Roger Federer earned his first ATP victory in Toulouse 1998, passing three qualifying rounds and making a name for himself at 17. Federer debuted in the ATP rankings in September 1997 and claimed his first victory on the ATP level a year later.
Roger's primary goal for the 1998 season was to finish as the junior no. 1, which he achieved after much drama. Also, Federer found time for his professional duties. He made an ATP debut in Gstaad in July after winning the junior Wimbledon crown before competing at the Geneva Challenger in August.
At the end of September, world no. 878 tried to qualify for the ATP event in Toulouse. The young Swiss delivered rock-solid tennis on the fast indoor surface, equipped with solid serve, great movement, attacking style and skillful net covering.
Federer defeated Marcelo Wowk, Alex Radulescu, and Olivier Delaitre in straight sets to find himself in his second main draw on the ATP Tour. He gathered the rhythm and momentum and claimed all three tie breaks to enter the main action.
Roger Federer scored his first ATP win in Toulouse 1998.
His first rival was world no. 45 Guillaume Raoux, and Federer clearly stated his talent and abilities. He defeated the Frenchman 6-2, 6-2 in an hour to notch his first ATP win on September 30!
It was about the young Swiss throughout the encounter. Roger lost just eight points on serve and never faced a break chance to keep the pressure on his rival. Federer grabbed 50% of the return points, taking Raoux's serve four times from eight opportunities and controlling the scoreboard for a milestone triumph.
World no. 43 Richard Fromberg was his opponent in the second round, and Federer notched a 6-1, 7-6 victory in an hour and 25 minutes. Roger continued where he left in the previous encounter, taking the opening set 6-1 by storm with two breaks and prevailing in the second to advance into the quarter-final.
Although his serve stayed intact, he did not serve as well as against Raoux. Federer fended off all four break chances and grabbed the tie break 7-5 to find himself in the last eight. Roger's journey ended in the quarter-final when world no.
20 Jan Siemerink toppled him 7-6, 6-2 in 79 minutes. It was the sixth match for Roger in a week, struggling with a throbbing thigh injury. It did not allow him to play the best tennis, facing ten break chances and losing serve three times.
Siemerink lost serve once, and he would win the tournament two days later, proving too strong for Roger and his other opponents that week. Federer earned a rapid bounce in the ATP rankings for this fantastic run. The young gun cracked the top-400 after gaining 482 positions in just one week!
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