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October 17, 2006

Roger Federer


Q. I suppose you must be pleased with your first match here?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I think I played the big points better than he did, made it easier for myself. Of course the match could have turned out much harder. 6-3, 6-2 is the perfect results for the first round.

Q. On Sunday you told us you love the surface, but what about the altitude factor, the bounce, the speed of the ball? Do you like it?
ROGER FEDERER: It feels pretty good. I think the slice stays low and the kick goes up. That's always I think fair for everybody. If you serve well, that pays off as well.
I think it's a good surface for my game. And I think for a fair surface for a bit of everybody, because it's not too quick after all.

Q. This time last year was a bad time for you. How important is it for you to make up for what happened to you with the injury and then through to the tennis Masters Cup.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the thing is I'm just so happy that I recovered so well. I haven't had any injury problems at all this entire season. The only -- not even a problem, but I just had to pull out of Hamburg, you know, which is always bitter sweet for me because I would have loved to play but couldn't because I had to make sure that I'm ready for the French.
But that was the only problem that I really had for the entire season. Going into the Australian Open with the brace and hoping that everything is going to be okay. And now looking back I've only played finals basically except Cincinnati. So I couldn't have hoped for anything better. I really bounced back really strong because I was worried, and I didn't know how long it was going to bother me and everything.
Now I'm just being very careful at the end of the year, trying to be really professional by warming up a lot and taping my ankles and everything so it doesn't happen again. That's all I can do and hopefully just play well.

Q. These are two questions for Roger here in Spain. Some people present this tournament as a fight between you and Rafael Nadal. How will you say it?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't agree because there's plenty of other guys wanting to beat us. There's only two who can take the finals. It's a long way. I've made my first step. So let's see what he does tomorrow. I think the draw is extremely tough here. You play opening rounds, always Top-30 guys, Top-40 guys. It's so difficult. I think we would love to play each other, there's no doubt. But there's no reason to think about that right now.

Q. And another one. Rafa has played today with Feliciano Lopez in doubles. He asked you after the U.S. Open to play with him here, and you deny. What are you going to do in the future? Would you like to play with him in doubles?
ROGER FEDERER: It's an interesting prospect. I still do enjoy playing doubles. But usually that's with my Swiss friend. I don't know if it's going to work out, you know, because I don't play much anymore. At the end of the season you have to be really careful with injuries. I've been unlucky the last couple of years. I'm just happy to be here in singles. It's maybe something for the future. You never know.

Q. So if I bet in the final between you and Rafa I'm going to lose my money or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Good chance.

Q. What do you think about the public and the atmosphere on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: It's been very nice, very friendly, very welcoming. Seems like they're happy to see me after so many years of missing the tournament. I've only had a few opportunities to really play in Spain. Twice in Madrid, once in Barcelona. Back then I had some challenges in Segovia and was on the Davis Cup team in La Coruna in 1998. But I wasn't playing back then. So actually I didn't get much opportunity to play in Spain. People seemed really happy. They were supporting I think both of us, just enjoying good tennis. And that's a really nice first round atmosphere I thought.

Q. Roger, you haven't won the title here yet. How much of a challenge is it for you to win all Masters Series tournaments? Is it something you care about or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it would be nice. It's like winning all the Grand Slams or winning every tournament you play. It's tough, you know. These draws are so incredibly difficult that it's a really hard thing to think about. It may be a goal at the end of my career to hopefully have won all of them.
I think Madrid and Paris will always stay one of my good chances to win because I love the indoors. It's where my first results came along. So I'm confident. But draws are tough. It doesn't make it easy.

Q. Some ATP tournaments next season may have a round robin format. Do you like that idea, or are you skeptical?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was an interesting idea in the first place. Now I'm not a big fan anymore of it. So that's how my feelings went. I don't know when and how it's going to happen and which tournaments and so forth, but that's how my feeling went actually.

Q. You have played with Massu three times this year. What do you think about him.
ROGER FEDERER: What I think is it's always nice to beat the Olympic champion. That's what I think. I enjoy playing against him. I had a great match, I thought, especially at the French Open. It turned out to be a really close match towards the end of the evening, on clay, it was a great battle. Indian Wells and here went a bit easier for me.
I like his spirit, always fighting for every point, so into it, and so concentrated that you know you're always going to be in a fight with him. And he's very fair on top of that. So it's a joy to play against him.

Q. To follow up on the round robin, why did you change your mind on the round robin?
ROGER FEDERER: I change my mind?

Q. Your mind on the round robin, you're not too into it.

Q. The second question is how come. At the beginning of the year you didn't like it too much, and now you do. If yes, why?
ROGER FEDERER: The round robin, I don't know. I was just asked what I thought, the round robin format. It could kind of work. You get to see the best players maybe twice at least or three times, but then I think you lose the first round, you want to stick around for maybe not even being able to qualify. It's kind of maybe a losing battle, I think.
I started to think about it more often. I just got some doubts, just keep the knock out system. That's so unique about tennis, one bad day, you're out. That's what like the Hawkeye. I didn't like it in the first place. I still don't like it today. That hasn't changed.

Q. Why?
ROGER FEDERER: Why? It's unnecessary.

Q. I would like to know your opinion about Madrid's Olympics' aspiration. How do you feel the Spanish people being able to organize an event of this type, the 2016 Olympic Games?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying. I would think that it's good when big cities like London, Paris, Madrid, they bid for the Olympics because they obviously have a good infrastructure already, and they just have to change a few things to make it a great Olympics. That's going to be good for sure.
I heard they were bidding for 2012 already and then 2016. I wish them all the best for them. I don't know if I'm going to be around then anymore. We'll see.
Q. I wonder if you miss some for the guys who already left the court, like Andre Agassi, for example, we will miss him. Or do you prefer to be one of the best to beat almost everyone. This is the first question.
And second one, what are you thinking about your future? You're so dedicated to the tennis, will you stay on tennis, or will you make business for something? Do you have any plans?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I miss Becker, Edberg, Sampras, Rios, they're not around anymore, and Agassi. I would have liked to play them more often or just at least once. But that's how tennis goes. It's a very energy consuming sport. We're not going to be in the sport for 20-30 years. I miss just a few of my idols, but that's okay. And the second question was about? My business future?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I have many years to come. I'm enjoying the moment being number one, of course, ambassador for the game. I think I have many opportunities once it's over. I will definitely like to dedicate more time to my foundation, to UNICEF, maybe stay in tennis in some way. I don't know. This is a thing I started looking in the next few years what I really would like to do after. At the moment I'm still very much into just trying to handle the day by day business.

Q. You could face Juan Carlos Ferrero in your next match. He's the last person you played here in Madrid in 2003. Does that have any emotional attachment for you? Do you have any thoughts on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. We had an important match back then. We were fighting for the number one position towards the end of the year. He came off a good U.S. Open. I came off a good Wimbleton. And the indoor season we knew we were at about the same strength. It was a tough match for me to lose, but he played well. I've actually always enjoyed playing against him because we came up through the juniors together. Then, like I said, we were at the same time at the very, very top.
We had some good battles. I basically turned number one in the world then against him later on at the Australian Open in '04. So that was my big match against him and I won that. I always enjoy playing former world number ones, and there's no difference with Juan Carlos. I always hope they come back to the top like Safin and Hewitt and Roddick and Ferrero belongs to that group of course.

End of FastScripts...

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