At the age of 19, Roger Federer stunned the seven-time Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras in five sets in the cathedral of tennis, reaching the quarter-final and becoming the one to watch at this event in the years to come. In 2002, Federer had a short trip to London, though, losing in straight sets to Mario Ancic in the first round and returning as one of the favorites in 2003 after conquering the first ATP title in Halle a few weeks earlier.
In the first round at Wimbledon, the Swiss toppled world no. 55 Hyung-Taik Lee 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 45 minutes, fending off seven out of nine break chances and delivering five breaks from 11 opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets and advance into the next round.
Federer stormed over the Korean in the first set, taking it in 24 minutes and rattling off five straight games in set number two from 3-1 down to open a massive advantage ahead of the third that saw incredible battle. Roger wasted no less than seven match points, allowing Lee to bounce back and reach the tie break that Federer won 7-2 to move over the top and avoid spending more time on the court.
"The first round is always difficult but I felt good on the court today. I'm happy to have sealed the deal in straight sets because it got tight in the end. Lleyton Hewitt may be out but that doesn't change much from my perspective; I still have to beat five players from my half to reach the final.
There are more than enough guys who can beat anyone at the moment; I couldn't think about the semi-final clash with Hewitt. It is essential to find the right feeling at the start of the tournament. I'm trying to hit my second serve harder than usual but it is not easy to rush to the net after it, with so many great returners around.
It was a pleasant experience from the baseline as well. I have an outside chance to win Wimbledon but can't focus on that; the road is too long. Andre Agassi is still among the favorites and we will see what will happen."