January 28, 2004
THE MODERATOR: First question for Roger, please.
Q. Great to be in a semifinal. Would it surprise you to know that the statistics show you made 55 unforced errors tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I made a lot in the beginning. Couldn't find the rhythm. You know, I took more chances obviously than he did. My game is to try to attack. So I'm always going to hit unforced errors. But I agree, today was a little bit too many.
Q. Is there any reason in particular why it should happen today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he's one of the players who is anyway going to make you hit unforced errors, you know, at times. And, you know, I've had my experiences with him, so I knew there was nothing to worry about too much, if I'm ahead in the score especially.
Q. Because of the record you had against him before Houston, does that make you feel you have to go out and do a bit more?
ROGER FEDERER: No. The opposite because I've taken too many chances in the past. That's why I've lost.
Q. Do you feel like you got a little revenge for losing to him at the Australian here last year and the US Open?
ROGER FEDERER: It's really nice to beat him in a Slam, you know. It always hurts double if you lose in a Slam. To get him back at least once, because he also beat me at the US Open, it's nice. I'm happy to have beaten, you know, Hewitt and Nalbandian on the way to the semis. It's only my second semifinals in my career. It's a very big satisfaction I have right now.
Q. In a sense, with those two experiences, playing two players who play in a similar-ish style, the fact that you've now got Ferrero, means you're very much in the groove against baseliners?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that will help me because they run down a lot of, lot of balls. I always have to hit not only one winner to win the point; it's many. This will be similar to Juan Carlos. I know him obviously better than other guys it seems like because his game is much more simple. You know, he's got a good forehand, good backhand, he can hit winners off both sides. It kind of makes the game easier.
Q. Have you ever hit four consecutive aces under such important circumstances?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think I've ever hit four aces in a row. That was very important at that stage because it was looking like he was going to, you know, run away in that set with that lead. Came at the right times. Very happy (smiling).
Q. Do you get the feeling that the crowd here is genuinely warming towards you? The further you're going, the better you're playing, the crowd appreciates you even more?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really (laughter). Maybe because, you know, I played -- the only thing I could imagine is because I've played here in Davis Cup. But same counts for a lot of guys. But, still, I feel like we've played a great match with Lleyton, and now again. But maybe I felt in the crowd a little bit of a disappointment that there's no more Aussies around. I guess that's also normal.
Q. How close were they to having to close the roof, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Never close, because the referee told me they're not going to close it.
Q. Apparently it was raining quite heavily.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, he told me. I told him, "Well, why don't we close the roof?" He said, "Well, we'll see." I said, "Well, if it's not raining for the moment, we can keep going." It's only a small space open anyway.
Q. Just on the previous question about the crowd warming to you, I've spoken to a few Juniors this weekend. They all say they want to play like you because you have the good game, the way that you play is what they want to emulate. Do you have a sense of that a little bit or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the last few days, you know, I've been hitting with Juniors because I don't have a coach and I like to play with Juniors just to see how they play. I remember in '98 when I had the chance to play with some players, it was really, really exciting, you know. It's tough to say if they really enjoy to play with me, because some are shy, the other guys don't speak much. And we only hit for half an hour, an hour. But tomorrow I'll hit again with a junior, a Swiss junior this time. Him I know better. You know, I'm just trying to get them used to the tour a little bit, and show them a little what I do. You know, maybe it will help them in their career.
Q. Any of them hitting single-handed backhands?
ROGER FEDERER: One of them was.
Q. Do they ask you or do you ask them?
ROGER FEDERER: I ask them, because I don't think...
Q. They'd be too shy to ask you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I guess so.
Q. Are you able to give us a word about the next match, the semifinal, what your thoughts are?
ROGER FEDERER: Another tough match. Similar to the Masters where I had to play Agassi, to play Nalbandian, to play Ferrero. Now I'm playing Hewitt to play Nalbandian to play Ferrero. That is tough, especially over five sets, every second day. Looking forward. I'm confident now, even though I thought I played a better match against Hewitt. But I feel like I definitely got the game to beat Ferrero.
Q. When you get this far in a tournament, is there that feeling that if you don't win it, there's a sense of disappointment because you have got this far, that the tournament is yours for the taking?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, disappointment is always here if you lose in a Slam, like I said before. So if I lose in the semis or the finals or the first round, doesn't really change much because the disappointment is going to be there anyway.
Q. It's probably fair to say that your only other semifinal in a Slam, you probably played one of your finest matches ever. You have that in the back of your mind going in?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I know I definitely got the game to raise at the occasion. I've shown it in the past. And this makes me go very confident to the semis. Same at The Masters. When it got important, I played well. So that's kind of what I expect from myself for the next match.
Q. How important is it for you to become No. 1?
ROGER FEDERER: We'll see. We'll see. I can't say much. I don't want to because I'm focused on this tournament, on winning this tournament now, especially I made it to the semis. So No. 1 is secondary right now.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.