Roger Federer made a name for himself after reaching the quarter-final at Wimbledon in 2001, dethroning the seven-time champion Pete Sampras in five sets before losing to Tim Henman in four tight sets. That result came after advancing into the last eight at Roland Garros a couple of weeks earlier as well, making a teenager a Major contender in the years to come, regardless of the surface.
Still, the results were not that good in the next couple of the most notable events, as Federer lost before the quarters at every Major between the US Open 2001 - Roland Garros 2003, unable to play his best tennis on the biggest scene and repeat the level he was already presenting at the Masters 1000 level.
Speaking about the upcoming Roland Garros and Wimbledon in May 2003 after the first-round victory in Rome, Federer said it is hard to pick Wimbledon favorites, with a couple of players who should do well at the All England Club and some ten others who would be there to stage a surprise.
Also, he believed back then the Majors are a little bit overrated, offering too many points and prize money and devaluating the importance of other events. "It is complicated to pick Wimbledon favorites. I don't know how the Spaniards would perform, especially Juan Carlos Ferrero and Carlos Moya.
Marat Safin is always dangerous; you never know with him. Andy Roddick too, with his big serve, they are all dangerous. Tim Henman is a threat in front of the home fans every year, but I don't know how his shoulder is doing. There are always ten guys who could win, alongside the favorites.
You can expect surprises, like Voltchkov at Wimbledon a couple of years ago or Thomas Johannson in Australia. I sometimes feel Grand Slams are overrated, with that many points and money involved. It's all about those tournaments and that shouldn't be the case."