After the first three months of 2002 season, Roger Federer already had 23 victories, winning one title and reaching his first Masters 1000 final to move on the verge of the top-10. The young Swiss couldn't play at his best in the second part of 2001 with a groin injury suffered at Wimbledon, returning stronger at the beginning of 2002 to win the title in Sydney and reach the fourth round of the Australian Open where he lost after an epic battle with Tommy Haas in the decider.
Roger couldn't defend the crown in Milan following a loss in the title clash, earning two singles wins over Russia in the Davis Cup on clay before losing ground a little bit in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells where he scored four wins in total.
Heading to Miami where he was the quarter-finalist a year ago, Federer produced five straight-sets victories for the place in the first Masters 1000 final, making another big step towards the top-10. In the semis, Roger scored the first victory over world no.
1, toppling Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4 before losing to the defending champion Andre Agassi in four sets, having the upper hand in the third and the beginning of the fourth before the American stepped in to bring the victory home without having to play a decider.
After the match, Roger said he was disappointed about missing the top-10 but also that he feels great on the court, doing amazing job in the first three months and hoping for more of the same in the upcoming weeks on clay.
"I'm thrilled I've played well again; it's been a great start of the year. I won my second title in Sydney and produced some excellent tennis on an outdoor court, unlike in the previous season when I struggled a lot.
It has been a fun and nice week. I'm disappointed I didn't make the top-10 here in Miami because I had a chance, playing well from the baseline to beat the guy like Lleyton Hewitt. For a while, I dominated Andre Agassi in the final and I'm pleased with the way I played, hoping to shift this momentum onto the clay season; I have the potential to play well on the slowest surface as well."