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November 16, 2006

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just now Ljubicic said this match was unfair because he said the singles rounds was not fair. Ljubicic beat Nalbandian, but Nalbandian was qualifying. How do you think about that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the rule is in place that you go after wins and then sets, right? So that's the rule. If it would be, you know, the direct battle against the one player, it would be different. But it's unfortunately the rule for Ljubicic. I was also under pressure today, you know, if Nalbandian would have lost against Roddick.
So, look, the format, it is how it is. It got really close today, you know, with the last three. But for some reason, I think we all saw that coming because our group was gonna be really, really hard.
So in the end what I care about is that I came through it, and not really who's the other guy. But it's still a bit of a surprise, of course, that Nalbandian came through again, like last year. I guess he deserved it because he should have beaten Ljubicic yesterday and he beat Roddick convincingly today, so I guess he deserves it.

Q. My first question is, I just want to know the private conversation between you and Tiger, because we are very interested in the conversation between the lion on the tennis and the tiger of the golf.
ROGER FEDERER: It's the other way around, but that's okay (smiling).

Q. Second question is that what's the feeling about standing still on the top of the tennis field?
ROGER FEDERER: Okay, I'll try.
The question was about me and Tiger, what we talk about or...?

Q. Yes, on the dinner.
ROGER FEDERER: The dinner.

Q. And in private, the dinner.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know what we talk about. We had just a good time, you know. Was good to see each other again after some time. For me, it was very nice to go see him play finally live, you know. I've seen him so many times on TV, you know, but live is much more impressive I think, you know, the way he concentrates for his rounds. And the way he took care of me also was very nice. I walked inside of the ropes. Basically I felt like I was playing myself for one second, but it's better that he plays.
No, we had a good time, you know. He's a really relaxed and laid-back guy. I spoke to him yesterday. He's in Japan now. I don't know how his round went, but I hope he's doing well.

Q. You always communicate with each other?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we do talk to each other.

Q. And the second question...

Q. What is your feeling on standing still on the top of the tennis field?
ROGER FEDERER: What do you mean, "standing still"?

Q. How you feel about being the top player all the time?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it feels great, you know. I don't know what to say (laughing).
It's great, you know. I'm so very, very proud to be No. 1 for so long. Hasn't changed, you know. I'm still proud like the first minute I got No. 1 after beating Ferrero at the Australian Open. I just hope I can keep it up, you know.

Q. How do you feel your game is at this point in time looking into the semifinals? You comfortable with it?
ROGER FEDERER: Pretty good, you know. I'm pretty happy with the way I'm playing. I thought today was getting a bit better. Towards the end I started to read the serves better. Just from the baseline I had the feeling, you know, I was making more returns. My serve was getting reliable on the big points and everything. So that's always a good sign looking forward.

Q. And just your impressions on being one of People magazine's sexiest...
ROGER FEDERER: We're here again. It's every year the same, right? They're so accurate it's a joke, yeah (smiling). Yeah, feel good about it, you know.
No, I don't know. It's a fun thing. We did the photo shoot in Basel back during the Swiss Indoors. I asked who was on the cover, they wouldn't tell me. Now I know. Wasn't me, but I'm happy to be once again in that elite group of sexy people, yeah.

Q. You were in an unusual position today in that you didn't have to win. That might be quite strange for you. Did it feel strange? What motivated you to go out there and play as well as you can?
ROGER FEDERER: Let's put it this way, you know, I've been in this position many times that after the round robin, after two matches I've been qualified. This time around I only knew it five minutes beforehand, you know, which I thought was quite difficult to handle, you know, because there was this relief in a way, you know, Oh, okay, I'm through, I don't need to necessarily win. Then again, five minutes later you're standing on the court serving the first service game, you know.
I'm not saying that this is the reason why I got broken, but it was very confusing in the beginning. It definitely took me a few games to kind of really get the sense that, you know, I want to win this match and I wanted to keep this great streak I have going and everything.
So there was plenty of reasons, you know. I'm happy I came through, especially convincingly, you know. Gives me confidence for the semis.

Q. In another press conference with Michael Chang a couple days ago he said the young people only care about money and fame. As the first tennis player who has prize money more than $7 million in one year, also a big, sexy star, what is your take on the money and the fame? Any advice?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, look, I mean, I hope he's not being misquoted - or I hope he is basically - because I don't like to hear that he says we're just chasing down the money, you know. He also made a lot of money, you know, playing tennis.
For me, it's always been, first of all, my dream to be able to play at Wimbledon and play different tournaments, and not to be a millionaire. That was not my goal. It was maybe having a comfortable living eventually, not having to think about it. That's what I've earned. For me, making four, seven million dollars a year, one, it doesn't matter much. It's about winning the titles and being healthy, you know, to play tennis.
So I'm surprised to hear such a comment, you know, because I don't think that's entirely true. In the first place, why do we play tennis? It's not to make money; it's to chase our dream, you know. It happened that we have a lot of money in tennis, and that is obviously good for us now. But it's thanks to the generations before us, you know, who got the tennis where it is today.

Q. You're into the semis now. Do you feel that you've got to take your game to another level form-wise, or are you happy, totally happy, the way you're playing at the moment in order to win this title?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think if I can keep this level, I'm looking pretty good. Look, I don't know who I play yet, so that's obviously also a factor, you know, you have to look into.
But indoors, I've had a great streak, you know, lately. I've always had great results. But I think I can -- if I can maintain this level of play, there's always a chance I can win this event. But usually I start to play better by the round, and I felt that a bit today.
So, yeah, I'm feeling good.

Q. After the first match you said you didn't feel too much about revenge because David could come back and defeat you again in the semis or finals. Now the only possibilities you meet again, that's the final. Do you expect a repeat of the last final, I mean the last year in TMC?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's possible, you know. He's playing Blake, right, I assume? So, I mean, I guess he's going into that match a bit maybe as a favorite after playing so well here last year and surviving kind of our group. And he played an excellent match today, you know. So I would put him a bit as the favorite, even though Blake is playing well.
For myself, you know, that's all I can look at really. I hope I will be in the finals, and then if it's Blake or Nalbandian, it doesn't really matter too much.
But it will be quite interesting to see that happening again, you know, I think. And then hopefully will be the other way around.

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