November 14, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.
Q. Is it difficult to get up for a match which you know really doesn't have much bearing on what's happening today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, depends how you look at it, you know. I think if I win all matches until the end of the tournament, I can still end No. 2 in the world, you know. I think that should be motivation enough for this one match. Especially because he's ranked ahead of me, and I lost to him in Madrid last time, it was really no problem to get motivated for this match.
Q. I suppose also it's a danger if you don't get motivated for this one it could have a knock-on effect for the next one?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, as I am motivated, I don't have to answer this question.
Q. Had you mathematically already figured out how you could get No. 2?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think I have to win all matches, you know. Same comment for No. 1 in the world. But there I needed help, you know. So now I played well today, you know. I could swing a little more freely, which was nice. He wasn't in the mood to ride it too much. He was also taking a lot of risks. So it's gonna be a different game, you know, whoever I play in the semis.
Q. In Madrid and then in Paris you admitted something wasn't quite right in your game. Now, obviously, that doesn't appear to be the problem here. Can you put your finger on what was going wrong then and what is better now?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was really struggling to control the balls, you know, in Madrid, Basel. Not Basel, but Madrid and Paris, because was very fast surface, I played guys who served pretty well, you know. Then I had that back problem, you know. So was a few things, you know, which was bothering me. I got over it, you know. Had some time off. I came here early enough, you know, to prepare. I guess that made a difference for this week.
Q. You're playing so well now that does part of you say, "It's too bad that the season is ending," or does it make you feel like when you come back in January you ended so high?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm just happy the season is ending nicely, you know. I'm happy the season is over after this, you know. I'm happy to go on holidays. But I still have the weekend ahead of me which is gonna be very important for me. I'm happy I played so well in this Round Robin. There was tough group ahead. To come through so easily - the last two matches, especially - is quite surprising.
Q. I think you were in the same position last year, you were undefeated in the Round Robin.
ROGER FEDERER: Uh-hmm.
Q. Will you approach the semifinals this year any differently?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think I have to, you know, because I played a good match against Hewitt. Was an extremely good match, I thought, from both sides. So I don't think I did anything wrong, you know. I just played against a guy who played better that day. Was going back and forward that match. Was a joke, you know, was really great for the crowds. You know, I just hope that this time I can come through as a winner and not lose again so close.
Q. Can you talk about this generation that you're a part of, this Changing of the Guard with Ferrero, Roddick, Hewitt, those guys.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think we felt it coming since a few years now. It's really now that everybody is proving themselves, plus, you know, Sampras retired. So obviously there's right away more focus on the youngsters. And, yeah, we're not that young anymore, we're 22, 23. I think in tennis you're young when you're 18 like Gasquet or Nadal, you know.
Q. Are you worried about those guys?
ROGER FEDERER: No, but I think they are young when they come first, second year on the tour. But this is my fifth, sixth year already on the tour. I've been around also a little bit.
Q. Can you talk about either guy you might face tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: Coria or Roddick. Tough match, you know, no matter who I play. First of all, they have to battle it out because it's not an easy match for one or the other. So, yeah, I'm gonna prepare tonight after this match is over.
Q. What will you do during your time off? Will you go on holiday?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I deserve a holiday (laughter). I also go on holiday sometimes. My last holiday was after Gstaad, so... It's been a few months. Yeah, just a few weeks and then I have to prepare again for next year.
Q. Will you go a number of days without picking up a racquet?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, few weeks.
Q. Where do you plan to start next year?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm playing an exhibition in Hong Kong, then Kooyong, then I'm going to play Australian Open.
Q. Is holiday going home or is it actually going to a vacation spot?
ROGER FEDERER: Vacation, yes.
Q. Which hotel (laughter)?
ROGER FEDERER: Which hotel (smiling)? I want to be on my own there, please, so...
Q. Will you visit Harriet?
ROGER FEDERER: Excuse me?
Q. Do you visit your cow on your time off?
ROGER FEDERER: No, she's indoors. I want to go outdoors, you know.
Q. When you go on holiday, do you ever go to the cities where there are tournaments but do the things you're not able to do when you're actually competing?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I have only been going to holidays where there's no tournaments there really.
Q. Is it like beach, that kind of stuff?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I prefer the warm. I need some warm climate. But I'll also go skiing maybe a few days when I'm back.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.