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March 27, 2010

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/N. Lapentti
6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your forehand at the beginning of the match seemed a little bit off. What were the conditions out there? It seemed a little cold and breezy.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, conditions -- I thought the ball was flying quite a bit actually, which I was sort of surprised about, because in the practices I thought it was always very sort of humid and it was hard to get something out of the ball.
All of a sudden I was trying to generate pace on the ball and the thing would fly off my racquet like I couldn't believe. So I had to play a bit more safe and not go for at lines as much.
All of a sudden the court becomes this big, you know. It's tricky, but tried a few different things on the return as well. But when you start doing that, that also makes you a bit unsure.
And I think today I came through because I served very well. I had a good start into basically all my service games. I always knew I was gonna have a couple of chances at least on the return games.
I was able to have a good record on breakpoint conversions, and I think that's what won me the match today.

Q. With some of the top seeds out, Djokovic and Murray, does it feel good to get your first match out?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure, worries me as well being the top seed, seeing high seeds fall out of the tournament. You know, I haven't even started playing yet, and there's two, you know, big names out of the tournament already.
It's a bit worrying at times. But then again, I'm worried on my own work. I'm relieved I'm through the first round, anyway. I've got a feeling and a sense of how it plays out there in a match situation when the stadium is full.
Crowds were amazing today. For first round and to have a sort of a sellout crowd and a record day, it's nice to be part of it.

Q. How surprised were you by their losses, Novak and Andy?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, Mardy Fish, he beat me at Indian Wells once handily. He's a dangerous player. You always know he can create an upset.
But at the same time, Murray is defending champion here. I didn't expect any upsets from, you know, Fish or Rochus, but both been able to do it.
Rochus I'm obviously extremely happy. I won junior Wimbledon doubles with him, so we go way back.

Q. Regarding Anna Wintour, what's that relationship like?
ROGER FEDERER: It's a friendship. I don't know. Very simple. She's a good friend of ours. We know her since a long time. She's a great fan of tennis.
She comes out to, not only watch me but also she went to go see other matches today. We're very friendly and we stay in touch. It's nice she came.

Q. You don't play Monte-Carlo, but you will play Estoril. It will be three tournaments a row Rome, Estoril, and Madrid. Any special reason for that?
ROGER FEDERER: I always look at the schedule, what's the best preparation for the French Open? What am I in the mood to do? What am I in the mood to play?
Monaco is not a mandatory event anymore. It gives us a bit of an option. Of course, there's a lot of points there to go get, but it's really early in the season.
It's too early for me, and I also want to have some vacation, you know, after a long trip here in the States so I'm really fresh for the long trip really from Rome until Wimbledon.
It's a long one, and I want to be refreshed till the very end of Wimbledon, you know, not that I get tired midway or something, so I need to plan clever and healthy. I believe that this is the right schedule this year.

Q. A 28 draw in Estoril, it's good for you?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, that was also definitely one of the reasons why I was able to pick Estoril as a tournament in between Rome and Madrid.
If I would have had to win five matches to win the tournament in between two Masters 1000, I think it would have been quite unlikely I would have played.
I think that is -- it's been a good help for 250 tournaments out there.

Q. Speaking of the French Open, there has been talk about renovation of the venue because it's somewhat subpar compared to the other Majors. Do you feel that's the case? What would you like to see changed there?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, I've only heard bits and pieces, so I'm not entirely sure what they're talking about. For the venue to move takes a lot, so I think it's not gonna happen maybe in my lifetime, when I'm still playing.
But I definitely think there's always things you could do better, you know. I mean, it's super crowded, especially the first week or so, down in the players' area and Suzanne Lenglen on the other side.
That's not really an option for me, who spends most time at Chatrier. I think they could definitely improve their site a little bit. But then again, you're working with a small space.
I think all the tournaments are trying extremely hard to keep not only just the players happy, but also fans and media and everyone. So it's not always as easy as it seems, you know.
But I think if -- I think it's always very important for the tournament to try their best for the players, because we speak to the press. If we're extremely happy, we're gonna speak extremely well about the tournament.
I think that's one of the reasons I guess they're always looking for ways to improve, as well.

Q. What can we expect more from Roger Federer in this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: What to expect? More forehands. More serves (laughter.)
I've never played I think my next round opponent, Florent Serra, but French guys have tendencies to be great shot-makers. It's always dangerous to play against those guys, especially against guys I've never played against.
I don't know his experience that well, so I have to get a feel for his game. Most likely it's gonna be a day match. I don't know yet. I have to adjust to that. I'll practice during the day tomorrow, and then I hope I can tidy up my game a bit, keep on serving the way I have been, and go deep into the tournament and see where it takes me.

Q. You're gonna be returning as the defending champion at Roland Garros. Is there a different feeling that you're gonna have walking in as opposed to the past where you're only a finalist?
ROGER FEDERER: Very different, yeah. Finally less pressure, even though I'm defending champion. I have to defend 2,000 points, and defend the Coupe de Mousquetaires. It's not something that's so simple. I know that.
I love those kind of challenges, you know. I'm happy I have that kind of pressure. But I think it's probably gonna be one of the first times at the French Open I'm gonna walk in the grounds smiling thinking, you know, what? I've already won this tournament. It's fine.
But I will try everything I possibly can to defend again. The last few years I did feel a lot of pressure from myself, because I based a lot in the preparation already since like maybe December, February.
And then April again in the buildups, everything was based upon, you know, being as fit as I could be at the French Open.
So this time around I don't have to do that, because I've already won the French. Now I can just concentrate on playing tennis and enjoying the venue, which has not always been the case for me in the past.

End of FastScripts

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