After an early loss in Indian Wells 2001 to Nicolas Kiefer, Roger Federer stood on a miserable 2-11 score at the Masters 1000 series, hoping for a better run in Miami next week. The young Swiss improved his game and defeated three rivals to advance into the first Masters 1000 quarter-final where he lost to world no.
8 Patrick Rafter. Roger toppled Younes El Aynaoui 6-2, 6-2 in the second round before embracing much tougher test against his future Wimbledon final rival Mark Philippoussis, prevailing against the Aussie 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 to find himself in the fourth round.
The match lasted for an hour and 52 minutes and it was Federer who played better on the second serve to forge the triumph, although he stood on the exit door in that second set tie break that he had to win. He suffered three breaks and stole Mark's serve four times from ten opportunities, unable to serve out for set number two before clinching the breaker 7-4 that gave him the momentum ahead of the decider.
There, the Swiss was in full control, marching towards the finish line and setting the clash against Thomas Johannson. "It's true; I was a little unsure in the breaker. I didn't feel good after serving for the set then suddenly being in the breaker.
I was a little bit lucky with that baseline smash; it could have gone out, either way. I kept coming and tried my best to stay in the game; I'm happy the way I fought today, I came up with some great shots in the end. It's not easy to get any rhythm against Philippoussis because he's serving at 130 all the time.
You don't get a lot of rallies, and when you serve, he misses quite a bit, or the exchanges don't take long. I wasn't pleased with my game today but somehow I got through; that's what's most important."