In Roger Federer's words: 'For me, coach must also be a friend, that's natural'


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In Roger Federer's words: 'For me, coach must also be a friend, that's natural'

2001 was probably the most significant year for Roger Federer before that Wimbledon success in 2003, winning the first ATP title and deliver impressive performance in the Davis Cup to beat the USA and send his country through.

The Swiss played well in Miami and on clay as well, advancing into his first Major quarter-final at Roland Garros and repeating that at Wimbledon following the win over the seven-time champion Pete Sampras. Struggling with a groin injury, Federer lost in the first round at home in Gstaad a week after Wimbledon and missed the next couple of weeks, doing his best to recover for the US Open.

The youngster played well in the first two rounds in New York, beating Lars Burgsmuller and Robby Ginepri to enter the last 32. Roger dismissed Ginepri (world no. 327 at that moment) in an hour and 25 minutes, fending off all five break points and producing six breaks to control the scoreboard, especially in sets one and three.

After the match, Federer said he is almost 100% phisically, although he still feels a little pain while pushing hard. Also, he mentioned his coach Peter Lundgren, traveling alone with him for the second season and considering him a friend after spending so much time together.

"I think I could have had tougher matches today or yesterday, but I just came up with some excellent serving. If the guy makes a break, you never know how he's going to react; sometimes, they play so much better after that and I didn't allow them to do that.

That's why I actually won my matches fairly easily; I like it that way as it allows me to save more energy. The next encounters should be tougher and tougher. Peter Lundgren and I know each other for four years and this is the second season that we travel without Swiss Tennis.

He has helped me a lot, making me more relax on the court. For me, the coach must also be a friend outside the court because we are going to spend a lot of time together for the next, let's say, ten years; it's better if you get along well outside the court."