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April 22, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Roger, did you take some confidence from the way you'd been playing against Ferrer into that match, and did that help?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe a little bit, yeah, for sure. You always take stuff with you from the previous match - in fact, from the entire tournament.
Today was obviously very different. He had a different type of game and I knew the rallies were going to be much shorter because we were going to go for winners early in the point.
Thought I did well, you know. It's always a tricky match against Fernando, and I was happy the way I played actually today.
Q. Tactically, what do you have to do differently? David Ferrer, Fernando Gonzalez, as you say, they're different. Tactically, what do you have to do?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think I have to concentrate on my own serve and on the first couple of shots I hit on the return, you know. You want to put your serve in a good position, where with David maybe he's not going to attack the ball as much so he gives you more time to enter into the rally.
But, yeah, so it changes quite a bit.
Q. Does this final exceed your expectations, or were you sort of planning on it?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, yeah. No, it does exceed. As I said, you know, my goal was sort of to play quarters here and sort of get enough matches so I can get out of this tournament, you know, feeling pretty good about my game and knowing what I will need to work on. So this final is better than expected.
Q. Rafael's game was a lot longer than yours. Do you think that maybe you'll have a physical edge tomorrow against him, he may be a bit tired after today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I hope so, but don't plan on it.
No, he's maybe had a tough match, but it's not a five-setter, you know, that's a grueling five hours. It was two and a half hour, 2:45, so I think he's fit enough for that. And any practice, he'd practice much harder and longer than that. One match is not going to break him down quite yet.
Q. How will you compare the condition of play here and in Paris?
ROGER FEDERER: Similar. Very similar. That's why I'm here (smiling).
Q. Is playing Rafael on clay one of the highlights of the season for you? Is that something you look forward to?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, absolutely. I think when I play him, usually now it's in the finals, which is obviously exciting. I think on clay right away, you know, it's gonna give me a direction, you know, if I will play him at the French or elsewhere that, you know, how I've got to play him in the future. The more I play him, I think the better it is for me. That's just the way I see it when I play against him. Because he's quite one-dimensional with his game. I said after Dubai I actually felt pretty good playing against him. I thought I actually saw, you know, the way I should play against him. But, again, it's not going to give me any success; I've got to beat him.
Tomorrow I've got an opportunity, you know, one more. I think that's actually good leading up into the clay court season, I can right away play against a tough player like Rafael.
Q. What do you have to do to beat him? What do you have to focus on?
ROGER FEDERER: Play well. It's as simple as that. I've got to make sure I play well, don't give him, you know, many easy shots, and just stay with him, you know, for the entire time. Because I have the feeling that's what guys do, they tend to not take the physical challenge with him, so they go away. That's what I won't do tomorrow.
Q. This is your 12th consecutive final, you've just beaten John McEnroe. Is that something you follow, setting milestones like that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, this one, I didn't even know, so that's nice. But I just think it's great, you know, backing up tournament after tournament, you know, I enter, playing the finals, being there till the end, seeing an empty locker room and a full stadium, it's pretty nice (smiling).
Q. What do you remember of last year's match in Paris with Rafael? What do you remember you did well or not well?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was a shaky start, I remember. I remember that I played excellent in the second set, allowed him to come back, and still won the set. But I thought maybe by closing out the second set earlier, it would have given me a great edge in the third. I remember having a break in the fourth and going crazy about the conditions, you know, being too dark. And that totally confused me towards the end of the match where I knew I was not going to be able to win the match on that day. So I knew if any way I win the fourth, I've got to come back the following day, and there I wasn't just -- somehow not confident enough that I'm gonna win that set and win again tomorrow. It was like I had to beat him twice, and that sort of freaked me out. I thought we should have stopped but, you know, referees, they take decisions, and I was against it, so it was a pity.

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