Roger Federer: 'My favorite players were Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras'

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Roger Federer: 'My favorite players were Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras'

Roger Federer turned 40 on Sunday, with the entire tennis world wishing him all the best and a couple of more years on the Tour. Due to a knee injury, Roger has not played much in the past 18 months, struggling to find his A-game and still wanting to extend his career.

Over the last two decades, Roger has established a unique style of elegance and aggressive tennis that has earned him an army of fans worldwide. Twenty years ago, the young Swiss experienced his first notable results at Majors, reaching back-to-back quarters at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Federer could not keep the same level on the most significant scene in the next two years, suffering early exits and hoping for a better run at Wimbledon 2003. Ready to bounce back, Roger won the title in Halle in June for the best preparation ahead of Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old played on a high level at the All England Club, racing past the first three rivals and doing the same against Feliciano Lopez despite a nasty back injury that he had suffered during the training. Returning to the quarter-finals two years after the maiden one, Federer toppled Sjeng Schalken in three sets to book the semi-final meeting against Andy Roddick, both trying to advance into the first Major final.

Roger Federer revealed his favorite players ahead of Wimbledon 2003 final.

Determined to show his best tennis, Federer forged a 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory in an hour and 43 minutes, leaving Roddick far behind and staying on the title course in the cathedral of tennis.

Repelling two break chances at the beginning of the second set, Federer gave away only 17 points in 15 service games, mounting the pressure on the other side of the court and moving over the top with three breaks of serve on his tally.

Andy created a set point at 6-5 in the tie break in the opener, only to spray a massive forehand error and ruin his chances for a more favorable result. With 74 winners and 35 errors, Federer was the ruler of the court, dominating sets two and three to find himself in the first Major final at 21.

After the match, the Swiss admitted that he does not copy anyone, sticking to his tennis and giving his best to improve it. "I don't try to copy anyone; I think that's wrong. In the hitting zone, it is pretty much the same for all of us.

The technique is the one that makes you look good or bad on the court. My favorite players were Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg before Pete Sampras; I loved to watch them," Roger Federer said.