October 15, 2003
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger.
Q. Apart from one blip in the first set when you served for it, it seemed to go pretty well, particularly your serve.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. You know, different conditions here. I was happy to get off to a good start. I guess I could not try around a little bit, but feel my way around. And so, you know, it was tough suddenly to be back on serve, you know, in the first set and then have to break again. But, you know, I did well. The second also actually went pretty easily. I'm happy the way I played today.
Q. Can you tell us how the conditions are different from last week.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's flying more. It's definitely quicker. You know, obviously I'm still holding back a little bit, you know, on my shots because I don't want to go for the lines like I would do in a semifinals. Just takes a few matches.
Q. Next is Mardy Fish. He seems to be playing pretty well, as well. Have you played him much in the past? How do you rate him?
ROGER FEDERER: One time, I think, in Wimbledon. I beat him in four sets. Yeah, he's a dangerous player. I think he has improved. It was a good showing in Cincinnati. Otherwise, you know, I believe he's a very dangerous player. He's got a big game, big serve. He takes chances on the return. You better get that first serve in, you know, try to have a look at his serve.
Q. How much is the race for the No. 1 spot at the end of the year in your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: How do I feel about it?
Q. Yes. Do you think about it very much?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, first of all, I'm happy to be in contention, you know, to have a chance to become No. 1. Obviously, it's a pity I missed my chance in Montreal and Cincinnati and the US Open. But for me it's just important now to play a good, solid indoor season, you know. Last year was good, but I want to do even better this year. You know, it was a perfect start with Vienna. This tournament and Paris, you know, count extremely -- are very important for me. Basel obviously, too, but not points-wise. Then obviously the Masters Cup. I'm going to try to come as close as I can to win all of them.
Q. How difficult is it to win a tournament and come back and start all over again the following weeks?
ROGER FEDERER: It can be tough, you know. You fly in, don't get much of a hit before your first-round match. Now I start Wednesday. I got everyday matches if I want to win the tournament. But you kind of get used to it. This is also why I sometimes like to play three, four weeks in a row, like I did in the beginning of the year so I can just get used to it. It almost gets normal at one point. When I have a week off, it's like, you know, I must feel great the following week. So actually I'm pretty relaxed, plus I'm very confident right now. It's always much easier to play with confidence.
Q. Do you have any preference when you're coming off a win about playing a Tuesday or a Wednesday? Is there any benefit to be had or any psychological benefit to be had from knowing at least you'll have a day off after one match anyway?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the thing is, if you come from a win like I do now from Vienna, I'd rather play Wednesday, even though I have to play every day. The problem is if I play Tuesday, I would only get maybe a 45-minute hit in on that Monday. I would come traveling either that Sunday night or on that Monday, then I would have a day off. But I cannot think this way. I have to think to have the best preparation for the first-round match. Then it doesn't matter if I have to play every day. I prefer to have a little bit more time to get used to the different conditions.
Q. Wednesday is the lesser of two evils?
ROGER FEDERER: I prefer the Wednesday start.
Q. Peter Lundgren seemed to be making a lot of notes during that match. Does he go through matches with you in detail afterwards or does he make one or two remarks?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, a few remarks. It's a little bit concerning serves, you know, where I'm serving, the opponent's serving. It's just keeping a little bit stats of that. Then we go through it before the match.
Q. Have you done it already today?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Haven't had time yet (smiling).
Q. What's the news from the cow?
ROGER FEDERER: No news is good news.
Q. Do you feel fresh for the end of the year, eager, physically fresh or not?
ROGER FEDERER: I feel better than last year, yes. This race thing was killing me last year. You know, the race to Shanghai. I remember here last year was one of the nightmare matches of the season. I was so nervous before the Rios match because I knew it was either going to be a first or third-round points system. Before that match, it was horrible. But I got through it, played well in the second round. That gave me a much better chance then for the year-end. This year, you know, I feel much better, first of all because I have more experience, I'm better physically. All these kinds of things make it easier - even though I'm tired in the morning when I wake up. That's just the indoor season (smiling).
Q. You talk about the indoor season. A lot of players that come from lands that are sunny grow to really dislike this time of the year, the European indoor season. You come from a place where one of the major indoor events takes place. Is it kind of a natural environment for you, this indoor season?
ROGER FEDERER: I think we're used to both, you know, the European players, which means more used to the indoor season than other guys who live in the sunny side of the world. In summer, you know, you hit on the clay courts as a junior, and in indoors you hit on the carpet or on Supreme or something like that. You're used to practicing basically six months indoors and six months outdoors. Until the clay courts are ready, you know, it's middle of April. I'm really used to both. I actually grew up also as a clay-courter. That's why my movements feel natural on the clay.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.