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March 30, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Rain on America's Parade two weeks in a row. We don't have that many players left. Blake is coming along.
ROGER FEDERER: Hmm. Yeah, I'm sorry, you know (laughing). I don't know.
No, it was a good match, you know. Once again, I thought it was a tough match, as expected really. He's really, you know, tough out of the blocks really, tough to get a hold of him, you know, because he really takes a lot of chances and usually also serves well in the beginning and everything.
So had a real feeling like it was tough all the way, you know, till the end. I thought at one stage maybe I could have taken advantage more of my chances early on in the second, but anyway I'm happy with the result. Because two sets, straight sets against James, I think that's always a good result.
Q. Are you surprised at the consistency he's shown this year? He's been around at the edges, certainly for us that cover him a lot more, there's always been a question, he went to college, wasn't a great junior, "Is this guy for real?" He's been playing well.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, yes and no really. I think for him the problem was beating the lower-ranked players on a consistent basis. Because I think with his game, you know, he runs into a lot of danger against many of the guys because we have so many different styles out there, either the serve and volley players, maybe he doesn't like that too much. When he comes against them, maybe he might lose.
But it seems like he beats them now on a consistent basis, you know. Obviously, we always knew he can beat the best. That's, I think, what he is doing better. That's obviously consistency. He's done really well.
Q. What do you think was working best for you today?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. I thought I used my forehand again well today. Make them move around. My backhand was pretty good, you know. My serve was all right (smiling). You guys...
Q. Same as usual.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think it was a consistent match all around. Still, you know, couple loose shots here and there, but that's all right.
Q. When you play a loose shot...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm angry (smiling).
Q. You're angry.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, disappointed.
Q. It's staggering for us. We're sitting up there and we say, "My goodness, how did he mess that one up"?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, especially the one on breakpoint. I think you have to remember, I think it was my first volley the whole match and it comes on a breakpoint at 2-All. Before we played, I don't know, 30 points. Then all of a sudden you have to play a volley. It's also not so easy.
That's, I think, what's been difficult for me over the years, especially in the beginning, because I was varying my -- I had such a wide shot selection that all of a sudden in the important moments, you know, I was all of a sudden going for a backhand down the line I hadn't played all match, or I came to the net and I had to play little, you know, chip or anything and I couldn't do it.
So here it was again the same. I wasn't at the net the entire match until then, then all of a sudden I miss an easy one. It happens, but obviously should try to cut down on those.
Q. Is the difference between playing during the day and playing at night under the lights here bigger than anywhere else?
ROGER FEDERER: Hard to say. I mean, there's always a difference, I think, at any tournament. The court just plays different. Usually, you know, the wind and everything calms down in the evening. But I thought tonight there was quite a breeze, you know, so didn't make it very easy. Obviously, sometimes you feel like you can crack an egg, you know, really out there, especially in the evening.
So, yeah, I think it's at every tournament the same. I couldn't really say that the Australian Open would be more extreme than here.
Q. Players are picking their spots more and more it seems in terms of when to play well, what they're going to focus on. You seem to bring your "A" game so often. Does that take a certain stamina? How can you explain you show up with the "A" game all the time?
ROGER FEDERER: No, well, I guess confidence definitely has something to do with the whole thing. Then also, you know, the belief that you can play those shots. You know, you got to try.
If you play -- there's always a fine line between playing too aggressive and too defensive, you know. I think I've really managed that well over the years. Know exactly when to play what shot and how to serve and, you know, how to return when it really matters.
Maybe I don't have the best of all, you know - how you say? - percentages on breaking and breakpoints and everything, but I think I create myself so many opportunities that eventually I'll get the result anyway so...
Q. On a night like tonight when you've beaten the guy last weekend, what gives you the greater satisfaction: Winning or playing certain shots?
ROGER FEDERER: No, beating him again really. Simple as that.
Q. Simple as that?
ROGER FEDERER: You don't want to beat him in the final then lose in the quarters, because then everybody might think James played horrible in that final last week. So this, if I back it up, I think it's also important looking ahead in the season and all this that you can beat him back-to-back weeks. You sort of really send out a message.
Q. Makes him think a little.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. Sometimes it's good when you play two guys -- the same guy within two weeks. You can demoralize them, but I don't think James has too much of a problem with that.
Q. Is your semifinal opponent a surprise to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I would say so. I wouldn't have picked him coming through to the semis even though he was here last year. He came out of a tough section. That is great credit for him. He fought incredibly hard, the few matches I saw. Actually, I didn't even know he won against Rochus that evening, you know, when I was here in the press I left at 5-All in the third and asked Olivier if he won or not. He said no. I said sorry.
But I thought he would have had a chance against Andy today. He did well, you know. It was a close match. I expect a tough match, too. Even though, I think we only played once maybe, I'm not sure. I beat him 1 and 1, but that was the first match of the year. He arrived the day before, and I was there for like a week, so I was ready for him (smiling).

End of FastScripts...

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