Roger Federer after his first Major final: 'I'm relieved, knowing I can play well'

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Roger Federer after his first Major final: 'I'm relieved, knowing I can play well'

Roger Federer reached his first Major quarter-finals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2011, still at 19. The Swiss needed two years to repeat those results, experiencing a couple of early exits on the most notable tennis scene and changing that at Wimbledon 2003.

After winning the Halle title a few weeks earlier, Federer was a man on a mission a couple of weeks later at Wimbledon, advancing into the first Major final and making a breakthrough on the most significant scene. The Swiss was among the players to beat during those two weeks.

He dropped one set in the first six encounters for his best result at Majors and the first final at that level. Federer took down Andy Roddick 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the semis, blasting over 70 winners and never losing serve to keep the pressure on the other side.

Andy had a set point in the opening set tie break, wasting it after a loose forehand and never looking like a strong contender again, suffering three breaks in sets two and three and pushing Roger over the top. After the victory, Federer said he felt relieved after taking that further step at Majors, hoping to play on a high level in the title match against Mark Philippoussis.

Roger Federer reached his first Major final at Wimbledon 2003.

"I do not think I played a perfect match against Roddick, but it was a very good one. The level of focus was high all the time, and I could maintain that in my service games.

I had chances on the return and will use that approach in the final as well, hoping for another high-quality performance. I feel good a day before the final, playing well in the last two weeks and trying to keep my confidence.

I have not lost a match on grass in the past month, and it would be fantastic to win the title tomorrow. I feel relieved, knowing I can perform well at Majors, the only missing part in my career. I still plan to play in Gstaad next week.

They treat me nice there, and I can not wait to play in front of the home fans. Philippoussis has a flat serve and rushes to the net all the time. It will not be easy to return his serves, and I will have to figure out how, especially when he misses the first.

I have high expectations; the final came with me in the top-5, and that's perfectly normal. There's only one more match left to play, and I hope to have my chances," Roger Federer said.