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May 11, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. When it is too easy, the first set, then you relax a bit in the second, or something different?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think he served much better in the second set, you know. It was obvious. I knew he has a good serve, so I just took advantage of it better, you know. He gave me more opportunities in the first set. That wasn't the case in the second set. But he never really got close to my own serve, and that made that match go so easy and so quick really, obviously, except the last service game. But I got out of that one, too, so it was a good match.
Q. You lost the first game of the second set without making any points. Do you remember the last time it happened to you?
ROGER FEDERER: It happens many times. It's not something very terrible, you know. Always I would like to start the set better, but I got the break pretty early after that. So I was pretty happy the way I played, you know. There was not many rallies so there's not much you can say about it really. It was just important to keep the errors low, and that I did exceptionally well the first set. In the second set, it was a little bit more difficult because there was lack of rhythm.
Yeah, so that first game, yeah, doesn't really matter now (smiling).
Q. How do you explain that in Hamburg you won three times and in Hamburg the clay is slower, the conditions, the weather conditions, are normally worse. Here, still you haven't won, I mean, even if you are in a good way. There is a reason in your opinion, or it's casual?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think first of all I played Hamburg every year. That wasn't the case with Monte-Carlo and Rome. I've been in the finals now of the other two, but I think the first win in 2002 was my big breakthrough really in Hamburg, on any surface. That it came on clay actually was a big surprise for me because my first results really on the ATP Tour came on indoor or then maybe on hard court, you know, but not really on clay. I had a horrible opening record on clay courts. I think 0-11 or 0-14 on the men's tour. Okay, I was 17 and got wildcards into all the best tournaments and obviously played against guys who were ranked 80 spots ahead of me every time. So that was actually a big surprise.
Then the next two, you know, they came only, when, last year -- two years ago and last year. This is really where I had a couple of very good tournaments, played excellent, beat Coria there I think which was - twice also - which was a good win for me.
I would say I just gave myself more chances to win Hamburg. I am surprised, too, that on the slow clay, you know, I was able to play so well, because I had no hope against Arazi at the French Open one year when it rained and everything.
But to sort of know that on a slow clay court I can do really well, I think that's almost more important than knowing that in good weather, you know, I could play well. This, I know, you know. But it's on the slow surface, I need to know that I can play really well.
Q. Have you done anything different this year in preparation for the clay tournaments, because you look a bit more solid this year?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, the big difference I would say is, you know, playing Monte-Carlo again. I didn't play it for two years because I had Miami and then Davis Cup I think a couple of years, and I just thought it was too much, you know. Usually I always have a great start to the season, you know, in Australia, and then in the indoors I usually play a lot, too, you know, either it's Rotterdam, Dubai, or sometimes I played Marseille and all these tournaments.
I just thought it was too much. I spoke to my condition trainer and we said we'd rather have a clay court preparation, enough of a break, and then, you know, do it all the way through from let's say Rome till Wimbledon.
But I told maybe Pierre that we should maybe try it differently, too, by playing Monaco and see where I stand on clay and then see what I can really work on. That's the biggest change I've done, I think, over the years.
Q. So three matches, three wins, no set lost. What do you wish to do better?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm happy at the moment (smiling). I'm playing pretty good. There's not much I'm doing wrong really. I'm trying to play tough points, you know. I think I can concentrate a little bit more on my own serve. That's where I feel sometimes, you know, when I want to hit the first serve and quite often happens I don't make it right now. Okay, I had a couple of important serves today where I got the serve I wanted, but I still think I can elevate my first serve percentage. That was better in Monaco.
But I'm playing very good from the baseline here, so it doesn't have that effect just yet. But, you know, the matches are getting more difficult. Definitely have to improve things, you know, if I want to go extremely far here.
Q. Is it true that you asked the Pope how to beat Nadal on clay?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Don't need his help for that (smiling).
THE TRANSLATOR: That's what he said, too.
ROGER FEDERER: Is that what he said, too?
THE TRANSLATOR: Nadal. That you don't need his help.
ROGER FEDERER: Exactly. Well, there you go. At least we think the same way, no?
Q. Are you on good terms with Martina Hingis?
ROGER FEDERER: Not anymore maybe, huh (smiling)?
Q. This is what I was asking.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I don't know the facts and stuff, you know.
Q. Today you beat her boyfriend.
ROGER FEDERER: Are you sure it's him (laughter)? I never asked him and I never asked her, so as long as I don't hear it from them, you know, it's...
Q. Let me know if you do.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I won't (smiling). But, no, I'm on good terms with Martina, yes.

End of FastScripts...

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