The future of men's tennis was in good hands at the beginning of the new millennium. An incredible generation of young people born in the early 1980s achieved their first significant results in the late 1990s thanks to Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt.
While the Russian and Australian were already established as the best players in the world, Roger Federer was eager to join them as soon as possible. The Swiss made notable jumps up the rankings and reached the first Major quarter-final in 2001.
Marat and Roger made it into the top eight seeds at Miami 2003. However, Marat couldn't stay in the event for long after losing to Davide Sanguinetti in the first meeting. On the other hand, Roger got off to a victorious start, beating Luis Horna 6-2, 7-5 in one hour and 21 minutes.
Following the match, Roger was asked to describe notable rivalries and competitions. He mentioned Pete Sampras and his match at Wimbledon, saying that he had already fulfilled one of his dreams. The teenager dropped the seven-time champion in five epic sets in the fourth round of 2001, holding off every attack in the finals to earn one of the best wins of his early career.
As well as Pete, Roger also brought Marat Safin into the story, praising the Russian, saying he liked racing him and describing Marat as a good guy off the track. Safin won his last match in Moscow, at the end of 2002, to earn his first win over Roger.
King Roger will play in the Laver Cup later this year
Former World No. 1 Renna Stubbs, on the other hand, was a little more positive about the idea of Roger Federer winning his 21st Major. “I don't think Federer is going to play unless he feels he can be competitive, so I expect him to do just that.
It won't be easy as he's not getting any younger, but with his game and his experience and success, I would suspect he will do very well,” Stubbs said. Shriver, however, stated that not winning another Grand Slam will in no way affect his standing as one of the game’s great players ever.
“Federer doesn’t need to win another match in his GOAT career. He is an iconic champion we have been lucky to watch for over two decades,” Shriver said. Roger Federer's much-anticipated return to action is on the horizon, with the Swiss maestro announcing his decision to play in the Laver Cup later this year.