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October 17, 2003

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger.

Q. Was that closer than you might have preferred?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, if I could choose, I'd always choose an easy match, obviously. But there's not much I could do, you know. I played the one bad game, you know, with the two double-faults. Yeah, I didn't -- actually I didn't play the right way, even though I knew how he was going to play. But we only played one time. I was injured, and it was on grass. You know, not too much I could take out of that match. I just hung in there. I could have lost in straight sets also, 6-4, 6-4. I was down Love-40 in the second. I really battled hard tonight. I gave everything I had.

Q. You played against Feliciano at Wimbledon. After your game at Wimbledon, do you think that he has improved?

ROGER FEDERER: It's very difficult. I don't want to judge too much the Wimbledon performance from him or from me, because it was very difficult for him. I was not playing injured, I was injured, you know. That made the whole game totally different, you know. Hard court, you know, he definitely maybe moves better - everybody does. It's a totally different game. Here, the ball flies. It's very difficult to control. I was not knowing where he's going to serve in the beginning, until the second, third set. I think, you know, and the ranking shows, he's been playing well since the US Open or since Wimbledon actually. I'm happy for him.

Q. Although it was a very tough match today, do you still feel that you're getting more used to the conditions and you're improving tennis-wise?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, difficult to say after such a match. You know, he plays so different than all the other players: lefty, slices the ball all the time, got a big first serve. I don't know, it's just really strange, you know, to play him. I guess I cannot take too much out of this one for tomorrow.

Q. What are you thinking about the world No. 1? Are you not noticing it because it's changing every day?

ROGER FEDERER: I knew this is a big match for me today. So is it tomorrow - even bigger. You always got to concentrate on the match you're playing right now. I cannot look too far ahead. Yeah, tomorrow's very big, you know, because I'm playing a guy who is in contention, as well. I have no idea, you know, how it is for one of us. I just hope I can play good tomorrow and beat him.

Q. You played a tough match against Hewitt in Australia, Davis Cup. Now Spain is going to Australia. What do you expect for the Spaniards in the Davis Cup final on the grass?

ROGER FEDERER: I think they have definitely an outside chance. I would even make the match 50/50, you know, because Hewitt didn't play too well on the grass this year. He won Wimbledon the year before. You never know. I don't know how he's doing physically, because he had some operation on his toe. So I don't know. Philippoussis, he proved it this year, he can play well on grass. But also he got lucky against a guy who's playing from the baseline, against Popp. I think Spain definitely has their chance, because we were already very close.

Q. Normally indoors the conditions favor you a little bit more than Juan Carlos. Have you been watching him this week? What do you think of the way he's been playing?

ROGER FEDERER: I've seen a little bit, first of all. I always feel that Juan Carlos starts to play better as the tournament goes on, you know. That's why I was actually happy to play him first match at The Masters last year. I just see it, you know, he's struggling, shanking a lot of balls. He doesn't feel the ball yet. We saw it today, he wasn't missing too much. But he knows I will play aggressive. If he plays a short ball, I'll come in on it. Maybe he's a little tentative. I just have to make sure I serve well. I beat him also on clay, you know, but he was a little injured. But also there I played a good match against him, and aggressive.

End of FastScripts….

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