In an interview to Eurosport called “My Grand Slam Journey,” Roger Federer was shown some videos of his “Australian Open memories” and described each of them. The first one was from his third-round match against the French Arnaud Clement in 2000, which he lost 6-1 6-4 6-3.
Federer first thought it could be from his first ever Australian Open’s appearance but laughed realizing it was not. “It’s against Arnaud Clement. I think I lost to him back-to-back years here [in Australia].
I struggled against him early in my career, because he had a good transition game. He could defend and also play on the attack,” the Swiss said about Clement who, in fact, defeated him three of the first four times they had face each other.
The 38-year-old then confessed: “You know, I was a bit wild at that time… a fiery character and everything! That made it difficult for me to play against him. This was definitely new for me that year, even thought I had did play juniors in 1998, qualifying in 1999 and then my first time on the Tour in 2000”.
The 20-Grand Slam champion also shared which was his favorite memory from that Australian Open edition: “It was playing Michael Chang [in the first round]: that was a big moment for me”. It was their first ever clash, with Federer prevailing over the former World.
No. 2 6-4 6-4 7-6(5). The two met again in 2002 at both the Australian Open and US Open with the Basel native winning both matches in straight-sets.