Competing in his second ATP Masters Cup in 2003, Roger Federer delivered his A game to capture the second notable title of the season after Wimbledon. The Swiss youngster had five top-10 wins in Houston to seal the deal and lift the trophy, finishing the season in second place behind Andy Roddick.
Working with Peter Lundgren since 2000, Roger wanted to make changes and decided to part ways with the Swede and go into the 2004 season without a manager. Federer dispatched Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the Australian Open in his first official meeting.
The battle lasted an hour and a half, and Roger had the upper hand the whole time, giving up 15 points in 13 service games and never facing a break point. With the pressure on his side, Bogomolov Jr. lost nearly half of his points off the serve, suffering five breaks and vanishing off the court in the third to power Federer.
One break in each of the first two sets was enough to put Roger up two sets. He dominated the third and sealed the deal with a service winner in game six to advance to the second round. Before the tournament, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash had criticized Federer for leaving Lundgren just before the first Major of the season, calling it "inexplicable" and drawing Roger's girlfriend Mirka into the story.
Federer is absent from Wimbledon 2021
In a conversation with Tennis Deutschland, tennis writer Christopher Clarey spoke about how Roger Federer is optimistic about his return and potentially winning a few more big titles before calling time on his illustrious career.
"Roger is an optimist, has positive energy, young children. He certainly has two goals: first, get his knee fixed so that he can later have a normal life with his children. That's a big motivator," Clarey said. Christopher Clarey recalled a time when Federer was hesitant about the author printing his address and how he suddenly became protective of his family's privacy.
"I was on the road with him in Argentina, that was in 2012. It was a great conversation until I suddenly said something about Lenzerheide. Then he stopped and clearly declared: Don't write where I live! That was interesting because it was such an abrupt change.
Roger wants to protect his private life, and he's done a great job. He is happy to answer any questions, talk about the game. But when it comes to this area, it is more sensitive," Clarey added.