Starting the season from the top-30, Roger Federer was one of the upcoming stars to watch in 2001. The Swiss lifted the first ATP title in Milan and defeated the USA in the Davis Cup almost all alone, earning a player of the month award that February.
Following the quarter-final runs in Miami, Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, Roger stunned Pete Sampras at Wimbledon en route to the last eight, defeating the legendary rival in five thrilling sets for his second consecutive Major quarter-final.
Federer lost to Tim Henman in four sets despite a great effort, missing a chance to force a decider and remain on the title course. Roger experienced a groin injury at the All England Club and skipped all the events between Gstaad and the US Open.
Making a return in New York, Federer beat Lars Burgsmuller and Robby Ginepri to find himself in the last 32.
Roger Federer was not pleased about the new seeding formula at Wimbledon 2001.
The Swiss needed only an hour and 25 minutes to dismiss the American 6-2, 7-5, 6-1, fending off all five break chances and earning six breaks to control the scoreboard, especially in sets one and three.
Federer admitted he knew nothing about world no. 327, needed some time to figure out his game and the best way to impose his shots. Roger was asked about changing the Wimbledon seeding structure from 16 to 32 players that happened for the first time in history.
The young Swiss was not a fan of that rule, as it takes away some potentially exciting matches in the first or second round. "I think I played better than in the first round; I came out playing well. I had no idea who Ginepri was; I had to learn how he plays.
I knew he would stand on the baseline on my serve and play very aggressively; that's why I came out well. The first set was essential for me to get into the match. I can be happy with the way I served. I would say I'm at about 95% at the moment.
I feel that groin injury when I'm pushing hard, but it should not be a problem if I do not slip. For Wimbledon, my goal was to be seeded into the top-16 and, suddenly, they changed that to 32 seeds. I was a bit disappointed about that, as it takes away some potentially big matches in the first two rounds.
Nonetheless, the guy who is going to win the tournament does not matter whom he plays in the opening rounds," Roger Federer said.