In Roger Federer's words: 'I thought about retiring, the pain was too strong'

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In Roger Federer's words: 'I thought about retiring, the pain was too strong'

Roger Federer claimed his first Major title at Wimbledon 2003, losing only one set in seven encounters and adding his name to the list of memorable champions in the cathedral of tennis. The Swiss had the upper hand against every rival, dropping a set against Mardy Fish in the third round and standing strong when it mattered the most to become a deserved winner.

The biggest obstacle for Roger was not his opponents but a severe back injury, experienced before the fourth-round clash against Feliciano Lopez. Feeling harsh pain, Federer called the trainer after only two games, struggling to match the rival's pace and thinking about retirement.

With painkillers and massage, the Swiss started to move and serve better, erasing the deficit and fending off a set point to take the opener in the tie break, dominating in sets two and three to find his place in the quarters.

Beating Sjeng Schalken, Roger advanced to his first Major semi-final and there was no one to stop him, toppling Andy Roddick and Mark Philippoussis in straight sets to earn the first Major crown in great style.

"I had a significant pain during that Feliciano Lopez match, struggling to serve and return.

I couldn't even sit down because I was hurting so much. I called the trainer after two games, receiving painkillers and massage on my back with warm cream. I told myself, 'if this continues for a few more games, it's not worth playing.'

Somehow, I stayed in the match and it got a little bit better. I stole the first set and it was essential for the overall score. People were asking me at which Slam I have the best chances to go all the way. After Wimbledon last year, I was thinking about the US Open or the Australian Open but it still came at the All England Club.

It's the best one for me and I'm thrilled to win here." In the title match, Roger never faced a break point against Mark, winning two tie breaks and dominating in the second set to seal the deal in under two hours and join many legends on the list of champions.