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November 14, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I have two questions. First is, what's wrong with your serve today? And the second is, how do you think about the crowd? You know, in my opinion, the atmosphere and the crowd support you like it was a Grand Slam, you know. How do you think about their supporting?
ROGER FEDERER: No, about the serve, I think it was okay, you know. I think Andy returned well, you know, and played a good match on my return, on my serve.
The crowd's excellent, you know, for me. I really felt it the first time last year when I was down 4-0 in the fifth set and everybody started to scream "Roger," you know. Got me back into the match. I almost ended up winning.
I definitely had some support today, as well, you know, by the crowd. They were there when I needed them. I came through, so I'm really happy. I think the crowd enjoyed this match, as well.

Q. You had to save three matchpoints. It's becoming more difficult, or it's impossible to beat you? I asked the same to Andy.
ROGER FEDERER: What did he say (smiling)?

Q. That he's trying, he's trying.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, it was obviously very close. Tough loss for him, you know. For me, a bit of a relief, of course. But I guess if I could have lost one match, it's probably this one. I still then may be qualifying in the next match.
But, look, I think he played the perfect match for two sets. Maybe one serve lacked in the end, you know, so it was unfortunate for him.
I tried my best, you know, I could. Obviously, it's always hard to control against Andy when he's serving so big like in the first two sets. I know, you know, I got a bit lucky in the end. But I tried hard, you know, and it paid off in the end. So in the third set I was pretty much in control from the start. I'm really, really happy to not be under pressure like he is now.

Q. My question is who is the greatest tennis player now, do you think?
ROGER FEDERER: Well... you like it, huh (smiling)? I like to be asked these questions. It's a good sign. It's a good sign. No.
Look, of all time, I don't know. I mean, I guess there's plenty above me right now. I still have a lot left in my career to achieve to be able to be compared to the greatest, but I'm definitely on a very good way. I mean, I've had an incredible three, four years behind me with a lot of Grand Slams and titles and, you know, being No. 1 for such a long time. I guess if I keep it up for another few years, I definitely have a chance, as well.
But, uhm, there's many great ones, you know, so it's gonna be really hard.

Q. My question is less original. Today you saved three matchpoints. Against Rochus, I think you saved four maybe.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't remember.

Q. You don't remember. Do you remember what other matches where you saved matchpoints, important ones, in your career?
ROGER FEDERER: Ferrero in Dubai - I remember I ended up winning the tournament - the second round. I don't know.
You're the journalist.

Q. Okay. I will make the research.
ROGER FEDERER: Okay, please (smiling).

Q. You have defeated Andy Roddick for eight straight times. Among those eight wins, is today's Andy's most difficult to deal with, or he played differently than before?
ROGER FEDERER: No, today he definitely played very good. I think that was definitely one of his best matches against me. I mean, he came so close. I think he did basically everything right, you know. Just was unfortunate I guess a bit today.
But, I mean, I've had matches with Andy where I thought he played many great matches. You know, I think I didn't play a great game, you know, when I lost my serve, and that gave the entire direction to the match today. So that maybe didn't happen the last few times I played against Andy, so I gave him the advantage and he took care of it from then on, you know.
Also I think the last six matches have been all finals, so that changes things maybe, as well. We had quite a few matches over five sets, so you have more time to settle. Today, obviously over three sets, you know, it's really dangerous, you know. You get one break and you basically almost are a loser.
So it was really close today. I think Andy played a good match.

Q. Just wanted to ask you a two-part question. Number one is you never seem to give up. Is that your biggest strength over your opponents, do you think? Second is will we be seeing you in Dubai this year, or in 2007?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think so. I'm not sure actually, but I would like to play, you know. I've had some great years there. Won three times in a row, plus the finals this year. It's been really working out for me. I also come a lot there to practice, you know, because of the weather, the safe weather, and the heat.
And the first question was about my never giving up. Well, I mean, I guess I have no choice, you know. I didn't come here to give up, you know. I came all the way from far away and why not try, you know, a hundred percent?
So I was really happy by leaving everything out on the court today because it was really close, and it was needed to.

Q. I want to ask a question about your performance in returning Andy's serves. I don't think you returned serves as effectively and as strongly as you did before with Andy. What's your comment?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, the question is about me not returning Andy's serve so well. I mean, I agree. I mean, I definitely had more difficulties today. I mean, I think he was serving incredible - maybe the best ever against me. He was really having a high first serve percentage. And, you know, if he has that and he has the power, there's not much you can do.
I was definitely having a hard time reading his serve today. That's what's been happening for the last half season of this season for him, you know. He's really been able to turn up his serve. That's why also he had the success in Cincinnati and at the US Open and then again here. His game has got a lot to do with his serve, and he's definitely serving well at the moment.

Q. Considering that you and your good buddy Tiger seem to be always elusive in terms of the competition, how do you see yourself stacked up against -- like do you see your sense of victory narrowing as your competition, you know -- as you play your competition? Like do you see it getting -- like are you sort of getting far away from them, or do you see them gaining on you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, if I look at the -- I mean, I've never had I think as many points as maybe, I don't know, a couple weeks ago right now, you know. I've had the best season of my career with all, you know, four Grand Slam finals, winning three. So I definitely feel like I've never played better tennis, you know.
I guess we have to say right now I'm kind of going away of everybody. Because there was this moment maybe at Wimbledon or later on in the American summer where people thought, you know, Nadal is gonna be really close, but he wasn't able to maintain his play.
But for myself, you know, I've hardly lost any matches in the last two seasons. For me, I don't know if I can keep it up another season, but definitely at the moment I've really gained a lot of confidence and feeling physically also better than ever. So I feel like this is my time at the moment, yeah.

Q. It's a pleasure that we have Martina Hingis comeback this year. Do you have expectations to reunite with her to play Hopman Cup, 'cause you won the championship in 2001?
ROGER FEDERER: We're not gonna play, no.

Q. Do you have some expectations to play her again?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, first of all, I was incredibly happy of her comeback because, like everybody in here or around the world, I didn't know what to expect from her comeback, you know, if it's gonna be -- is she gonna make the top 50, is she gonna be top 20, what is it, you know.
By qualifying for the Masters and finishing in top 8, I think it's one of probably the best comebacks, you know, ever.
I'm very impressed. Now, later on, not so surprised because she's always been a phenomenon, you know, in what she's done. She's had incredible success early on like nobody else. In a way, it was expected. But, you know, the game has changed over those three years she was out. I'm really happy she's playing.
But maybe one day we'll play at Hopman Cup again. I know it's not going to be next year because we spoke about it and she preferred to play the Gold Coast and I prefer to play nothing or some other tournament, so...

Q. Let me ask kind of an easy question. Do you know the Federer bear is selling very well outside the stadium. That's a big contribution to charity. What's your view on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, the Federer bear is a good friend of mine (smiling). I'm really happy he's selling well, that the fans like him. I actually got a big one, you know, like a really big one - like huge. I should show him to you.
No, I'm happy that, you know, the people buy it. It's so nice because it's for a good cause, you know, for UNICEF and my foundation. It's always a good sign when fans are willing to not only give their time by coming to the stadium and support us, but also to buy things for a good cause. I think he's really cute, the Federer bear, so I hope there's going to be many more sold of them.

Q. Andy had just one matchpoint on his own serve at 6-4 in the tiebreak. Can you remember it? And, if so, can you talk us through what happened on that particular matchpoint?
ROGER FEDERER: All I remember is that he missed the first serve.

Q. Yeah, and got to the net. Can you remember how you made the passing shot?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't. Is it the one when I hit the forehand down the line?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: I wasn't sure if that was the one. But I'm not sure how exactly -- if he attacked right away or later on.

Q. Came straight in.
ROGER FEDERER: Straight in, backhand pass, forehand pass. Yeah, I guess he played the right way, you know. He had such success, you know, by coming in, you know, at me all the time. His slice was working well. He didn't miss many attacking shots, you know, and everything.

Q. Did you think the match had gone at that stage?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, early on in the tiebreak already when I was down 4-1 and him serving. I thought, Well, probably not my day, because the shot I played to go 4-1 down wasn't usually the shot I pick to play, you know. I didn't hit it well either, so I thought, Well, I mean, I'm not playing that great and he's not giving me a chance, so I guess that's it.
But I told myself, you know, maybe I can make him nervous by just staying along and in the match. That's what happened. I don't know if he got nervous or it just went my way in the end, but it was really close, that's for sure.

Q. You got the No. 1 trophy yesterday. You are keeping your No. 1 ranking in three years. What does it mean to you?
ROGER FEDERER: Very special, you know, absolutely. I missed it very close in 2003 when I won my first Grand Slam. That I came, you know, the next three years and I finished every year No. 1, it's for me an incredible feat, I think, you know. I'm very proud of records like these. I've enjoyed it ever since, you know, being No. 1, and I hope I can stay it for much longer because I love, you know, coming on the court as a favorite.
It's just a very proud feeling, you know, being the No. 1 in the world of something, you know. It happens to be my dream sport, tennis, so I'm very happy about it.

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