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April 19, 2001

Roger Federer

THE MODERATOR: First question for Roger, please.

Q. Is it a major surprise to be in the quarterfinals?

ROGER FEDERER: My objective for the clay court season was to reach at least once the quarterfinals, so it's really nice that it happened in the first tournament because we never know what will happen afterwards. The first two tennis matches were okay, but today it was really a lot better. I felt better, I was missing less, and it worked out well. Although, Arnaud wasn't feeling very good, I played a very good match.

Q. In 1999, you won one match on clay?

ROGER FEDERER: No, the last time it happened was in the French Open. I also made the semis in a challenger in Ljubljana, but not on the ATP Tour.

Q. How many clay court tournaments did you play in 1999?

ROGER FEDERER: My score was zero wins against eleven losses with the Davis Cup in Belgium. Otherwise, I had reached the first round in Monte-Carlo and the French Open, that's it.

Q. Do you have as much fun on clay as you have on other surfaces when you play as well as you did today?

ROGER FEDERER: I am less sure of my game on clay. I must always be cautious. I'm not completely relaxed. I believe it's normal, when you break, you're more relaxed. You make more winners, more aces. But on clay you have to play from the baseline, and I like to finish the point fast, so it changes a lot for me. But for the time being, everything is going all right. I am not asking myself too many questions.

Q. Is it a coincidence that each time you win on clay you go a bit further? In the French, you won a series of matches, and here, too. It means that once you become confident, you feel good and you are able to go further?

ROGER FEDERER: I believe so. Here and in the French I had a good draw. Of course you have to win the matches, but it's a good thing to pass some rounds. If it had been another draw, it would have been more difficult. I'm taking my chances to go further, and normally I have the opportunity to go further right to the semis. I missed an opportunity in Miami against Rafter. There was not much I could do, but what else is there to say?

Q. Tomorrow you will play Grosjean or Gustafsson. Who do you prefer?

ROGER FEDERER: I didn't think about it yet. Both are very difficult to play on clay. Gustafsson has a lot of experience, although I beat him on clay during a exhibition match in Houston last year. Against Sebastien, I never played on clay, so I don't know. Anyway, it will be a tough match - that's for sure.

Q. Is this the ATP match where you felt the most comfortable in your whole career?

ROGER FEDERER: On clay you mean?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: From the beginning to the end, yes, because I played good matches before but I was not able to finish them. I am able to play well. In Rome last year I played well against Medvedev, but afterwards I lost a few games in a row and it was 5-all in the third. I lost 7-5 in the third although I played well. I was dominating from the beginning to the end, although from the baseline I was feeling good.

Q. You've been working with Peter for one year now. What are the lessons you draw from this experience?

ROGER FEDERER: It's been three or four years already. But for us, things didn't change much. It didn't change much between when he was in the Federation or now that he's my personal coach. We used to understand each other very well, and now also. It is very important. Before, I was traveling 30 percent of the time with Lundgren, but now it's 100 percent. So we knew already how it was going on. It's not new for us, and everything is okay. It's nice.

End of FastScripts....

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