ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer wins first title


ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer wins first title
ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer wins first title © Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

A year after making his ATP Finals debut, Roger Federer conquered the premium ATP event in 2003 in Houston. It was the first outdoor ATP Finals since Melbourne 1974, gathering a solid field of players. Roger defeated five victories, emerging at the top and lifting his second notable title after Wimbledon.

Federer battled past Andre Agassi in the round-robin stage after fending off two match points, passing the initial phase with a 3-0 score and meeting the veteran again in the title clash. Roger ousted Andre 6-3, 6-0, 6-4 in an hour and 36 minutes after a rain delay, finishing the season on a high note.

The young gun proved too strong for the veteran, who debuted at this event when the Swiss was 7! Federer lost 17 points in 12 service games, staying away from break points and mounting the pressure on Agassi. The American could not follow that pace, dropping almost half of the points in his games and allowing the Swiss to deliver five breaks from seven opportunities.

Federer attacked and kept the points on his racquet, controlling his strokes and maintaining his backhand safe. Roger found the winning formula on his return, reducing Andre to 13 service winners and controlling the scoreboard.

Federer covered the court beautifully, mixing full-swing strokes with slices, leaving his rival with no options.

Roger Federer claimed his first ATP Finals title in Houston 2003.

Roger landed 25 service winners against Andre's 13.

Also, Federer fired nine backhand winners and outplayed the veteran from that wing. The Swiss fired 26 winners from the court and left the American on 11. Roger followed those 51 winners with only 12 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and leaving Andre far behind.

Federer had 16 forced errors, three more than Agassi, which could not change the outcome. Roger built a massive 60-36 advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, dictating the pace and finishing 66% of the points in the quickest exchanges.

Federer beat Agassi 20-12 in the mid-range rallies and trailed only 9-7 in the most advanced ones. The young gun made a reliable start and broke the veteran in the encounter's fourth game, opening a 3-1 gap. The Swiss held in game nine, taking the opener 6-3 and gaining a boost.

Federer left Agassi miles behind in the second set, delivering a bagel, the first in the ATP Finals title matches since 1995. Andre fought well at the beginning of the third set to stay in touch. However, Roger broke him at 4-4 and held in the next one to emerge over the top and lift the trophy.

Atp Finals Roger Federer