When the ATP asked tennis fans on Twitter to describe a great tennis story in four words, US Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish had no doubts, citing his victory over Roger Federer. Roger and Mardy played each other nine times, with the Swiss scoring eight wins, five in straight sets.
It all started at Wimbledon 2003 when Federer pulled off a 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 victory, dominating in sets that he won to stay on course for the first Major crown. In Madrid that year, Fish fought well on a covered court in set number two before losing 6-3, 7-6, propelling Federer to the quarters after one hour and 32 minutes.
In 2004, it took Roger 71 minutes to fire Mardy 6-4, 6-1 at Indian Wells and achieved another outright win at Halle in June in less than an hour. The Swiss also proved too strong at Indian Wells 2005, winning 6-3, 6-3 against the opponent who had yet to find his best tennis against the world's leading figure.
His next showdown came three years later in the desert, and Mardy was ready to turn the tide and defeat Roger for the first time. The American produced one of his best games to achieve a 6-3, 6-2 victory in 64 minutes, losing 13 points in nine service games and rejecting the only break opportunity offered to Roger to maintain the pressure on the other side.
Miles from his usual performance against Fish, Federer struggled on both the first and second serves, never finding a rhythm and suffering three breaks to propel the home player to the final against Novak Djokovic.
Dimitrov was called ‘Baby Fed’
In an interview with French player Alize Lim for Tennis Majors, Grigor Dimitrov talks about comparisons with Roger Federer.
According to him, the nickname ‘Baby Fed’ used to flatter him, but no longer. Not only did he begin to dislike the nickname, but he also ‘resented’ the people who used it. Dimitrov insisted on asserting his individuality- “I’d proved myself to be a completely different player than he (Federer) is”.
When asked about the differences between himself and Roger Federer, the Bulgarian had a lot to share.“I think, first, decision-making,” he began. At times, he is way more aggressive than I am,” Dimitrov describes Roger Federer’s style of play.
“He used to be a rebel from what I heard, when he was at a younger age. But for me, I think I’ve kept that for me still (in my personality),” he laughs.