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November 15, 2003

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is that a case of getting better round by round this week?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I definitely think this has been my best match so far. I was solid from beginning to start (sic), you know. But, again, it was a totally different match than I've played in the past. I played all against great returners. Today I played a great server, so the match totally changes. It's difficult to say which one has been my best match, in a way.

Q. The whole week went so good. I mean, you didn't have one match where it was not going your way.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the week is not over. So the week has been okay till now, yes. But, still, tomorrow is the biggest one of all, I guess. So I'm really looking forward. I'm happy with my performance this whole week until now. But it's not over yet. So I still have to play one big match.

Q. How much is the No. 2 ranking driving you on?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think that's -- at least, you know, I'm playing for something. I'm not stuck at No. 3 or stuck at any ranking. I still have room to improve. And that's nice, you know, to just add an extra motivation. But just in general, to be at the Masters Cup, you know, motivates me a lot. Now I've come one step further than last year in Shanghai, and I've got a chance to win this tournament. So I'm very motivated.

Q. Could you sense that Andy just didn't have much energy today; even though he was able to get to the tiebreaker, that he was pretty much done?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, he, you know... That's not his own fault, but he went through some tough matches, you know, in these Round Robin matches, where I only had basically one very difficult one, was my condition, you know. So I don't know how tired he was, you know, but I played good tennis. That's what counts for me.

Q. Can that be particularly dangerous when in a final you've got to play somebody you've already beaten in the Round Robin?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I've never experienced it, so I don't know how it's gonna be. But I think both players took something out of that match and are gonna try to do it better in tomorrow's final. So I think that's the interesting part. We just played a few days ago. To play again, it's kind of a strange feeling. But that's also sometimes you get that in ATP events but, you know, not against such good players maybe.

Q. What do you think is better - having four three-set matches going into a five-set final, or not having played at all, versus going with relatively easy matches, versus not having played all fall and having had four really tough matches?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I prefer my position by far, you know. I prefer to be mentally and physically fit, you know. I don't know how Andre is doing, you know, but he had to work really hard to get to that final. I think that's more an advantage than a disadvantage.

Q. Tomorrow's final is three-out-of-five. Do you have a certain strategy more than two-out-of-three?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it's gonna be different just because it's a best-of-five, not a best-of-three. So I still believe it's gonna be intense, you know, because he's gonna make you work, you know. It's just a matter of being ready, you know, to do the work. You know, the last match of my year, so I'm gonna give everything I have, you know. I cannot tell you how intense it's gonna be, but there is gonna be just a little bit of a difference, you know, just in the approach, I guess, from my and from his side.

Q. This week you've beaten the year's three other Grand Slam winners. Does that add to the satisfaction at all?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I didn't think about that, you know. It's always nice, you know, to beat such top players. I think I had quite a bad record, you know, against Top 10ers this year coming into the Masters. Now to have polished that up, it's a nice feeling.

Q. How is your level right how compared to Wimbledon?

ROGER FEDERER: Wimbledon's a different tournament, you know (smiling). It's not much rallying going on. There's a lot of instinct and that's, you know -- I have to forget that tournament, you know, and put it to the side, just remember the good things about it, you know. Hard court, clay court, it's just different, you know. You have to fight much more; you have to -- it's much more physical, you know. So I cannot compare my performance today against Andy like it was in the semis in Wimbledon.

End of FastScripts….

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