Roger Federer recalls: 'My childhood idols were Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg'

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Roger Federer recalls: 'My childhood idols were Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg'

After a successful junior career, Roger Federer made a name for himself on the ATP Tour in 2002. The Swiss claimed the first Masters 1000 title in Hamburg and closed the season inside the top-6. A year later, Federer went further to conquer the first Major crown at Wimbledon, closing the year on a high note with the ATP Masters Cup trophy.

Becoming one of the world's leading players under Peter Lundgren, Federer decided to carry on without the Swede from 2004. In his first official match with no trainer in his box, Federer made a winning start at the Australian Open thanks to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 triumph over Alex Bogolomov Jr.

The encounter lasted for an hour and a half, and the Swiss had the upper hand from start to finish. Roger lost 15 points in 13 service games, facing no break points and mounting the pressure on the other side. The American fought bravely in the first two sets, losing serve twice while failing to create any damage on the return.

With a massive lead on his side, Federer started to play even better in the third set. In game six, he delivered a bagel and sealed the deal with a service winner to march into the second round. The Swiss was ready to chase high goals in 2004, feeling confident about his game and hoping for a deep run.

Roger Federer enjoyed watching Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker.

Asked about his idols, Roger mentioned the one-handed backhand legends Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker as his favorite players while growing up. Pete Sampras took their place during the 90s, but Federer never wanted to copy any of them, building his style and backing the youngsters to follow that path.

"I'm happy to have started well. You need straight-sets triumphs in the early rounds. I'm satisfied with my performance once I found the rhythm; my serve and volley worked well. Many upsets can happen in Melbourne because some players are not at 100%.

Still, the Australian Open is equally essential as the other three Majors; I'm ready for it, regardless of the place on the calendar. I have always admired players with one-handed backhand. Stefan Edberg was my first idol, and Boris Becker came after him.

Later on, my favorite player was Pete Sampras, but I never tried to copy anyone. I think the kids should follow their own path," Roger Federer said.