Roger Federer reached his first Major quarterfinals at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2011, still 19 years old. It took the Swiss two years to replicate those results, he experienced a couple of early exits on the tennis scene most notably and changed 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 to the first Major final and making a breakthrough on the biggest scene. The Swiss was among the players to beat during those two weeks.
He dropped a set in the first six meetings for his best finish at Majors and first final at that level. Federer defeated Andy Roddick 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the semifinals, firing more than 70 winners and never losing serve to keep the pressure on the other side.
Andy had a set point in the first set tie break, squandered it after a loose forehand and never looked like a strong contender again, suffering three breaks in sets two and three and pushing Roger over the top. After the victory, Federer said that he was relieved after taking that step further in Majors, hoping to play at a high level in the title match against Mark Philippoussis.
Federer is yet to play in 2022
In that context, John McEnroe while speaking with Eurosport claimed that everyone misses Roger Federer when he's not around. The American highlighted Federer's classy play as one of the reasons for that.
"It goes without saying that anytime we are at an event where Roger is not playing we miss him," McEnroe said. "He is the classiest player and the most beautiful player I have seen on a court. As a fan I would love to see Roger around.
As far as the future, he's 40 years old," McEnroe said. "He’s had numerous surgeries on his knee, there’s a lot of wear and tear, it would be unbelievable if he could come back and get close to the level that he was at.
I thought the same thing five years ago when I was coaching [Milos] Raonic and Roger walked off after the Wimbledon semi-finals [in 2016] and was limping and didn’t play for six months. Then he won the Australian Open.
He's pulled off the improbable before but this would be the most amazing of all if he was to win another Wimbledon," McEnroe said. "Whatever makes him happy is what he deserves. If he wants to play we will be happy he is playing, but I don’t want to see Roger at 80 per cent. We have seen that with [Andy] Murray and it’s not easy. You want to see the top guys play at their best."