home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 7, 2003

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. After this good win, do you think you can win this tournament?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I'm not thinking about winning the tournament yet. It's too far away and the opponents are too tough, you know. So I really have to stay focused and go match for match, you know. Tomorrow is another tough round against Robredo. I've never played him on clay, but, I mean, it seems like he's playing really well. He beat good players on the way, so...

Q. It looks like you solved your problems of first round losses last year.


Q. Did that come to your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I forgot that match, actually. Didn't stay quite long in my memory.

Q. Last year in the Masters Series, first three Grand Slams, you lost in the first round.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I lost here first round last year. Then, yeah, French Open, Wimbledon.

Q. Australian, too.

ROGER FEDERER: No, I didn't lose that first round. No, but it's just against Gaudenzi last year, I changed racquets, had a very bad stringing service done here last year. That was one of the reasons why I lost against him, I played so badly. So that match I don't really count, so...

Q. This was your first match against one of those real hard-core clay court guys. Obviously, it showed. What do you take away from this win?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, this is extremely tough. They make you play a lot of balls. Already I feel like Mathieu, he played a little bit similar - stands far back on the returns. So, I mean, you've got to get used to it a little bit because it changes little bit the way you want to serve, you know. You have to think a little bit in advance, you know, how you're going to actually create the point because it's tough to hit an out-right good service winner, you know, against guys like this - at least with my serve. So it was a very good test. I had to work very hard in the first set. I was happy to have won in two sets again because a third set would have, yeah, used a lot of energy.

Q. Are you feeling a bit more confident after not losing any sets last week and losing no sets here so far? On the clay, is that a bit of a surprise?

ROGER FEDERER: Definitely. I think it's always a surprise when you don't lose sets over seven matches played, so... Plus, I've been playing good players. Also, I just started the clay court season and won every set. But I could have lost a few out of these , all these sets I won. So, you know, I'm not expecting that it's gonna continue this way. I'm just gonna try to stay focused. And, as I said, tomorrow is going to be a tough one again, so... I just hope to win. I don't expect to win in two sets.

Q. I do not see many Swiss journalists around. That means they got used to the fact you always win?

ROGER FEDERER: It's a money problem. We also have one in Switzerland (laughing). Yeah, I guess that's one reason. The other reason is maybe, yeah -- but I think guys will come if I make semifinals or finals. But for the early rounds, I think they kind of use the quotes I give to you guys to save some costs (smiling). But I talked to -- spoke to a few guys. They say it's not so easy. They really have to push hard that they can come to events because it costs a lot of money. So it's a pity but, I mean, normally in Grand Slams and in Davis Cup we always have good appearances from the press, so I'm happy about that at least.

Q. You can support them (smiling)?


Q. For many years people have known how talented you are, but your results have been inconsistent. This year you're winning more matches than anyone else. Why? Are you more mature? Are you mentally stronger? What's the reason?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm definitely more mature. I explained this to a few people already that I'm, you know, I feel much better out on the court now. I feel like I found myself, my inner self, really. Even though, you know, I had a dip in the summer, in the two Grand Slams and a couple of Masters Series, but there, you know, things had happened in my private life which didn't help. But I feel like really since the beginning of last year, I really started to play well and I'm really happy about it. I'm playing consistent. It's true, everybody said I could play well but I'm inconsistent. Now I've proven I can play in consistents (sic). It's a big step for me.

Q. Since Martina Hingis is not playing tennis anymore, is there much more attention just on you in Switzerland? Are you, would you say, the most popular Swiss athlete right now? There are others?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't really know.

Q. Does it put more pressure on you?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't really know. Every year you have some guys who do really good, good results, you know, at one event, like Simon Ammann last year, the ski jumper. Then you have the skiers who win races or World Cups. Then we have a very good runner also, Andre Bucher, who wins a lot of the 800 meter races. So for me, you know, to be -- maybe I'm the most popular, I don't know. But result-wise, I need to step it up in the big tournaments or in a Davis Cup to really be the sports athlete of the year. Because I haven't achieved that yet in Switzerland. I've been second last year, third two years ago. But it's not my most important thing in life, you know, to be sports athlete of the year in Switzerland. It's true, since Hingis left the scene, maybe I get a little bit more attention. But even though I felt like she was still around, you know, I still got enough attention because, you know, we don't play on the same tour. Not really much has changed. Also, my results helped that my popularity is bigger.

Q. Tomorrow you play a Spaniard, Robredo. How do you feel about the performance of the Spaniards here at the tournament? How do you feel about the Spanish Armada coming here in force?

ROGER FEDERER: Seriously, I don't pay too much attention where they're from. I know that the Spanish and the Argentines - basically say the South Americans - we all know that they're very tough on the clay, you know. They go into the long rallies, they want long matches, which is fine, you know. It just can get a little bit boring at some times, you know. There's just not enough variety in the game, you know. But that's why they doing well. They're very patient people, you know. I wouldn't just put out the Spaniards. But this, we always knew that they were good clay courters. But there's also other countries with good clay court players. I haven't been paying much attention about where they were coming from.

Q. You said before that to be No. 1, top athlete in Switzerland is not the most important thing. What is the most important thing?

ROGER FEDERER: Because my goals, my aim is higher. It's the same as everybody, you know, said, "Is your goal to be best Swiss tennis player?" You know, when Rosset was at the lead. I said, "No, I hope I can go higher, of course. Break records in Switzerland." So, I mean, I hope eventually I will get sports athlete of the year if we have some guys who don't perform. But I don't want to become sports athlete of the year in Switzerland by playing like I've been playing the last few years just because other guys haven't been playing. It's going very well at the moment in sports at the moment in Switzerland. But my goals are higher. I wish and hope that I can win a Grand Slam or be No. 1 in the world. But this is all still far away, and hopefully one day I can reach it, though.

Q. You speak about the results. I read you think you have more chance at Wimbledon than Roland Garros. Which do you prefer to win?

ROGER FEDERER: Everybody plays very few on grass, but for me it feels a better surface to -- or less dangerous opponents maybe, you know, on grass than on clay. On clay I feel there's a lot of guys around who are very tough to beat, you know, in over two weeks, seven matches. Could be more difficult on clay for me to win the French Open. But, you know, it's still so far away, all this, you know, "What do I prefer to win?" I just prefer to win one Grand Slam, you know, then I'm happy already. But you talk about which one I can choose, I cannot choose because opponents are too difficult. I mean, I think my game is better for faster courts, which means not the French Open, so... to make it short (smiling).

Q. It seems like in tennis doping is such a huge problem. Do you think it's real or just authorities want to fuss about it?

ROGER FEDERER: You know, we also (inaudible) about all the cases, of course because we don't want the other guys that are playing on the tour which are doped. I got the feedback that everything is okay, that everybody who gets caught will be eventually, you know -- it's gonna come out to the press because it's not normally the guy maybe that's not going to play for two years, (inaudible) says he has an injury all the time. I don't know. I feel like I'm getting tested a lot. They have been doing also blood testing lately in the last few tournaments I heard. I did it once in Miami. So I hope and think that the tennis tour is clean, and you always have maybe unlucky people like maybe Ulihrach, you know. You never know if he really wanted to take something or he didn't know what he took. I can't really comment on this.

Q. As a Swiss you speak German and French. What about the third language of your country? Do you speak any Italian?

ROGER FEDERER: I understand a little bit because it's not too far away from French, you know. But I don't know, never had really the chance to learn Italian. In school we had English and French. Then I went to the French-speaking part of Switzerland so I learned the French because I couldn't speak at all. Italian never really got close to me, so... But I really think it's one of the most beautiful languages in the world. It's one I really would like to learn. So maybe one day, you know, I come back to Rome or maybe after my career I'll be able to speak to the Italian media and fans and whoever, you know (smiling).

End of FastScripts….

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297