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June 22, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. How would you describe that match today?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, I think consistent. Didn't get any breaks, so that was good. Thought, you know, I played all right. Just hang in there to wait for my chance, and it came always at the end of the -- the end of the set, when he was serving against the set, so that was obviously a good time. Then I broke him straight early in the third. So the breaks were definitely at the right time. From the baseline was tough. He was hitting hard and was tough to stay -- get the rallies going.

Q. Were you surprised to see those dropshots at the end of the first set?

ROGER FEDERER: He didn't make them. There were no dropshots, so... Well, his choice of shot, you know, definitely the wrong one. He missed them all. I guess he was a little confused and felt the pressure a little bit. You come up with some weird stuff. But was definitely bad shot selection.

Q. Were there one or two moments of slight frustration from you today?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, he didn't give me much chance early, you know, in the first and the second set. When I had a little opening, you know, I thought I could have done better. Once, he also came up with some good shots as well, obviously. But still I would have wished to maybe have had more chances. I mean, I'm used to it, you know, to wait for my occasion. But I wish I would have had one earlier. But then, you know, to get it still at 5-4 is still a good one.

Q. You had a tough match against him in Dubai. Going into the match, were you aware you wanted to kind of avoid that situation again?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, in Dubai was obviously different setting. I didn't know him at all then. I was really struggling. Even though I came with a lot of confidence just from winning Rotterdam, I came there, was really strong with the rhythm from the baseline, also making just a simple second-serve return. So I really start to -- I remember chip and charge a lot, come to the net, try to shorten the rallies. From the baseline, I was hopeless. Obviously I knew today it was going to be different, I was going to get more chances off the baseline, because I feel better here. I know what it's like. I've been here for a long time. But still, you know, I was waiting for a tough match because I knew he was serving pretty good from Dubai, because I had my difficulties of breaking him. I knew that if I just stayed tough, you know, he's going to make maybe some shots he shouldn't do, like the dropshot, you know. So I was just hang in there and hoping for those moments really.

Q. As two-time defending champion, long-time No. 1, being in a dominant position in the game, how does that play in a match-to-match situation? How does that benefit you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it helps at occasions. But really you've got to ask the other players, you know, what it does. I've only played against a few No. 1's in the world. You always sort of feel the pressure. You always feel like, well, the other guy, if you give him a chance, he'll take it, or eventually he's going to lift up his game and make it hard for me to either hold my serve or, once he's in front, he's not going to give it away. Sort of these moments I think make it -- make the best players, you know, to be up there. So that's my feeling.

Q. Do you look at your opponent's body language or his expressions on a point-to-point basis or during the match?

ROGER FEDERER: I have the feeling I think a lot during the match, try to understand what has been going on and what I think -- how I should continue to play. Obviously, I check out my opponent a little bit. But, honestly, I'm a guy who turns around quite quickly, you know, and focuses on my own game than checking out my opponent too much.

Q. Today we saw Marat Safin beat Philippoussis in three straight sets in a high-quality match on Centre Court. Are we seeing the emergence of a new contender here?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I had a tough match against him, you know, in Halle in the final. You know, he showed how good he can play on grass. That obviously, now that he's beaten two really good players on the grass, definitely puts him in a good position. I think he's got a really tough draw from the first round on. But he's shown he beat them both in three sets. He can definitely keep it up. He's got a big game. I think on the grass he just hasn't showed enough what he can do yet. Maybe it's a good year for him.

Q. Can he be a bit of a joker in the pack, given that people haven't given him much on grass, but he has that massive game?

ROGER FEDERER: I think he's more relaxed because of his knee. That's the thing I felt in Halle, because he just played. If he loses, I guess it's because of the knee. If he wins, you know, it's sort of like sort of a surprise. So he's playing pretty relaxed, I have the feeling. That maybe helps him, especially on the grass, not to get too frustrated. But no matter what, you have to come up on big points. I think that's what he was able to do today, because he was down I think a break in the second set, should have almost lost the first. So, you know, he could have been also down two sets to love. His reactions were good. In big matches, you know, he's also a guy who can raise his game, like all the other top players.

Q. Did you see much of Henman? I know you think he's one of the main rivals for the tournament. Did you think he might have been on his way out?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was a little worried for him for a second (laughter). But sort of knew that once he gets back, maybe just gets the third set, you know, that obviously it's going to be tough also for the opponent, you know, to close it out because always he has to start the set from zero. He should have taken the momentum, you know, from the second set over to the third, and he couldn't. And Tim, obviously, turned the tide and started to play really good after. But for a second there, I was worried, too (smiling).

Q. If you end up playing Lleyton Hewitt, how confident would you be?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, we played in Indian Wells, but I hardly count that because he wasn't -- far from his best. We haven't played in a while since basically the Masters. He hasn't played many tournaments. Obviously, if he gets through and I get through, it means we're both in good shape. We will have to beat good players. This reason I would feel confident going into that match knowing I've beaten him the last few times. I expect a tough match.

Q. Are you at an advantage if he hasn't played so much recently?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, once he's into the semis, it doesn't really matter how much he played before.

Q. What has Tony Roche brought to your game?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think more experience, just a little bit different angles to the game, where I have the feeling, you know, he sees the game is different, you know, from the outside a little bit. And that helps me. I really enjoy the time practicing with him on the court, when he's drilling me like real good old school, I would say. I think just by playing with him, I've just improved.

Q. Is your father still over here watching you?


Q. Your father.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, but he's leaving.

Q. He said he's thinking of taking up the game himself. Are you going to maybe coach him a bit?

ROGER FEDERER: He said he wants to play?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: I'm surprised. He wants to play golf. Yeah, his physique doesn't allow it any more. Too much running in tennis.

Q. Are you saying that Safin is using the knee as sort of a psychological crutch?

ROGER FEDERER: Could be. I'm not saying he is. I haven't spoken to him when he said, you know. But I had the feeling he was very relaxed in Halle. Played -- you know, also his attitude, of course, he still gets irritated and he throws his racquet. But still I feel like he was more relaxed just overall in a match than maybe I've seen him. But maybe I'm mistaken. I'm looking at Marat maybe very wrongly.

Q. How much do you watch during a tournament, other matches? Will you look at people on your side of the draw, for example, potential next opponents?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, honestly, I look more at tennis from the other side of the draw, because it's a day when I'm not playing and I have more time. Because the days I'm playing, I'm either sitting here or playing myself and I don't get to see much. I mean, I love this time because you get to see many, many matches - many great matches. The best-of-five are always the best. Honestly, I look a lot of tennis. Maybe too much, you know, for the taste of my girlfriend.

Q. When was the last time you lost your temper on or off the court?

ROGER FEDERER: Off the court, I don't remember. On court, maybe Miami finals. I don't know. I remember there that I threw a racquet.

End of FastScripts….

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