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March 28, 2011

Roger Federer


R. FEDERER/J. Monaco
7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Although Monaco is a clay court specialist mostly, he really seemed to handle himself well on this surface today. What was tough for you today in terms of playing him?
ROGER FEDERER: Um, well, tough was not having played him very often. And then, you know, it being hot and humid and slow conditions really, I mean, this is as slow as it gets out on the hard court. It's a bit of clay almost except that you can't slide.
And all the clay court specialists such to speak about, they have adapted very well to the hard courts now these days.
Yeah, it was tough playing against him. I thought he played well in the later stages of the first set and then also in the second. But I was able to come through with a crucial first set, which allowed me to have a bit of sort of win-from-the-back sort of feeling. Like I was in the back and could try out a few more things than he could.
I had the one return game which worked well, and was able to serve it out. So it was a good finish for me.

Q. What kind of things did you try? You're talking about things you could try, shots you could try?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, it's not so much trying, playing, you know, in case I play someone in the quarters or semis or whatever it is, you know. You're trying to mixup the game to see how he reacts to shorter rallies, to shots hit shorter and longer instead of always going laterally.
I was able to do that. You know, he struggled a bit with that, because he's a very good rhythm player. Then I just kept the points short because I thought, you know, he doesn't quite like that. That's how I like to play.
I only need maybe one or two games where I get a sniff on his service games, which I thought I would get because he's not the biggest server. He's consistent and he mixes the serve up well and he moves the ball around nicely with his game, his style from the baseline.
That's kind of what I meant with it, not playing for the future but just playing to win. But still, at the same time, giving myself more information. If it were to go three sets, what could I use from the first two sets.

Q. Does it make any difference to you at all playing as No. 3 in this tournament?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really. Look, I've been in the semis with Rafael beforehand, so it's not something that's completely new to us. At the end of the day, you focus round by round. You know, the best players are in the semis usually.
If it doesn't happen, you know, you move on and try to improve. I've had a good last six, seven months, you know. People talk about it like it's not been a good last six, seven months just because I'm No. 3 in the world.
But Rafa and Novak have done exceptional as of late, and I've done really, really well. So it's up to me to step it up or just maintain that level of play and I'll get my chance.

Q. You have never lost a match against Olivier Rochus. What's your opinion now on him?
ROGER FEDERER: He's coming back from an injury, I think. In some ways, right? But he's played well. I think he's been in the Guadeloupe -- did he win Guadeloupe? No, he was in the semis or in the challenger just last week, as well?
Now he's again won a few matches in a row and beat Youzhny today, which is a quality player. I don't know if he's come back from injury, as well.
Regardless, it's been a good win for him coming back from a set down. You know, the way he did it was impressive. He's a good friend of mine. He has an amazing touch and feel out on the court, great playing sense, when to play which shot.
Even though he's, you know, a small guy out there, he knows how to use his weapons and his feel. He's a great tactician. I enjoy playing against him. It's a different kind of playing style. I'm looking forward to the match against him.

Q. Same as you, he mentions his friendship since you were 12, I think.

Q. Does that make you give him consideration out on the court?
ROGER FEDERER: He's the first guy I remember seeing on the international level. I didn't know he was so good until I played against him. Thank God I didn't have to play the singles against him.
It was like in a Swiss against Belgium thing there, and there was also other teams there. It was in France and it was my first trip. I was third in the team, so I only played the doubles. It was Malisse and Rochus already back then.
I had never heard of them before until I saw them play. I was like, Wow, these guys are good. I've got some work to do. But, no, once you go out on court you play fair. The way it's supposed to be.
But you just try to play your best tennis. If it's enough it's great; if it's not, well, at least you've lost against a friend who is a good guy and you're happy for.
Yeah, I'll be all right once we get out there. It's going to be a nice match, I'm sure.

Q. I'm from Canada and we have a rising star. He was knocked out in the first round. Milos Raonic. Have you seen his game? Do you have an opinion on it?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I almost played him in the second or third round in Indian Wells last week when he lost to Ryan Harrison.
I didn't see him play that much in the summer when he did, you know, the whole, you know, rise in the rankings, sort of when he won the tournament, lost in the finals against Roddick in the next one, because I was all the way on the other side of the planet.
So I didn't see that much of him, but I'm sure I'll see plenty of him in the next six months because he will be in all the main draws where I will be around. It will be interesting to see him play, and most likely I will also play against him, you know, if we sort of play each other in that draw.
But he seems like he's very talented. He's obviously very big and strong already at a young age, and that allows him to have great potential for the future. It's nice to see so many up-and-coming guys at the moment like we have in the game right now.

Q. I am working for Spanish channel, and they want to know, how do you like Miami?
ROGER FEDERER: How do I like Miami? I like it a lot. I've always enjoyed coming over here. It's not one of those tournaments that needed a lot of time to warm up to. I have come here as a junior, I guess, you know, jeez, back in when I was 14.
You know, I played at the Biltmore Hotel and then at Flamingo Park down on South Beach, and then I played the first Orange Bowl that was held here on Key Biscayne. I won on this center court and became world No. 1 beating Nalbandian and Coria in the semis and finals.
So I've felt really very much comfortable in the surroundings here, and then when the tournament came around, I kind of knew my way around. I knew Coconut Grove, South Beach, Key Biscayne, so I felt always very welcomed here and I always played good tennis here.
Then you get to know the nightlife, get to know the good restaurants, get to know a lot of friends around here because you always come back here every year. And, yeah, on top of that you play well, it's even nicer.
It's always been a place I enjoyed coming to and playing.

Q. You played twice in the daytime in the heat. Would you describe what it does to your body and the impact?
ROGER FEDERER: Yes, it's nice and hot. You feel it like it's sucking some energy out of you.
But, you know, I have been around the block and played in more brutal conditions, you know. Usually when they announce thunderstorms you can be ready for changing shirts and maybe even changing shoes and doing all those things because you're sweating so much.
But, look, I think I handled it well today, because we had some tougher rallies. We had a tough match today. I was able to really sort of manage it well. I thought also Monaco handled it well. You can tell we both enjoy playing in the heat. It has some effect on some players, but not on me today, which I'm happy about.

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