In Roger Federer's words: 'Feliciano Lopez and Mardy Fish are tough to beat on..'


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In Roger Federer's words: 'Feliciano Lopez and Mardy Fish are tough to beat on..'

Lifting the junior title at Wimbledon in 1998 at the age of 16, Roger Federer needed a couple of years to find his A-game at the All England Club on the ATP level, gathering all the pieces together in 2001 when he reached the quarter-final.

Mario Ancic stunned Roger in the first round in 2002 and the Swiss was ready to rumble again in the cathedral of tennis a year later, passing the opening three rounds with ease and booking the place in the second week. In the first encounter, Federer won the opening set in 24 minutes against Hyung-Taik Lee, wasting seven match points in the third and still finishing in straight sets to move onto the Centre Court against Stefan Koubek.

The Austrian was the better player in the first seven games of the opener before Roger hit the zone, saving a set point and rattling off five straight games to steal the opener and dominate in sets two and three for a 7-5, 6-1, 6-1 triumph.

Mardy Fish stood between Roger Federer and the last 16, winning one set but losing ground after that in Roger's 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 win in precisely two hours. Roger fended off five out of six break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the net, earning six breaks to control the pace and finishing the encounter just a couple of moments before the darkness, setting the clash against Feliciano Lopez in the battle for the quarter-final.

"Feliciano Lopez is tough on grass, a lefty player with a big serve and slices; he is dangerous. I haven't seen him play and will have to ask people or look for some of his matches. I practiced with him in Halle this year and that was his first hit on grass; he wasn't quite into it.

I have to prepare for a fierce battle. Mardy Fish has a big game and I think he can improve serve even more; he is a good returner too. Maybe he struggles more on clay but there's nothing wrong with his game on grass."