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April 14, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Roger, you seemed to lose your way a bit there. How did you get it back?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I'm used to it now, you know. It's happened a few times. But, no, seriously, I thought, you know, I played all right again, but just couldn't close it out. So of course it is worrying, you know. But as long as I could still end up winning the match, everything is all right, you know. So I had the feeling the conditions were getting really quick in the end, you know. I had the feeling for him it was better, you know, the shorter the rallies were. So, you know, in the third it was different again because they put water on the court. I think that was, again, better for my game. But that was just the feeling I had.

Q. What bothered you about his game the most?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, he's very up and down. Because he hits the ball very hard, you know, he's got sometimes a little bit less margin. It's sometimes tough to get the rhythm against him because he uses a lot of spin as well. But, you know, he's got these times where he's not serving well, you know, then suddenly when he needs it, he puts in a few big serves. When he really wants, his forehand is terrific. He's a dangerous player, you know, but I had the feeling I was controlling that in the beginning. Maybe midway through the second I started to lose it a little bit.

Q. You did a very gentlemanly thing. You played a let on matchpoint.

ROGER FEDERER: Matchpoint?

Q. Yeah, at 6-5, advantage to you.

ROGER FEDERER: I think that was Love-15 maybe. 30-All. That would have been for matchpoint. I don't remember. But it was clearly in, you know. It was not even a moment of doubt to actually walk up to the line, because I heard the line (smiling). I don't know. On clay it's easy to give each other points. If you can call it fair play, I don't know, because the umpire will come down anyway so...

Q. So another up-and-coming 18-year-old to play now...

ROGER FEDERER: Getting old, geez (smiling).

Q. You're a veteran. Gasquet was saying you're one of the few players he's never practiced with even.

ROGER FEDERER: It's not easy to get to practice with me (laughing).

Q. Have you seen much of him at all, Gasquet?

ROGER FEDERER: Saw him a little bit this week but because he plays mostly on the challenger tour, I don't get to see him much. Of course the tournaments where he gets wildcards, where he gets in, especially the French tournaments, then I get to see him always. What I've seen, he likes the clay and he's a good player on it, you know. Maybe people expected for sure too much too soon. I mean, similar with me, you know; so I know exactly what he was going through. I hope for him that he's had his - I don't know - maybe good times off court also. Maybe now it's all tennis business for him. He's showing this week and also the last couple of weeks, from what I've heard, that he wants to get to the top. That is a good sign for him.

Q. It's almost an eerie day tomorrow, strange day tomorrow.


Q. You're here, No. 1 player in the world, playing tennis, and there's a massive funeral going on. It's a very odd situation, the sort of thing that you would not expect normally, you know, because it's something you don't have to cope with.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, there's not much people see about it. I think we'll follow it on TV, as well; same with the Pope, you know. It's very similar. Now we're a few kilometers away basically, so of course it touches you more. You know, you feel for those people. I'm happy I'm not playing at 2:30 tomorrow straightaway, first on. I'm happy the people will get used to it. The atmosphere will still be all right because I think the family, they also love the sport, and I think maybe they want the tournament to take place. So I hope, you know, we'll still have an enjoyable tennis day. But of course it will be in the shadow of the funeral, that's very clear.

Q. Gasquet was saying you're one of his idols and it will be hard to concentrate. Do you remember a similar situation when you were maybe around his age and were going to play one of your idols?

ROGER FEDERER: I remember a couple years ago he said Safin was his idol so (laughing)...

Q. Not anymore.

ROGER FEDERER: Not anymore, I guess, yeah (smiling). He played him here first round or second round, didn't he, after he beat Squillari. That was the last time I was here. I remember him saying that, too. I don't know what to answer on this one. He'll concentrate well enough, I'm sure about that.

Q. After the tour moved from the hard courts to the clay court, it seems that you didn't want to change your way of playing or your tactics; you're still using a lot of topspin and playing serve-volley, coming to the net. How is it possible? What's the reason you are playing like normal?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think to change your whole game just because you're changing surfaces is the wrong way to do it, you know. That's my opinion. But, you know, again, I always adapt very much to who I play, you know. I think for instance yesterday I played much more serve and volley than I played today. Why, I don't really know, it's just the feeling I had to do it. I play very much with my feeling I have, and it's been working out for me this way. So I'll keep it for sure this way also against Gasquet and against any other player. You know, I feel good from the baseline, you know. On clay you have more time to set up the shot, and this actually allows you to sometimes take much more offense. Defense, sometimes it can get really tough, especially on the quick clay court where it's quite slippery. I don't know. I feel good on the surface, you know, but I always adapt to my opponents.

End of FastScripts….

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