Future star Roger Federer failed to find his A-game at the Indian Wells Masters 1000 event in his early years. The Swiss had only won three matches in his first three trips to the desert, and was hoping for a better run in 2004.
In March, Roger returned to the first Masters 1000 of the season as World No. 1 and one of the favorites for the title. Federer spent around four hours and 20 minutes on court in the first four meetings and dropped 15 games in eight sets to storm opponents and set up the semi-final clash with Andre Agassi.
It was the sixth meeting between Major winners and the third straight victory for Federer, who prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes to secure a place in the first Indian Wells final. The Swiss put up better numbers on the second serve and turned down five of six break chances to increase the pressure on the American.
Andre suffered a break in the sets that he lost to end his run in the semifinals and not be able to fight for the title. Federer had more winners and unforced errors, taking an aggressive approach and forcing more errors from Agassi's racket to cross the finish line first after having the advantage in the shorter and later rallies.
Roger kept zero in the first game of the match and repeated at 1-1 with a service winner. Agassi did the same to level the score at 2-2 in no time, ready to challenge a much younger opponent in front of the home fans. Suddenly, Federer double faulted and suffered a break on the 15th of game five and found himself down 4-2 after another solid serve from Andre, who did everything right so far.
Roig comments on King Roger
Rafael Nadal took the lead in the all-time Grand Slam for the first time in January after winning his 21st Major title at the 2022 Australian Open. "Two months ago I would tell you that Rafa had it very difficult.
Right now I will tell you that he is 50-50 with Novak," Roig was quoted as saying by Punto de Break. "Roger Federer has it very difficult given that he has been out for a long time and is older. We know that Novak may be a few years old more than us playing.
We'll see what happens, it would be very good if Rafa could get this next Roland Garros. Djokovic has the issue of not having been vaccinated, which is very respectable. The test for him is going to be when he can't play any more Grand Slams," he said.
"At the moment he cannot play in the United States (Indian Wells and Miami), a tour that he has always liked. Maybe he's waiting for the rule change, I don't know. It will be his decision and he will have to evaluate it well."