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April 20, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I just want to know if you remember anything about your first ever against Guillaume Raoux?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I qualified, so I won three matches beforehand.

Q. Right. Do you have any memories of that day and now?
ROGER FEDERER: I remember he was coming from I think a Davis Cup tie in Israel and was tired. I took him down. But I think that's what it was, really. I was playing unbelievable. I remember I beat the Delaitre already in the last round of quallies and I remember in the second round of quallies I had a great run.
They wanted to give me a wild card for quallies but in the end I didn't need it because the cut was too low. I played fantastic. I beat Fromberg after that and had a chance against Siemerink.
So was a great event for me. I think that was the last time it actually was played at that site in Toulouse because after that they moved it. I remember Marc Rosset was there. He was so happy for me. He was kind of guiding me around helping me book practice courts and, you know, how things work.
Of course, the first few questions came right away. What are you going to do with your first prize money? Put it in the Swiss bank; that was my answer.

Q. Do you still book your own practice courts?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I do. Not always, but most of the time.

Q. What means this win for you? I mean the way, you won.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I'm just happy. I finally kind of felt the ball really good from the baseline. I just felt like it was easy to keep the ball in play. It was easy to play aggressive.
And usually that always happens against the best players. David, he's a very good player in my point of view. He's an excellent grinder and baseline player, and if he plays very well it's so hard to beat him.
But I always find a way against him to overpower him from the baseline and just have enough variety to maybe frustrate him a bit. When I needed good shots they come along, and today was a really good match so I'm really pleased.

Q. Was it always planned that Tony was going to come here, Roger? Was it always planned?
ROGER FEDERER: That was my wish, yeah. I asked Tony if he could make it early and maybe not come to the grass season after, because I just thought this is where we get the most information about my game on clay, this week here in Monaco and then the following couple of weeks.
Last year he came just a little bit before Rome and it was basically where the interesting part is already over because I'm preparing again for another event. The year before that I think he arrived for Hamburg.
So this is a good thing for me that Tony arrived early, and hopefully it's going to pay off in the long run.

Q. Is he going to be in Rome and all of the other tournaments?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm not going to make him fly back and forth. No, I mean, he's going to stay all the way until the French Open and then go back after the French Open.

Q. What was be your schedule next week?
ROGER FEDERER: Practice on clay. So, yeah, nothing fancy.

Q. Did you finally talk with Ricci Bitti about the Davis Cup? What came out? Is it going to be the first week after the Slams or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he just explained to me the entire situation about Davis Cup. That they moved, obviously, the Grand Slams. For me it was just a good meeting to have for him to explain where they are at, the conversations that they had had with the ATP, because they've had -- he was happy with the conversations they had together with the ATP and with Etienne at the beginning of the year.
You know he could present me everything. Etienne could have done that too, but it's always nicer to hear from Francesco 's side. So he told me how next year and the following year is going to be and all the way until 2015, you know, just to give me their ideas, you know.
I told them my ideas, and I'm going to speak to Etienne now as well. And, you know, just think about it. I mean, they're making progress, you know, which is -- they're going in the right direction, so this is a good thing.

Q. Did he tell you something that surprised you or you knew everything?
ROGER FEDERER: Nothing crazy, no. No crazy things, which I'm happy about.

Q. What about yourself you can be surprised now on clay? I mean, after this long improvement.
ROGER FEDERER: What do you mean?

Q. You can be surprised about yourself on clay? You can play badly or not? I mean, you are quite sure --
ROGER FEDERER: No, no. Every surface I surprise myself with great and bad playing. You never know what you're going to get, and sometimes you just don't feel well and some days you just feel good for a reason. I don't know why.
This doesn't matter. It doesn't have much to do with the surface. On clay sometimes it's just harder because it can be so frustrating when you don't feel well from the baseline. You look like a schoolboy. You have nothing to do out there.
That's why you have to try to kind of avoid those days. That's what the best clay court players are able to do, you know, to avoid really bad days.
I've had bad days but I won straight sets, so it's still okay.

Q. After 500 wins, Roger, is there one particularly that still stands out? Of the 500 wins, is there one that particularly still stands out?
ROGER FEDERER: First one is probably the Sampras win comes to my mind. Always going to stay the most special one for me. First Wimbledon Centre Court appearance, first and only time against Pete and I beat him.
It was an incredible match. If I had to pick one it would probably be that one.

Q. I think you pass the $30 million in earnings as well.

Q. Do you remember what your first paycheck was after Toulouse? So you remember what you put in the Swiss bank?
ROGER FEDERER: Ten grand or something, you know. I don't know.

Q. Francs?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, the euro wasn't around yet. It wasn't a French franc, I know that. Yeah, I've come a long way. It's definitely two incredible numbers.

Q. You were the first Top 10 player beaten by Gasquet, and then he beat only two other afterwards: Blake and yesterday Ljubicic. Are you surprised that he only beat three Top 10 players in the last two years? Is this something that you would have expected or not?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I don't know. It's how many he lost. I beat him a couple of times. Depends obviously how many chances you give yourself, too.
But I would expect with his type of -- his tennis that he should be able to beat the top guys more often like Murray or Djokovic has been able to do that.
Because they're all dangerous players. Like I said on French TV, I think Richard is a fantastic player and I like his game very much. I hope he can continue to play well and slowly start to make his move in Grand Slams as well.
Because in Masters Series he's shown he can do well. It's in Grand Slams to see if you're basically fit and tough enough. I think he is and he's showing it this week.

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