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March 12, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Roger as sort of first matches go, that's about as tough as it can get, isn't it?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I knew beforehand it's going to be a tough match, because he's been playing well -- okay, maybe on a different surface, but after all, you know, he won the Olympics, you know, on surface like this. I wasn't too pleased when I saw the draw because he beat me one time before. I don't remember actually how many times we played, but I know he's a tough competitor and I'm happy to be through because it was a good match.
Q. Roger, it appears as though you've lowered your service toss considerably resulting in a little more continuous fluid motion. Is that something you've been working on consciously?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't even know about it, to be honest. It's not something I've been working on. The game evolves, doesn't it? Seriously, I haven't worked on it.
Q. Is it good to get a tough match like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Seriously, I don't care how tough it is, as long as I get through. You know, I'm always worried about crashing out in the early rounds, you know, and to sit here and explain why, you know, but I'm happy I don't have to do that. So especially as, you know, I go to so many tournaments as a titleholder, you know, and always to back it up, it's never easy. So I'm happy the way it went tonight.
Q. Roger, this is your fourth tournament this year. The previous three you were in the finals against players that were four years younger than you. Is this starting to make you feel old?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not quite. Right in the middle of things, which is good, you know. I've got the older guys, the younger guys, been around now for, what, seven, eight years. I feel very comfortable on tour. I know many of the guys you know the up-and-coming. I catch them and say hello early. No, it's a very good situation I'm in right now. I enjoy seeing the young ones come and the older ones getting older and trying to fight for their spot, so it's good fun.
Q. When you say you look out for the young ones, you catch them and say hello, are they sort of taken aback at that moment when the World No. 1 goes up to them and says, in other words, "Welcome to the tour, hello"?
ROGER FEDERER: No, it's more like, you know, they cannot hide, you know, because I always have to pay attention, you know, who's coming along. And I've had some tough losses against youngsters, you know, and everybody knows that. So I try to see them as early as I can, and that's what I meant more than just, you know, having a handshake, you know.
Q. Roger, could you just talk a little bit about the conditions regardless of the temperature. Is it cold here? Are the balls slow? Heavy? Do you feel as though there's a gradual slowless, a slowing down of this sport?
ROGER FEDERER: To be honest, not quite, you know. I think if you ask many of the players, they all think this is a great court to play on. It's my feeling because, to move on it, it's fantastic. I think it's the best out there. The color, I think it's very nice to see the ball - so not just on TV, but also playing yourself. I have the feeling, you know, the court gives you bounce, you know, on the kick serve. The slice stays low, which is true for everyone, and if you hit it flat, you know, it's sort of -- you've got to really hit it hard. But you get -- especially the serve because the air is a little thinner here, so the ball goes through the air quicker, you know. And I think that makes it a very fair court to play for everyone, you know, for every style.
So this is maybe why I -- these are one of my favorite conditions to play on, to be honest, and I don't mind the slowness of the court because you can play with great angles here and really construct the point, which is a lot of fun.
Q. With all the controversy with the slowness of the courts in Melbourne during the Australian Open, do you think this is slow or equal speed or what?
ROGER FEDERER: Hard to say. I would think this is a little slower, to be honest. Just plays different, you know, because of the feeling of your movement, this and the Australian Open. I really don't know to be honest. It feels like this is a little bit slower.
Q. I have an offcourt question, so to speak. I saw the picture of Lindsay Lohan, the actress, published. I wonder how is it working these days? Do the movie celebrities want pictures with you or what's the situation now?
ROGER FEDERER: Some like it. Some don't. I don't know. You know, I just met her at a party and I was host of the Men's Vogue launch back in New York and she attended. So I was polite to welcome her and took a picture and, you know, all of a sudden, it's everywhere.
So, you know, I don't think -- we might meet each other, you know. I like to meet musicians maybe more than actors, you know, but it's good fun, you know, I think for everyone. I think from both sides, sometimes you want to meet and you don't want to meet, so depends on the situation, on the persons.
Q. How do you deal with tough pressure situations?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I guess you get used to it, you know, over time. I always say the more you put yourself in that position, you know, the easier it's going to get after a while. Even though, you know, the -- you never get really rid of all the nerves, but you feel more confident, you know, when it comes down to the crunch. When you've been there many times before on big courts and when your break points, match points, the finals and so on, you learn about that.

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