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Roger Federer, Tennis Masters Cup, November 12, 2008
   

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TENNIS MASTERS CUP


November 12, 2008


Roger Federer

SHANGHAI, CHINA

R. FEDERER/R. Stepanek
7-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Bit of an unusual situation today. Usually when your opponent pulls out last minute you have a walkover. How did that affect you? When did you find out?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, not too much. You're always sort of ready for news like this, you know, with the alternates flying around the locker rooms and everywhere.
But I heard after I warmed up. Wasn't a huge adjustment. You know, I mean, things are ready to, you know, be played for. I guess it was maybe a touch easier playing Andy obviously than playing Radek who is playing for the first time in a Masters Cup.

Q. Last year you lost your first match and then went undefeated through the rest of the championship. Are you tempted to look that far ahead and think perhaps you could do the same thing again in successive years?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, sure. Why not? I've done it once. I've always had a lot of success, you know, in Masters Cup play. Like obviously the situation that is in my control.
If I win, I'm through. That's the similar situation that I was in last year, except last year I was through before my match in the end. So it was kind of a funny turn of events.
So we'll see. I mean, important to rest up and see what happens against Murray, because only a good performance will do the job.

Q. Andy Murray said he would like to beat you and knock you out of this competition. What is your comment on that?
ROGER FEDERER: Sure. I mean, he would be stupid saying something different.
Yeah, I'm looking forward to the match. Should be interesting. You know, he's a wonderful player. He's had a great end to the season. He's definitely, you know, the guy probably most in form, you know, with a couple of guys. It's an interesting matchup.

Q. You said you were feeling sick yesterday. Could you give us a little bit of an idea of what happened, and how did you feel out there when you were playing tonight?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I got sick, or started to feel really bad after my match was over with Simon only later on when I got back to the hotel, and shortly before I was going to bed. Woke up in the morning and I was feeling terrible. Really upset stomach and couldn't even practice. Didn't go out of the room. Just sort of trying to get over things. It would have been impossible to play yesterday.
So I guess I got really lucky, you know, that match was scheduled late today. Then, I guess that Andy pulled out sort of got a little bit more lucky. And then Radek is not playing with his own racquets, so that made it a little bit more lucky again.
At the end of the day I still have a chance. I hope with a day of recovery, I'll make a miracle happen here and get through into the semis.

Q. You said earlier this year in Dubai that you were surprised that Andy Murray hadn't changed his game a lot; that he was still basically a fairly defensive player. Would you say with his progress this year, has he changed much as a player?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess he's gotten more confident, you know. That's obviously a huge difference in a player, especially young and up-and-coming who has big potential. That makes a big, big difference. I mean, know why I said it, I guess. Because Andy can play aggressive, but he doesn't choose to do it.
I mean, it's a good option to have, I guess. It was a compliment on the highest of levels. I knew Andy took it this way. But some journalists don't understand tennis enough that they took it in the wrong context.

Q. The situation on Friday is slightly unusual in that Andy has already qualified and you haven't. How might that change the match, do you think? You'll go in with a much stronger attitude than he might?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, it is a tough situation because usually, you know, there's all to play for in any match during the year. All of a sudden you come to the Masters Cup play and one's sometimes through and the other guy's not. Sometimes both are through or both are out. It does change your approach a little bit.
But over all the years I've taken part in Masters Cups, I've seen the best of efforts all the way through. I think that's what counts. I've seen a situation where back in 2002 I came here and Moya played Costa. If Moya loses, you know, who was already qualified against Costa, Hewitt would have been out.
Of course that doesn't happen. Hewitt goes through and wins the tournament, you know, and stays No. 1 in the world.
So it's good to see, you know. That's why I think we can expect a match that's going to be full-on. There's a lot to play for, you know, prestige. I don't think Andy wants to go into the semifinals with a loss, you know, and that's why it's going to be a good matchup for me.

Q. What do you think about the Davis Cup? Who will be the winner now?
ROGER FEDERER: I always thought it was a 50/50. Maybe a little bit an edge to Argentina while Rafa was still going to play. Now that he doesn't play, obviously see it more like 65/35, you know.
But, you know, tough. You never know. Still believe that Argentina's probably gonna win.

Q. Could you give us a sense of the speed of the court, how it's playing, and how difficult it might be even for an attacking player, how difficult it is to hit through this court.
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, I guess it depends a little bit who plays who. I mean, if you have two attacking players, this court could obviously play a little fast, you know, because the ball stays low on your slice. It can take the kick.
But, I mean, all in all, it's still a slow medium-paced court. It's something I don't like to see that often, you know, is that courts that slow now over all the years have, outdoor hard courts and indoors have become all so similar. It's not like the change like it used to be when Pete and these guys were around.
I mean, I like this court. You know, it's played in my favor over the years. But I would still like to see it play a little bit more fast. But, yeah, especially a guy like Andy or, you know, guys who defend so well, it's obviously hard to get the balls past them, so you have to out-maneuver them.

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