After lifting the first Wimbledon crown in 2003, Roger Federer could become world number one in the coming weeks. The Swiss came within a victory of the ATP throne in Montreal, denied by Andy Roddick in the semi-final and missing more chances after first losses in Cincinnati and the US Open.
Federer finished the season in second place after winning the first Masters Cup title, preparing to attack the ATP throne in 2004. Traveling to Australia without Peter Lundgren in his coaching box, Federer proved to be a player to beat in the first few.
three rounds, using a favorable draw to reach the knockout stages. Facing more dangerous opponents, Federer defeated local star Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian to find himself in his second Major semi-final and first in Melbourne.
Roger had a negative record against both rivals at the time, losing one set but controlling the pace in the others for his best result at Melbourne Park. One triumph from reaching the final and becoming world number one, Roger defeated Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and a half, advancing to the second Major final and conquering the ATP throne at age 22.
Federer defended all four break opportunities and earned his fourth win over Juan Carlos, who couldn't match Roger's numbers after suffering four breaks. Servers advanced through the first six service games before Federer repelled four break points in his only loose service game.
Daniil Medvedev opens up on the Big 3
Daniil Medvedev defeated Botic van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 on Tuesday to advance to the semifinals of the US Open for the third consecutive year. Frances Tiafoe had claimed earlier in the week that the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal from this year's US Open had given the rest of the players added motivation.
"I don't care if Roger or Rafa is here," the 25-year-old said. "I want to win the tournament. It's going to be tougher if they were here, and of course it would be tougher if they would be 30 years old.
But I just want to do my best, so I don't care if they are here or not." The Russian did admit, however, that breaking into the top 10 and top 5 of the rankings has been easier with the advancing age of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
"Yeah, of course now Rafa and Roger, as we see, are getting a little bit older, playing a little bit less tournaments, more injured," Daniil Medvedev said. "Before it was even tougher, because, yeah, it depends which breakthrough you're talking about.
To be in the top 100 or top 10 or top 5. So before the top 5 was basically taken by three of them. So there were two spots left."