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May 9, 2003

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's been such a long time since you lost a set. What were you saying to yourself at the end of that second set to stop a third?

ROGER FEDERER: "That's all right." There's not much else to say. I mean, I don't think I should have lost the set the way I did, you know, getting broken after leading 30-15 and had a chance to win a point to go 40 -15, and then he stayed in that point, you know, and I kind of gave him a sniff there and he took it. That was unfortunate. I missed a few maybe stupid shots, who knows. But he hang tough in there. And I think at least the minimum I deserved was a tiebreaker. I had my opportunities in the second set with a backhand down the line I missed by just a little bit. So I think I could have won the match in two sets, but for me it was just important after not to be too frustrated and just in the beginning get the early break. And this is what happened. Tried to get a second one just to clear things up, and then it went perfect.

Q. Do you enjoy playing in that sort of raucous atmosphere?

ROGER FEDERER: Like today against an Italian, so-so. I have my - not problems - but it's little bit strange, you know. Because I really like the Italians when they for both, you know, and they have no favorite basically. But when you play against Italian, they can be very mean to you, you know. I felt sometimes little treated unfair out there but, you know, I try not to show anything. I don't want to, you know, also - how do you say - just play on this now, like it was bothering me big-time. I was a little bit disappointed sometimes, just the way people were talking to me. You know, you hear it. It's just sometimes, I thought, it was just a little bit overboard. You can do it once, but they did it like 20 times. Always to hear what you say sometimes during a match, I'm really not a guy that shows too much emotions, they kind of use this. It was a little bit something I didn't quite like, but I guess and I hope that the crowd's gonna be a little bit more behind me next match. You know, just to add, I have no problem, I actually quite like this, you know. I understand that they're supporting the Italian. This is what they should do. But if they go against the other guy - and this was only let's say five guys, you know, in the crowd - and this was a little bit the people who I had problems with, you know. But the rest were good. But it's just a few which didn't act the way they should. Support their player is fine, but not go against their opponent. That's just my way of looking at fair play, you know.

Q. Now what about playing Juan Carlos on a clay court?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm looking forward, you know. It's gonna be a really tough battle. We've been playing a lot, we're gonna be playing good. So I think it's a match-up which everybody hoped for, I think, a little bit. So I'm looking forward, too. What can I say, you know? He's been playing good, I been playing great. Both have confidence, so it should be a good match tomorrow. I know that he's got more experience on clay, but, you know, I hope that on a day like tomorrow I can maybe beat him. I'll give it my best shot. I'll try to play my game, which means mix it up and use my serve and come to the net maybe a little bit more than I did the last few matches, and hopefully I can give him a really tough match tomorrow.

Q. What do you think about Volandri? Did he surprise you in some way with his reaction or his backhand?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I saw a little bit of the match yesterday, you know, and I saw he had a great backhand. Doesn't matter how high the ball is up or how low it is, you know, he hits it everywhere the same way. It's very impressive, you know. He looks like he's very strong up on the backhand side. His only weakness is the serve. I think this is no secret, you know. He knows it himself. Pace missing. I think he doesn't get a lot of free points, so he has to work very hard on each point. But he's been moving very well, he's been hitting his forehand well, his backhand is very solid. So I was ready for a tough match - maybe not as tough as it was in the end. But I'm not surprised, you know, that it went three sets, you know. Because he's got his crowd behind him and he's got a will to win at home. This is normal. So I think he's gonna improve in the future. I mean, already this result will bring him up in the rankings. I think you Italians should be happy to have him, so...

End of FastScripts….

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