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May 8, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Roger, please.
Q. How do you feel about the match today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the match was good, definitely. The score, I think, tells it all.
You know, it's good to come back after two years here to Rome and right away win a match. I thought they were very excited to see me, which was a good feeling. I was already playing excellent in practice, so to play well in the match like this is a very good feeling. I am into the tournament now, and that's a big relief for me.
Q. Can you feel any difference between Monte-Carlo and here with regard to having Tony around? Maybe it's a mental thing?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I came here Wednesday already again, very early like to Monaco. I thought, you know, at home it wasn't that great of weather and, you know, there's not many guys around in Switzerland this time of the year, so I thought I'd come here early. I mean, Tony arrived on Thursday, the day after.
So to be honest, it was no problem getting used to Rome. I think conditions are similar to Monaco. Just got to adapt a little bit, I guess. Center court as usual, you know, red backdrop, a little smaller it seems in terms of sizes around the lines and everything. So I have to just get used to that. The match can only do that.
But I thought it was a good move again to come here early.
Q. People have said here it is faster than in Monte-Carlo and Paris. Do you find this year it's the same?
ROGER FEDERER: This is supposed to be?
Q. People said here the court is slightly faster than Monte-Carlo and Paris.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, for me, it's hard to say. I missed Monaco twice, I missed Rome here last year, so you're asking the wrong guy (smiling).
But I definitely think this and Monaco are closer to Paris than Hamburg is. That's my feeling.
Q. Do you like to play dropshots on clay court?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, why not? I start to like it, you know. I mean, it's a very tactical move, of course. Players tend to stay much further back in the court, you know, than they do on hard court or grass, obviously, so it allows you to play at, you know -- without taking less chances.
Of course the sliding allows you maybe to get back in the point sometimes. But I sort of enjoy, you know, being dropshot more than dropshot the other guy. I think it gives something else to the game sometimes, too. Obviously, the people enjoy it, too.
Q. You said the weather was not very good in Switzerland. What did you do since Monte-Carlo?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I played an exhibition on Friday with Allegro, raised 50,000 Swiss francs for my foundation, which was very nice. We had a great time. Five and a half thousand people were there. Had that on a Friday.
I had only two days off after the -- one day off, actually, after the finals. Started practicing again Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and had the XO on Friday. So had the weekend off and played again on Monday, Tuesday. And it was bad weather. I had to go indoors, on indoor clay for two days in Switzerland, which was okay but not fantastic.
Q. Today we had the feeling you were playing very aggressive, even more than in Monaco?
Q. Today, yes.
ROGER FEDERER: I guess I had to. I didn't want to play more aggressive than in Monaco. I guess it's just the type of play, you know, Chela, he plays so far back in the court that he gives me more time. As soon as he drops it short, of course I'm going to come to the net; I have no choice.
I guess that's the reason. I think we all have still the match in mind with Nadal where obviously it's more difficult to attack. But before that I also played very aggressive all the way through, I thought.
I didn't think I changed much, you know. I just played the way I thought it was correct to play today, and it worked out.
Q. How different is it with Tony Roche around? After a match like today, will you go over the match with him, or is it more your work with him on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I definitely enjoy the on-court a lot with Tony. I just think that's always a great experience because we work very hard and, yeah, we get along very well. I think we both agree on what I would like to improve, what I should improve, and what's good, you know. So we agree on the way I have to play so we never get into any fights really, which is good (smiling).
But, you know, like today in a match, I think he would only say maybe on that point you should have maybe played the ball more over there; on that breakpoint you shouldn't have, you know, taken that much of a risk. You know, little things. But those little things tend to make a big difference, so it's important to hear his advice.
Q. Did you already speak with him about Monte-Carlo's final or not? What did he say to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Only two minutes. In two minutes there is not much to say about so...
No, we haven't spoken much, but I know the day will come where we speak about it (smiling).
Q. You have quite a lot of lefties in your draw in the tournament.
ROGER FEDERER: Do I? Who is in there? I don't know.
Q. There are a few. Do you think it's going to be good for you to play lefties more often?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, as long as I don't lose to them, it's okay, you know. But I don't know. I enjoy the challenge, you know, of playing a lefty. I used to hate playing against them. Now I actually like to play against them.
But really doesn't matter. I mean, I don't know if it's really going to help me play a lefty once every 10, 20 guys if I never get to play Nadal, let's say. It's not going to help me much.
Thank God I have a lefty coach so at least I get to see a lefty sort of a spin sometimes there. You may be laughing, but it's a great help because I spend also a lot of hours with him on the court and I'm going to spend 10 weeks on the road with him now. So I'll get to see his lefty spin and, you know, it changes a lot in the game.

End of FastScripts...

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