Roger Federer: 'I care only about my career, it's up to others to follow me or not'
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3858
Roger Federer parted ways with Peter Lundgren after four seasons ahead of the 2004 Australian Open. Heading to Melbourne with no one in his coaching box, Federer was eager to embrace his first notable Australian Open campaign and chase the ATP throne after squandering earlier chances during the previous summer.
Making a strong start against the opponents ranked outside the top-100, Federer sailed into the fourth round and faced the home star, Lleyton Hewitt. Seeking the third victory over the Aussie, Federer took him down in four sets, reaching the first Melbourne Park quarter-final and competing against David Nalbandian, just like a year ago.
Roger defeated David in four comfortable sets to earn the semi-final spot, with another youngster Juan Carlos Ferrero standing between him and the ATP throne. The Swiss produced a steady performance to topple the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and a half, holding his nerves to advance into the second Major final and become the 23rd world no.
1 since 1973. Roger fended off all four break chances and forced Ferrero to repeat those numbers if he wanted to stay in touch. The Spaniard experienced four breaks of serve, doing his best in sets one and three but ending the campaign in the semis.
Roger Federer reached the 2004 Australian Open final without a coach.
Roger had to dig deep at 3-3 in the opener, repelling four break chances and earning a break at love at 5-4 to secure the set. The Swiss clinched another break in the second set's second game to move further in front and seized another at 4-1 before firing a service winner in game seven to move closer to the finish line.
Federer raced in front with a triumphant return game at 3-3 in the third set, serving well and emerging at the top with a service winner in the tenth game to become world no. 1 for the first time and set the title clash against Marat Safin.
Asked if other players would follow his path and play more without a coach in the future, Roger said he does not care, staying focused on his career and decisions. "I have no idea if the other players will follow my way; that's up to them. I don't care what the other guys do; all I care about is my career," Roger Federer said.