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May 14, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you talk about your emotions after that match and the experience.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it was very close, no, I mean, from start til the finish. The result obviously reflects that, too.
Well, I guess it's a big pity for me because I came back well and in the end I should have won. He caught me right on the finish line, so that was a pity in a way.
But, you know, that's all I could do, fight hard and try and play as well as I could. It was a pity in the end.
Q. Did your performance today, Roger, make you think that he's more beatable than you originally thought?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, obviously, I would have liked to win, but I already knew after Monaco I was extremely close. I think this is another step closer because I got even closer to the win today than back then.
So, no, I'm on the right track. I think, again, you know, I improved a few things again for this match. So, yeah, it was good to play him already three times this year. Definitely helps me.
Q. He thought your backhand was working much better here than Monte-Carlo.
ROGER FEDERER: I played differently, too, which made it obviously a different match. I was working with my forehand way more in Monaco. Obviously, when he got to my backhand, he thought that was a safe option. Today I did more with my backhand, too, yeah.
Q. When you say you're on the "right track," would you have gone to the net so often against him before?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I hardly serve and volleyed.
Q. No, you didn't serve and volley.
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, that's basically the way I played him all the time now, really trying to come to the net not as much as I could, but, you know, play aggressive because, like I said, he definitely gives me the opportunity to do that.
So for me just to hit it and move backwards again, that's not the way I learned the game, you know. My way of thinking is, you know, come to the net and finish it at the net. That's what I'm doing pretty well at the moment, and that's what makes me win the matches.
So worked for most of the time today, he hardly passed me today, which was a good feeling. So I have to keep that up.
Q. How much of your thoughts are already at the French, and how much do you think about keeping the Grand Slam alive?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, especially now in the clay court season, you know, it's all around me basically. That's been the case since I got -- played and hit my first ball on clay. So it's good to think about the French and be excited about it.
Q. On your two matchpoints you missed forehands. Did you rush them, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I think the second one was definitely rushed. I tried to hit a winner, why not, you know. I already had one matchpoint so I thought, I mean, might as well go for it a little bit, you know. I didn't try to totally hit a winner, but tried to play aggressive and I was a little late on it.
The first one I was more disappointed about because I was in a good position, and I didn't want to go for the outright winner at all. I just tried to play solid and with a lot of spin to his backhand and long. I just couldn't get quite over it in time. So that was a pity.
I think that's, I guess, the first matchpoint that cost me the match.
Q. Can you think of another match where you had to work as hard? You were out there for five hours. Did you prove something to yourself by getting through that barrier? You were out there for a long time tonight.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I don't remember playing for so long ever, but I had a long set at the French Open, you know, in the beginning against another Swiss. I don't know how long that took. I don't know how long the match took with Safin at the Australian Open.
But, yeah, I mean, it's good for me also, you know, to play these tough matches and really see, you know, if I'm fit or not. I think, you know, we played almost four hours in Monaco. Now we played more than five. I never had a problem, which is nice, you know, so that makes me confident looking ahead because that's exactly how I want to feel at the French Open, too, you know, being able to back up tough matches. This one was even more tough, I thought, with the two matches, you know, coming into the finals. He didn't have to work that hard. So I think that is, on the physical standpoint, a very good effort from my side.
Q. In the sixth game of the third set, you said I assume to Tony Roche, "Is that all right, Tony?" Do you remember that?
ROGER FEDERER: That wasn't for Tony Roche. That was for Tony Nadal.
Q. Tony Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: He was coaching a little bit too much again today. Yeah, I caught him in the act, so...
Q. Did that upset you a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, not the first time. I told him many times already, through the entire match in Monaco already. But it seems like they don't keep a close enough eye on him.
Q. (Through translation.) Do you go to Hamburg?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, that's the plan. Obviously, you know, I have to see how I feel and everything tomorrow because that's an important wake-up (smiling). I'll know more tomorrow morning, I guess.
Q. And you will play there against Rafa before Roland Garros for the fourth time?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, I'm not sure if our thoughts are right there right now.
Q. Do you need it, a fourth match, before Roland Garros?
ROGER FEDERER: We can practice together at the French Open - every day if he wants (smiling).

End of FastScripts...

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