'Roger Federer told me that he was going to...', says ATP star

by   |  VIEW 2465

'Roger Federer told me that he was going to...', says ATP star

After the strong run at Wimbledon 2001, Roger Federer added the first Masters 1000 crown to his tally in 2002. The Swiss won three titles that year and finished just outside the top-5, despite failing to reach the Masters 1000 quarter-finals.

a Major. Sydney and Hamburg were Roger's lucky lands in 2002 before he added the third trophy to his collection in Vienna on 13 October. The youngster had a very tight schedule that year, participating in many tournaments and traveling to Vienna from Moscow, where he lost in the quarterfinals against Marat Safin in straight sets.

Roger loved playing in Austria, and this was his fourth consecutive appearance in the capital. He went all the way to lift the crown that he would defend a year later against Carlos Moyá. Federer got off to a good start against Zeljko Krajan and had to work harder against Tommy Robredo in the second round, posting a 6-2 6-7 6-4 victory in just under two hours to enter the round of 16.

Roger dropped just nine points on serve against Bohdan Ulihrach in a dominant 6-3 6-3 win that took him to the semi-final. Carlos Moyá had nothing to do to challenge the Swiss, who won 6-2 6-3 in just over an hour and qualified for the title match against world number 12 Jiri Novak.

It took Federer two hours and nine minutes to win 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 and win his first hard-court title. He defended seven of ten break chances and stole his opponent's serve six times out of 12 he had to secure the crown in four sets.

The Czech fended off two set points in the eighth game and broke again a few minutes later with a forehand winner to extend the set. Jiri wasted a game point for 5-5, and Roger found a way to break after a loose forehand from his opponent, taking the first game 6-4 and building momentum.

Jiri was there to fight, and he converted the sixth break chance early in the second set.

Schwartzman on Federer's attitude

Diego Schwartzman was one of the lucky few present during Roger Federer's retirement at the Laver Cup.

"Federer is an extraordinary guy," Schwartzman said. "He laughs a lot because of the Argentine accent, because of what we call him, that we pronounce Roger with SH. On the racket he gave me he made a dedication where he put 'Rosher'

In the Laver Cup I asked Roger for a racket. We made an exchange and he told me that he was going to continue playing tennis with friends and that he would try my racket," Schwartzman added.