In 2001, Roger Federer was the Wimbledon quarter-finalist at age 19, beating Pete Sampras to make a name for himself. The Swiss lost to Tim Henman in the battle for the semi-finals and was among the favorites again in 2003, winning the first grass-court ATP title in Halle a few weeks earlier.
Defending champion Lleyton Hewitt lost in the first round to Ivo Karlovic, and Roger was the player to beat in that half alongside Andy Roddick, who was the semi-finalist earlier that year in Melbourne. Federer went through the first three rounds in five hours, dropping a set and playing at a high level before sustaining that terrifying back injury during practice leading up to the fourth-round encounter with Feliciano Lopez.
Calling the physio and fending off set points in the opener, Federer defeated the Spaniard in straight sets, feeling better as the match wore on and setting up the quarter-final duel with Sjeng Schalken. Rain postponed the match for a day, giving both of them time to recover while Schalken suffered a foot injury.
On Court 2, Roger was too good for the Dutchman, scoring a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 win in one hour and 38 minutes for his first Grand Slam semi-final. The Swiss lost serve once and grabbed four breaks against the opponent who was far from his best, controlling the pace and securing the place in the next round.
"Schalken was not at his best; that was obvious. However, I had to stay focused, stick to my plan and overcome that handicap in the third. His game is fine. for me; I can read him pretty well, and his serve isn't that strong, so I can compete with him from the baseline."
Federer praises his wife Mirka
Speaking with Credit Suisse, Roger Federer expressed his thoughts on a myriad of topics, which included him transitioning from being on the road all the time to taking up a more active role as a stay-at-home dad.
"The last few years have definitely shown me how it could be, how to manage a sort of slower life... because I actually feel very, very busy [nowadays]," Roger Federer said. "I wake up earlier than ever because my body doesn't need as much rest as it used to.
I actually have more time on my hands when I wake up at 7 o' clock in the morning. I wanna remain curious and really learn, you know.... just working hard, but still enjoy the process. My wife has told me don't jump from one to the next, if you want to retire, make time, you know? See what you do, there will be opportunities, and my kids are at a very important age right now, boys are seven, girls are twelve," Federer said.
"And I wanna be there, you know? To support them as a dad, I feel I've been there so, so much and I don't have any regrets when it comes to that.