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February 11, 2001

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Roger, you seemed very emotional after the victory. Can you tell us a little bit about what it means for you, and how much of a relief was it for you to win that point today?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know, it was very special match today. I was playing okay, I mean, but I think not unbelievable. But I was trying to break his rhythm. I was trying to make him play bad, not give him the rhythm. And plus I was hurt -- hurting. My legs were hurting. I was really fighting. It was such a relief in the end. But I mean, I had to cry. It was such a nice feeling I never had before. Yeah...

Q. What was the leg problem? Was it to a point where you thought you couldn't continue, you couldn't play five sets?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I started to feel it already in the first -- in the first set. I was like, "What is this now?" I was trying to stretch it and, I don't know, it was the upper leg here in the back (indicating), I don't know. It was probably because of last week and all the pressure this weekend and over the last two matches. But I really never thought actually it was really going to bother me. I felt like it was better in the third and fourth set. It was weird.

Q. Which leg is it and where is the injury?

ROGER FEDERER: Left. Not injury, because otherwise I would have lost. So... (Laughing.) Yeah, it was just pain. I mean I had, I don't know, muscle pain already yesterday and it's probably a combination of everything.

Q. What are you the most proud about?

ROGER FEDERER: My total game was good the whole weekend. I can't complain. I'm serving well. I mean I'm feeling well from the baseline, and the winning was -- tiredness is never easy for me. Normally when I get tired, mentally I let go a little bit. This was absolutely not the case this weekend. I stayed focused. The crowd was behind me. That helped a lot. And I really hope to come back here to Basel because this is -- I love this hall, and the people were great at the end, also during the game. Very special for me today, during the whole weekend.

Q. Where did your thoughts go to first when you won? Who did you think of, the team?

ROGER FEDERER: "Unbelievable" is my only word I can say. I mean this is -- I don't know. It's so hard to explain the feelings that go through your head. It was just total relief, total happiness at one time, and I was so happy for the team, happy for Switzerland to beat such a big country. Yeah, I'm really happy about my performance all weekend. I really don't know what to say.

Q. You said you didn't feel like you played that well. How much better do you think you can play than what you played today?

ROGER FEDERER: I mean it's maybe -- I think I can play better on this surface. Maybe it has something to do with the balls because normally I think I can hit more winners from the baseline, you know. But the balls were pretty, I don't know, heavy I thought. So, I mean, I played Jan-Michael at the Hopman Cup. I couldn't hit many more winners from the baseline. Here it was almost impossible. You had to go to the net or really serve well, so it was a battle today. But I don't know. If I keep playing like this, that's fine. I'm not complaining, so it's good.

Q. Maybe this was already asked, I'm sorry if it was. When you play like this and the way you played last week, you see some results now. Do you feel like you're ready to challenge some of the best players in the world on a more consistent basis than you have?

ROGER FEDERER: I always would like to play Pete Sampras or somebody, I never played him. He was my idol when I was young. I would like to play guys like them every week, but they not playing the same weeks like I am. So it would be nice to challenge always the top guys. It's always nice to compare yourself to do your very best. So if I keep playing well, automatically I'm going to play these guys. So I really hope to keep going like this and have a good year.

End of FastScripts....

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