Roger Federer dropped just one set in seven meetings, delivering incredible tennis against Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis to take the pressure off himself and put the first Major trophy in his cabinet. Relentlessly, Roger competed at his home event, in Gstaad, on clay, suffering a five-set loss to Jiri Novak in the title match and earning the chance to become World No.
1 in Montreal and Cincinnati. In the Canadian Open semi-final, Andy Roddick dropped Roger in the deciding tie break to remove him from the ATP throne. The Swiss also squandered the opportunity in Cincinnati, losing to David Nalbandian.
Heading into the US Open, Federer was among the title favourites, hoping to secure the first major participation in New York and another major trophy on his account. Roddick was the favourite, and that suited Federer very well, as he didn't want to put himself under that pressure before the start of the event.
"I can say that I am ready to take the first big step at the US Open. I had a few days off before coming here to practice, I am ready to improve my results in New York. Facing Andy Roddick on hard courts and on grass it is a totally different experience.
In Montreal, he fell further behind on the second serve return and tried to be more aggressive on his second serve. The ball bounces much higher on hard courts, and you have to play longer rallies from behind. You also have to be careful with the effects.
I didn't feel good in Cincinnati; I never felt the ball. I was lucky against Draper, but not against Nalbandian, who knows how to compete against me."
Tiafoe praises Roger Federer
Frances Tiafoe recently gave his two cents on the GOAT debate, saying that he personally considered Roger Federer to be the greatest player to have picked up a tennis racquet.
In the same breath, however, he conceded that it was not an easy task to ascertain objectively who the GOAT was. "It's tough [to decide who the GOAT is], but I'm still going with Roger Federer," Tiafoe said.
"You can paint a whole picture with what he has -- stupid good service, can play all the shots, makes the game look so easy and is a great ambassador for the sport." The 24-year-old also spoke about Rafael Nadal's recent triumph at the 2022 Australian Open: "But then again, Rafael Nadal is crazy.
21 Grand Slams and to do what he did, 2 sets down and 3-2 0-40 in the third, we're talking about three match points. He gets broken and it is over. He knew it and everybody knew it. To do it at the age of 35, the dude was talking about quitting tennis, bro," Tiafoe said.
"Rafa's [chances of becoming the undisputed GOAT] have a ticking time bomb, you could say that. But he just won the Australian Open."