The 2001 Wimbledon quarter-finalist Roger Federer was eager to embrace another strong run at the All England Club two years later. Roger suffered the first-round exit to Mario Ancic in 2002. He wished for a more competitive performance 12 months later, especially after winning the first grass-court ATP title in Halle a few weeks earlier.
The defending champion Lleyton Hewitt suffered a shocking first-round exit to Ivo Karlovic, and Federer remained the highest-ranked seed in that part of the draw. The Swiss scored the opening three wins in under five hours, serving well and doing enough on the return to sail into the last 16.
Roger hurt his back ahead of the Feliciano Lopez clash and faced a massive problem in the opening set against the Spaniard, defending three set points and playing better in sets two and three to emerge at the top and advance into the quarters.
Roger played well against an injured Sjeng Schalken for his first Major semi-final. Federer met Andy Roddick and produced a marvelous 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory in an hour and 43 minutes for a place in the final, moving a win away from a Major glory.
Roddick gave his best in the opening set, erasing a break point and forging a 6-5 lead in the tie break, only to squander a set point after a loose forehand that made him fade from the court in sets two and three.
Roger Federer toppled Andy Roddick in straight sets in the 2003 Wimbledon semis.
Federer admitted he was happy and relieved after that shot, as he knew it would shift the momentum to his side.
Roger repelled both break chances offered to the American at the beginning of the second set and earned three breaks to seal the deal in straight sets and advance into the title clash against Mark Philippoussis. "The opening set was significant; I felt I was playing well and kept everything under control, even in the tie break.
Still, Andy played on a high level, too, and I'm happy that he missed that forehand; maybe it would have changed the encounter. I had to remain focused and stick to my game with or without the first set, not letting him move in front.
I guess you do not get standing ovations very often after just three sets, and it means a lot to me. I got standing ovations when I beat Pete Sampras two years ago; it's a special feeling, and you work hard to earn that," Roger Federer said.