Finishing 2000 season in the top-30, the young Swiss Roger Federer kicked off the following season with the title at the Hopman Cup claimed alongside Martina Hingis. In the next week, Federer played in Sydney where he barely missed to win the medal at the Olympics a couple of months before, finishing fourth and seeking the regular ATP title ahead of the Australian Open.
In the first round, Roger toppled Wayne Ferreira 6-3, 6-4 in swift 58 minutes, earning his sixth top-15 victory in a career and setting the clash against a compatriot Marc Rosset in the battle for the quarter-final. "I'm pretty happy with my match; I played on a solid level all the time, no ups and downs like I sometimes have.
I served really well and stuck to my game plan. On the other hand, Wayne definitely didn't play his best tennis, not serving like he would have wanted. In the season ahead of us, I want to improve my consistency and get rid of ups and downs; it is getting much better over the last couple of months.
Mentally, I'm also getting stronger, not pissing off too much anymore. I'm now ranked 30th and would love to crack the top-15 if possible, maybe even higher. It will not be easy but if I play well through the outdoor season, I can see that coming.
The New Balls Please started off in Toronto and there I had to do my first appearance. I think it's a good way to promote young players. In the beginning, I felt maybe I was not good enough to be in the group because there were guys like Lleyton Hewitt, Gustavo Kuerten and Magnus Norman.
I mean, they've all won Grand Slams or ATP Finals and reached the top-10. I was in the same group to do autograph sessions. I think that people need to know also the younger players; it needs a little bit more time, then everybody starts knowing the new campaign.
All the guys born '78, '79, '80, '81, '82 should be included. I don't know what the strategy is for the ATP Tour, maybe you should ask them. They know better than me. It will be interesting to play Rosset again, see what happened in the meantime; I played him last time in London in the winter last year.
We get along well; I get together with any player. It's not just Marc, also from other countries; I don't have an enemy on the Tour."