Federer best match this year...

03-17-2005, 07:56 AM
Roger played fantastic:eek:


Q. Did you enjoy the match? What do you think of the quality of the match?

ROGER FEDERER: Hmm, what can I say? I think this was definitely one of the best matches I've played against him this year, very clear. I felt good off the baseline, solid on the serve. Just only got one chance really to break him.

Missed a few, maybe to get a few more breakpoints. He kept the pressure on. Definitely won the crucial points in the end in the breaker. That made the difference today.

But, you know, it's kind of a very different match today. It was kind of cold, in a huge stadium. Even though people are there, it feels kind of empty. It was kind of a quiet atmosphere.

But you have to be top of your game, especially against him. You know it's such an important match, if you're looking ahead of this summer, you don't want to lose suddenly after winning three times against him.

I'm very happy and relieved that I won in two.

Q. Are you sensing you made a really big change somewhere mentally, came to a point of maturity or realization?

ROGER FEDERER: Very clear, yes. And I think the ones, you know, who followed me for enough time, they see the difference, and when it happened about, how it came along. I just have the feeling that I dig much deeper than I used to. Especially also being a set down, you know, doesn't bother me any more.

I know, you know, you need here now two sets to win, that's what I'm aiming for. Q. What makes him a tough player? He's pretty serious, pretty calm on the court?

ROGER FEDERER: He's very secure, you know, he seems. Doesn't really look like he's going to panic at all. That is definitely a sign of a good poker face, you know. He's got a great first serve. He can serve all four sides, you know, which makes it hard to return. You know, for some I would say his second serve also is tough. You know, he gets up very high. Just seems like he's not missing as much as he used to, you know. He's playing tougher points. That makes him a good player now.

I think he will be a tough guy to beat, you know, this year and hopefully for the future as well for him.

Q. The two guys who have given you the most trouble this year are out of the tournament now, Ljubicic and Safin. You go into your next three matches, you've beaten the players routinely. How do you get to the point tonight where you were yelling c'mon to get the inner fire going?

ROGER FEDERER: I'll be struggling for tomorrow's motivation, that's for sure (smiling).

No, really, I'm so motivated for this tournament; I really like it very much. I want to defend this title, you know, to play good on the big points like tonight, that really makes me feel great. So I'll fall asleep nice and easily tonight. Just have to make sure I'm ready for tomorrow.

He's been playing great, you know, my opponent I'm facing. Just because maybe I've beaten them in the past doesn't mean tomorrow's going to be the same way. If Ljubicic and Safin are out, for me it doesn't change anything for me in the draw. There's still so many great players. The best are through. That's just the way it is. If the draw would have been different, you know, maybe just a few other ones would have been there.

It's the way it is. I'm looking forward because now it's getting really interesting.

Q. Have you been paying attention to Kiefer's results in this tournament. Steamrolled some pretty good players.

ROGER FEDERER: I'm surprised in a way, yeah, because it's so consistent and, like you said, against good players. I've only seen the results. I've seen him in the locker, but I haven't seen one serve. I don't even know how he plays any more (smiling).

We'll see tomorrow.

Q. What is the most satisfying aspect about playing and dominating the way you're doing now?

ROGER FEDERER: You win more often, so that's a lot of fun. Get a lot of fans around the world. Seem to please many people. That's nice. But also that finally maybe the hard work is paying off. I think that's what every other great player says once he gets to the top. It's the same for me. And now it's about maintaining that.

I love being No. 1 in the world, being in these big?occasion matches, playing center court basically every match I play now. That's just unbelievable fun. You cannot imagine.