After notable results on hard courts in the opening months of the 2003 season, Roger Federer decided to skip Monte Carlo and prepare better for the clay-court swing that he kicked off at the ATP 250 event in Munich. Standing as the dominant figure in Bavaria, Roger ousted five rivals in less than five hours, suffering only five breaks in ten sets to bring home the seventh ATP title at the age of 21 and receive boost ahead of the Masters 1000 event in Rome.
The Swiss made a rock-solid start in the Italian capital as well, beating Paul-Henri Mathieu and Mariano Zabaleta to set the clash against world no. 19 Tommy Robredo. The Spaniard should have been a much harder obstacle to pass but Roger was on a roll in those two weeks, toppling the rival 6-1, 6-1 in swift 49 minutes to advance into the quarter-final for the first time at this event.
Dominating from start to finish, Roger lost nine points in seven service games, never facing a break point and mounting the pressure on the other side of the net. Robredo couldn't deal with it, giving away almost 60% of the points in his games and suffering five breaks from six chances offered to the Swiss, leaving the court faster than he entered it.
"No one could expect this; it's not easy to beat Robredo 6-1, 6-1 on clay and I'm very pleased with the way I played. Everything worked as I wanted right from the beginning, feeling good on the return and keeping the points as short as possible.
I had a perfect game plan and I stuck to it as I had to change nothing. It's difficult to tell if this would be enough to secure the title for me; I think it could but that's just my feeling. All of us who have reached the quarter-final will have a chance and I fancy my because I have been playing on a high level.
Still, I don't think about that at the moment, just going match by match. I will be the favorite in the next one and hope it will go my way. I'm very confident at the moment. After Miami, I haven't lost a set at the Davis Cup, Munich and now in Rome. I'm surprised with so many easy wins; that's a strange feeling."