When Roger Federer was not sure about achieving Career Grand Slam

Tennis - In 2004, Roger came close to winning his second Major title at the Australian Open

by Jovica Ilic
When Roger Federer was not sure about achieving Career Grand Slam

Roger Federer needed six years to complete a Career Grand Slam, winning the elusive Roland Garros trophy in 2009 and completing the collection. Following back-to-back quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2001, Federer became a Major contender for the years to come, still at 19.

Roger slowed down slightly on the most significant scene and waited to show his A-game again for two years. The Swiss conquered the first Major title at Wimbledon 2003, lifting the trophy at his beloved event, where he celebrated as a junior five years earlier.

After an early US Open exit, Roger claimed the Masters Cup crown and finished the year ranked second behind Andy Roddick, hoping for an even stronger 2004. Traveling to Australia after parting ways with Peter Lundgren, Federer was a player to watch in Melbourne, using a favorable draw to reach the fourth round.

Roger Federer reached the first Australian Open final in 2004.

Things became serious there, but Roger was ready for all the challenges, beating Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian for the first Australian Open semi-final.

With those points, Roger moved a victory away from becoming world no. 1, facing Juan Carlos Ferrero in the battle for the final. Putting everything aside, Federer delivered a reliable performance to topple the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and a half, advance into the second Major final and join the exclusive list of world no.

1 players. It was their seventh meeting and the fourth triumph for Federer, who never lost serve and mounted the pressure on the other side of the net. Ferrero gave serve away four times, doing his best in sets one and three but ending his run in the semis.

Juan Carlos was a better player in the lengthy exchanges, which was not enough to keep him safe. Federer was miles in front in the shortest range up to four strokes, earning his triumph in that segment. Asked about a possible career Grand Slam, Federer said he is way too far from that, still having to win the Melbourne final and improve his Paris and New York results.

"Impossible to answer; I have no idea. I've never been close to winning Roland Garros or the US Open. But now that I've played well at the Australian Open, I know I've got a better chance in New York. Roland Garros gives me confidence, knowing that I played in the Rome final and won Hamburg and Munich.

If that is enough to win a Major... I do not think so, but I will go step by step. I have not even won this tournament yet. Still got some work to do in the final," Roger Federer said.

Roger Federer Australian Open