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March 22, 2008

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was it as surprising for you as it was for us?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I guess so. I don't know how much it is for you guys.

Q. Very.
ROGER FEDERER: I've had a great record against him, you know, always sort of had sort of controlled matches against him, but today was different. He came out playing very, very well.
Yeah, he played great today. I mean, I can only congratulate him. Fantastic.

Q. Are you well, Roger?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm well, yeah. How are you?

Q. I don't have to run.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I didn't have to run much either, today. (laughter.)

Q. Is it very tough one to explain? Okay, he did play extremely well and hit some great shots. I suppose we are always expecting a little bit more from you.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, look, the danger of best-of-three matches is it can be over in no time. We all know that. Today it sort of felt like a practice match, you know.
He was just trying to go for everything and it sort of worked. Didn't even play particularly bad on the break points and I just -- every time, you know, he read the right side on the serve and he kept the ball in play. When he wanted to attack, everything worked. He would never miss, really.
When I needed maybe a miss once in a while. So that was just impressive by his side, and I couldn't do much to control it. I didn't even think he served particularly well. It was just impossible to return his first serve, which it normally is anyway, you know. But I couldn't get into his second serves, and that was the disappointing part about today.

Q. Can there be a situation almost where your match sharpness, when you miss a match, say perhaps you needed the match against Haas?
ROGER FEDERER: I was a little bit deflated yesterday. I was ready to play against Tommy. I think it would have really given me great rhythm if I were to win against him and come into have met him and come into the semis today.
This way the practice session was just another one. Maybe during the match today you could feel that, but it's not an excuse. I mean, Mardy played incredibly well today. It was just incredible.

Q. How do you explain a man ranked 98, hasn't done anything for a long time, to come out and beat three top 10 players like that?
ROGER FEDERER: You've been around the game. You know it's possible. He's been -- it's not like he's been 98 for the first in his life, he just made a career breakthrough breaking into the top 100. The guy has been top 20 before, and he's had big matches before.
Should have won Cincinnati a few years back beating Andy before he became No. 1. We know how good Mardy can be. Let's not talk about 98 in the world. We know he's way better than that.

Q. Will you go right to Miami?
ROGER FEDERER: Pretty much, yeah. Haven't booked my ticket yet. Wasn't planning on leaving today, but we'll see now. (laughter.)

Q. I know it's sort of tough so quickly after a match to put it into perspective, but you've had a couple - for you - not great results this year. I mean, how do you feel your game is at the moment, Roger? Where would you say you?
ROGER FEDERER: I thought it was very good this week. I'm happy with this week. Today it's hard to judge, because Mardy took everything on the rise, you know. Not many rallies out there, so it's hard to judge, you know.
But all in all, I'm happy the way this week has been going for me, you know. Obviously the walkover is sort of an awkward situation, but you have to take them when they come around. So semifinals to start off with at the first Masters Series is a good thing again, and I hope I can go from here and win in Miami and on to clay.

Q. When did you find out Tommy was out? Was it in the morning early?
ROGER FEDERER: Around noon, maybe. Yeah, I mean, just sort of waking up and seeing, feeling good, and that's when I got the news, basically.

Q. What you did you do for the rest of the day since you didn't have the match yesterday?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I came over to practice. Not much.

Q. The way things are going this year so far, do you just feel that you're short on match play?
ROGER FEDERER: Umm, not even particularly, you know. I did play very well against all these guys this week. Today, you know, obviously it's a tough result, you know, but what can you do? It happens sometimes, you know.
So just better make it not happen so frequently, you know. But can only give credit to Mardy. I couldn't do much today, and these matches sometimes come around. I'm surprised myself it hasn't happened more in the last five years, you know. You always think one guy can outright dominate you on any given day.
People weren't able to do it against me, so that speaks for myself. But today Mardy was really impossible to beat, it almost looked like. He was never in doubt. Everything he took it on the rise and hit winners, so it was just a great performance by his side.
I don't even have to go too much into the match, you know. That's why I'm maybe not that disappointed. It's been a good week for me, anyway. I feel I've got the matches in I really wanted, you know. So I feel better than still 10 days ago, that's for sure.

Q. We've seen so little of you this week, it's almost to us as if you haven't been there. I wonder if you kind of feel the same way.
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. I don't know what you mean, but I've been here (laughter.) I've been practicing every day at the courts. I don't know where you were, but I was here. (laughter.)

Q. What are your thoughts about the final tomorrow between with Fish against Djokovic?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, interesting match, you know. I mean, Novak also having outstanding performance against Rafa today, you know. Also is probably comfortable in the scoring line, so it should be entertaining.

Q. When you do have a loss, do you still find you can learn things from them and advance your game in a way even from the losses?
ROGER FEDERER: Usually can, but not much about today. Went too quick, and couldn't feel anything was there to be done very differently.
Could have served better, sure. Could have returned better, sure. But the guy was on top of his game. Took his chances and it was over in a heartbeat, so...

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