September 4, 2003
NEW YORK CITY
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. That must have been a very disappointing defeat for you, especially after you clawed back in the second set, got it to a tiebreak, 5-love down. Is it about as disappointing a loss as you've had?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, I've had disappointing losses in my career, so this doesn't change if I have one more or one less. Obviously, it was disappointing to lose the second set. I just thought I'd hang in there, and eventually maybe you'd get a chance to come back in the set. I did. Was just a pity I lost it in the end. Might have -- probably would have changed the match. But he played good in the breaker, and I played terrible so...
Q. What is it about him that's so difficult for you?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know; otherwise, I would beat him, you know. I guess I'm struggling against him, you know. But I had my chance today, so it's a pity.
Q. I mean, you have beaten better opponents than him. You've been having a good tournament. You go out and struggle against this one player. It's the fifth time you've lost to him. There must be something particular about him that bothers you during the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Guess so. I don't know. I don't know what to comment on this because I'm trying to figure out how to beat him. Well, you know, I guess first of all he likes my game because I keep on coming and he likes to play contra tennis, you know, which he does extremely well. That's all I can say about it, you know. I've never felt I had my -- a great day playing against him. That's, again, something which has probably something to do with his game, because he doesn't allow me to.
Q. 62 unforced errors today. That's so unlike you in a match of even four sets. Do you find yourself against him pressing for your shots, taking a little too much risk because he retrieves the ball so well?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, the stats, I don't care. I've had 90 unforced errors at the French Open or something. Then I play a match, I have two unforced errors. So I don't know how they count them anyway. But, you know, rallies were long today and it was always played on errors at the end; not too many winners. I don't really care how many unforced errors I made. That was necessary to try to beat him today, and it didn't work out.
Q. In the third game of that fourth set you were down Love-30. You had that terrific overhead. He smacked back. Do you remember the smacked forehand? You were at the net, tried for the drop volley.
ROGER FEDERER: When was that?
Q. The third game of the fourth set, you were down Love-30 and that put you at three breakpoints. I'm wondering how important that point was in your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, for the fourth set, was very important because that made the difference in the end. But if it made a difference for the match, we will never know. You know, I had my opportunities earlier. But, you know, he lobs well. I don't see it when he does it, you know. He scrambles well. He reads the game well. He makes me struggle. You tend to maybe overplay shots, and that's maybe what I did there; I don't know.
Q. If you look back on this tournament, most players really don't want to criticize the tournament because the rain is out of everybody's control. When you look back on this fortnight, will you conclude that the rain played any part whatsoever in your performance here in this round?
ROGER FEDERER: For me, no. Because I'm out. I don't have to play four times in a row.
Q. In terms of the delay over the last few days, how much has this got to do with you and your performance?
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing. Not really. It was for both the same, you know. I had some little injuries, but just little things that were hurting me and I could get over them in the delays, you know. So I thought, you know, the delay came good for me, you know. Obviously, if you look ahead in the tournament, you know, you prefer to win in straight sets from the fourth round on now. But I don't have to worry about these things anymore, so...
Q. When you look at the draw when it first comes out, you see David, the chance you would meet him before the tournament, what goes through your mind?
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing. Because I don't look that far, so...
Q. Was there any point today that you thought, "Okay, I'm finally gonna break this streak against him"?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I felt good in the first set. I thought I kind of figured him out. Obviously, had the game plan, you know. But I thought I had a game plan down 5-0 in the second, so... I don't kind of get smart out of this guy, you know. Then I come back to 5-all - surprisingly, you know. So it's very weird to play him for me. So I guess I haven't become much more after this match, though.
Q. Do you feel that when you play him, he thinks to himself, "I can beat this guy"?
ROGER FEDERER: He should. He has beaten me in the past. We know each other a long time, from Juniors as well. So, you know, I think every opponent should go into a match like this thinking he can beat me, you know. Or same for me, that I can beat the other player. Otherwise, you have a mental block in your head and this is not what I have and I don't think what he has.
Q. When will you go to Australia for Davis Cup now?
ROGER FEDERER: Soon, soon. I don't know. In the next week, in the next seven days I'm leaving.
Q. Now when you realize he has a game for your game and you're an all-around player, do you think it is worth maybe trying to change something in your game?
ROGER FEDERER: What, did it look like I didn't try or what? To change anything?
Q. Be more patient.
ROGER FEDERER: Let's go to other questions, please. To national.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.