August 26, 2002
NEW YORK CITY
MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Since the French Open, you seem to -- you were having such a good year, then you seemed to have lost it a bit confidence-wise. What do you attribute that to?
ROGER FEDERER: The last bit, I didn't understand.
Q. You seem to have been suffering confidence-wise. What do you think you can do to get yourself back on track?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the only thing that really helps right now is to win a few matches because lately I haven't been winning at all. Kind of missing the matches. Always a lot of practice in between. You just get bored with practicing the whole time because you want to go out there and play matches and compete. That's missing a little bit right now. It would just be nice, you know, to get a few more matches here. I'd be more happy. I'm already happy now, but I want to be more happy.
Q. Drastic difference in feel for from the way you feel right now from two weeks ago?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously, what can I say? I still don't feel great. What happened outside of tennis and also on the tennis today wasn't that great. But I have to be happy the way that I advanced to the second round. I don't see much positive out of this match really. Didn't feel very good. But hopefully it catches up next round.
Q. Can you feel good about the fact that when you're on serve in the last set, you break to win the match? Do you feel good about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that felt good. Then also that I held easy. It does well for the confidence because I think both of us, Jiri, was not overconfident. I think you could see that in the third set. It was going back and forth. It's just how two players play. I tried to change my game a little bit to put more balls into play. I'm playing more safe. When it doesn't work out with breakpoints, saving breakpoints, suddenly it gets very tough on your mind because you can't hit the ball anymore, you're just pushing basically. It's kind of tough on the mind.
Q. Do you want to talk about facing Michael? Do you know who you play next?
ROGER FEDERER: Chang, yeah, he won. Yeah, I played him four times, I think. I lost in Halle. Beat him three times. Last two times I think I beat him quite easy, straight sets both times at the Australian Open.
Q. This is a guy who also has had a whole lot of confidence problems this year. Suddenly in the last few weeks, he's played better.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, he beat Haas in Cincinnati, was it? So, yeah, I have to watch out definitely. Right now I have to watch out with everybody. It's a little bit different than it used to be, you know. Before I would go on the court. Now if I play okay, it should be all right. Now, anybody I'm playing, I'm a little bit careful, which I think is a little bit normal after such a bad month, few bad months. I just hope it's going to be a good match and I start to play better. Today was maybe a little bit better, but not more.
Q. Is your game flowing or are you thinking too much about it, instead of just letting it flow off your racquet?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's not so easy, you know, just to hit hard and hope they go in. I have to kind of make sure the balls come into play. Sometimes you play too safe, you know, when you should go for it. You have too many things on your mind, what you should play, and you miss. Also my footwork is not right on like it used to be, just because the confidence is missing. When you're confident, you don't think about footwork. But I do.
Q. When your game is playing well, players say they don't even think about it, it just comes naturally. Is it at that point now? Are you starting to think about your footwork too much, which shot to try?
ROGER FEDERER: When you're winning, you know, it's easier. You're up a break, you can relax a little bit on the other guy's service games. You can try a few things. Is it better maybe to hit or not? When you're down a break the whole time, you're down a set, it's different. You have to try to come back in the match. You don't have time at all to try stuff. It's tougher on your mind when you're always down. This is what I have problems with. I was always early down a break, trying to come back. It is very difficult.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.