Following that epic victory over Pete Sampras in 2001, Roger Federer became one of the players to beat at Wimbledon for the next decade or so, proving that in 2003 when he advanced to his first Major final at the All England Club.
Eager to make much deeper run after an early exit a year ago, Federer lost only one set en route to his first semi-final at Majors, beating Sjeng Schalken in the quarters and setting the clash against Andy Roddick, with two youngsters fighting for the place in the first final on the highest level.
Federer delivered one of the most excellent performances of his young tennis journey, ousting Roddick 7-6, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 43 minutes for a career-best result at Majors. The Swiss was on another level that day, dropping 17 points in 15 service games and fending off both break chances offered to the American to mount the pressure on him all the time.
Andy fought well in the opener, missing a routine forehand on the set point at 6-5 in the tie break and never recovering from that loose shot, suffering three breaks in the rest of the encounter to propel the Swiss over the finish line.
"The opening set was significant; I felt I was playing well and kept everything under control, even in the tie breaks. Still, Andy played on a high level too and I'm happy that he missed that forehand; maybe it would have changed the encounter.
With or without the first set, I had to remain focus and stick to my game, not letting him move in front. I guess you don't get standing ovations very often after just three sets and it means a lot to me. I got standing ovations when I beat Pete Sampras two years ago; it's a special feeling and you work hard to earn that."