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April 17, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you expect or not expect from tonight's meeting with ET?
ROGER FEDERER: I have no expectations. I just want to meet. That's my goal. I'm happy he came.

Q. With the first match back on clay, how are you feeling?
ROGER FEDERER: It was tough. Conditions were quick. A lot of bad bounces. My opponent was playing tough. He already had three matches in his legs and it was my first.
So I thought it was, you know, just a tough opening match for me. I'm happy to have come through, especially in straight sets. To win tiebreakers is always a good feeling. So I'm happy and I'm looking forward to the next one.

Q. He's quite an underrated player, Seppi.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I think he's had some upsets on clay and beaten some good players throughout his career. I knew it was going to be tough. It was just a pity I couldn't put him away earlier, you know.
I was up a break the first, up a break twice in the second. Disappointed the way I got broken, you know, but it happens, and I have to put it down to my first match back on clay in ten months.

Q. About Nadal, after Wimbledon, he improved his serve and volley play. What will be his weak point to exploit?

Q. His weak point for you to exploit?
ROGER FEDERER: He doesn't have too many on clay, to be honest, that's why he's won his last 62. I think it's going to be interesting to see how he starts the clay court season.
In my mind I think it's going to be very hard to beat him, as usual. I mean, a guy who backs it up so well year after year on clay, he's going to be tough again this year.
I don't know if he improved his serve and volley much. I know he never does it. I think he's an excellent player; I've always said that. And it's good to have him back on clay again.

Q. Have you spoken to Etienne at all? Has he called you?
ROGER FEDERER: He tried to call me yesterday, and he's here, so we're going to meet after.

Q. So did you actually speak to him?

Q. After you failed to convert your first mathchpoint you seemed to lost the count, the result.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was 6-5 and then 6-All.

Q. Doesn't happen very often.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, happens sometimes, you know. Happens in practice all the time. In a match you got the umpire, thank God.

Q. What was your reaction to the game of Seppi? I mean, were u more or less surprised by the way he played, or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I thought his serve was not very good in the beginning, you know. I thought it was very average actually. That started to become better as the match went on. I thought his forehand was very good. He hits it good inside out. He hits it good from the forehand corner. That's why he's a good player.
And you know, his backhand, he can take it early, too. Yeah, he's tough from the baseline and he can slice and dice. He's a very good all-around player. Didn't know exactly what to expect because I've never played him. Now I know and I think he's a good player.

Q. Your next opponent has had a couple good wins, Lee. What do you make of his game?
ROGER FEDERER: Played once against him I think in 2003 in Wimbledon, first round maybe. That was one time on grass, so not too much I can say about his game. Just that I know that he usually plays quite close to the baseline, half volleys a lot. Plays pretty flat, so you would think clay is his weakest surface. Probably he never played on clay when he was growing up. Maybe that's going to be an advantage for me. I don't know. He beat Youzhny and that's a great win. We will see what happens on Thursday.

Q. Has there been any reaction to you -- you say you haven't spoken to Etienne personally -- but to what you said yesterday and the way it was delivered? Has there been any reaction inside or outside tennis to what you said yesterday?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I received a letter from the ITF. They, of course, want to meet me. Same thing with -- but he was going to come anyway. Etienne wasn't planning to come but he decided to come, which I think is very good.
We're going to be meeting later on tonight. And, yeah, there's just been talks in the locker room as usual the last few weeks and months.
It's just now a bit intense because it's a much more open conversation. I think what was written in the press is what we said yesterday, so it's actually -- it was okay.

Q. Did you feel in sense relieved that you have got your grievances out in the open?
ROGER FEDERER: Did I feel better?

Q. Yeah.
ROGER FEDERER: No, not really. I feel the same. Not really, not yet.

Q. When you said that you are a little bit disappointed that you didn't finish the match a little bit earlier, would you say it is worrying at the beginning of the clay court season, or was it just the fact that you didn't play for a long time on the clay?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, it's a first-round match. It's always tough. First match on clay in such a long time. You always have these ups and downs, especially me. And sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't happen. This was a tournament where it happened again.
Fortunately I always try to cut those errors out, but clay is slower so you have to expect more breaks as well. You know, he played good, which made at that hard for me sometimes.
But for me there's nothing to worry about at the moment. I count it as the win and not how I did at the moment.

Q. Is it just you meeting Etienne tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: No. We're expecting other players to be there as well.

Q. Can you say which ones?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not sure who has time and who wants to come, but I know Ivan is going to be there and I think Rafa, too. I'll let you know tomorrow.

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