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February 1, 2004

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. At this time after Wimbledon, how does the feeling compare now to how you felt sitting in that chair in London?

ROGER FEDERER: Totally different really because, like I've always said, that Wimbledon victory for me was such a dream and such a relief. I cannot really describe what I felt right then, right there. But now I kind of know how it feels. It's still really nice. It just gets me all emotional inside. Yeah, it's just unbelievable. You know, you come here, you prepare, you leave after three weeks basically, and you're finally the winner after such a long time. It just really feels good.

Q. What do you hear from Juliette? "Congratulations"?


Q. Nothing?

ROGER FEDERER: Nothing. Disappointment, big disappointment (smiling).

Q. Perhaps tomorrow.

ROGER FEDERER: Perhaps, yeah.

Q. How much tension was there in you today in that match?

ROGER FEDERER: Very much in the beginning because I first also had to see how Marat was going to play. I had definitely my game plan, but it was important to see how he's going to play, if he's going to play aggressive or change something about his game to play me. But it came the way I expected. He returned really well in the beginning. You know, that made me wonder about my serving. I didn't feel like I was serving great today, but I was playing well from the baseline, moving well. It was good for me to come back in the first set. Looking back, that first set was crucial to the match.

Q. You made reference over the two weeks to a number of matches in 2003 which were obviously sticking in your memory, trying to gain No. 1 in 2003, plus the Davis Cup. This time around, these two weeks you've been able to really work through those, and you're happy now with the way you finished this one?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah, I'm very happy, obviously. I thought I played great basically from the first round on because normally you always have some difficulties in the beginning. But I never had a feeling that I had one match these whole two weeks where I thought, "I'm not hitting the ball fine." I thought especially the Lleyton Hewitt match was one of the most exciting for me these two weeks. Obviously, the one from today.

Q. You mentioned revenge a couple of times. Have you gotten revenge from a couple of those defeats from last year?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, especially against Nalbandian and Hewitt, that was for me very important to beat them because I've had bad records against them. To have won the tournament with beating these guys, really it adds, you know, just more - more quality - even better.

Q. Do you think it's possible to win a Grand Slam calendar year?

ROGER FEDERER: It's so difficult to answer. I have really no idea what it takes. But I've said it in the past, I feel like not many guys can do it. If there are anybody, I would like them to step forward, say they can do it, because I think it's really difficult. You know, I'm the only guy who has a chance this year to do it, so that's not a bad situation (smiling). We'll see what happens at the French.

Q. Do you think it's possible, though? Do you think it can be done in this day and age?

ROGER FEDERER: Very difficult. Very difficult.

Q. The opinion seems to be from all the other players and most of the people around here that you have the most complete game in the game. Can you see that in yourself?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm maybe the most natural ball-striker, I don't know. I'm not going to start praising myself. But just for me, my game feels natural. I feel like I'm living the game when I'm out there. I feel when a guy is going to hit the ball, I know exactly with the angles and the spins, I just feel that I've got that figured out. And that is just a huge advantage. Also when it gets important, I feel like I can raise my game. All these little things make me a good player. Yeah, I don't know. Ask other players.

Q. Looking back, you're more surprised that you didn't play a final in a Slam before last Wimbledon, or that you won two Slams losing just one set in Wimbledon and two sets here?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I prefer here, like the way it is right now really. I didn't feel a hundred percent ready yet before, otherwise I would have won a couple of these five-set matches here. In Wimbledon, it was still too early. After that, I had some, you know, not good enough results to actually come close to win a Slam. And Wimbledon was my first chance. You know, I missed at the US Open. I lost again to Nalbandian. So since basically a year now, I feel I can win majors. But before, everybody was just talking about it just because I beat Pete Sampras.

Q. Were you surprised you just missed two sets in this tournament, one set in Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: You're always surprised. I expect five-setters, but I don't play five-setters because I win easier. That is a nice problem to have. But, you know, it could also bite you eventually. Marat, he played a lot of five-setters. We go in the fifth, and he feels much more confident. Maybe I get more tired or I don't know how to right away cope with a fifth set. That is a disadvantage. Obviously, I prefer the way it was and is.

Q. You don't have a coach. Is a strategy of yours because like this you don't have always to give a look to the stands so you save more mental energy?

ROGER FEDERER: I've always tried not to look too much in the stands just because if something like this happens to me, when I don't play without the coach, I'm not lost, you know.

Q. The comments that have been made before you starting the Australian Open about playing without a coach, did that sort of make you more ambitious to win here?

ROGER FEDERER: No, it didn't. For me, it's just an organization to get maybe better prepared. It's something else, let's put it this way. But the motivation was there because the preparation for Australia starts in December when I start practicing. It's not only when you arrive here. When you arrive here, you've already done the work, so...

Q. A lot of great players have not had coaches. Do you feel that maybe you may be turning the thing the other way? But do you need a scout?

ROGER FEDERER: John McEnroe just told me that before there were no coaches. I didn't know that. So I took the decision before I knew. But I'm not trying to introduce something new to the game. I'm just concerned about my own thing. For me at that moment, it was very difficult to take that decision. But looking back, I wouldn't say it was the right one, but it was an important one because I want to improve, I want to hear new information. I'll look around, and hopefully I find a coach soon. Because 22, it's too early not to work with a coach.

Q. Do you think you found a coach already?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I haven't found anybody.

Q. You're still looking?

ROGER FEDERER: Still looking, yeah. Like a single man (smiling).

Q. Did you feel as cool on court as you looked?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was rather relaxed today, especially in the end because I had a double break going into that service game. So I was much more relaxed than I was all the other matches really, except against Todd Reid, where it was really easy. Yeah, somehow in the end, there was no -- all this nerve, tension. Obviously, if I lose the game at 5-2, then the nerves come back. But was too dominant in the end.

Q. Did you feel heartened when you saw Marat getting unhappy with himself during the match?


Q. Did you get encouraged when you saw that?

ROGER FEDERER: No. I just take the situation the way it is. You know, I don't want to say I feel sorry for him, but I know exactly what he feels. Because if I would have been in his position, I would have felt the same way. You know, then the people get into it. It's not easy. Like you say, he was trying. They almost gave him a hard time, I thought. Because he's not there to joke around. He's there to win the Australian Open. That was I thought kind of heavy on him. But he's a fair guy. It was a pleasure to play him, like always, I've said before the matches.

Q. There's a great young crop of young players. Do you feel like you can separate yourself from the Ferrero and Hewitt, those guys?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. We have to see what the results are going to be now I would say till the French Open, after Wimbledon. Because I just made it to No. 1 in the world now. Okay, out of the last three, I won two of the Slams, plus the Masters. Maybe it looks this way. But only the future can tell.

Q. You achieved two goals here: you became No. 1, first Swiss No. 1, first Swiss title in Australia. How big a celebration do you expect in Switzerland? Are they going to give you another cow?

ROGER FEDERER: No, probably not. Juliette doesn't need a friend. I have no idea, like I said after Wimbledon. I have no idea how the Swiss people will react to this one. Swiss people tend to be a little bit different. But I was very pleased the way they reacted after my Wimbledon win. Hopefully it's going to be something similar.

Q. Marat said he ran out of gas. How soon in the match did you realize that he wasn't 100%?

ROGER FEDERER: Middle of the second. Similar to Ferrero. He was carrying an injury. I don't know if Marat was carrying anything today. But he was just awfully tired, I guess. Important to just stay focused because my game was going well, exactly the way I wanted it to. You can see on him when he's unhappy. It's not so difficult to take the opportunities there in the end because he just gets frustrated and you know if you keep pressing, you will eventually get him.

Q. Was there any time during the past two weeks that you didn't think you would win the tournament?

ROGER FEDERER: All the time because it's just such a long two weeks. Because you play, you wait, you eat, you sleep, you come back, you wait. It's really difficult to always get motivated again and to say, "Okay. I only won three matches so far, I've got to do four more." That can be quite difficult on your mind. For me, the last four matches have been unbelievably tough opponents especially. Of course, sometimes doubt came up.

Q. Were those doubts less this time than they were at Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah. Wimbledon I was just hoping to come far in the tournament, but not to win. Suddenly I'm there standing as the winner. Here when I made it to I would say semis, I knew that, you know, "Now you're not far away. If Marat wins, he's tired in the final. Ferrero is carrying an injury. If you play well, you can beat all these guys." But to get to that point is a difficult part, I feel.

Q. How much did Czech fitness trainer Pavel Kovac help you?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, he's been traveling with me for over a year now. It's a pleasure to work with him. He's a very nice guy. Looking forward to work with him in the future, as well, because he did a good job.

Q. Who do you think will be the next European soccer champions?

ROGER FEDERER: European championships in Portugal, who knows? I think we can already be quite happy the way it's going in sports right now. Hopefully it continues. Swiss people love sports. Otherwise I wouldn't have been voted Swiss of the year.

Q. The red shirt, was it nationalistic pride?

ROGER FEDERER: I think I'm kind of famous for wearing the red shirt and the white headband. So I stuck to it when I played from the fourth round on. It brought me luck once again. I'm happy about it.

Q. Earlier today they announced next year's men's final will be played at night. Is that going to be tougher for the players?

ROGER FEDERER: I've played a lot of night sessions this year, and I won them all. I won them all at The Masters. It's a good thing for me. I don't think there's wildcards for the finals next year. Got to work all the way up again.

Q. Martina Hingis mentioned you're so big in your own country, you have your own perfume. Do you expect the sales to soar after this week of being the world No. 1 and winning the tournament?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, hopefully. I have no idea. For the moment, we're just on the Swiss market. We're trying to get bigger there. Then we'll see if we go abroad. But we're trying to. You know, it's something we've done all ourselves. It's the Roger Federer fragrance. I helped a lot with it. It's something that means a lot to me. We'll see what happens.

End of FastScripts….

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