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November 17, 2004

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions in English for Roger, please.

Q. Roger, another awesome display tonight. You seem to have developed this aura of invincibility, and your level of play is unbelievable. Do you think you can get much better?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I thought, you know, the match was good, you know. I played a good match, obviously not as good as at the US Open. It's a tough second match after a long time, you know, to be at the same level like at the finals of the US Open. I thought Lleyton played a good match. I always have to play well to beat him. I think we had better matches against each other. But, obviously, very pleased to be through again in straight sets. I always feel like I have room for improvement, you know. I think the best players, you know, up there with the best athletes in the world, they always have the desire to become better. I have the same, so...

Q. After such a difficult day, a long wait, how determined was everyone to get that match finished when the rain came at 4-2?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you have to ask Lleyton as well what he thought, if he would have preferred to continue tomorrow. But I think for the whole tournament, it's better if these matches are played. That's the reason why we waited a long time on court, also. Really tried to -- because once you go in the locker room, the fans leave, you know, because they think it's only two games to go, "Let's go home, let's go to sleep," if you stay on court, they stay there for at least a little longer, then the chance that we can resume play is much bigger. Because once we go in the locker room, it's a long way out there, and then the whole thing gets messed up. So we are happy to be through, that's for sure - me especially.

Q. How difficult is it to refocus again, when you have a couple hundred people in the stadium, you know it's almost over, how hard is it to get in the groove?

ROGER FEDERER: I kind of expected that, you know, that there's not going to be too many fans anymore, even though it's one of the best matchups you can get right now in tennis. You can hear yourself much better, you know, after points, breathing and stuff. You can hear every fan who says something to you. You hear everything. So you have to be really even more focused. I think for me, it was difficult especially because I was so close to win the match and because you never know. Once it gets tight again, you know, 5-All, there's only so much crowd left, it's kind of a very strange and awkward feeling. We're not too used to that, especially me now that I've been playing center court basically every match since I'm No. 1.

Q. In that atmosphere, early morning, those were some of the best rallies of the tournament so far. How were you doing that? Were you struggling to keep your eyes open?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was a good game, you know, the last one. I was very, very happy to get through that one because every time, you know, the guys who follow me, they know how tough -- the tough times I've had against him serving it out; today once more. But I came through. That was most important.

Q. What do you think was the best part of your game tonight?

ROGER FEDERER: I thought, you know, I was serving pretty well. My forehand was working great. My backhand could have improved, could be a little better, I thought. But that's just my own feeling. Maybe I look at the match and I think, you know, I'm totally wrong. But I thought, you know, I'm not getting broken. That was the key today.

Q. Do you think you forced Lleyton to go for a little more than he's accustomed to?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, for him it's difficult as well. He comes off a very tough US Open loss against me. And it's not the easiest thing, you know, just to come out and play a game if he lost two sets out of three 6-Love, you know. So, again, you have to ask him how it was for him. But I just try to play my game. And for the moment, that's enough against him and that's going to also hopefully continue in the same way the next few matches. But it's always nice to play him. We have good matches, you know. Fair play. Everything is enjoyable.

Q. As you say, Roger, two straight sets, you're in the semifinals. Dare you take your foot off the gas against Moya? Is it difficult to come back the next night and play again?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if I'm through.

Q. They said on the TV you were.

ROGER FEDERER: Tough to comment, you know. I hope I'm through (smiling).

Q. I'm getting nods.

ROGER FEDERER: I'm a happy man (smiling). I didn't know I was going to play tomorrow. I thought I had a day off. I heard that just when I walked off the court. So two surprises for me, you know - good ones. You know, tomorrow I play, that's okay. I've got a good record against him. I hope I can keep it up. He's got a lot to play for, I guess. But, you know, there's still a lot at stake - points, honor, I want to keep a clean sheet on the Round Robin matches in the Masters Cup. I have to give 100 percent, that's for sure.

End of FastScripts….

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