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August 14, 2008

Roger Federer


J. BLAKE/R. Federer
6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk about the singles match and then just about the craziness that we're still here at 1:40 in the morning.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, big disappointment obviously. You know, it was one of the goals of the season for me to do well here. So obviously the quarterfinals is not going to do it for me.
I think James played well. I can only, you know, really say how well he played. I mean, he went full out and hit everything he needed I thought tonight. And I've played him on many occasions, but I think this was the best I've seen him. I'm happy for him. He's a good guy. I hope he can go all the way now.

Q. Did you feel like your forehand in particular let you down tonight? How would you assess your game?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, maybe an occasional shots here and there. It was okay. I mean, James plays very aggressive. We know that. So you only get a handful of chances sometimes to attack.
But I didn't serve my best today. But conditions were quick. James was keeping me on the back foot. So it made it hard.
Probably maybe wasn't my best night out there, but it wasn't bad. It's a tough loss.

Q. You're very dignified in defeat, as always. I know it's not a bad year. By your own high standards, is there something wrong? Is there a problem in your game, in your approach, anything that needs addressing?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, lack of practice. I haven't had time to practice whatsoever since February. I mean, I can maybe blame myself for not, you know, taking time off, maybe skipping Toronto, Cincinnati. But that's all the preparation I need to get ready for the hard court is the Olympic Games, so I never really got an opportunity to get that practice in.
I think that's maybe what I feel most this year. You know, just losing too many matches, which I maybe should have won - maybe Wimbledon, maybe some other matches, as well, now in North America.
But, you know, it's been okay this year. But I agree, I'm not happy with this tournament. You know, I wish I could have done much more. But I've still got to look forward. I look forward to the US Open. I still have really this and then the Masters Cup in Shanghai to really do well now. Try to save my season.
You know, but this obviously is a big blow because I expected more. But at the same time I know the danger of best-of-three set matches. They're over in a hurry. You could feel that today. You know, I was down 6-4, 3-Love in no time. I guess that's a danger in these kind of competitions.

Q. You're starting to lose against guys you always won against, like Karlovic and Blake. Do you feel something in your confidence now when you go onto the court?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. When you lose maybe five matches a year, I mean, it's a different type of, you know, confidence you have.
But at the same time I think it's always been difficult to beat all these guys. You know, I've beaten Karlovic in the past 7-6 in the third, but nobody knows where that was and when it was, you know. But today I can't hide under the radar any more. You know, No. 1's in the world, when they lose, it's always in the headlines. That's maybe why it also looks a little more extreme.
But I've had tough matches against many of the players. Even though my records might be 5-0, 10-0, whatever it is. It's just not so easy to keep it up all the time. Eventually sometimes they get you, like Andy got me this year or James got me this year, and Fernando at the end of last year. These guys all play good tennis. So when it all doesn't comes together, and maybe I just don't play my very, very best, it's obviously not enough.

Q. At some point does it become difficult for you guys to be playing at such an hour or is this just something you're used to?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, we're not used to practicing at 2 in the morning. But it happens, you know. We, the players, have to be ready for those things. I mean, we're used to waiting, you know, and going to the next day, coming back the next day, maybe it's raining the next day, coming back the next day again. It's obviously not the ideal preparation much, but at the same time it's the same for both.
I mean, I don't think it really comes down to who handles it better. It's just a matter of coming out there and trying to do well. Sometimes, you know, you come out there and you play incredible tennis, and sometimes you're just maybe not as good, you know. And sometimes that has -- maybe the weather had an effect, sometimes not.
But I think we try our best, you know. That's all you can do really. But I don't know, I mentioned it I think yesterday, I think it's why we're still here, it's also brutal because we're playing this tournament in one week. It really doesn't make it a whole lot easier to us as players. That's why they almost have to keep us here. We're almost happy to finish tonight in case we win so we don't have to play again tomorrow, so we don't have to double up. I think that's a bit of a shame. But I don't have that problem any more, so I don't care (smiling).

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