Starting the season ranked 30th, Roger Federer was one of the upcoming stars to watch in 2001, winning the first ATP title in Milan and beating the USA in the Davis Cup almost all alone. Following the quarter-final runs in Miami, Monte Carlo and Roland Garros, Roger stunned Pete Sampras at Wimbledon en route to the last eight, losing to Tim Henman there and suffering a groin injury that kept him away from the court between Gstaad and the US Open.
Making a return in New York, Federer beat Lars Burgsmuller in the first round and Robby Ginepri in the second to find himself in the last 32. The Swiss needed only an hour and 25 minutes to dismiss the American 6-2, 7-5, 6-1, fending off all five break chances and earning six breaks to control the scoreboard, especially in sets one and three.
Ginepri was ranked 327th and Federer admitted he knew nothing about him, needed some time to figure out his game and the best way to impose his shots. Also, Roger was asked about Wimbledon and the fact they had introduced 16 seeds instead of 32 for the first time in history.
The young Swiss wasn't a fan of that rule, as it takes away some potentially exciting matches in the first or second round. "Yeah, I think I played better today than in the first round; I came out playing really well, actually.
I had no idea who Ginepri was; I had to find out a little bit how he plays. I knew he would stand on the baseline on my serve and play very aggressive; that's why I came out well. I think the first set was essential for me, just to get into the match.
I can be happy with the way I served as well. I would say I'm at about 95% at the moment. I feel that groin injury when I'm pushing hard but it shouldn't be a problem if I don't slip. For Wimbledon, my goal was to be seeded into the top-16 and, suddenly, they had 32 seeds.
I was a little bit disappointed about that; it takes away some potentially big matches in the first two rounds. Anyway, the guy who is going to win the tournament doesn't matter really who he plays in the opening rounds."