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April 29, 2009

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/I. Karlovic
6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Good solid effort for you. Any complaints about that match? No problems?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, not really. I got off to a good start in both sets, which is always good, kind of comforting against Ivo. He found his groove later on on his serve, you know, but I already had the break in the second, which is perfect.
Yeah, it was just important to be really sold on my serve. I had two close service games in the beginning. From then on, I was pretty much cruising.

Q. Which is the biggest difference between this surface and Monte-Carlo?
ROGER FEDERER: The ground underneath is harder, so there is less clay, sort of, you know, because there is like -- seems like a concrete almost under it, and then you have the clay on top which makes a slippery.
In Monaco or Hamburg, probably Madrid as well, you just have sort of clay, and, you know, just surfaces that when they get wet you can dig in. Here it seems not possible.
That's why if it's nice weather the ball can bounce really high.

Q. Just a follow-up to that. How did you find the court today? Obviously it's taken quite a hammering over the last couple days.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it's tough to kind of maintain those courts with the rain and everything. But the surface seemed fine, you know. There's always the occasional bad bounce, and you got to live with that. Doesn't help against such a big server I guess sometimes, because you're choosing the right side and then you have the right swing and then it bounces wrong and then you can't adjust anymore because it's just too difficult.
I think from the baseline, you know, if you give yourself some room, don't half-volley too much, it's as good as any courts out there right now.

Q. After a match like this that you finish so early, what are you doing now in Rome? What is your schedule in Rome today?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, not that early. But, no, I like to go to the city and have nice dinners usually. If I got a real chance, on an off-day maybe some sightseeing. I've seen the city a lot now over the years. I arrived late here on Sunday, so I didn't have that many opportunities.
For me, it was about to getting into the rhythm and making sure that I'm in good shape for my first round. Yesterday, unfortunately, it was raining, so there was not much we could do.
I like to have the occasional look into the stores here and go around and see some nice buildings again. You don't need to go, you know, that far. You see many nice places here anyway. It's really a nice city to be in.

Q. Are you feeling stronger maybe this week than perhaps you were at Monte-Carlo because of what you did last week?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, obviously my preparation was minimal, you know, for Monaco. It's been like this a few years, you know, but last few years I just was able to play finals over there. This year it wasn't enough, you know. Preparation was maybe too small.
But, I mean, that didn't matter. I just wanted to get out there and have some fun and play some tennis again in a match situation. It gave me information. I practiced really hard, so I feel better.
Like I said, I can't judge this kind of kind of a match because it's not real tennis with Ivo because it's all about reaction.
So I guess next match will be a different type of a clay court test. You know, this was more like a hardcourt match just hoping to get through. It's a real tough one to have as a first round, I think.
It's just important to have tomorrow before the match a good warm up and to get some good rhythm, and then I can really judge my performance here in Rome.

Q. It's just tennis, or do you think it's a specific reason why today Ferrer, Murray, Davydenko lost?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, still early in the clay court season, you know, for some. Masters Series are tough, you know, especially for the seeds like me today. I haven't played yet here. Some might think it's an unfair disadvantage for us to always have a bye.
But at the same time, it's always difficult. Other guys are coming in with at least one match under their belt that they're ready to go. That's the danger. I guess everyone has a different sort of reason why they lost.
Davydenko is coming back from injuries, so he's looking to find his form. I mean, that's pretty normal.
Ferrer had a rough week last week. You know, he also struggled here actually last year losing to Stepanek before I lost to him. Maybe there is something with the surface he doesn't really like that much. Maybe it's a bit too fast after having maybe the slow clay last year.
Murray was a great match. I thought Monaco played a great match. There you go. You got some reasons why they lost.
But the draws are tough here. I think on clay there's really a solid base of players who always make it hard for us, the seeds, you know. So I'm happy he didn't get me today.

End of FastScripts

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