Roger Federer from start to today. In this new column, we will explore the Swiss Maestro's career, focusing our analysis in several stages not only on his victories and his records, but also on anecdotes, events that happened behind the scenes, and curiosities.
In short, the genesis of a champion. In the previous article, we had spoken of Federer's career up to 2002. Then, came 2003: Federer crashed out in the fourth round at the Australian Open against David Nalbandian, but from Melbourne to Paris he won three titles, in Marseille, Dubai and Munich.
At the French Open, he was defeated in the first round against Luis Horna, but only a few weeks later he won his first grass-court title, on the lawns of Halle. Those were the general rehearsals. At Wimbledon Federer won his first historical Slam.
The first of 20, the cornerstone of his record. In London, he defeated Lee, Koubek, Fish, Feliciano Lopez, Schalken, Roddick and, in the historical final, Mark Philippoussis, in three sets, getting for the first time the crown of the London lawns.
Talking about that victory he said: "What I remember most is that I really hurt my back, I think of my fourth round against Feliciano Lopez, in the warm-up. I wasn't sure I could continue the match. But I played well, I recovered quickly and then I also reached the Wimbledon final.
I remember when I had two match points I started to believe that I could have been a Wimbledon champion probably in the next two minutes and when it happened it was the most special moment." That was historic, deserved triumph.
After the All England Club Federer won two more tournaments in 2003: Vienna and the Tennis Masters Cup in Huston (now ATP Finals) against Andre Agassi. In that season he won 7 titles (on all surfaces: hard-courts, indoor hard-courts, clay-courts and grass-courts), including his first Major and his first ATP Finals, ending the year in the second place of ATP ranking.
And what about his outfit and her look? Considering his young age (he was 21 years-old in Wimbledon), his outfit and his hairstyle were very different than today! Despite his extraordinary year, nobody could have imagined that from 2004 to 2007 he dominated men's tennis.