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August 12, 2003

Roger Federer


MODERATOR: Questions for Roger, please.

Q. Roger, what were you thinking down those four matchpoints in the tiebreaker? Was it the drama or not much drama?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, what can you do, you know? It's a pity, fighting so hard and then being down 6-2, you know. So you hope, you know, that he's not gonna close out the match and just hope you're gonna get another chance, you know. But normally it should be over, you know, so...

Q. Can you remember the last time you survived seven matchpoints?

ROGER FEDERER: I think I never have, so... I don't.

Q. Was there something similar?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't remember saving a lot of matchpoints in the past, you know. It's always something you get every - I don't know - 50 matches or something.

Q. Is it safe to assume you didn't really like that feeling? You would not like to be in that predicament again?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, if I win in the end, that's all right. But today was, yeah, was a tough match, you know. I thought he played a good match, you know, to get to this position. He played real aggressive. I had problems handling his serve. I was getting used to the conditions really. This is always what I felt throughout the whole match, even now. I'm still getting used to the conditions. It's just different than in Montreal, and I couldn't make the transition so easy. I would have told you the same if I would have lost, you know. But I'm really happy I came through. And I think, you know, I played well in the matchpoints. It's not really his mistake, you know. Maybe he could have changed something else, but I really thought I played some great matchpoints and deserved to win in the end.

Q. You seem so relaxed. Were you?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I was pretty relaxed, you know. What can you do? You have to accept the situation and still try hard. But at 6-2, obviously, you're relaxed. Then at 7-all you're not so relaxed anymore because then you want to win.

Q. Does it change your mentality at all now that they recalculated the points and it's got to be semifinals?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what they did. I don't know what they said.

Q. Basically, did you think that if you won a match that you'd overtake Agassi, or did you think, "I've got to go to the semifinals," which it now is?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I didn't know if one match was enough or two or three, so I had no idea about the calculations after I lost against Roddick. So I knew that one would have put me at No. 1 - I think. You know, seems like they're making errors all the time everywhere in the world.

Q. Changing the goal posts. They keep moving them.

ROGER FEDERER: That's all right, you know. What can I do about it? Results haven't been good enough to be 1, so I'm 2. I'm just gonna hang in there. I've got a tough draw now, and I'm just gonna look match for match.

Q. Is it motivation for you?

ROGER FEDERER: (Smiling.) If it wouldn't be, I wouldn't be playing tennis, so...

Q. Do you feel things around you different now that you've won Wimbledon, how people react to you, crowd reaction?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, seems like I have a lot of fans, you know, around the world now. Yeah, a lot of people tell me I'm their favorite player or they love my game, or they tell me they're gonna come and support me, which is nice. So I have had it in the past, but not that extreme.

Q. More expectations, is that a drawback?

ROGER FEDERER: That's normal for me, you know. I've always had high expectations on my shoulders, so I'm used to that.

Q. Having that amount of confidence in the bank, though, does that help you in situations like the one you were in today?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, situations like today don't -- you cannot practice them, you know. You just try your best, you know, until the end. That's what you do in every match. Sometimes you can turn it around, you know; sometimes you don't. But I would say rather like the first round of last week, that was more like because of my confidence I could turn it around, because of the will, the motivation for No. 1. Everything was playing a big role in that. Today was just, you know, "Hang in there," so...

Q. What actually happened on that 5-6 point in the tiebreaker where the shot goes to the baseline, you did the half volley lob?

ROGER FEDERER: It was out.

Q. Was the shot called in or out?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was called out, but late. It was clearly out in my eyes.

Q. What are the conditions here that are making it hard to adjust?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, the ball is bouncing much higher. The court's different. The balls are different, which I don't understand because it's the same brand. But I don't understand anything anymore about this game, you know (laughter). Every tournament I go, the balls are supposed to be the same, but they change, so... I got little problem with that, so every week you got to adjust, you know. The danger is always much bigger, especially when you play a qualifier who has played two matches and has been here for five days or a week almost. It's not so easy.

Q. For a guy who just saved seven matchpoints and won a pretty electric match, you seem pretty subdued. Were you sort of upset that the match even got to that stage?

ROGER FEDERER: No, because he played a good match. He put me under pressure. As I said, I could never really find my rhythm, you know. So for me, was just important that I really, really focus on my serve so I don't get behind like what happened in the first set. And, yeah...

Q. Do you win this match a year ago?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well, that's also one thing I think I've improved, coming back from behind, you know. I think that's really something you've got to be able to do when you're at the top, because it can make a huge difference losing first round or semis - last week already, you know. Hopefully, same thing's going to happen here.

Q. There's been a lot of discussion about the tactical balance in the game and what it looks like to watch. The ball seems a pretty big issue. Is that something players should be raising or the ATP representative should be raising, an issue which should be taken further?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, there are a lot of things we should talk about, you know. But I think it would be nice to have just one ball throughout the whole year, you know. I don't know how the balls react on every surface, you know, if it would be exactly the same, you know. You can change the brand, you know, but at least at the same factory, something like that, so we don't have to -- so we don't get elbow problems or shoulder problems, because this is also another issue. Because when you change balls all the time and conditions get heavy, you get pain, you know. So it would be nice, you know, if everybody could work a little bit together, but it seems to be quite difficult.

Q. Why is that?

ROGER FEDERER: Because you have clay courters, you have fast court players, you have the ATP, you have the ITF, you have just too many people involved, and it's tough to get everybody together and talk about stuff like that.

Q. Is it hard to stay focused on this event and not think about two weeks from now?

ROGER FEDERER: I never have this problem. I used to have it three years ago maybe, you know, I was thinking, "Oh, Grand Slam, that's it. I only want to play well there." And I stopped doing that, and now I'm really just playing every event to win. So I cannot think further than tomorrow, so...

End of FastScripts….

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