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June 24, 2004

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Could I have the first question for Roger, please.

Q. Did you feel you got a real benefit from that match or was it almost too quick for you?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it was good. I had to fight hard, especially in the first set, you know. Okay, the score is very easy, but he was playing well and I had to come up with some really good shots in the beginning to make the difference. After that, I really had a good start to every set, which was important. I was very consistent today. It was good.

Q. Is that almost sort of one-sided, especially in the score line, a match you can remember especially in a Grand Slam?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it has been definitely one of the -- maybe the most easy match. If you look at the minutes played, the score, everything together. But, you know, like I said, I had to play well today to beat him because he wasn't a player who was just going to give it to me.

Q. What do you think of when you hear people like John McEnroe and some of the other greats saying that you could accomplish some of the things that Sampras did here, could be one of the greats in the sport?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, nice to hear. But, many matches, many sets, many points, much hard work left for me to achieve the same, you know, or similar. It's nice to hear, you know, which means I'm in a good way. But, you know, too much work left to really start, you know, talking about it really.

Q. Are there responsibilities that go with being No. 1 off the court?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, definitely. You know, I make sure, you know, the image of tennis is, you know, set up the right way, which I think is important - and I think it is. Obviously, you know, I always try to be an example to children, you know, be a role model. I think that is very important. So I think -- I hope I'm doing the right things, you know, on and off the court. I'm trying to act very natural. I'm just myself on the court. Seems that people like it, so it's good.

Q. You were off court very quickly, as well, on Monday. How did you spend the three days in between?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me it was not too bad because I was playing third match on every time. You know, I warmed up around noon every time, and I went back to the apartment to see how the weather's going to be, so I could basically relax at the apartment, you know, instead of sticking around the courts. That definitely helped me not to, you know, get overexcited about these rain delays. So it was same today. I was happy I could really play today because it is long, you know, to wait always for the rain to stop.

Q. Watching the Euro matches, as well?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I am. Not anymore now. All my favorite teams are out.

Q. What do you think about tonight's?

ROGER FEDERER: I really don't care. Seriously, I'm not -- yeah, I hope France plays well because of Zidane, I really like him very much.

Q. What about Portugal-England?

ROGER FEDERER: For me it doesn't matter.

Q. Did you have to give up a lot in your personal life to be No. 1, to stay No. 1?

ROGER FEDERER: It just started for me, as well, you know, since the beginning of the year. Obviously it is very busy, but it's still in my control. You know, I can say how much I want to do, how much time I have, how much time I want to give away. You know, it's interesting how everything goes really. Somebody, I would say, become a world star and everybody wants something from you, also the international media. It is a different life. Earning a lot of money, things change a little bit. You know, I got used to it actually very quickly, and I'm enjoying it. But it is busy. It's not for everyone, I guess.

Q. What is your favorite non-tennis memory from the Sydney Olympics?

ROGER FEDERER: Non-tennis? Obviously meeting my girlfriend.

Q. Can you talk about how that all came about?

ROGER FEDERER: Is that what you wanted to hear (smiling)?

Q. No. If there was another event that you saw.

ROGER FEDERER: I really liked also the opening ceremony. It was very special. Not only, you know, when you walk in, but also the hours before. We were in the Super Dome I think it was called, waiting there, with all the other countries. Every country was singing different songs, so it was very nice. You know, once you walk on -- as Switzerland, we walk on very late, you know, because of S. We had a long time to wait, but not as long in the stadium, which was nice, too

But it was a very special moment, this one, and also many others, too.

Q. Was there an athlete outside of tennis who's event you saw or met in the village that it was really cool to meet that person?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, I don't remember meeting anybody. I remember seeing Popov, you know, swimming. I saw Marion Jones before the opening ceremony because I don't think she was staying at the village. But she was there because of the opening ceremony. There I saw her. Other than that, I don't remember seeing too many other, you know, very famous athletes maybe. It's four years ago, huh? I don't remember everything.

THE MODERATOR: Can we go back to tennis questions, please.


Q. What do you do on a rainy day when you don't exactly know when your match will start? Is there something specific to stay awake?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't sleep in the afternoon really, so I just, you know, watch TV, watch what's going on on the courts, you know, eat at the right times, sit on the couch really and maybe play some cards, watch TV. That's all I do.

Q. Do you look at the Top 10 and point to any players who are more of a threat to you than anyone else?

ROGER FEDERER: In this tournament?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously I think, you know, like I've said many times, I think Roddick and Henman and Hewitt for me are the biggest rivals, the guys who have got the biggest chance and the most experience on grass. This is why I think they're going to be the toughest to beat.

Q. What would you think, people are talking about a Roddick-Federer rivalry helping to elevate men's tennis? Do you agree with that?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's obviously good to see, you know, the top two in the world playing each other more often. I think, you know, it just needs more time because we're all very young. I'd say the older players are leaving, you know, I would say the ones who really won Grand Slam after Grand Slam, you know. There's some maybe very new faces around now. But I think in the next three or five years, you know, we will all know them and we'll have the big rivalries back like before, which the people are hoping to see. But for the moment, we are very young and tennis is very open, so it's very tough to get to finals in Grand Slams, so.

Q. Was there any player that you patterned your game after growing up?

ROGER FEDERER: No, never. I always thought it was wrong to play like somebody. Obviously, you know, once you're good enough, you can maybe take some things from different players. But I never tried to play like, you know, technique-wise or anything like any other player.

Q. No player who drew you into the sport?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, Becker for me was my inspiration in the beginning.

End of FastScripts….

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