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March 24, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. As far as at the end of the day where it would have been very easy to get frustrated with all sorts of things, you must have been pleased the way you kept everything together in the end.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think especially the last few days, actually, it's been really difficult trying to get a normal day of hitting, you know.
I mean, yesterday was okay, but the days before that it was very windy and a lot of rain. So you had to just hope you got a bit of practice in.
I was feeling terrible a couple of days ago, so I'm just happy I came through, you know, because I didn't know what to expect tonight. I didn't know my opponent. You know, I've known since a long time when I'm going to play. So kind of a bit of expectations, too, from the fans and everybody.
So I'm happy I'm through, and I think I played okay, actually.

Q. Feeling terrible sort of sickly?
ROGER FEDERER: No, just timing. No timing. It was really hard to get the rhythm from the baseline.

Q. Can you assess Sam's game, Roger. He has some weapons, it seems?
ROGER FEDERER: Absolutely. I think he's a good player. I didn't know him much, you know. But I think he has a nice technique on the backhand. Can play aggressive on the forehand. Excellent first serve. He's got a lot of potential, and many things he has to work on.
But I think he moves pretty good for a tall guy. That's one thing. And I think if he works hard the next few years, he can be an excellent player in the future.

Q. We all know tournaments like Sony Ericsson, and US Open, it's totally a show. How difficult could it be to keep concentrating in the match, when you see all this crowd?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I think it always goes along with the city you're in. You know, Miami and New York are very intense cities. A lot of walking around, a lot of partying, a lot of traffic. The whole thing is just busy.
Here in Miami you get many more of the South Americans, so you get a great mix of fans coming to the grounds. And again, I think almost 300,000 people coming to the grounds here over the almost two weeks.
So it's a really huge event for us players. And New York, obviously, the place that it is.
We enjoy coming here. It never gets boring, and the fans come out, really in huge numbers, and that makes it so much more enjoyable for us players.

Q. You like that? About the fans?
ROGER FEDERER: Of course, it's great.

Q. How about one particular fan, a certain golfer watching tonight, what was that like?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was good, you know. He told me since a couple of months he's going to come out because I knew so far in advance when I was going to play. So that was a great thing. I think we should do that more in the future.
Knowing maybe when the top players play. If it's a day session, night session, what day we'll play, so they can promote it. And also other people, not just Tiger, but other people can organize their evenings around that accordingly.
I'm happy he comes out during a tournament. I don't know how golfers are, if they're more serious than us tennis players. But I went out to see his practice, too, and it's great that he comes to watch tennis. I think it's a great honor for our sport.

Q. You feel guilty you might have kept him up late and he's got a big match?
ROGER FEDERER: I called him up and said Hey, it's raining here. You maybe want to go back to your ship. And he said, No, I'm going to come out and see you and wait around. So it was very nice.

Q. Do you feel any added pressure? Now you know him better than you did at the US Open, say, last year. But do you still feel when he's watching, do you feel any added pressure at all, or are you totally over that?
ROGER FEDERER: No, it was way more difficult at the US Open, I thought, you know. First time. Didn't know Tiger very well. Finally I got to meet him, and finally I got to play in front of him. That was my feeling first up.
He was sitting right, first row in my players' box, so I was like, Oh, I better play well tonight, you know. So today was no problem. He was sitting far back, and it was much more easy. But now I know him, too. So it's more relaxed.
But I was a bit tense at the US Open.

Q. Would you watch him tomorrow, or is it impossible?
ROGER FEDERER: Live, you mean?

Q. Live, you would watch him?
ROGER FEDERER: I will watch him on TV tomorrow.

Q. Who do you think to play in the next rounds?
ROGER FEDERER: It is possible, but my next focus is my next opponent. I don't know who it is yet. I have to go round by round, but I'd like to play him again, get my revenge.

Q. And Sam was a surprise for you?

Q. Sam was a surprise for you?
ROGER FEDERER: My opponent today?

Q. Yes.
ROGER FEDERER: Like I expected, really. I knew he had a big first serve with a different game, and he played excellent last week. I knew I had to be very careful. We haven't seen much of him yet, but he's young, and he improves very quickly.
So like I expected. I thought it was going to be a bit more difficult with the weather and the opponent, I didn't know, but I came through and played well and pretty solid.

Q. Roger, why did you change your racquet before the Australian? And what was the difference in the strings?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean cosmetic change is one thing. They change it sometimes year after year. But also testing it in the off season.
You know, after watching the technology, it's all the little details here and there. I was looking for a bit more control, and they were able to do that with the K Factor. It was not a huge difference, but it was very nice.

Q. Roger, you're someone who likes things exactly as they should be. This new innovation here with the ball boys going back when the umpire calls time. You were standing in the back of the court a couple of times, just kind of waiting for things to happen. Is that something that you'd rather not be the case here? That you think they should play to your tempo, rather than wait for them?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, look, I understand if it's live TV that we play according to the breaks, you know. But I mean, if I'm ready to kind of go, I mean if the spectators don't miss one point, it's not the end of the world.
By the time they tune in they've got the replay. So if I'm ready to give the ball boy the towel, I kind of expect the ball boy to be ready for it. But look, small details. I can live with it, it's not the end of the world.

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