, started to play him so many times. I know him by now. Doesn't bother me any more, so it's good.
Q. Like most players, you probably, as they say, take them one round at a time. That doesn't mean you can't look in on other players that you're interested in. Have you been looking in on Andy Roddick, for example, even on television, particularly this last match against Bracciali?
ROGER FEDERER: I saw the last two sets yesterday. Yeah, I mean, he was supposed to win and he did well in the end to come through because it's a similar match to what I played against Agassi at the US Open. You know, you play the first three matches, then you come back and you have to just win one of the two, but it's not so easy. The conditions are again different. The player might have realized how to play you. So he did a good job. Definitely I keep an eye on him. He's so far away in the draw that I think once he gets, let's say, to the quarterfinals stage, and me too, this is when I'm really going to start watching him than the earlier rounds.
Q. Any comment about his volleying last night?
ROGER FEDERER: The dive volley?
Q. Just his volleying in general.
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't really -- didn't really stick out to me. But I think that dive volley saved his life there on that occasion.
Q. Would anything less than winning this title be satisfactory to you? Could you reach the finals, play a great match against another player, a thrilling five-setter, lose, walk off the court and say, "It's okay"?
ROGER FEDERER: No, probably not. I wouldn't be satisfied.
ROGER FEDERER: For me only the win would be satisfying this year, the way I've been playing, with the misses I've had at the French and Australian Open. But, of course, you know, I could walk away easier if I played all right or my opponent played out of his head. But I'd still be very disappointed.
Q. With the conditions that you had today, being colder, how does that change the way the game feels out there?
ROGER FEDERER: Not too different actually. I was surprised. I had the feeling -- I was thinking maybe it's going to play quicker because maybe there's more moist on the grass, and the grass then gets a little softer, then the ball doesn't bounce as high. That's sort of my explanation. But this didn't happen today. I guess it was quite dry. Like you say, it was quite cool, you know. But I didn't feel a big difference of playing, honestly.
Q. Didn't make it any more difficult to find your rhythm and play?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Now that the baseline starts to get worn out a little bit, if you play right down the middle, you can get bad bounces, or if you play it down long, it's tough for the opponent always to hit a half volley. I think that is the main difference, I mean, to grass.
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