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August 15, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be pretty pleased to have turned it around at the right moment.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, absolutely. I was very worried today, obviously. The court was quick. He was playing very, very well, and I had a bad feeling, you know, when I was down in that first set. I thought this match could be over in a hurry, you know, the other way.
So I think it's an obvious feeling to have, you know, because I've been struggling here in Cincinnati over the years, you know, except last year. He was really playing well, and I couldn't get into the rallies really. The points were over before I knew it.
So to come out, it's a great result. In the end I played good tennis. I'm a bit surprised, actually, that it was that straightforward in the end, you know, the straight sets.

Q. Yesterday James Blake said that he wasn't like you in that he could have a bad day but still win. I'm wondering, how often do you feel like you might not be at your best but still win?
ROGER FEDERER: You know, I never have a horrible feeling. Today I more had a feeling like whereas I didn't have any say in the match really, because he was either hitting it full speed, you know, serving full speed, and these are the matches like against the big servers, you know, sometimes you don't decide if you're gonna win or lose; he decides.
So very rarely, or hardly ever I do beat myself, you know, because I have the variety, I have the option to slice, to spin the ball, to, you know, to run, to fight, and so forth. That's what allows me to win maybe when I'm not -- I never have bad days, you know, just little days when I'm not playing so well, not feeling the ball so well.

Q. Indian Wells and Miami together is one thing, but back-to-back Masters Series like this that close is quite another. Is it difficult to play in so little preparation?
ROGER FEDERER: Absolutely, and that's what I felt today during the match. Last year I came here early, maybe from Thursday or Friday on, I had all the time in the world. The guys were battling it out in Toronto. I was getting here and feeling great, you know, my first-round match.
This year around, I come here and all these guys have been here now longer than me. I feel like I definitely missed that bit of timing, that bit of, you know, self-belief on the return, on the serve and so forth.
But actually, eventually I actually had a good feeling. That is very important, because I was not missing that much, you know. Just maybe struggling with my attacking game at times. But I'm actually very happy the way it turned out in the end.
But I definitely feel like the transition in one day, because I didn't even play yesterday, you know, so I just had this one-hour hit before the match and haven't hit one ball on center court before the five-minute warm-up. So it's kind of tough.

Q. How much importance do you give to winning back-to-back Masters, these two for instance, which has been done by not many people?
ROGER FEDERER: No, look, I mean, I was obviously, you know, considering not playing here, but I felt good, you know, after the finals. I was ready for the challenge, you know, to take it on, you know. I have again a very tough draw, I think, you know. I know the danger of, you know, entering a tournament when I have basically no days of preparation and I got just the confidence with me; that's the only thing I have with me at the moment.
So I said, you know, as long as I feel good and I don't have any pain anywhere in my body, might as well keep playing, you know, because I have a week before the Open. So that's the thing I said to myself, and now I'm into the tournament and I think that's a very important sign for me. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's match. It's gonna be interesting. I hope I can get through that one as well.

Q. What do you think of Andy Murray?
ROGER FEDERER: No, he's a good player. You know, I thought already back then when I played him in Davis Cup in doubles or then in Bangkok in the final, he played some good matches. Obviously, I guess he has improved, you know, his ranking. Obviously, it comes down a little bit to day form as well. He's had some changes, you know, since. Don't know how much that's going to help him. But it's going to be interesting to see how well he's playing at the moment. He might be a little bit tired as well, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Q. I realize you're asked this every week, but the rivalry with Nadal, what are your thoughts on that? Do you enjoy being in that spotlight where everybody looks at you and Nadal and says, Hey, this is the rivalry?
ROGER FEDERER: I understand the point and what the people are saying about it, you know, and I think it's absolutely justified with our results over the last one and a half years. But like what I said in Toronto, you know, I don't care really if I play him on the other side of the net or it's somebody else in the finals like Gasquet, I in the end care about winning the title, you know. That's what's over everything, and the player's not bigger than the tournament. For me, that's the conclusion to this rivalry.
It's definitely good I won Wimbledon. I enjoy playing him, but I don't need it every week, you know.

Q. How important was Wimbledon, to get back on your side?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I knew it from the start, you know. A year without being the Wimbledon champ would feel a little bit lonely, I guess, I don't know.
But I did it again, so don't need to look back.

Q. But beating Nadal?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I mean, of course it would have been a big boost for him and people would have written many different things, but I think I played an excellent match, you know, dominating him in the first and the fourth set. Second and third were close, like I did expect it to be. So I was very happy the way I played.

End of FastScripts...

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