On this day: Roger Federer downs Carlos Moya for tenth ATP crown in Vienna


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On this day: Roger Federer downs Carlos Moya for tenth ATP crown in Vienna

The eyes of the tennis world were set upon Roger Federer ever since he won Wimbledon junior title in 1998, standing as one of the most attractive youngsters and most prominent talents in the world. Working on various elements of his already impressive tennis, Roger had continually been improving his game and announced his big arrival at Wimbledon 2001 when he toppled the undisputed king Pete Sampras in thrilling five sets.

His first Masters 1000 title came in 2002, entering the top-10 and pushing even stronger in 2003 when he won seven titles and missed a chance to become world no. 1, something he would fix after the Australian Open 2004. That 2003 season was the special one for the young Swiss, lifting his first Major crown at Wimbledon and winning 78 matches overall, preparing the path for unprecedented domination from the following year that would last until 2008.

After winning that Wimbledon crown, Roger lost in the final of Gstaad to Jiri Novak in five sets, followed by not that good North American hard-court swing that saw him taking eight victories overall and losing in the fourth round of the US Open to David Nalbandian.

After a suitable rest (Roger played in the Davis Cup against Australia in Melbourne), Federer headed to Vienna where he was the defending champion, delivering another strung run to lift his tenth ATP trophy and the sixth of the season.

Roger had loved to play in Vienna in his early years on the Tour, reaching the semi-final at the age of 18 in 1999 and repeating that in 2000 as well before beating Jiri Novak in the final two years later. Federer returned as the favorite 12 months later and kicked off the action with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 win over David Ferrer, serving well and breaking the Spaniard twice in each set to wrap up the win in less than an hour.

Karol Beck broke Roger four times in the second round and the Swiss had to work hard to prevail in three sets, earning with five breaks from 14 opportunities to find himself over the top. Jarkko Nieminen stood no chance against Roger in the quarters, losing 6-3, 6-3 in an hour before Federer produced another excellent performance against Max Mirnyi in the semis, never facing a break chance and earning a 6-2, 7-6 victory for his second Vienna final.

On October 12, Roger Federer defeated Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 33 minutes for his tenth ATP crown, ousting the Spaniard for the third time in as many matches to leave Austria with the trophy. The Swiss was the player to beat on that day, building fortress around his serve and pushing Moya to the limits on the return to create seven break chances and convert four that allowed him to control the scoreboard all the time.

Carlos served at 45% and that was a recipe for disaster, unable to move Federer from the comfort zone or to get more free points with his initial shot. Roger had many more winners and forced a lot of errors with his sharp forehand, having a clear edge in the shortest and mid-range rallies to secure the win in straight sets and in just over an hour and a half.

The Swiss held after deuce in the opening game and settled into a nice rhythm, serving well and breaking Carlos at 4-3 when the Spaniard sent a forehand wide. Federer clinched the opener with an ace in game nine after just 26 minutes and broke at love in the third game of the second set following a weak forehand from Moya who was more and more frustrated as the encounter unfolded.

Federer cemented the break with four winners in game four and created three more opportunities on the return at 4-2 that could have sent him even further ahead. Carlos saved them to stay within one break deficit and finally did some damage on the return in the next game, reaching three deuces but staying away from break chances as Roger played on a high level when it mattered the most.

This game gave an even more significant boost to Federer who broke again to grab the set 6-3 and move one away from the title after only an hour. The Swiss lost just seven points on serve in the third set and the pressure was entirely on Moya who couldn't endure it, wasting three game points before Roger clinched a break with a solid forehand attack for a 5-3 advantage, moving over the finish line a few minutes later and starting a title celebration for the second consecutive year here in Vienna.