Hamburg, 16 May 2007 Press Conference with ROGER FEDERER Federer - Monaco 6:3, 2:6, 6:4 Q: How do you feel about your form? FEDERER: It was a tough first round I thought. The opponent obviously is a good clay court player. He's a talented player. So, I knew it was going to be tough. At the moment I am just happy I came through that first round. They are never easy, especially at a Masters Series. With the new rule, I was having a Bye, the other guy already has a match and he had beaten the other guy convincingly. The conditions were just extreme out there today, the rain, the humidity made the clay really wet and sticky and it was hard to hit winners. You had to be really patient. It was a good hard-fought match for me. Maybe just what I needed today. Q: Did it feel any different that this was the first match since you split with your coach. Did you have a different feeling at all? FEDERER: I was just focussed on the match, trying to get my game plan ready, warming up with my condition trainer as good as I could. I just have to get used to the conditions. They are completely different than the ones we played on the last month. So, it was a good sign that I was really focussed on how to play, how to adjust. That wasn't always the case last week. Q: Was this more of a win where you had to scratch and fight to get through because the of conditions? FEDERER: Yes, and the opponent was tough. It was definitely a hard-fought victory. Things were not always looking today and I came out of a few tough situations. Then I missed a few occasions. It wasn't all straightforward. The second set was disappointing because I could not really get a hold of him and I was returning terribly. In such slow conditions it was disappointing. So it was important to stay positive and hope for the best in the first set. I am happy I came through. Q: Are there any specific elements of your game that you are trying to work on at the moment? FEDERER: I wish my serve was better, my forehand, make less mistakes. But that is always a tough thing to do early in a tournament. Especially I haven't played that many great matches lately. I only played two matches last week. I've been more on the practice courts than on the match courts. It's just about getting back into the match grove and then it's going to come back by itself. For the moment it's to pick up as many victories as possible. Q: When you are down there on the centre court and things don't go that well, can you feel the disappointment of the audience? FEDERER: I don't know how disappointed the audience was. I hope not too much. At the end they were glad I won after all. It's difficult to get an atmosphere like in Australia where you have 35 C. Here we are playing beneath the roof, it's raining, it's as loud as on a train station when the trains are leaving. It's really not easy and therefore it's no wonder the audience is lagging behind sometimes. It was so noisy and the points were not the best. The audience probably wonders where the magic shots are. But that's difficult in the first round. Winning is important then. So it was a normal first round with normal audience. Q: You said it was your goal to survive the first round. Were you serious? FEDERER: That's the first goal. Of course you hope to win the tournament if you managed to win here three times. And I was always successful in Germany. So I hope it will happen again this year. But first it's important to get through the first round after all that happened in the last few days and last week. It's a disappointment to lose. I could get rid of that now for a bit. Looking back I beat Monaco, looking forward the next round awaits me. So I'm in a good situation. Q: Did you feel free after talking to Tony Roche? FEDERER: Yes, definitely. I concentrated more on the match, on the conditions how I should play, tactics. As it should be. That wasn't always the case against Volandri in Rome, unfortunately. So I feel relieved. If I feel better, I don't know. But I just feel comfortable on court and that is important. Q: Can you say something about Hamburg and the Rothenbaum? FEDERER: I like to be here. After having a bad start here, I didn't like to be here too much, probably because I was gone before I arrived properly. So it was difficult for me to win a few matches at the beginning. But now I experienced some good weather here as well, the city is truly beautiful. So I like to be here. The people are friendly. I'm comfortable with the language. I like to come back. The centre court is nice for playing. The audience is close by. You have the advantage with the roof. Q: The audience? FEDERER: Also good. They were always nice to me, always supported me well. Of course you like victories. Q: You are here since the beginning of the week. Yesterday the stadium was sold out. Is that what you meant when you said Hamburg should keep the Masters status? FEDERER: I think the audience can make things change as well. If the tournament is sold out every day. You have to look at the business side of things. You always hope for a positive balance at the end of the tournament. If there are 150.000 coming in a week in America and only 70.000 here it might be worth considering if this is the right tournament. But if it's sold out every day, the atmosphere is great and the roof is a plus anyway, then it helps the tournament. So I'm happy that lots of people are coming, I'm happy to be able to play here and help the tournament. I think the same goes for Nadal. That's why we are looking forward to this week. Q. How often do you watch the weather forecast? As often as every average person in Hamburg? FEDERER: I have the advantage of playing on the centre court, so I don't care about the weather. I'll play in any case, but the others have to wait in the locker. I will go back to the hotel while the others are still waiting. Q: Would a tournament victory or the final in Hamburg be sufficient to get rid of everything and go to Paris with a good feeling? FEDERER: For sure the feeling will be good in Paris. I'm convinced about that. I'm professional enough and have enough experience. It's almost my 10th season on the Tour. I have experienced much worse. Q: So is it part of your game plan that you also lose some matches before Paris? FEDERER: Yes, sure, it's all planned (laughs). If it was just that easy.