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November 18, 2004

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Roger, tough day at the office today. You weren't perhaps quite at your best, but you got the job done. How much confidence does that give you, that you can beat a Top 5 player when you're not actually playing at your best?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, today, I thought it was tough mentally, you know, obviously, to go into such a match knowing I'm qualified. And knowing his situation, you know, knowing mine, it doesn't make it easy. I think both could feel that today, you know. He needed it so much, and I didn't quite need it that much. I think that was felt during the play. I'm, of course, very happy I won again, because as long as you keep on winning, you know, your confidence stays higher than when you're losing. Even though that I'm qualified, you know, it's not so easy just to forget. You still wonder, "What did I do wrong to lose?" I wanted to make sure that even that I'm not playing the best, but knowing that he had so much pressure, trying to use that, trying to make a difference in the third, and I did so I'm very pleased.

Q. The memory of you sitting up there with a blanket around you seems only a few hours ago. Did that take its toll on you today? Was that a hard match to get out of? Did you have trouble getting to sleep afterwards?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the rhythm was different tonight. I went to bed at 3:15. I went out of bed at 3 in the afternoon. So it's a little bit different rhythm than the usual one. But as long as I get enough sleep and as long as I, you know, can have a nice schedule during the day, you know, it's not too bad, you know. But it's true, you know, it doesn't happen every day that we're sitting here within 24 hours, you know, the same day (smiling).

Q. After the match, you and Wayne Bryan were joking around a little bit. You seemed to suggest that you might possibly consider returning for the clay courts, or were you just being polite?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I thought, you know, the facilities here are so fantastic. The only way of me experiencing that again is by playing the Clay Court Championships. That's what I meant, you know. Never know if I come or not, but only the future will tell. Everybody knows that I'm from Switzerland and it's far away, back and forth, before Monte-Carlo. We'll see what happens in the future.

Q. Was your ankle a concern today?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it was just the tape that started moving, so I don't want it to move in the wrong place and then I start moving differently just because the tape is in the way. I just rather took it off. But I do that before every match, so that's nothing you should be concerned about.

Q. What did you think about the present that was given to you by the guys from Wimbledon today?

ROGER FEDERER: Very nice. I got a book, you know, limited edition. There's only one book, so that was nice. It's always nice to see Tim Phillips and the other people from Wimbledon. I'm already looking forward, anxious to go back there. I would rather go back there not playing, you know, first, and then go again for the tournament. But it's nice, you know, just to communicate with them and see how they are doing. And, obviously, this present is very nice.

Q. But something like that book, all those pictures, is that something you value and look at and keep in your home, is it?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah. It's like memories, you know. Once I quit, maybe this is something I can show to my friends or my family, I don't know. This is something for a very long, long time. Knowing that I'm the only guy who's got this book makes it very special.

Q. How did you see Carlos today and Carlos' game coming back from an injury? He's been playing tough today.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think he still had good Round Robin matches. He beat Gaudio quite comfortably, had close matches against me and Lleyton. So that should give him confidence, you know, if he gets through to the semis; I don't know if he still has a match, depending probably on the Hewitt match. Then, you know, for the Davis Cup finals. It's a pity. I think he had chances against both of us to win. He ended up losing, and that's maybe because he's coming back from injury. Of course, I had similar situations but I had the chance maybe to start off with Gaudio and not starting off with Hewitt. So, yeah, I thought he felt the pressure quite a bit today. It's hard for him playing against me, you know, who's got nothing to play for really and him, he needs to win so badly. So I had the feeling he, you know, the way he was acting on the court, you know, being sometimes very disappointed, very sad sometimes in his game and his shot selection, so it's hard for him because, you know, I like him very much. It was not so easy to play today.

Q. You played an overhead like Pete Sampras, but you couldn't...

ROGER FEDERER: Was too low (laughter). 30-Love up, you can take a chance like this. I don't serve and volley every day, so I don't get this opportunity very often. So I thought I might as well give it a try. I missed it by a few inches, you know (laughing).

Q. Could I just ask you to look forward to the prospective final. If my math is correct, it's either Tim or Marat. Can you talk about both of them and what you've seen in both of them here.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I practiced with Tim quite a bit this week, or the past week. We were the guys, you know, who were here the earliest. It comes down to the wire for them. I think, you know, the surface is very similar to Indian Wells, which says it all, you know, that it suits me and Tim's game. Marat is definitely coming back. I feel like he's got a lot of confidence from the indoor season, even though I didn't see him play there. But you can see it now, you know, in his style of game. He's serving well, he's returning well, he's seeing the ball well from the baseline. It's going to be, I think, a difficult match for Tim. I think Marat is the favorite in that match, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tim, by mixing it up, he could get the better of him. So it's going to be a tough match no matter what. Obviously, it would be a little more special if I play Safin, him having my former coach. We'll see, you know, who's going to win that tomorrow.

Q. If it's Tim, how much will not just Indian Wells but obviously the US Open just a couple months ago, how much will that play in your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean, that I could beat him now by not losing a set twice, that gives me big confidence. I know that I can play well and beat him quite comfortably as well. Maybe if I don't play so well, it's still maybe a close match. You know, I think it's going to be -- again, always we have great matches because the points are going to finish with winners because he's either at the net or I'm going to be at the net and we need passing shots or volley winners. So it's always very entertaining.

End of FastScripts….

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