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August 16, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Always an interesting match when you and Marcos play. What did you think about today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I think it was a struggle out there for both of us. Jeez, it was tough to keep the ball in play, you know. It was really quick. Maybe also getting used to day session from playing the night, you know.
And, yeah, I mean, I saved a lot of breakpoints in the beginning, which was good, but he got the break eventually anyway. I should have won maybe even the set 6-4 after having that one chance, but played poorly.
I struggled really all the way I thought. At times I served a bit better. I was serving well, especially on the second serves as well. I think he got into a bit of a slump once he get broken, in the first set, midway through the second set.
So it was pretty much struggle for both of us. I'm just really happy I came through. I can't believe it was two sets.

Q. Baghdatis was really distraught when he came in here. Basically said he choked the first set because he was facing Roger Federer. Did you almost get that sense in that game?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, there's not much to choke about. It goes so quick. What was it, 40-15 maybe and then 40-30. He hits a good serve, he hits it to my forehand, and finally I hit one good return and all of a sudden it's deuce. Similar story to what I went through with Djokovic.
It happens sometimes. It's always hard when you're serving for the set. Same thing happened to me in the second set. I don't think I choked really. Just didn't make the first serve, you know. Sometimes you can't buy a serve. Yeah, it was a tough match.

Q. You feel really into the tournament now?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I don't know. Not quite maybe. It's a bit of a struggle today, but I think the first match was pretty good. It was better than today. Maybe it was the opponent too, day session, more bouncy balls, tough to return. Because in the beginning he did serve well after all, you know.
But you know what, I gave myself a chance again and hopefully I can play better tomorrow.

Q. You talked about serving well in spots. You seemed to be spinning a lot out wide and catching him off guard. Is that something you do because you're playing him, or is that something that you liked to do?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I was feeling that he was returning my serve out wide pretty good with his two-hand backhand. He really picked up my serve well, so I had to come up with something different. Serve to the body sometimes, kick serve sometimes.
So I was happy I could adjust to that and use it sometimes. Also play serve and volley, because from the baseline I didn't feel that great. It's a quick court and it allows you to do that. So I really tried it mixed up once again today.

Q. One of those serve and volleys, 30-All, your last service game, the bug...
ROGER FEDERER: Butterfly it was.

Q. Yeah. What happened?
ROGER FEDERER: Flew in there. Got lost at the wrong time. Anyway, it was like right there once I was about to hit it. Couldn't believe how big that thing was. Got a bit of a fright.

Q. Looking forward to the Open, which obviously is surely in the back of your mind if not even farther ahead, when do you sort of transition from, It'd be great to win this tournament to, I really need to concentrate on the Open, or is there a conflict?
ROGER FEDERER: No. Because I got one week in between. So I can really play this tournament to the full, and after that then I got time to relax a couple days.
Then actually start preparing once I recover, which will probably be like the Wednesday or Thursday from next week on. That's really how to goes. It would be different if I play the tournament before, and I used to do that.
The tournament before Wimbledon I played one time. I was in the semis against Hewitt, and I was like, Monday I'm playing maybe at Wimbledon, and I couldn't do that. That's maybe one the reasons I don't play much anymore before Slams.

Q. If you didn't have obligations of playing Masters Series, Masters Series, week off before the US Open, what would your ideal preparation be?
ROGER FEDERER: Actually, Dubai has worked for us actually to be honest, so I would pick something like this. Yeah, I really would. This is a good schedule for me at the moment.

Q. The point after the butterfly incident, you had breakpoint, and I think you serve and volley again and hit I think a low backhand volley. Can you remember that point?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm looking forward. No seriously, I don't remember what happened. He missed the return on breakpoint. That's what happened. He went for too big of a return second serve, cross-court.

Q. They're talking about like 35, 37 degrees out there. How do you play in conditions like that?
ROGER FEDERER: The problem is more the humidity. The sweat is all over. The hand gets wet and it's hard to hold the grip. That's to me is the bigger problem than the heat itself. Dubai was way hotter than this today. I couldn't even hit during the day it was so hot, so this is actually pretty mild.
But, yeah, it's hard, especially the change. I've been in Montreal. It's kind of cool and mild conditions and very nice, and then you come here and it's humid. The body has to get used to it and you get a bit of a shock. Now after two days I'm really into the tournament in terms of the humidity, and that's a good thing.

Q. Gasquet was saying that because of humidity his racquet moves and he gets blisters. Do you feel that?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I actually get blisters when it's dry heat. I've had very little problems with blisters. I had it once really badly when I was at Tony's place in Australia in December time.
Maybe also when you're on the beach for two weeks on holidays then all of a sudden you start hitting right away for three or four hours a day. The hand's not used to it, and because it's dry it splits. But honestly in humidity I never had a problem with blisters.

Q. You played Almagro in Miami. Tough match. What are your thoughts on the match tomorrow?
ROGER FEDERER: It was dangerous playing him. He's got a wonderful kick serve. Great motion and nice forehand. He's a danger player from the back. Massive power and he's a big guy.
I have to hopefully stay aggressive and probably have to play a bit better than I did today. Hope I can concentrate on my on serve and hold on to that and create chances.

Q. What advice do you give aspiring junior players?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you got to hang in there. You going to go through ups and down in your career. I went through many of them. People don't think I did, but I did.
Yeah, you got hang in there. Learn quickly, listen to what your coach has to say, and believe that you can do it all the way really. I think that's an important lesson in life. Anyway, that worked for me.

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