Two years after reaching his first Wimbledon quarter-final, Roger Federer was ready for another excellent run at the All England Club. At the beginning of the 2003 edition, Ivo Karlovic had sent the defending champion Lleyton Hewitt packing and the doors were wide open for Roger Federer and Andy Roddick to fight for the place in the final from that half of the draw.
Federer won the title in Halle two weeks before Wimbledon and was ready to chase another in the cathedral of tennis, defeating Hyung-Taik Lee, Stefan Koubek and Mardy Fish in five hours, dropping one set en route to the place in the last 16.
There, he had to battle against a back injury and Feliciano Lopez, overcoming both to march into the quarters and getting an extra day to rest ahead of the clash with Sjeng Schalken. The Dutchman wasn't at his best either, experiencing a foot injury and propelling Federer into the semis following a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 triumph for the Swiss in an hour and 38 minutes.
Roger lost serve once and stood strong on the return, converting four out of 11 chances to seal the deal and set the clash against Andy Roddick, with both youngsters seeking the first Major final. "I don't know if this is the next step for me; I'm in the semi-final at Wimbledon but my rival was injured.
Sjeng has been doing the same, reaching the semis at the US Open and almost repeating that here in London. It's all about giving yourself an opportunity and then taking them; I have been doing that for two weeks and will try to go further.
There was nothing wrong with my back; I'm feeling good and I'm not worried at all, I'm ready for the next match. I'm a little bit disappointed to play the quarter-final on Court 2. It doesn't matter in the end but the atmosphere could have been better on the Centre Court or Court 1."