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January 17, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Was that straight-sets win as easy as the score line indicated?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, I think I was pretty much in control of the match today. Started well. You know, I felt like if I got my serve going, you know, it's going to be tough for Jonas, because I always have a look into his service games. That's a little bit what happened.
Yeah, I think it was a good match from my side.

Q. Did your level improve from the first match?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, you know, again, different opponent. Jonas plays much more flat, more aggressive, takes the ball early and everything. It's a bit of a different match, you know.
But maybe a bit more consistent, especially on the serve. Didn't give him so many chances like I did against Phau in the first round. I think it's a bit of an improvement, yes.

Q. Is it a bit more challenging for you to play one of the oldest guys on the circuit who has a few more tricks up his sleeve than the younger guys maybe?
ROGER FEDERER: Absolutely. I always like playing against either youngsters or oldies, so to speak.
Yeah, you're always a bit worried because, you know, he's got a lot of experience. He's not going to back down from a physical challenge, as well. You know you're in for a fight if it gets tough. When it gets close, you know he has the experience.
Yeah, you want to have the distance. Yeah, it's always fun to play against Jonas, actually.

Q. As always, obviously one game at a time, but when you hear about someone like Djokovic playing so well, losing only 10 games in two matches, you know he's in your little section, does that interest you at all? Do you pay attention to that?
ROGER FEDERER: I didn't see anything of Adelaide. Of course, I follow him a little bit more close. But today I hardly seen anything except the first three games. I saw maybe three games of the last match.
I probably will try to see more the next match he plays. He's definitely playing well. You know, he's confident and everything. But I've got other things to worry about in the next round. I don't know who I'm playing yet, but it looks like Youzhny. He upset Rafa at the US Open. I've played him several times, know what a great player he is. Got to make sure I get through that one first.

Q. There was a bit of banter at the end with the TV guys. When you watch back tapes of yourself, do you take notice of what the commentators say?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, usually we get matches or tapes without commentary, you know. I hear the commentary of other matches; never of mine.

Q. Are you aware of how the adulation is in their commentary?
ROGER FEDERER: What means "adulation"?

Q. Almost drooling over how good you are.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I hear it and when you guys tell me (smiling). That's really the only time I hear all the compliments. I read sometimes, you know, the papers and stuff, but not the commentary so much.
I mean, it's nice. I've gotten really many, many compliments over the years. They've been really nice. Of course, I appreciate it the most from fellow players, former great players, then the experts, too. They say some nice things, as well.
I had to get used to it. At the beginning it was tough when I hadn't won a Slam and people were saying what a great player I was. I was like, "First let me have results, then you can say." I guess now it's justified a bit more. I can take it with a smile, which is nice.

Q. Never embarrassing?
ROGER FEDERER: Sometimes. Like the sexiest guy stuff (laughter).

Q. Do you read as much press as you used to about yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, probably read about the same. I see it from a different perspective now, where it would influence me much more in the beginning of my career. I felt I was put under pressure or I felt I was asked for too much in the beginning, whereas now I read it for fun. I like reading articles about other players actually, not so much about me.
Yeah, you know, TV is always fun. Yeah, I read it quite a bit.

Q. Considering the heat yesterday, the heat policy, it came into question, the fairness of that, the well-being of the players. Do you think that's something that needs to be reviewed and looked at?
ROGER FEDERER: Guys didn't go on court after that. I guess you're an unlucky guy if you have the match at 11:00 because it's not hot enough yet.
I kind of agree with the heat rule. I mean, walking around in the streets, I think it's fine. But going out on the court, you know, the court, it gets so hot, like you can't believe.
I mean, it's not only the heat from the sun, but especially from underneath. This is what's really killing the players. The feet are just on fire.
On top of that, we have maybe, what, two events a year that are that hot. I think it's okay that you have a heat rule. It's an advantage for all the players.

Q. But is it fair if they've started, they have to continue on in that kind of heat, where other people don't have to?
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe they should give the choice to both players, if they want to continue. If both players agree they don't want to continue, maybe they can make an arrangement this kind of way. But at the same time, look, we need to be fit, as well. Got to bite the bullet sometimes. That's what happened yesterday.

Q. The question of Hawk-Eye, I know you're not the biggest fan, Jonas raised a question on court, Andy has spoken of it, as well, officials deciding not to make a decision when they normally would make a decision because they feel they should wait for the player to make the call or rely on technology. Is there a danger of the officials standing back when they actually should be taking the lead?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I'm not a big fan of it. I mean, I think it's nonsense anyway in the first place. Yeah, now they can hide even more behind these calls, that's for sure. But, look, I mean, that's really our problem. Here I think it's especially tough to call because you don't see any marks, you know, after the bounce, where usually you get to get a good idea when you hit it, right after you can see a mark, it's fresh and everything. Here you don't for some reason because of the surface paint or so.
It makes it really hard for us. Of course, we would like to be able to rely a little bit on umpires, as well. They tend to now just let us do the work, you know, the tough stuff. They let us get embarrassed basically.
I mean, it's how it is. There's two challenges there to be used. Might as well use it sometimes.

Q. How would you assess Etienne de Villiers' first year in running the ATP? How badly did it need someone like him to come in and shake it up?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think it was good for a change. I think Mark Miles definitely did some good things. I didn't know him well enough, to be honest. He was there for a very long time. I guess eventually it's also time for change, especially when all the players are kind of like -- well, we've kind of seen him now, we've had enough of him. It's time for him to leave, as well. I think that moment was really maybe due to come.
I think Etienne has had a very interesting year. He's really raised many questions. He's gotten some answers, and I think it's going to be interesting to see what he does in the future.
It's definitely also raised more awareness from the players' side. We want to be more involved in decision making, as well. I think the group of guys we are right now, we also very much are interested in what's going to happen with the game in the future.
I think we're at a very interesting stage right now. There are things we're trying out, like Hawk-Eye. Some things are now pushed through all the way. We have also the round-robin. I think we'll see how we go from there. I don't think the players like it that much. Fans, we'll see.
From my end, I'm not a round-robin guy. I'm not playing one of these events. I'm happy about that this year. I hope they're not going to be around in '08.
But, look, I'm not the only guy playing on tour. There's other players, as well, who have to agree with those things. I think it's going to be interesting to see where the game goes from here really.

Q. Are you in favor of the move for a new big event in Madrid, breaking the traditional clay court circuits, the combined event in Madrid?
ROGER FEDERER: It's all speculation at the moment, you know. I'm for that actually tournaments move more to Asia than in Europe or in the States. I think Asia is a very important market. I've always loved playing over there. I don't really care where it goes in Asia, but I think it's important to have big events there. We have the Australian Open, but that's all the way down here. We need something in Asia, as well. It's good we have the Masters Cup.
When this goes maybe to somewhere else, it's good you have maybe a Masters Series over there. That's my main concern. If Madrid gets an indoor/outdoor event, I don't really care seriously. As long as we have good events, that's what we care about, that the fans attend and they enjoy it. That's what's important.

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