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January 19, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looked like a comfortable straight-sets win until the third. What happened there?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think I missed my chance at 3-Love, Love-30. Thought I really could have maybe taken more advantage of these couple of points. Came back into it. I only had one-break difference. I knew he can play one great game and he's back in it. That's kind of what happened really. Maybe could have definitely served a bit better at a particular stage.
Look, I was already happy being up two sets to love and the break. It's just important to get out of the tiebreaker, I think.

Q. It was a very enjoyable match to watch, shot-making. Was it enjoyable to play?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was good. You always hear the comments, "We want to see a fourth set, show us more." You definitely hear those things as well, you know, and you're trying to be concentrated. Especially over a best-of-five set match you have to be so careful. It's always so dangerous. You can see, one quick break and all of a sudden the whole thing changes.
I was happy the way I was playing today. I thought as well it was entertaining. In the beginning we didn't have too many rallies, but that really came along in the second and third sets.
No, I was happy with my game. I don't know what his problem was with his back. That definitely, you know, maybe confused the spectators a little bit. After that the match was actually better than the first set.

Q. Your next match could be quite tricky. Your thoughts on that?
ROGER FEDERER: It's Djokovic, yeah. Played him twice last year: Davis Cup and at Monaco. Beat him both times. He's definitely improved since. Time has gone by. Youngsters always improve quickly.
Yeah, he's came through his rounds fairly comfortably. Didn't see too much today against Udomchoke. Seems like he is playing pretty good. It's a dangerous match for me, that's for sure.

Q. How difficult is it when you have an opponent playing almost with no fear, as he says he's going to?
ROGER FEDERER: That's easy to say. Just get out there and then hit the shots.
Of course, you know, I'm the big favorite. This is maybe his big moment where he can maybe make a name for himself no doubt. But he already missed that opportunity twice. Usually when I beat a guy twice, I know how to play him. I hope I can take advantage of that.

Q. There was a special point in the last set, the backhand slice contest. Your coach seemed to enjoy it.
ROGER FEDERER: I wonder why (smiling).
Yeah, it was great. Usually happens a lot in practice, that you kind of have a slice duel. I mean, having it in a match, all of a sudden you play the point properly again, then it goes back to that, it's kind of fun. The crowd definitely enjoys that.
Most important, you know, is that I won it. That's why I went out there today.

Q. You talked about entertaining tennis with Youzhny. If there's a guy you could go out and play, have it be entertaining tennis, who would you play to provide an entertaining match? Is there someone you can think of that matches up well in terms of entertainment?
ROGER FEDERER: At a tournament or exhibition?

Q. Exhibition.
ROGER FEDERER: It's a big difference, you know.
Well, I don't know, I would like probably to play Lleyton. We match up really well. I'm talking more tournaments because XO's I haven't played enough. I always enjoyed playing against Lleyton. I think Nadal also now is very interesting. Safin just in general. Different personalities again. Shot-making compared to mine. It's always good fun.

Q. How about Santoro?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that's more of a cat-and-mouse game than anything else. As well you can count him in there. Absolutely, I like playing him as well.

Q. You mentioned Nadal. What do you think about the way he's serving? What do you think he needs to improve on his serve?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I think he made a few changes. So far so good. Hasn't lost. Yeah, he's coming through his matches like he's supposed to. Next round he's playing against a friend of mine. It's going to be interesting to see if he can put him away as well.
I think it's going to be a tough match for him. They've never played. That's going to happen him many more times: he's going to play against somebody he hasn't faced yet.
He's playing well. Good start to the season for him. Semis in Chennai, he's fit here, that is what counts. He is still going. He needs to know himself what he wants to improve. Seems like he has a little change on his serve.

Q. What were the changes?
ROGER FEDERER: Ask him. Don't ask me.

Q. How much do you practice with Stan away from Davis Cup over the years?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, quite a bit. I think first time we hit was at the National Tennis Center like, I don't know, five years ago now. It's been quite some time. I never heard of him before. Peter Carter told me, There's a good junior from the French-speaking part. He's willing to come up if you're ready to play. Sure, bring him up.
We did a couple of rallies and stuff. I was really impressed the way he was hitting the ball, especially the backhand side. He's improved physically enormously. He's one of the fittest guys on tour. He's really improved his game, especially in the last two years. He had a bit of a problem maybe for one year really to make the big breakthrough. Now he's done that. He's seeded for the first time at a Slam.
It's great to see another great Swiss tennis player. Already on the women's side we're strong, now on the men's side as well.

Q. Have you made up your mind on Davis Cup yet?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I announced I'm not going to play. That won't change.

Q. Are you going to watch tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I will.

Q. Do you get excited watching this kind of match on TV? Third round, pretty unusual.
ROGER FEDERER: Doesn't matter if it's Nadal/Kohlschreiber, Hewitt against somebody, Roddick/Safin, for me it's the same. I enjoy watching night sessions at Grand Slams, see them battle it out. This one is definitely entertaining because I know the guys very well since a long time. These are the strongest guys basically we have on tour. It's going to be an entertaining match. I think the last one they played here was a five-set thriller. They played in Davis Cup since.
No, I think it's going to be a close match. Don't know who to give the favorite to.

Q. Does it give you a nice feeling watching two blokes, two of your strongest rivals, knocking the stuffing out of each other in the third round?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it's good to see an early contest like this in the tournament, not having to wait for it till the semis or something. You're never sure if both are going to get through, counting me and Raf and everybody the same.
It's good to see them face off. I always wonder, you know, if it's just going to come down to the day for them or if somebody has improved. One guy just finished a great season; the other guy just won Davis Cup. I think it's going to be a great match.

Q. Late in the third set you had zero challenge shots left. You looked a little frustrated. Wish you might have had one or two extra there?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I wish I had none all the time, so... Nothing's changed (smiling). You know that.

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