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September 1, 2004

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Do you learn anything from that second set? Does that teach you anything?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I should have learned something out of the first-round match. I was up a break both times, in the one set two times, and today again. So, you know, kind of happens. But I thought, you know, for him to come back, he had to come up with some really good shots. He did at the right time. So he obviously surprised me on a few of them because they were really great shots. But, you know, normally it shouldn't happen, but it did. Once I got my focus back, third and fourth set, didn't have a problem anymore, so it was good.

Q. Is it helpful for you to be tested like that?

ROGER FEDERER: I prefer to win, you know, in straight sets, obviously. But it's maybe not bad also, you know, to get some tense moment in because the match was really, actually, almost too easy, you know. I was just playing the ball back and not doing much, you know. Suddenly, there was kind of a fight and I had to come up with some shots and I couldn't because it was just too easy in the beginning. But, you know, obviously, I would have preferred to have won in straight sets. You always have to be happy when you win matches, so I am.

Q. Things getting too easy, does that happen for you a lot, as talented as you are?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it seems like I didn't have to do something extraordinary to be up. He was making a lot of mistakes, you know. It was enough for me to chip my backhand in and wait for his mistake, you know, and just play consistent, make sure I don't give him an easy ball, and that's what I did. I was playing well, you know, but nothing extraordinary. And, obviously, that should be enough against him. But, you know, as you see, once the match turns, then it's difficult to really suddenly start to come up with the shots when you need them. That's what happened in the second set.

Q. You kind of get lulled into a...

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you have your game plan, which is working fine, you know. There's no need to change it. Then once, you know, you don't serve well or he plays some good shots, you know, it's tied up again in the second, it's not so easy. But it was all right, you know. Still ended up winning, so...

Q. How much potential does he have, do you think?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, didn't quite know how he was playing. I knew he was a baseliner, running well, you know, defending well. He proved it today. He's a big fighter, you know. I think he's got a great backhand. He can kind of flick it, you know, in the last moment, especially on the backhand side. He hit a few great forehands on the run, crosscourts. So not quite sure, you know, about his future. But he's also been a junior champion from what I heard, and this already means a lot, you know. He's played a complete good season as a junior already and I think now it's, for him, it's going to be interesting to see how he's going to make the transition. But I hope all Juniors do well after also in the seniors because I was a champion as well. But, you know, there's definitely potential for him. I don't know how high. For this, we will have to see him in different matches.

Q. When you look at the players who won Wimbledon and the US Open at the same summer, it's a pretty select list. How much does that motivate you here?

ROGER FEDERER: Repeat your...

Q. Players who have won Wimbledon and the US Open, you know, they're guys like Sampras or McEnroe, the greats of the game. How much does it motivate you to win here, to be able to join players like that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, I guess everything I do, you know, I tie records or -- because I am not going to break them yet. So I just really try to do my best. If that's enough, you know, to win three out of four, that's fantastic. And if I can win back-to-back Grand Slams, that's also something special, I think. It's never easy to have won one and you start again from zero. I guess that's a difficulty as well. Wimbledon is a very different Grand Slam, I would call it, with the grass, with the atmosphere, with the whole thing. So US Open is definitely tough, you know, when it comes to the players already that have been hanging around in the States usually for weeks, you know. The last big tournament of the year, I would call it maybe, you know, is coming their way. Everybody's ready to go. So we saw it last year how many great players were in the quarters, last 16. So I expect the same again this year. So you really have to beat the top guys to win it.

End of FastScripts….

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