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May 10, 2003

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Roger, did you have any idea before he retired that he was struggling?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I saw him having treatment, you know, last few days. I knew his shoulder wasn't good. I mean, you see him in the treatment room and all this but, you know, you never know how bad it really is. It can just be prevention or all this kind of stuff. So I was not expecting him to give up today in this match, no.

Q. Would you be more surprised if there is not a Spanish player in the final or if Kafelnikov is there?

ROGER FEDERER: What surprises me more?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: You know, there's not only the Spanish players who play well on clay, you know (smiling). There's a lot of South Americans also, and then you have guys like, you know, I don't know, Yevgeny or me or whoever, you know, who can play well on the clay but, you know, we need good days, you know. Maybe not every day we are as good as this week. But he's shown it, that he can win a Grand Slam on clay. So I think it doesn't surprise anybody. I mean, it's important for him that his forehand works well, you know, and that seems like it's working well. He played really well against Moya. If he wins this match, he deserves to be in the final, so....

Q. No matter how you won the match, how good is it to be in another final?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's always something special, you know. Feels good to have won a few matches in a row. Masters Series are extremely tough, you know - six matches in seven days, you know. It takes a lot out of you. I don't even know, it's best-of-five or best-of-three - best-of-five tomorrow, so that's really... I don't know if that's the right choice, guys (laughter). Because I have Hamburg to play next week, so, you know, I just try my best and I give everything I have. Hopefully, I have just a little bit left for Hamburg to defend my title there so...

Q. Could you explain to us exactly what happened on that strange point, what disturbed you. Was it the late call by the linesman or the fact that the chair umpire got out of his seat before the point was over?

ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I just found it really strange that, you know, Juan Carlos wasn't sure if it was in or out. He played the ball. We continued the rally. Then, suddenly, the linesman calls it out. I think, for me, this is a moment where he calls it too late, where the next stroke has been played, you know? This is my view. The umpire said, "No, you know, the ball is out anyway, no matter what" and all this. I just said, "I would like to speak to the supervisor because I don't agree with the call." He wouldn't let me. So I just kept talking to him. I just asked him that again, to speak to the supervisor because I don't agree at all. I explain him my view. And then, suddenly, this guy shows up on the side (laughter). I thought he was speaking to me in Italian, though, I don't know what he was saying. I thought, you know, maybe he said, "Just come on, just keep on playing, don't talk to the umpire." So I went back and said, "I don't want to talk to this guy." Then Ferrero was at the net and he was talking to him also. A little bit strange situation, but the fans got into it and saved us, you know, so that was good.

Q. Ferrero said that five weeks on the clay may be a bit much. Does that make you feel very smart or well-planned to have started last week?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, you have to understand also five weeks is much when you play finals every week. If you lose first round five times, it's no problem, you know, so... But we just spoke together, you know. We just said from four weeks on, it gets really much. Three weeks, you can do it, no problem. Four, it gets really tough on you, you know. Plus, I think he had Davis Cup also, and including in all these matches, which takes a lot of you mentally. I don't know if I was smart, you know. I couldn't play Monte-Carlo because I was sick, so it's a little bit different.

Q. Lucky.

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know.

Q. It's true that every week is a new week and every week, a new coming and anything could happen. But this week told you something about the future and about Paris? Did you learn something about going to the French?

ROGER FEDERER: Playing on clay?

Q. Not about you, about your opponent, about who is playing well?

ROGER FEDERER: Oh, to see a little bit who is playing well?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, because I haven't been around on clay too much. Last week, there was not too many of the true clay courters around. And this week, you know, kind of everybody is together here. It's interesting to watch all these players, you know. And next week again, I think it's an important week to kind of look at how they're playing to be better prepared for Paris. I think this is also in one way a good week, just to get to see how the other guys play. It was good for me, and especially this week, who I played and who I beat and how I beat them, for me to know that I can hang with them from the baseline no problem. So that was good mentally.

Q. Do you believe that you can be No. 1, or do you need another victory to believe that you can do it?

ROGER FEDERER: Another victory...

THE MODERATOR: In a Grand Slam.

ROGER FEDERER: He said in a Grand Slam. I'm not far away, that's for sure. My ranking shows it, the way I'm playing, the people who I beat. But it takes more, you know. It takes one year around to play very solid tennis and play well in the big events and to get a chance to be No. 1 or to win a Grand Slam. So I'm not thinking about No. 1 right now, you know. It's more match per match and try to be as consistent as possible. And when I see that I have a chance to be No. 1, you know, then I'll try my best to get there, you know. But right now, I'm just too far away from Agassi and Hewitt in the points-wise, I think. You would need over more than one Grand Slam win to get close to them. So I'll just try to play well in the small tournaments and hopefully use my chance in the Slams in the future.

Q. Can you say something about the feelings you can have when you can do whatever you want on a court like this and your opponent is looking at you... Which sort of feelings?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. Today there were not too many rallies of that kind. Yesterday against Volandri there was more because it was longer rallies and I had more options to - not to play with him, but just to vary my game, you know. It's very important for me to use my slice also, to bring the guys forward. You know, when it works out, it's a very nice feeling, you know, because, I don't know, sometimes they look a little bit stupid, you know (smiling). But I'm not...

End of FastScripts….

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