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April 19, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you tell us your view of the meeting and how it went and what you foresee?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah. I'm happy he came. We had the chance to meet, you know. Of course, we need more meetings. There's just many issues we need to talk about. We explained our sides much. Carlos was there, Ivan, Rafa, and myself. We had a meeting for about two hours.
Yeah, we have to kind of go from here, you know, and just keep on talking to each other.

Q. Does it seem like it's possible that there's going to be progress from your view?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know. Look, we have to -- we asked just for more information too, because we felt the information flow was not very good. He definitely promised us to do that.
On the other side, that's what I'm saying. We just got to keep on talking to him at the moment even though time's tight.

Q. I talked with Ricci Bitti and he said he asked to have a meeting with you; is that correct? And apparently, he said he didn't know that you were not happy about scheduling and the calendar of the Davis Cup. He was never told by anyone that you wanted to play week after the slam.
ROGER FEDERER: What is he talking about? I'm going to see him later on anyway.

Q. Your next opponent hasn't got a very good record. He's never won a set against you. How are you feeling about that? Is that something is that is going to work to your advantage?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I would hope so. But, no, listen, I've played him here last year. We played an excellent match. It was a fantastic match for me. We got really close, tough points, and in the end I came through on a beautiful day.
So I have to get used to the conditions here. I had a really quick court the first match and a really slow court the second match. It's really good I played in both conditions so I'm ready for anything in the next match.
He's an excellent player, especially on clay. This is where he's got the most confidence, so it's going to be difficult to beat him here. I had a very tough match with him in Basel last year. Not an easy three sets, having not lost a set doesn't mean much.

Q. Did you feel like you were moving a little bit better today than you had the other day?
ROGER FEDERER: May have been a little bit. But still, I think it was an average match from my side. I was really struggling with the conditions. Maybe it was just my timing in the beginning. You know, I was just shanking a lot of balls and not able to keep the ball in play.
Once I was able to do that I was in total control. So I never felt worried too much today, which is a good sign, especially early on in the clay court seen.

Q. You are a human being. How much difficult is it to change your level from an average match and then click, go? How difficult is it?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean it's never a guarantee. You just have to put yourself in that position that when you're going to play well you're going to make a difference. So for this reason you have to stay even or stay ahead.
When you're behind things are always difficult. It's the same in every sport: Soccer and golf and hockey. You have to press the issue much more. You have to make sure in the beginning of the sets when it's maybe a little bit boring that you don't get behind.
It's important that at 4-3 that you're not break down 4-3, but that you're even or 4-3 up. This is when you can maybe make a difference and in the end show you're best at the end of the set.

Q. Against Seppi and today we see you always in control just the time you need to go.
ROGER FEDERER: Yes. I'm happy I was able to turn it on a little bit, you know, when I had to. Tiebreakers was important, like I said. That's always a good thing to win.
And, yeah, now it was a convincing two-setter. Hopefully next match will be better.

Q. Just on the political thing again. You and Rafa came in a couple days ago and the president of the ATP and the president of the ITF flies in. Makes you kind of aware of the responsibility and the power that the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the world have. When they want something to change everyone comes running. What do you make of that? Do you wish you had those conversations before, or does it just go to understand what power and what influence you have on the sport?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, we don't want bad press for tennis, but what we want is that we is also have some say, I and think we made that point very clear. It's good to see that Etienne and Francesca came down here to sort of calm us down after the issues we had a few days ago.
That's why we're speaking a lot in the locker room to each other now, the players, to see what the further plan is. But for now we need for us to get together and see, are we a happy with what Etienne said and what Francesca is going to tell me? It is more to listen and to analyze from there.

Q. Were you happy with the way it was played out? You did your piece. Did you read or did you listen to what the press --
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, both sides -- what was written in the press, that's a different thing. But, you know, we had -- we brought our points across from the players' side and he did his. So from that standpoint it was a good meeting. No screaming, it was a normal meeting. We've had different ones before, I can tell you that.

Q. You going to play Rafa in Mallorca in May. What do you feel about it?
ROGER FEDERER: I think it's exciting. The idea was there already six or nine months ago, and I said I was -- that would be fun to do something like this. It never happened before. It's a bit crazy and people might say, Why then? It's a bad timing.
We also enjoy playing tennis for fun for a change. It doesn't always need to be crazy serious out on the match courts. And I think we enjoyed the match against each other in South Korea, we enjoy playing each other in exhibitions.
The result is not the most important thing, it's about having fun out there. And Mallorca, it's a place I've never been to. It's his home city. He's been to Basel. It's going to be exciting and a good atmosphere.

Q. On Ricci Bitti again, he said that you have been informed by the ATP more than from him, because he say --
ROGER FEDERER: He says. I will see tonight what he says.

Q. Yeah.

Q. From these meetings do you get the sense that this has really brought the players closer together?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, absolutely. And I think it's been like this for the last year or two. We've been trying to get the players together more often and talk to each other. I'm happy that finally we're moving together in one direction.
You always have the hard court players, the grass court players, the indoor players and the clay courters, but it's good that we're talking to each other. I think when you have that I think the game is moving in the right direction.
I hope that we're going to be able to solve issues and move forward together, because I think that's most important that everybody's happy.

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