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April 17, 2000

Roger Federer

Q. Last year you didn't have a very good season on clay. Did you change something this year?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I went to Houston. It is in America. I played an exhibition tournament on clay and I was able to practice for one week and a half. I came back here on last Tuesday, almost a week ago, and I came here on Friday morning and I went to Nice to prepare with the Swiss team, the young Swiss team. There was a training camp there and Saturday morning I came here.

Q. Are you disappointed to play in difficult conditions like today with the match being stopped and the heavy conditions on the court?

ROGER FEDERER: Of course, maybe it is not very good but it is on clay and you have to accept all the conditions. It was difficult for me. I think I was able to stand it properly, but I must admit it was very heavy today and I didn't have many opportunities to play exceptional winners. It was more difficult to me, but even if I didn't win, it was not too bad.

Q. But still you made mistakes with your forehand?

ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I have absolutely no idea which shots I missed. It is patience I must work on to play on clay. Sometimes I am surprised myself by the mistakes I make. Suddenly I make two mistakes in and a row on easy shots that I don't usually do. This year I am playing more tournaments on clay than last year. Last year I only played three tournaments from the ATP Tour, so we can't really say it was a bad season.

Q. Apart from that do you feel better?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes. Because in the end of last year in Belgium I played on clay and I played well, although I lost. I was happy with my tennis then, so I am thinking about that kind of tennis and I know that I can play well on clay. Now I just have to work physically also. I have to try to move better even on easy points.

Q. Do you think the interruption was a good thing for you?

ROGER FEDERER: Maybe a little bit. I must say it was a little bit in my favor. I was able to think about what I had done wrong. I had the impression my racket was not tight enough so I sent two rackets to be strung with one extra kilo. I played with that one in the second set and then I took back the other racket and it was better because I was always missing just because of a little bit and I thought I had to put more points on the line.

Q. What is your program after Monaco?

ROGER FEDERER: I am going to play doubles with Escude; then I am going to Barcelona, Rome, Hamburg, Sant-Polten and Roland Garros.

Q. Do you have ambitions?

ROGER FEDERER: Yes, I have nothing to lose. I really can win matches. I am everywhere in the main draw except Rome but I am ready to play matches and win matches.

Q. Isn't it a mental matter, you always had difficulties in this field?

ROGER FEDERER: Not really. The problem is I always lose matches when they are tight in the third set like in Marseille and Houston where I lost 7-5 in the third and today again 7-5. This will come with confidence. I need some more tournaments. In Houston the conditions were very fast. I was able to serve well and make points with that. Here it didn't work anymore, so you need a second and a third point so you must be solid. It is good that I played here and I am going to play on slower surfaces from now on.

End of FastScripts…

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