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October 16, 2003

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger.

Q. Satisfied or a few things you think you might want to sort of sharpen up on today?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I still don't feel as good like in the end of Vienna. I just think it takes some time. Still holding back on a few shots. Even on the serve I feel a little bit. But I think for the next match and hopefully the other match that comes, you know, I'll feel much better. But I think also was a little bit his game which puts you on the back foot. He's a little dangerous. You're reacting more than you're acting. He's got a good first serve, you know, dangerous return. You always got to watch out.

Q. Is this something that's quite common? If it was a semifinal, you said yesterday you'd be going for the lines more than you have been doing. Is this a common trait that you build up through a tournament?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's just because you're more used to the conditions, you're feeling the balls better. Then you have more courage to just go for the lines. Right now maybe you're playing a little bit inside, you know, giving yourself more margin so you don't miss. If it goes on the line, if you hit it not right, you still have some margin. I mean, it's not every time like this. But here I feel like the balls are quite difficult to control. Maybe it takes a little longer.

Q. Sorry to remind you of a match that you lost, but could you take us back to Australia and how you recovered from that match. Those of us who weren't there just saw the result and saw how that match played out, how you got that one out of your system.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it must be one of the toughest losses in my career, you know. I've never lost I think leading two sets to love, plus a break, serving for the match, 30-All. I was really, really playing well. I was basically dominating him for two sets. First set was tight in the beginning, but then I started to really play well. Two forehands on the line that game to get back. In the end, obviously he deserves it. Still I had a chance also in the fourth. I was down a break. I came back. I lose the set anyway 7-5. In the end, I was maybe a little tired from the doubles the day before the singles. But, no, he really didn't miss a ball anymore. I wasn't serving as great anymore. To actually come to the end, actually I forgot this match very quickly, to my surprise. But I think that has something to do that I wasn't in the position that he was in. You know, he could decide the rubber and the tie for him and for Australia, and I couldn't. I was just keeping ourselves alive. Plus, you know, I was part of a great team. So, I don't know, it was actually very easy to forget. Came back to Switzerland, you know, didn't even think about it, what happened.

Q. Is it the altitude here that is bothering you a little bit about the balls? Are they flying a bit?

ROGER FEDERER: I really don't know. I think, first of all, the surface is pretty fast, you know. If you're serving well, you know, it's very difficult to control. I don't know if there's any bad bounces. The balls seem quite heavy, but they're still flying. I mean, if I just compare to Vienna, I remember the practice sessions was like ping-pong, like nobody was missing, you could hit full swing, spin the balls. Here you have to be very much more careful. Sometimes you're struggling to hit three in a row. It's just a really big difference to last week, for me anyway, for those who come from Vienna, I guess.

Q. Assuming it is Carlos Moya next, it's going to be quite an atmosphere in that hall from what we saw last night. Do you enjoy playing in that sort of very hostile atmosphere?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, we cannot see the matches anywhere, so I just heard it was a little loud. They were clapping, you know, first serve misses of Ferreira. That wasn't nice, I heard. But that's how it goes. I'll definitely play a Spaniard. So a good atmosphere is going to be there for sure. That's okay.

Q. I know you're not allowed to bet on tennis, but what would be the odds for your chances to finish the year No. 1, compared to Ferrero and Roddick?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, first of all, I don't know what I need to do, you know. Obviously, you know, if I go further than they do, that increases my chances. But I think, you know, I'm the guy who's got the smallest chance maybe because I am third, not first or second. I think, you know, as we look at the rankings, I know Roddick hasn't been at The Masters, I think he's got the best chance - as soon as maybe Ferrero loses, he's going to be No. 1. He deserves it. I think he's got the best chance, then me maybe second, because I like the indoor season a lot. Ferrero has to defend his title at The Masters. But I don't really know what it takes.

Q. There was a little bit of a shaky spell for both of you in the middle of that second set. You played one poor service game, then you broke straight back. Was there anything special sort of going on there? Was it a bit of nerves, tension?

ROGER FEDERER: Because of the warning?

Q. Well, you had a poor game to lose your serve. Of course, it was very well timed for you to break back. It was a very odd couple of games there.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, the whole thing started early. First two service games from Mardy. I think twice, three breakpoints ahead, he just served unbelievable serves. That would have been the perfect moment to break, you know, to lead a set and a break. But he kept himself alive with his serve. Suddenly I'm under a little pressure and I get broken. For me, it was very important to hang in that game, to break right back because I knew it was going to be new balls the next changeover. That even makes the whole thing faster, better for Mardy. You know, it was a good moment to break back. After that, we saw, it was very quick service games, like three, four in a row.

Q. Since you have beaten Andy Roddick in the semis at Wimbledon, he's had an incredible summer. What is the biggest improvement that he has made during this month?

ROGER FEDERER: He was already improving his incredible season since St. Polten, same as me, since French Open where he lost first round. What he has improved? I don't know. Maybe he's mixing up his serve a little better. I feel like he's maybe not missing as much as before. His forehand has increased. He's not shanking as many balls as before. I don't know. On hard courts, it seems he's moving much better than on the other surfaces. But, you know, I'm not playing him enough to really tell, so...

Q. Do you have any preference for your quarterfinalist opponent, Moya or Feliciano?

ROGER FEDERER: No, not really, no. Whoever comes, I think it's going to be difficult. They're both Spaniards. Carlos, okay, I beat him in the final in Vienna. But, as I said, it's different here. I'm not playing as well as in Vienna, but I'm still in. I feel like every match I'm going to come through and I'm going to play better. Lopez is totally different. He's a lefty. He has a great serve. Probably serve and volley. So it's different styles. Whoever I play, it's going to be difficult, I think.

End of FastScripts….

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