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January 21, 2008

Roger Federer



Q. For people that didn't see the game but look at the scoreboard, this seems like an easy win, but it isn't like that.
ROGER FEDERER: That's why you got to see the matches. No, it's true. I mean, many times, you know, you see routine scores but actually they were hard-fought.
This was a tough match today. You know, I thought Tomas is always a dangerous player. Every time I play against him it's never easy. He's a great ball striker, got a great serve. You've got to be very careful.
Maybe underestimated him a little bit back in Athens at the Olympic Games. He came up with some incredible shots when he needed to. He still does the same thing. Thank God he didn't win that second set because you never know what's going to happen, because I think he was the better player in that set.
So for me, that was a huge set to win and I benefited off it in the third set.

Q. In that second set you used all your challenges. Normally you don't challenge that much. What was up?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I used them all within a couple of points. Just want to make sure I don't have any left at the end, you know (smiling).
I guess you don't want to have any regrets, you know. You don't want to come off, you know, losing a tiebreaker because of a challenge you didn't use. So I don't care having no challenges at the end of a set, to be honest.

Q. Any effects from the five-set match the other night?
ROGER FEDERER: I felt good. Of course, it throws off your rhythm a little bit, playing a five-setter, especially during a tournament. Usually I play five-setters in finals, like in Miami, Rome, Wimbledon. So it's a bit different to back it up.
But honestly, I felt good. Looking forward to see how I feel in the next match again.

Q. In principle, what is your view on Grand Slam tennis matches starting at a quarter to midnight?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, we have that problem also at the US Open. I think we start too late in general. But that's what you get when you want to put women's and men's matches at the same time.
Obviously you can't put the women's later on because that would get way too late for them. They would start sometimes, if our matches go five hours, they would start at 2:00 in the morning.
I think we should maybe start the night sessions maybe an hour earlier. Instead of 7:30, 6:30. But I'm not the mastermind behind everything. But I do agree sometimes the matches do start too late for us.

Q. Do you have faith in the Hawk-Eye system?
ROGER FEDERER: I answered that plenty of times. I don't care what it is. It's there to be used. I do it, I use it. But I don't know if it's accurate. I have no idea.

Q. When you were trouble a little bit the other day against Tipsarevic, one set for him, 5-All, this guy called out, Just keep going, Rog. Would you ever hear something like that in the crowd?
ROGER FEDERER: No, honestly we don't have many fans screaming bad things. I don't mind if they support the other player. But rarely it is personal towards the other player, asking for a double-fault or anything. So that's, no, never a problem.
You really only hear it when it's that quiet and somebody would scream then. Otherwise, in the heat of the moment you don't hear those things.

Q. He was a fan, Just keep going, Rog, one of your fans.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, sometimes you do hear it, yeah. Like I said, when it's quiet, one voice, you do hear those things, yes.

Q. Talk about what you're expecting in the matchup with James Blake.
ROGER FEDERER: Didn't see any of his match today. I think we were out at the same time.
You know, he's improved a lot the last couple years. Plays incredibly aggressive tennis. Improved his serve a lot, his backhand. So have to be very careful.
I know his game sort of suits my game. I've had some great matches against him where I always play my very best. So we'll see how it goes this time around.
Definitely got to play offensive myself, put him on the back foot as well. He came through also a very tough match with Grosjean, which was an incredible effort by his part.
We'll see what happens, but I'm excited to play against him. He's one of the nicest guys on tour, very respected on tour, very sportsmanlike. It's going to be enjoyable to play against him.

Q. Going back to night play. Some players love it. Some players don't like to play at might. Some don't care one way or the other. What category are you in?
ROGER FEDERER: I like night sessions. They have, you know, a different feel to it. I think a bit more he electrifying. Really the crowd is there for these one or two matches that are on schedule.
Yeah, it's sometimes I think a bit of a better atmosphere if the matches are good, yeah.

Q. Is there a time beyond which a best-of-five match should not start?
ROGER FEDERER: No. I mean, it happens so rarely that a match really has to start that late. I mean, look, it was a very difficult situation for Craig Tiley, the women's players, then Lleyton and Marcos.
In the end, you can all blame me if you want to, I don't care. Really, I mean, it happens so rarely that sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and you have to go through those things.
Nobody wants to be moved from a center court match away. That is always going to be a problem. To start a match that late, it happens. But, honestly, tennis is a worldwide sport. The guys in Europe were happy the match was so late. Let's not forget them.
I don't know what time it was in America. Maybe that was pretty good then, too. I don't know.
Of course for Australia, having Lleyton Hewitt playing so late it wasn't a good thing. It was very unfortunate, but I don't think it's the right thing to do, to point fingers now that somebody did the wrong thing.
And you don't always need to change the schedule just because of something happened, because it happens so rarely. So they stuck with the schedule and the match turned out great. We had many great matches in a row so we should be happy.
Sometimes there's bad stuff that's written. More people read about tennis. It's a good thing, as well. I like to look at it from the positive side.

Q. What else other than tennis have you been enjoying here in Melbourne?
ROGER FEDERER: Look, hanging out with my friends really, just taking it easy. I haven't been doing too much. I've been quite lazy actually. Getting over my sickness first, and then sort of getting concentrated on tennis a little bit.

Q. Is your game any different this year? You played four matches now. Is your game any different this year compared to last year because of the surface change?
ROGER FEDERER: Today I thought it was extremely quick. Day session against Berdych. He hits every ball full swing. So, I mean, the ball was really shooting through the court. It's tough to control.
I definitely had to make some adjustments today, you know, compared to my first couple of matches. So for that, I mean, I have to adapt to this type of surface. Look, I think I'm pretty much playing the same. I don't know. Just have to come up with some important points. That's what it's about in this game.

Q. Based on what you just said, if you had been in the women's situation, the tournament came to you and asked you to move to Vodafone, would you have declined to do that?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm a pretty relaxed guy. Look, I don't ask for much in tournaments. If I ask for something, you know, they know it's for real and they trust me, whatever.
But if they would come and tell me, You've got to move. Honestly, I think the players shouldn't have too much of a say. We're happy to be playing here and we're happy they're putting us on Rod Laver.
Is it bad to be on Vodafone? I don't think so. Still a wonderful court. I'm not going after the ladies, I'm just saying I would be pretty relaxed and I would accept anything they would have done with me really at that stage.

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