Roger Federer, who skipped Monte Carlo due to illness in 2003, made his season debut on clay in Munich, conquered the title in Bavaria in a dominant style and headed to Rome, where he added another impressive performance.
The Swiss defeated five opponents to advance to the third Masters 1000 final and the first since Hamburg a year ago, dropping a set and placing himself with excellent chances of winning the tournament where he did not play well in previous years.
Roger defeated Paul-Henri Mathieu, Mariano Zabaleta, Tommy Robredo and Filippo Volandri to enter the last four, losing just one set so far and finishing the job against Juan Carlos Ferrero in less than an hour, with the Spaniard retiring after going.
losing 6-4, 4-2. Thus, Roger scored the title duel against Felix Mantilla or Yevgeny Kafelnikov, happy with his performance and hoping to have a chance in the final. Federer was aware of Ferrero's shoulder problems, he saw him in the treatment room a couple of times, but not knowing how bad he was.
He also said that the Spaniard had played a lot of tennis in the previous weeks while he took that couple of weeks off, which helped him save energy. The Swiss disapproved of playing the best-of-five final on Sunday and immediately moving to Hamburg for another Masters Series event the following week, saying he would try to save at least some energy for next week.
Gasquet praises Roger Federer
Richard Gasquet recently called Roger Federer the "greatest player of all time" who cannot be replaced given his elegant playing style. Gasquet also acknowledged, however, that Novak Djokovic has achieved some "incredible" feats and that he is the best player right now.
"I see tennis differently, I've always said that for me it's not just the number of Grand Slam titles that matters," Richard Gasquet said. "One at 21, the other at 22 or 23. I don't just see the Grand Slam winner, I look at the aesthetics, what you give off on the court.
I often hear the race to the highest, it is a pointless subject. For me, Roger Federer is irreplaceable, he's the greatest player of all time when I see the aesthetics, the grace he has on the court. I watch tennis for that (the beauty), although Novak Djokovic is definitely the best and an amazing player," Gasquet said.
"Winning three Grand Slams in a row is incredible. I'm not into the pro-Federer or pro-Djokovic thing. There are some who like Federer and don't like Djokovic at all, that's not my case at all; I like Djokovic a lot.
It's just that when I watch Federer, I've been in awe from start to finish forever. In sports, I watch Messi, Neymar, I see the aesthetics and the extraordinary sensations they provide."