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March 15, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: First question for Roger.
Q. A little more routine today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think from the start, it was a good match today. I was very pleased. Never in doubt on the serve. You know, really I thought I played a little better from the baseline.
All in all, it was very good.
Q. Is that a reflection that your level went up or Gasquet was not playing as well?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, hard to say. He definitely hasn't had the best of starts to the season. So maybe still struggling with that a little bit. I thought maybe on my own serve, I never allowed him to play that much, I played aggressive.
Obviously, I think I'll find a way into his service games. I think, you know, the score was reflected really also how the game was. Maybe I lifted my game up a little bit. Maybe he allowed me to play a little bit more. Who knows. I think it's a combination of many things.
Q. What is the difference playing him on a hard court compared to clay court?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously, he has more time on clay to get really into those rallies, where on hard court he gets rushed quite a bit. He has to play more offensive. Maybe that's not what he quite likes too much.
It was a quick match, only 55 minutes or so, an hour. You don't get to see enough, to be honest. I would have to play him I think another time on hard court.
Q. How much more did you get yourself up for this match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, I prepare the same way for every match. I'm not concerned going into the match at all. I just try to sort of feel well, always try to play better every match I play. I'm lucky enough I always play on the same court, which makes it a little bit easier for me. I know what's coming. Maybe for him it's a little bit more difficult.
The head-to-head, I'm not really too interested about. I always look back usually at the last match that has been played. But, again, that was on clay. You can't take too much out of it either.
Just take it as it comes and try to play well.
Q. Ljubicic is fairly close to closing out his match. If you do face him, you've had some good results, including Shanghai. What has been your key to success in the match-up with him?
ROGER FEDERER: I think better on key occasions. Really, I played him many times last year. Beat him every time. I've also played quite a few times before that actually. We've played each other on a number of occasions. I have a feeling he definitely changed his game a little bit. Plays even more patiently. His forehand definitely improved. I think he's more confident now overall. I think it's a very tough, tough match for me to play against him.
We've had many close ones, like the one, for instance, in Shanghai. So I expect the same.
Q. You brought lots of spectators here to the doubles. What did that do to your net game?
ROGER FEDERER: Not much really. Played terrible (smiling). But that happens. I was very disappointed with my performance. But we almost won anyhow, but we lost.
Don't play doubles very often. The last match on tour I won was in Halle last year. Of course, I won the Davis Cup match which was a good win. I enjoy playing it. Especially with the new rules, you don't get much of a confidence going because the games are over quickly. But I enjoy that contest, too.
Yeah, it's a pity, but it's not going to keep me away from playing doubles.
Q. Are you playing in Miami together?
ROGER FEDERER: It's not the plan, no.
Q. Can you relate at all to the problems that Andy is having?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't think he's in a hole like you might think he is. He's had enough success to know what he needs to do to bounce back. Obviously, I think for him it's disappointing, you know, not to win tournaments, especially in the States. People maybe jump on him a little bit. I don't think he's too concerned. I think he needs to get his game right. That's maybe not been the case too much lately.
I think he'll finish the year strong. Sort of hope he keeps his ranking so I'm not going to face off too early with him in the draw.
Q. When you played Nadal recently, do you feel he's physically stronger than he was before?
ROGER FEDERER: Before and after his injury?
Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I would say about the same. I thought he looked a little smaller. Not as big, maybe like as he was playing the end of last year. Maybe that's because he lost a little bit. I might be wrong, too, there.
But he looks fit. Played excellent in Dubai, also here again. No, I feel he's the same way. That's a very good sign for him. I think he should be very happy.

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