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May 5, 2004

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger.

Q. You seemed to start very well the match, much better than yesterday, and then suddenly things turned around in the second set. What happened?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I missed my chances really, I thought, you know, early in the first set a little bit, but also the same at the start of the second. I knew it will be a tough match, you know. I played really aggressive in the beginning; it worked well. And, you know, also volleyed some great shots, which, you know, which kept me holding my serve. So I was trying to play as good as I could in the second also, but he got into the game, he got the break and started to feel how he should play me. That's what cost me the match in the end.

Q. At the end you seemed to be little bit in a rush. Were you losing confidence or control or what?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it was just tough match, you know, for me. I tried everything I could. He didn't miss any easy returns anymore. He didn't give me much. It was up to me to really do something extra; not him. He knew what he had to do. I was trying to find out what I had to change, and that was difficult. I missed my chance when I came back in the third. The one long, tough rally cost me the set and the match in the end. But that's a pity because up until then, I thought I was playing okay, you know. Still, I was missing many, many shots, but I knew that would happen in the beginning of the clay court season.

Q. What does your coach, Mr. Federer, say you have to do now?

ROGER FEDERER: Go on the practice courts, very simple. Because I haven't been playing well in practice, haven't been playing good in the matches. So all that's going to bring my confidence up is to practice what I thought was terrible today, and that's what I'm going to do. Hopefully, I'll be ready for the French, because so far I'm not really happy with my game.

Q. What was terrible in your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, too many things. I'm not happy with my serve, my return, my forehand sometimes, even though, you know, obviously it's my biggest weapon. But the movement also, at the same time. I feel I'm not quite where I should be, maybe. And, you know, I knew Rome will be a tough challenge for me. It's a huge tournament, great players, you know - Costa, everybody knows how good, how strong he is on clay. Just, yeah, couldn't get through this one. It was too tough.

Q. What changes do you think you will have to make in your play before France?

ROGER FEDERER: Not much. The game plan is all right. You know, I know how I have to play on clay, you know. But the thing is just what I want to do, I can't really do it the way I want. Obviously, the opponent has something to do with it, but at the same time, you know, it's also little bit of lack of confidence because clay courts -- the clay plays differently than the rest. I just have to, you know, go on the practice courts and really do drills. And hopefully then, you know, I'll feel better on certain shots.

Q. It's just a problem of confidence, do you think?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. If you can tell me the answer, tell me. But I have to go on the practice courts, that's all I can tell you.

Q. Is this the down side of having to take a break, almost a forced break, on the Tour?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, definitely, you know, I didn't play my best, but I think my opponent, he played well. I think people are looking at this as too dramatic, you know. I think this is an open match on any surface. I lost to him in Miami a year ago on hard court, and here I lose to him again. So I think he's a very good player, and I think we should also respect his game a little more. Because everybody's talking about me having a break, of being ready and missing too many shots, and I think that's not what we should be talking about. I hope, you know, I'm ready for the French Open and for Hamburg next week, that I'll play better. I cannot change anything. For me, it's not a disaster, because I knew how tough the clay court season is for me. And that's it, there's no more to say about this subject really.

Q. This morning in Athens, several bombs went off. Let me ask you something. You and the others who are going to the Olympics, the athletes going there, are you worried about the security problem?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the security is as tough as never before, right, so... I also hope the stadium will be there in time so that there is an Olympics. But, obviously, that's something not very good. I hope they can control it a little better. But what can I say? It's not good news.

Q. You're not questioning whether it's safe for you to participate at the moment? Is that too premature?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, he just told me what happened. So, I mean, obviously , it's not a good thing and I don't know what to really think about it because I don't know how bad it is. We have a lot of problems in the world right now, so it's not the only one. Yeah, I mean, obviously makes you consider it a little bit more, yeah.

Q. A few years ago Sampras lost here and the crowd was whistling him because they thought he wasn't trying. Today, you had also some whistles. What is your reaction when something like that happens? Do you think it's unfair? Do you think they don't understand?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me, it's no respect, because I try to run after every ball for over two hours, and I'm disappointed in myself that I lost. You know, I don't get any applause, nothing. When I maybe leave the court, there is some whistles. That is not, you know, very funny. But, you know, the people, they think what is right, you know, but I know it's wrong so... All I can say is I try every time 100 percent, and it's a pity to see such reactions.

End of FastScripts….

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