Two years after his best Major results at Roland Garros and 2001 Wimbledon, Roger Federer was ready to show his best tennis at the All England Club again. The Swiss won the first grass-court ATP title in Halle a few weeks earlier and was ready for more of the same in England, playing at a high level to pass the Major quarter-final mark for the first time.
In the fourth round, Roger overcame a nasty back injury against Feliciano Lopez, prevailing in straight sets and preserving energy for the next few encounters in which he, too, had the upper hand. In the semis, Federer toppled another young gun Andy Roddick 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 43 minutes, dominating on both serves and coming back to advance to the title match for the first time at that level.
With 74 winners and 35 errors, Roger ruled the court, fending off two break chances offered to Andy and repelling a set point in the opening tiebreak when the American missed a costly forehand. In sets two and three, Federer converted three breaks to control the pace, crossed the finish line and set up the clash against Mark Philippoussis for the biggest trophy in our sport.
After the victory, Roger said that it is a dream to be in a Grand Slam final, hoping to maintain that level and have a chance to fight for the crown. "I've had some great matches in the past, like Marat Safin on clay in Hamburg and some Davis Cup clashes.
People sometimes forget about them because they weren't in the semi-final or final, but I've had some great matches in the first rounds. It will not be easy to maintain the same level, but I have enough time to prepare for the final and prepare myself mentally and physically.
It is a dream to be in a Grand Slam final. My friends in Switzerland are delighted with me, as is my family."
Roger Federer has won 20 Grand Slams
"I can put on my cape and be a superhero when I walk on the track, but when I'm done I like to take the cape off again.
Then I want to be that normal man," Roger Federer said. The Swiss player believes the key to happiness on the tennis tour is having the ability to balance things well. "I think I'm good at seeing that difference and maintaining that balance.
That made me happy on the tour. I love the intensity, experiencing that feeling and being completely focused. But when it's done, I ask, "What's for dinner tonight?" "What do the kids want to do?" I can separate those two worlds,” he added.