Re: Monte Carlo Interviews where are they
April 23, 2006
R. NADAL/R. Federer
6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Roger, bad luck, especially at the end of the second set, beginning of the third. Did you feel you were about to get control of the match?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, obviously, the momentum shifted so I felt like if I have a chance, it's right here, right now. So I took advantage. I took a break. Was actually feeling very good. Played, unfortunately, a bad game to get broken back.
But all in all, it was all right, you know. I thought it was a good match. I enjoyed the battle against him, and sort of have the feeling it answers me a lot of questions, you know, I was asking myself prior to the clay court season. So this was a fantastic week for me.
Q. What have you learnt then?
ROGER FEDERER: I won't tell you (smiling).
Q. You obviously felt you had to attack. You made a lot of what are supposedly called "unforced errors." Did you feel you had to try and keep the pressure on him all the time?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, he leaves me no choice. I'm not going to start looping the ball if he's in the middle of the box, you know. He obviously plays a lot of shots, you know, that tease you to come in. It's obvious I'm going to make the unforced errors because I'm the guy who's pressing and not him.
So, you know, the unforced error stat, I don't care really, seriously. That's what I was really actually angry about at the French Open, people telling me I was going for too much. They should play him and then see if they're not gonna go for it, you know.
No, I thought I played a smarter match today, and I was actually what I expected from myself, you know, that I got closer again a step. Especially on clay, I think that's very important.
Q. In the start of the match you seemed to have trouble to find your way. Was there nervousness, was it wind?
ROGER FEDERER: No, not on both. Just he's got the edge, you know, being a lefty and me not being used to it. It's just tough to get into it, really.
And was unfortunate, you know. I don't know. I also would like to be able to answer more clearly why it happened, but I've got to try to change it next time. I've got to play aggressive, and it's tough to do that from the start, you know. Maybe it's that, and he takes advantage of it. Maybe the serve is not working like it should. I don't know, maybe he had a couple good games, too. So I think it's a combination of many things.
Q. Do you think he improved a lot on the backhand and good dropshots and does something more compared to last year?
ROGER FEDERER: No, no. I don't remember his backhand being bad last year. I mean, I thought it was the way I -- it's exactly the same as the French, I thought, really. I mean, obviously he makes improvements here and there because of experience, because of more matches, and so on. But I didn't have the feeling he was coming up with totally new stuff, you know. The dropshots he hit, they were well hit sometimes, and that's because I was far back. So it was a good shot to hit.
No, so I didn't feel that.
Q. If there is anything you regret about the match, when is it?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, many times. I thought I let him have a couple of breaks, you know, on and off just out of the blue really. That's what I've got to try to cut down. And if I do that, I'm in a much better position instead of always running behind. That's obviously tough against him, even though I got back into the match twice like this.
Q. Would that be the start of the third set, when you broke him and then you looked pretty comfortable, and suddenly he breaks back.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, obviously it happens and he plays very well every point of the game, you know. No matter if he's down Love-40 or 40-Love, you're always going to get the same guy, you know. That's the same with me, you know. That's what the lower-ranked players tend not to do, you know, is they go for too much when they're losing or also when they're winning. So it's obvious that you get broken sometimes.
But I just thought, you know, I was not maybe serving well enough or just playing well enough from the baseline to really, you know, win some games. I just thought I gave him a little bit too much there.
Q. Are you satisfied with your game today?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it was all right.
Q. You won only 4 break balls out of 18. Is it a number you care?
ROGER FEDERER: This stat, yeah, I'm not happy about, because it would have changed, I think, a lot of things even though maybe not in the first set. But after that, you know, I don't know how the stats look after that, probably not that bad. But, yeah, he doesn't have the biggest serve, so I really expect myself to do better on breakpoints.
Anyway, you know, it happened, and I've got to try to do better next time.
Q. In the final tiebreaker, you lost the five final points on your serve. You were up 3-Love and you lost twice your -- you had the mini-break. 4-3, two mini-breaks. Last point, mini-break. How do you explain it? Do you think it's just coincidence or something happens, you don't serve as well, or he's more aggressive?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, it was very even from the baseline, I thought. He got the better points, you know, the points he wanted to have. And, no, I mean, of course I could have maybe served better, but also, you know, I'm not the guy who's gonna serve aces all the time so I've got to expect to be in the rally. That's a tough thing to be in, you know, in a tiebreaker, in the end, when you're against the wall, you know.
So maybe he had little bit more, you know, I don't know, confidence and he didn't have that much to lose after all. So maybe it was easier for him to play then.
But, no, I cannot explain because I wish it was different.
Q. What did that match and that tournament tell you about your chances to win in Paris?
ROGER FEDERER: Say it again.
Q. What do that match and this tournament tell you about winning in Paris?
ROGER FEDERER: This one?
Q. Yeah, about your chances.
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I think they went up, in my eyes. I think matches against Rafael are going to help me actually beating up players, too, you know. Because I've got to adjust quite a bit to play against Rafael, I mean, let's face it. So I've got to make tough decisions, you know, in a split second right away because it's always coming from the left-hand side, you know, and so forth.
So I think I'm actually going to improve a lot by playing more against him, and I already feel like I have since he's been around, you know. That's maybe a good thing to be in. Like I said, the more I think I play him, the more also I'll figure out his game and the easier it's going to get for me. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I really believe it, so.
Q. Will you try to get a lefty sparring partner?
ROGER FEDERER: I have a coach that's lefty. You know why I have him, no (smiling).
Q. Three losses in a row against Nadal. Does it mean anything?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I wish I could have won them, but they don't break down my will or hope or anything because what I care about is looking at the -- well, trying not to lose against him in Grand Slams, and then be ahead of him 2,000 points in the ranking, that's what I care about, and not really losing tonight. I made points against him, so he's under pressure.
But, yeah, it would have been nice to beat him. But I don't know, you guys have to have more to write about than I have to talk about. So this is for me one night and then I'll be on the road and I'll forget about it, so...
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