TENNIS MASTERS CUP
November 12, 2008
R. FEDERER/R. Stepanek
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
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
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
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,
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
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
End of FastScripts