Following an early exit in 2002, Roger Federer was eager to show his true colors at Wimbledon again a year later, reaching the quarter-final in 2001 and hoping to go at least a couple of steps further this time. Gaining momentum from the title in Halle, Roger made a promising start at the All England Club, toppling Hyung-Taik Lee, Stefan Koubek and Mardy Fish, dropping one set and spending five hours on the court to preserve energy for the second week.
The Swiss needed everything he had in the tank for the fourth-round encounter against Feliciano Lopez. He suffered a back injury during the practice session and fended off set points in the opening set before recovering his game to seal the deal in straight sets and take a massive step towards the crown.
In the quarters, Federer took down injured Sjeng Schalken 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes for the place in the first Major semi-final, losing serve once and producing four breaks to propel himself over the top in no time at all.
As was expected, Roger was to meet Andy Roddick in the battle for the final, with two youngsters standing above all the others in their part of the draw once Ivo Karlovic stunned Lleyton Hewitt. Ahead of the clash, Roger said it is a massive chance for both Andy and him, feeling excited about reaching the last four at his favorite Major and standing confident in his abilities against the American.
"It's a great chance for both me and Roddick. It's going to be a match that everybody has waited to see, myself as well. He was the semi-finalist at Majors before, unlike me, and maybe that gives him more experience.
It is quite tough to judge because we are young. We always had good matches in the past and this one should be too; I'm looking forward to it. I'm not worried about his serving, I have managed to return it in the past and can do that again tomorrow.
Wimbledon is my favorite Grand Slam and will have a chance to play in the final. For me, that's more exciting than facing Andy."