'I definitely enjoyed watching Roger Federer play tennis growing up', says ATP ace



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'I definitely enjoyed watching Roger Federer play tennis growing up', says ATP ace

After a slow start to the season, Roger Federer returned to form in February 2003. Federer won titles in Marseille and Dubai and recorded four Davis Cup singles wins that took Switzerland to the World Group semi-final. After taking a few weeks off, Federer returned to the courts in Munich, where he lifted the title in style and showed off a week later in Rome, advancing to his second Masters 1000 final on clay and losing to Félix Mantilla in sets.

corridos. The Swiss was unable to defend the title in Hamburg and suffered an early loss to Luis Horna at Roland Garros, giving him plenty of time to prepare for the grass-court season. Roger dispatched Nicolas Kiefer in the Halle final to claim his first ATP crown on the fastest surface, propelling him to Wimbledon, where he went on to win his first Major trophy.

Federer dropped just one set in seven meetings, delivering incredible tennis against Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis to take the pressure off himself and put the first Major trophy in his case. Relentlessly, Roger competed at his home event, in Gstaad, on clay, suffering a five-set loss to Jiri Novak in the title match and earning the chance to become World No.

1 in Montreal and Cincinnati. In the semi-final of the Canadian Open, Andy Roddick dropped Roger in the deciding tie break to remove him from the ATP throne. The Swiss also squandered the opportunity in Cincinnati, losing to David Nalbandian.

Heading into the US Open, Federer was among the title favourites, hoping to secure the first major participation in New York and another major trophy on his account. Roddick was the favourite, and that suited Federer very well, as he didn't want to put himself under that pressure before the start of the event.

Federer is a global icon

American teenager Ben Shelton is the latest player to speak about his admiration for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. “I definitely looked up to Federer. Rafa Nadal is the clear choice because I'm a lefty, as well.

I liked kind of the classiness of Fed, the aura around him and the way he carries himself on court in victory and defeat,” he said. “He was kind of like a good role model on the court, off the court, how he handled the press, just a class act. I definitely enjoyed watching him play tennis growing up,” he added.