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January 25, 2008

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What made the difference, Roger?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it was a tough match, I thought. You know, a lot of ups and downs, like the usual matches we have actually against each other. It always comes and goes.
But I think he made the more important points today. It was a bit unfortunate for me, but he did play well and served really well when he had to.

Q. He played very well, obviously. But do you think your standard was as high as it always has been?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, look, I told you, it depends a lot on day form. You can't always, you know, play your best or, you know, the opponent doesn't always play the same way either.
There's no doubt I've played better in my life. That's for sure, you know. I've not been really serving like the way I wanted to, you know, maybe the last few matches. But maybe served too many aces against Tipsarevic, so I didn't have any more left (smiling).
Look, it happens. But he covered the court well. He didn't give me much. So that obviously played a role in the way I played tonight. But, you know, I wasn't completely satisfied.

Q. Was it more difficult playing him in the semifinal than in the final?
ROGER FEDERER: First round or finals, it doesn't really matter, to be honest. I have no preference or whatever. But he's come through the draw convincingly. He's been playing very solid. He had a tough draw, you know, if I compare it to maybe Rafa's. So he absolutely deserves to be in the final.

Q. Do you think he'll go on and win the final now?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't care really.

Q. Do you feel you were moving as well as you usually do?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I don't. I didn't think I was moving that great, you know. I think I played really well the first two matches, you know, in terms of movement also. You know, I don't know if the surface got a bit quicker.
I definitely wasn't as good on the defensive like I usually am. I couldn't come up with the passing shot when I needed to. Yeah, that definitely hurt me, especially today.

Q. Do you put it down to anything tonight, or is it just one of those nights, as you say?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean, look, I've had 15 minutes to reflect on the match, so I can't tell you much yet.
But there's some sort of a disappointment. But, you know, from the spirit, the way I fought, the way I tried, it's all I could give, you know. When you give a hundred percent, you know, you're sort of happy with your performance. It can't always go your way. I know that.
I've won, many, many times when I didn't expect myself to win. So tonight's one of those nights where you're a little bit disappointed. But it's going to go over and I'm going to look forward to the rest of the year.

Q. Can you measure his improvement at all? Has he improved that much?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I think he's played pretty much the same, you know, for the last let's say nine months or so, or last year. He's had a good start to the year, as well.
Yeah, it comes down to a few points here and there. That's what I told you beforehand, so that's what happened today.

Q. You were one break up in the first set. That was probably the moment when you should have...
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we all know if I would have served it out the match would have been a bit different. Sure, he could have come back and still beaten me, but circumstances of would have been different. He wouldn't have played that freely in the second set. He usually doesn't play that well.
That was unfortunate for me. You know, I paid the price twice, not only losing the set, but also the second set. You know, I missed many opportunities the third set.
But, like I said, he came up with some great shots, some great serves, and, you know, saved himself that way.

Q. Do you look back now and think about the preparation a couple weeks ago and the illness? Was that having a lingering effect at all on your game throughout this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, I don't know, seriously. I'll definitely reflect on what happened. You know, I mean, considering, you know, my illness, I'm sort of happy with the result here.
Of course, I've created a monster, so I know I need to always win every tournament. But semis is still, you know, pretty good. But, yeah, I'll analyze and see if I have to make changes for next year. But, honestly, I think I did play pretty good.
I didn't play my best throughout the championships, but it was pretty solid, so it was okay.

Q. You don't really feel like you've created a monster, do you?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, some sort of, yeah.

Q. Can you elaborate on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, winning every other week, you know, lose a set and people say I'm playing bad. So it's my own mistake, I guess.

Q. Do you need to be able to shut that out more?
ROGER FEDERER: Not at all, no. I got used to it by now.

Q. Justine said after her loss to Sharapova that she suffered from the pressure of being unbeatable for such a long time and people always expecting her to win. Is that something you sometimes experience?
ROGER FEDERER: I experienced it maybe going into Indian Wells last year. I think it was an incredible streak then, 40 something wins. Everybody was talking about the Vilas streak.
I don't know if that put me under pressure. But it's not easy coming out every week for sure trying to win. But you'll always run into fellow top 10 players or other guys who are on a streak or on a hot run or surprise you. That's the difficulty about tennis, you know.
I've had it for a long, long time, you know. I've had to deal with all sort of different streaks. I didn't feel particular pressure at all tonight, no.

Q. Do you think if you were a little slower than usual, as you say, it could be because of the virus you had or the preparation coming in?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously the approach has been unique this year, you know. It's the first time I've been ill before a Grand Slam. I would still rather have it before than during, that's for sure.
But maybe it did have. I answered the question already before. It might have had an effect on my movement, I don't know. But I definitely didn't feel as quick, you know, as some other times. I practiced really hard. I can't practice much harder in the off-season, you know, so I did everything the right way. And maybe I did pay the price for being a little bit ill.
You know, I like to give credit to my opponent, as well. I don't want to blame it too much on my own play. He came up with the shots at the right time, and that's all I can say really.

Q. Will you watch the final?
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know if I'm here, so we'll see.

Q. If you're away, will you try and find it on a television station somewhere?

Q. Did you feel during the match that there might be a moment you would seize control, or did you always feel you were playing catch-up after the first set?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, like I said, the second set he started just unloading. You know, that's not usually what he does. He can, obviously, and play aggressive. But, you know, not on every shot. The way he played, he picked up every serve.
It was fantastic, you know. He did play great.
Like I said, it cost me the match, maybe not serving it out the first set. That's what happens sometimes when you don't take your chances early on: you'll pay the price later on. That's what happened for me against Tipsarevic almost. I just got out of that one.
Definitely didn't play my best on big points. That's been sort of something that's stuck with me throughout the championships maybe. But, look, it happens. I've done it so many times it went my way. It's okay. Unfortunately it goes the other way, too, sometimes.

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