In 2001, 19-year-old Roger Federer made a name for himself at Wimbledon, defeating seven-time champion Pete Sampras in five sets en route to the quarter-finals at the All England Club. A year later, a qualifier Mario Ancic stunned Federer in straight sets in the first round, with the Swiss eager to bounce back in 2003, especially after winning the first grass-court ATP title in Halle.
In the first meeting, Roger defeated Hyung-Taik Lee 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 on Court 2, sealing the deal in straight sets after a great battle in set number three. In the second round, Roger moved to Center Court and bested his good friend Stefan Koubek 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 in one hour and 17 minutes.
Dropping 22 points in 13 service games, Federer needed some time to find his rhythm in the opener before storming over the Austrian, dominating sets two and three and earning seven breaks in total while offering just three chances to Stefan.
Koubek got off to a promising start and opened up a 5-2 lead with a single break before Roger rallied back, repeating the last five games and fending off a set point on serve at 3-5 to gain a massive boost and secure 17 of the final.
19 games and running to the last 32. There was a rain delay in the first match, and Federer used it very well to get his game back and have the advantage once they came back, leaving the opponent miles away and setting up the clash against Mardy Fish.
"It's a significant change from playing court 2 and suddenly center court. It's maybe the best court on the planet at the moment; it's exceptional hanging out with my friend Stefan Koubek. In the first set, I needed some time to get used to it to the biggest field.
King Roger has graced the sport for over 20 years
Roger Federer has been one of the greatest players tennis has ever seen. The Swiss maestro has graced the sport for over 20 years now. In light of his attempted comeback, Panatta disclosed his admiration for Roger Federer in a recent interview with the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Roger is one of the reasons why I continued to love tennis," Panatta said. "I wish him happy, he has an amazing career behind him and a wonderful family next to him. But there is a time for everything: we have already given up with Serena Williams, I hope not to see a repeat."