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November 12, 2007

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. This is the first loss at a round robin Masters Cup. Is it a normal loss or extra loss for anything?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, it's a tough loss because I thought actually I played pretty good. You know, to start off the round robin matches with a loss is something I haven't always had to deal with, you know, because usually you lose and you leave.
But it okay. Maybe it's the only loss you can lose during a season and come back and win a tournament. I hope I can play well in the next two matches.

Q. What happened during the second set in the tiebreak? 7-0 is definitely not your style.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it wasn't. Anyway, look, the tiebreaker started bad, you know. I lost that one point I never should have lost to go down 3-0.
But he played a good tiebreaker. What do you want me to say? Served pretty well, you know, in the second and third set, I thought. But, I mean, I couldn't do much more on my breakpoints in the third set, you know.
In some ways I have regrets, and in some ways I don't because I just thought it was ridiculous what kind of shots he came up with. But you've got to give him credit for that. So to not have been broken through all the way to the end is very tough to then lose a serve.
But he did well to hang in there, that's for sure.

Q. The crowd usually goes for the underdog. I'm wondering if that was at all a factor, if that affected your play at all, because they were definitely pro González today.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well that was maybe a hundred Chilean guys.

Q. It seems there were some problems with your backhand. Would you give us some comments on it.
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, I don't think it was bad, you know. I've dealt with these sort of questions in the past. I know how to deal. It wasn't bad. I'm pretty happy the way I played. You have to look at the overall picture.
Obviously he's always going to pound my backhand with his incredible forehand. You can't do much when he drills it in there in the corners, so...

Q. Obviously people always praise you, praise the shot-making that you have. Do you sometimes stand on the other side from Fernando and think, How on earth did he make that shot?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. It's not like I play him the first time. I'm not getting surprised to the point like where I don't know the guy. You know, I've played him, what is it, 10 times now maybe, 11? I remember him from junior times. I've seen that big forehand, you know, for a long, long time.
But I'm amazed at the consistency, because this is really what makes a difference between a good forehand and a great forehand. He definitely has one of the best ones out there.
The backhand, that's what killed me today. He drilled some in the corner, which normally he would never make, and he was going cross-court all the time. And then on the most crucial shots he hit those where he really needed them. It was a pity because I think I was playing exactly the way I should have.
And lost the tiebreak in a bad way and never got the edge in the third set, which I should have, really should have.

Q. Do you think the 10 defeats over him is actually a pressure to them or a pressure to you, yourself?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I would rather be in my position. I would rather win 10 times than having lost 10 times against a player. Thank God it never happened to me. Yeah, it's good for Fernando. I mean, it's the right moment maybe to do such a thing. He's had good results in the Masters Cup in the past, as well.
You know, he's dangerous. On any given day he can beat you. That's why I knew the danger of the Australian Open final. I'm happy I won that one and lost this one, I can tell you that.

Q. You say the Australian Open final. Was your game plan the same for this match, or did you modify at all?
ROGER FEDERER: I tried to play offensive. Tried to take away the net from him. And that worked very well, you know, basically all the way through. I couldn't play that aggressive anymore in the second and third set because of his serving. You know, he's serving much better.
That's usually what matters most with his game. I think he doesn't know that sometimes, but he really starts to hit the lines much better and he gets much more free points. Obviously, once he starts drilling with the forehand it's hard to get, you know, the upper hand again.
So I couldn't really do that anymore. But that's usually how I win matches against him, is by scrambling and staying in there and everything. Just today it didn't go my way. It went his way.
It's tough. Because I think, like I said, it was an okay match for me. And I don't know the stats, but I really felt like I had the upper hand almost all the way through.

Q. Was there some issue with the challenges after the second set? You seemed pretty unhappy with something. Or was that the frustration at the way the tiebreak went?
ROGER FEDERER: I could explain you, but it's no problem. It was not much of a big deal. I just asked to challenge it. I had to ask him five times till my request was granted, which I thought was a bit ridiculous.

Q. Do you have any physical problems with the third set?
ROGER FEDERER: Wish I had. Wish I had an excuse (laughter).

Q. So you didn't have any physical problem?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I'm at a hundred percent (smiling).

Q. Last week we saw you in the coffee promotion and the Gillette promotion shaving. Do you sometimes worry about your sponsorship commitments making you lose concentration about tournaments? How do you keep them balanced?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it's definitely part of my life today, you know. I've been doing it for many years now. Honestly, I try to limit it as much as I can, you know. But I have great partners and great sponsors. I'm very thankful to them.
No, I mean, I schedule those that they don't affect my play. Why should they? Shaving with a thousand guys is okay. It's not like it's energy consuming, you know. Maybe for them because it was the first time. For me anyway it was a fun thing.
It's fun to get out of the hotel and just do something else. So, no, it doesn't affect me. Might have done in the past where I maybe even put more time into the media and the press. Now I cut it down to bare minimum, which helps my game actually.

Q. It seems this year the other guy had to speak Spanish. You lost two times to Cañas, two to Nalbandian, two to Nadal, and now the last one González. Maybe the players must learn Spanish to beat you.
ROGER FEDERER: Maybe, yeah.

Q. It's a joke.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I understand. It's just hard to joke with you right now. I hope I joke with you in a week, as well.

Q. I come from Argentina. No Argentinian players. Let me make you a joke.
ROGER FEDERER: It's okay. Don't feel bad about it. You can sleep tonight.

Q. People away from the situation might say that this is the time when maybe he could do with a coach. You're playing without a coach. Assessing something like this on the back of the Nalbandian ones, what would be your argument to that?
ROGER FEDERER: That right now that's definitely not the issue, you know. I played well in practice. I wasn't happy with my Madrid, Basel and Paris. I can tell you that. I know why it wasn't. But now I felt I was playing well, you know. The conditions really suit me. Look what kind of great matches I've played here last year.
So it's tough to lose a first one. But I'm not going to get too down on myself right now. I'll definitely assess the situation like I normally anyway would at the end of the season, like what do I need for next year.
The conversation will come up about the coaching situation, no matter if I win the tournament here from now or whether I lose the next two. That's not going to change. So I'm going to be looking into things how I'm going to attack next year.

Q. Since you became No. 1 you've never lost to so many different players. What's the meaning of that? The competition is getting harder?
ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, well, I mean, look, it's not that easy to keep up the pace I have the last few years. I mean, let's not forget how great they were. I had one season where I lost a lot to Rafa. Obviously that takes away. I didn't lose to many players, you know.
It's true maybe I went for more in a run. I won more titles than this year. But, I mean, defended my No. 1 title and won the Grand Slams. I don't need to sing a song, but it's been another fantastic season.
Some players or people might think now he's more vulnerable. I disagree obviously. I'm going to hopefully show them again this week and then obviously next year again.

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