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November 12, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You lost the first set but then came back strong in the second and third. How do you do that?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess you hang in there. It was a tough start, you know, to the tournament in the first set with David. I thought, you know, he returned well. He really took my second serve and returned it easily.
Also from the baseline I think he just had the upper hand, you know. Obviously, him being such a good and consistent and tough player, he's gonna win the set.
So I tried to get a break early in the second set, that's what I was able to do, and hang on to it. I really got on top of him after that. In the third set, I think the momentum was on my side, and I was able to also play more freely. It was easier for me then. I found the rhythm. I start to serve better. Also he let go a little bit, which helped me. So I think that's pretty much the summary of the match.

Q. You said yesterday the difference between you now and you a little while ago when perhaps you were losing to him was that you don't panic now. Was that a factor today?
ROGER FEDERER: I think so, yeah, because probably still a couple years ago I would think, "Oh, I don't know what to do, I don't have the key." I know maybe from the baseline I'm not good enough, my serve is not powerful enough and so forth. I would ask all sort of questions. I would start serve and volleying him, chip and charging him, everything. Thank God I don't need that anymore.
Through my mental and physical strength I was able to overcome all these problems. Now I just hang in there and hope for the best. It's really been the best choice that I've ever taken in tennis.

Q. How did you change that to your benefit? How did you learn not to panic? Was it just getting the experience?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I guess just losing, winning a lot of matches, just playing against all sorts of different players. You always have the fast runners, the big servers, the serve-and-volleyers, the aggressive baseliners, the counterpunchers. I think at the beginning of your career all you're really trying to get is a feel for how to play each and every one of them. It's obvious that you like one style of play. But to beat all the different styles, I think that's the hard part.
That's obviously what we have in my group, for instance. We have David who's a great counterpuncher, an incredibly good baseliner. Then you have the big servers. So you have to overcome all these different obstacles if you want to be a great player.
It took me a long time, but eventually I got ahold of myself and ahold of their games. It turned out to be a great career.

Q. The experience comes from yourself or some experts like Dr. Freud?
ROGER FEDERER: Don't know him. Who is he?

Q. He was an expert from psychology.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know.

Q. He was a Swiss, too.
ROGER FEDERER: Is that right? Nope, never needed him.
But, yeah, I overcome it myself because I had enough friends and family telling me I should take it easy and whatever. Eventually, you know, I calmed down, started to play well, and started to learn, you know. Obviously got the belief, once I won Wimbledon in '03, that I can maybe win more on a consistent basis, you know? So I think that was the right moment for me to win Wimbledon.

Q. The Masters has always had this round robin format. Next year ATP is planning to introduce 13 tournaments with round robin. Some people are against this new format and say that when you have to play Federer and the next day you have to play other opponents, if you see that you cannot do it, they cannot beat you, they surrender and save energy so that the next day they will play better, they will have more chances against a weaker opponent. What is your opinion about it? For instance, today you won 6-0 one set, 6-1...
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I wish.

Q. Don't you think that players will surrender too early because they prefer to save energy for the next match against a weaker opponent than you?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't think that's gonna happen. I don't know if you've heard about how it's gonna work, the round robin. We're not gonna be four in a group. We're gonna be three in a group, and only one is gonna advance. If everybody loses once, it comes down to sets really.
You have to be I think a bit lucky to come through. Actually probably 90% of the times, a guy who wins his two matches is gonna get through for some reason.
Look, I'm not the biggest fan of the round robin. It's a test. I'm not playing one of those tournaments next year. Most probably so I'll get the feedback from fans because that's what they want to see, do the fans like it. If they do like it, we'll probably keep it. If they don't like it, we'll probably get rid of it. So see how it goes. I think it's worthwhile giving it a shot. So we're waiting.
I don't think from the players' standpoint it's gonna be much of a change really. You're gonna play to win. The only problem is, like last year, you lose against a guy -- you beat the guy, then you end up losing against him in the finals. That's kind of a bit awkward. But the chances for that are always very small.

Q. (Posed by Michael Chang) Quick question for you. With the schedule the way that it is now on the ATP Tour, obviously will all the top players, it plays a very, very important role as far as being healthy. That's one of the things that has really been very good for you, to be able to go out, play tennis, be healthy. How is it you find to be able to balance time to work hard, taking time to rest and relax, and take time to regroup from let's say this year and then in the Australian Open already starting in January, how are you able to find that balance?
ROGER FEDERER: No, for me, obviously the last let's say two, three years, have been very different to the ones I had before. I always used to play around 25 to 30 tournaments. Now I only play around 20 tournaments. I even played less probably the last couple years because of injury in the fall.
I always, you know, take a lot of good care, you know, with my coach, with my condition trainer, and obviously also with my girlfriend because she's seen me around also for a long time. We always sit down together and think what is the best player.
I always try to enter a minimum of tournaments, and if it goes bad I can always play more. I hate pulling out. So I'd rather just hope for the best to happen, and otherwise I can always get a wildcard anywhere I want, you know.
Obviously with a year like this, it's always I'm on the edge of vacation, of preparation, and everything. So I'm really happy that nothing happened with injury this season because it's really one of the first seasons I've had without any problems at all. That gives me great hope also for next year.
I was extremely careful especially in the fall that nothing happens again in terms of warming up, you know, taking treatment, getting early to tournaments. I was again the first to arrive here. I just believe that by doing this, you know, it gives me a better chance of doing well at tournaments.

Q. Everybody talks about traveling the circuit and only seeing hotels and the tennis court.
ROGER FEDERER: Good hotels, though (smiling).

Q. This is the second year in a row that you have come early to Shanghai. Have you seen that much of the city yet?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I'm staying in the city, so. You know, 'seeing a lot' I guess means seeing some restaurants. The drive's long so you get to see a lot of things, you know.
But, yeah, I've been -- this is my third time to Shanghai. I got to see a lot of the area, you know. In Pudong and then also on the other side of the river, at the Bund and everything. I've enjoyed coming here. It's been very interesting. Haven't probably seen much of the touristic sites, such called, so maybe I'll catch up with that maybe some other time.

Q. Were you satisfied with such revenge? The last match in TMC last year with Nalbandian, he defeat you. This time, you won. But it's not an easy win, actually. You were satisfied with such match, such result, and your performances?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the performance was good, yeah. I mean, coming through as the winner in the first match is always, I think, crucial in the round robin because the first match obviously everybody's at a hundred percent, wants to get off to a good start. Maybe when you play somebody as the third time like I played Coria last year, you know he's kinda down, he lost two matches, he knows he's out, it's maybe easier to beat this guy.
For me today the reason to win today was huge. I was happy to come through. Like I is explained in the beginning, he had some difficulties at the end. But I don't feel much of a revenge because he could come back and beat me again in the semis or the final if he plays well again. Let's see what happens in the next few days.

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