January 18, 2003
MODERATOR: First question for Roger.
Q. When he broke and you broke back immediately, was that very important for the match or would you have felt pretty safe?
ROGER FEDERER: In the second?
Q. In the second.
ROGER FEDERER: It was definitely a key moment of the match. I was serving against the sun there. I couldn't take too much risks on my serves because I didn't want to double-fault. Plus he hit unbelievable passing shot, shot on breakpoint. It was important for me to start off good on his next service game. Luckily there I could break him and serve it out from the better side.
Q. Considering you had the injury worry coming in a little bit, could you be in any better shape than you are right now in this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know. I guess I could if I wouldn't have had to play the Masters. I would have had more time to get ready, also had more of a break, you know. But I feel like I've worked really well in December. It was a pity I had this injury problem down here in January in the beginning. So now I'm happy that this is not the case anymore. I didn't feel anything again today. I also felt like I played well today, so it's getting better.
Q. Do you feel you're improving after every match?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, first match here was tough. He made me work really hard. I was a little tense. The second-round match was easy, you know. So now today I had to work hard again, you know, but I just wanted to stay aggressive on my own serve, not to have to run too much, you know, because he makes you run a lot. So today was a real good test. I played well. I'm happy with today's performance.
Q. Safin said that he thinks blood testing is not necessary in tennis. What's your opinion about it?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, I don't know. I'm not an expert. I don't know how much you need to check to be a hundred percent sure if somebody took something or not. If you need to test on blood to be a hundred percent sure, to me it doesn't really matter. I'm not the guy who is going to be pulled out of the tour because I'm taking anything. So to me it doesn't matter. Of course, blood testing is a little bit more delicate. It's different, you know. We're not used to it. People have a problem with blood, you know. I don't know.
Q. Have you been tested here?
ROGER FEDERER: Not yet, no.
Q. What are your records against your possible fourth-round opponents?
ROGER FEDERER: Possible? He is. Nalbandian, I lost to him in Basel, lost to him in Monte-Carlo. That's it on the ATP Tour. I beat him in Juniors once at the Orange Bowl in the semifinal. That was for the No. 1 spot. Yeah, he beat me the last two times. One at home in Basel, you know, that was tough for me, which I should have won this match. I'm looking really forward to take my revenge against him. I know it will be tough because he's got a great backhand, he returns really good. He has a good all-around game. He plays more aggressive than most Argentines. Have to really watch out.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.