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April 25, 2008

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/D. Nalbandian
5-7, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The best match of the year 2008 of Roger Federer or not?
ROGER FEDERER: I rather would have won in two sets, then maybe would have been the best match of the season.
So, no, it was a good match. I was happy with my performance.

Q. Did you expect you would play so well after the first two matches?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I did - obviously.

Q. Is your game lifted with this match? Has it come up a bit since the past couple of matches?
ROGER FEDERER: I think the level of play was excellent today. We had some really tough, you know, games at the end of the first set. You know, it was warm out there. You know, it was tough rallies.
I think I definitely played my best match of this tournament. You know, no doubt the first one was a grind, you know, against Gaƫl. Everything was a bit more difficult after that first-round match.
But today I think it came together and I was just happy the way I moved - especially, you know, because on clay that is a big thing for me. Could have served maybe a little bit better here or there. But my statistics, I think, were very good.
So it's always nice playing against David, but also beating him.

Q. Was it especially nice beating him after he'd beaten you the last two times?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, don't care really, to be honest. No, no. Simple answer (laughter).

Q. Still he's a player who has beaten you eight times. So should give you a little more satisfaction.
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, because of the great player he is. He's a wonderful ball-striker. Great movement, great anticipation. You know, we go way back to the Orange Bowl semifinals. That was for the No. 1 position in the world in juniors. Finals of the US Open juniors, as well.
I mean, like I said, it's always nice playing against him. And when you beat him, you always know you're playing well because he's not just going to hand it over to you.
Actually, he beat me here years ago 6-1, 6-2. So it's nice to get him back because of that, I guess, more that than because of Madrid, or whatever that was.

Q. How do you explain the difference between the way you played today and the way you played on Wednesday?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, getting used to conditions, you know, sort of having a few days here of practice, having a few matches under my belt here in Monaco.
Many times in my career have I, you know, maybe not played so well throughout the tournament, but then tied up some really good matches towards the end of the tournament. It's a normal thing, you know. But being obviously so close from defeat, you know, is an unusual thing.
But, you know, remember I played well coming back against Hidalgo. So from them on, I've had some really good tennis, you know. Also against Gaƫl, I thought, yesterday.
Hope I can back it up again tomorrow.

Q. How long does it take you to get back into the full swing of it on clay?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I guess a couple of weeks I would think. You know, I mean, I really like this victory today, as well, because I think David's already played in South America on clay, he played Davis Cup on clay. So, I mean, he's used to this stuff. You know, he hasn't, you know, not played on this surface for a long time.
So, I mean, he must be also playing well. So it gives me big satisfaction from that end, as well. And I think I, you know, have much more information after this tournament and then practice, you know, a few days, and hopefully everything's hopefully going to come together in Rome, Hamburg and Paris.

End of FastScripts

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