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February 23, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/M Granollers
6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We were very disappointed you didn't play your shot through your legs, your hot dog.
ROGER FEDERER: It was too short. Too much time to move around. Happy I won it, though.

Q. It was a good one, though.
ROGER FEDERER: I don't know, was it a forehand? I don't know. Felt more like a forehand, yeah. Happens all so quick.

Q. You said after your match against Somdev that you were just sort of pleased to have got through the first round, however you did it, but you wanted to progress and get better as the tournament went on. How do you feel you went in that direction tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, same thing again, an opponent that I've never played before. Same thing in the quarters. So it's an interesting tournament I think from this regard.
Other than that, I thought today I had chances like in the first round to win it easier. I think obviously the opportunity I had at 4-2, Love-40 after playing such a good game, you know, to end up sort of losing it -- you know there was disappointing shots and of course he served a few good serves, but I think really I should have won that game and gone on to serve it out after that.
But I was able to serve out regardless. I don't think I faced any breakpoints today. I'm not quite sure. But I felt like I was in control and had the opportunities to mix it up from the baseline. I had the feeling I was moving a bit better and just seeing the ball better, and that comes obviously through having played already one match already here yesterday.
I'm pleased with tonight's performance, really.

Q. Roger, it's a six-day tournament with a Saturday final. You start the tournament yesterday, so you basically have to play every day from yesterday.

Q. How do you think it's different compared to a seven-day tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Not quite different. I mean, I used to play six in seven days, you know, if you remember back at the how, did you say, the Masters Series events when we had bigger draws and no byes for the top seeds. You know, that was tough, six in a row, obviously, and then one day of travel and maybe six again.
So that was something we got rid of, and I think which does something good for the players. Obviously I understand what Saturday means here in this part of the world. Sunday is like our Monday, so it doesn't really quite make a whole lot of sense to have it on the Sunday here.
Sure, it's tough for us, so you want to try to avoid playing tough matches early on, even though it's not in your control all the time. They can be tough, especially if you're carrying a little bit of an injury. Not even getting 24 hours of break obviously is tricky on the body.
That's why I think scheduling is important on which tournaments you pick so you don't play three, four tournaments in a row, so you do give yourself a break and don't enter too many tournaments which you then know you can't live up to if you play well.
So, I mean, that's what I've always tried to be doing. I think if you look back at the last few years that I played, I don't think I've entered three or four tournaments in a row anymore. I think Agassi did the same towards the end of his career. You just pace yourself more.
At the end of the day, I'm playing 70 to 80 matches per season, so at the end I'm still playing a lot.

Q. Did you catch Novak's game before you came out tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, on and off. I couldn't tell you if he played well or not, or Lopez did. I was just watching a few points here and there and following more the scores, knowing when I had I would need to go warm-up and how much time do I have left. That kind of match I was watching, not more like reading into the plays.

Q. In a match like tonight, is it easy to concentrate fully throughout the hour and ten minutes or so? Because you won in straight sets, was it easy to concentrate all the time, or does the mind wander a little bit?
ROGER FEDERER: Sometimes it wanders. I don't know, sometimes if you have a song in your mind, sometimes you're thinking of what's going to happen tomorrow, what's the plan for tonight. All those things happen. We're human at the end of the day. We're not a machine and go from like point to point like Robo Cop, you know.
So it's like we have our fun , and sometimes it's hard when the mind starts wandering and you're like -- you know, I realized today at one point I served the first point of one of the games and I was like -- I missed the first serve. I was not even focused. I knew I was going to hit it down the T, but no, you know, not that full concentration I needed.
And then told myself, Okay, concentrate, please. So sometimes you have to remind yourself, because time goes by in between. You want to kept the intensity high, but at the same time you want to relax. It's a habit you get.
I mean, by now obviously I'm an expert at it. I know how it works. But still, after playing so much tennis, I still have to remind myself to focus on each point, and then you break it down to each shot and so forth. So it sounds like it's hard, but you get the hang of it.

Q. You don't think, What am I going to have for supper tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, maybe. I don't know. You think of many things. You can imagine how many points I've played, so I've had a lot of time to think out there.

Q. In the second set, I mean, were you a little bit frustrated, because as you were saying earlier, that you didn't close it. Looked like it was going to kind of roll through, he came back and it could have been 5-5 at one point. Something like that, assuming you got a couple more rounds to go, I mean, do you get a little bit frustrated, how you come away with that experience?
ROGER FEDERER: No, that's how it goes sometimes, sure. No, obviously I wish I could have just closed it out, gone up with a double break, and then sort of somewhat been safe.
But, you know, I mean, I've served out matches, what 400500 times in my career. Look, that's the way it goes. The point is to stay calm even though you are frustrated for five seconds.
Nut, look, I tried everything I could. He played well and missed maybe a forehand by this much, which could have made the difference. After playing a good game, to go up Love-40 and then to lose it, that was the frustrating part.

Q. After two matches, you've been playing quite steady, so far, do you kind of feel like home here playing in Dubai?

Q. Do you feel like you're playing at home here in Dubai because it's like for so many times you've been here?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I've been here many times. Honestly sort of 10th, 11th year on tour, I've been to many places many times. It's not the only place. I do obviously feel very welcome here. I do spend some time here in Dubai to practice and so forth.
And then, you know, having now gone through the emotions of playing matches again here in this place, it's always nice being able to invite friends to come watch me play, which I haven't been able to do really last three years, because three years ago I was only here for two hours really.
It's been nice being back at a tournament, living the atmosphere, which obviously again has grown more over the last couple of years since I've played here last time. It's exciting. It's a wonderful tournament. I hope obviously I can play many more times.

Q. ATP announced tournament awards this week. Of course the success of the tournament is combination of all kinds of things. For a top player like you, when you pick the best tournaments, what is the key factors, the most important things in your consideration?
ROGER FEDERER: Tough call. I mean, look, is it center court? It is the organization? Is it the city? How friendly it is, how welcome you feel. Some tournaments you just don't feel right sometimes, you know, and it takes time to warm up to. Others you love right away off the bat, even though maybe it's not the most best-run tournament.
But that's why it's tough to pinpoint exactly what it is, you know. Do the players enjoy? Obviously it's nice to have areas where I do feel like I can have my privacy and my calm before matches and so forth. Where I don't feel like there's people filming me and taking pictures of me all the time so I just feel like I'm looked at the whole time like I'm in a zoo. So I guess that's something that's somewhat crucial for me. Also safety-wise, so I can just relax at a tournament and enjoy it.
And then, you know, facilities and how easy is it to get practice courts. But I guess as long as the tournament puts in a good effort, you know, I appreciate that. I know they work hard all year long, and we show up for a week and think, Oh, why is this not working? Why don't we have towels on court? Who cares at the end of the day. You know, I seriously couldn't care less.
I know how hard they work, and that's why I'm not too hard on tournaments. That's why I'm an easy customer.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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