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Federer Tackles Questions Prior to Saturday Play at Sony Ericsson Open

Roger Federer, world number one, will be holding court for the first time at 2010 Sony Ericsson Open on Saturday night.  This afternoon, though, Federer held a press conference at which was present.  Here are some of the more salient remarks from the reigning Australian Open champion.

Q.  No doubt what happened to you last week at Indian Wells hurt.  We can could see that afterwards.  I mean, how much do defeats still really hurt you, at whatever level they come and whatever tournament they come?

FEDERER:  No, I mean, it was just disappointing on the moment itself.  Disappointed you don’t get a shot at winning the title.  I mean, it’s a long trip, and I’ve been practicing or trying to recuperate for weeks and weeks.  So when it’s over after one or two matches, it’s kind of  you know, you feel a little bit empty in the moment itself, in the moment that follows.  I mean, the press conference is three minutes after, which doesn’t help.  If I would do it the next day it would sound obviously much fresher.  And it was late and everything.  No, I mean, after that, you know, I’ve had many years where I run from one thing to the next that also I welcome having all of a sudden, you know, more days off, more days of practice, more days where I can just wake up and see what I really want to do instead of having the perfect plan the whole time.  So it’s nice to adjust that for a change, if there’s anything positive to take out of a loss.

Q. wanted to know since you had to withdraw from Dubai because of a lung infection.   Are you back to 100% now?

FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, I felt good after, ever since I got the green light from the doctors, and I’ve been practicing hard before Indian Wells and also now in between.  So no issues whatsoever.  I’m fighting fit again.

Q.  Do you ever plan to play Latin American tour?  And what do you think of what happened down there?

FEDERER:  Yeah, I mean, it’s a tough circuit for me to attend really, because I have options to play indoor tournaments in Europe which are a one hour flight away and are indoors where I had my first success, which I really enjoy playing. Or I don’t play those and just go play Dubai, which is what I’ve been doing for many years.  So that’s why obviously to go to South America is almost impossible for me except for maybe exhibitions at the end of the year, which I guess at some stage I would consider.  But at the moment, especially with having a family as well, it’s  yeah, it’s not really in my plan, to be honest.  I’d love to go see more of it.  Back in maybe ’96 I played the junior circuit.  I mean, it wasn’t South America deep south, but I played Mexico, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.  That’s as close I’ve gotten really to get a feel for South America.

Q.  MiamiTennisNews inquired I believe you were the last person to win Indian Wells and Miami back to back.  Can you elaborate what’s so challenging about trying to win these two tournaments back to back?

FEDERER:  Two huge tournaments, tough draws, over three, four weeks you got to keep your concentration.  It’s not easy.  Obviously with a knockout system tennis it’s just not easy to win backtoback Masters 1000 events.  I think I did it for two years in a row.  I’m not sure about yeah, I was playing great and probably got lucky on one or two matches during the stretch.  That’s what you need, as well, if you want to try to win two in a row here.

Q.  Justine [Henin] said your winning the French really sort of put the fire back in her in terms of wanting to come back and play.  I know you’re a fan of the women’s game.  What is it you like about Justine and the way she approaches things?

FEDERER:  Well, one-handed backhand is something you don’t see very often.  I like that, you know, she doesn’t have too many letdowns.  You know, sometimes I see women players going through quite a few ups and downs during the match.  But she can really focus through an entire match.  Just putting in a solid performance every time she goes out on court.  She knows how to win the big titles.  She’s been in many pressure situations and she’s handled those well.  Yeah, something you can look up to.

Q.  What’s it like to still go out there and see people just to watch you practice?  What’s that like?  And do you ever just look around and say, Wow?

FEDERER:  Yeah, it’s funny how it goes.  You reach No. 1 in the world, and next time you practice you’ve got a crowd.  That’s something that was a very, you know, shockingly nice surprise when it happened, sort of, in 2004.  But it’s not easy.  I wish sometimes I was alone on the practice courts, because then you can really just relax a bit more.  But I feel like everything is documented, whatever I do in the practice courts.  So, sometimes I do feel the pressure, as well, and then you can’t just come in and walk in and out, you know.  You don’t have to, but of course I sign a lot of autographs and take pictures.  That always takes time away, too.  It’s just part of my life today.  But it definitely, you know, also wears you out at times.  I like to do it and put in the hard work because they make it so worthwhile, you know, to keep on playing and make it so much more fun.  I’m lucky enough to always be playing on center court and also the practice I get a lot of encouragement.  It’s nice they’re there, you know.  But, I definitely feel the pressure sometimes that they’re watching me, many of them probably for the first time in their lives, so it’s a big moment for them.  Especially here in Miami and also Indian Wells there’s huge crowds at the practice.  It’s nice, you know, because they’re really friendly and very enthusiastic.  So then obviously I like to spend even more time with them.

Federer was victorious on consecutive years from 2005-06 at Sony and reached the semifinals last year.  The holder of a record 16 majors, Federer will be attempting to win his 17th Masters’ shield.

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