For the first time since 1945, Wimbledon will not open its gates this June and welcome the world's best players. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers have decided to skip this year's edition of the most prestigious Major at the All England Club, preparing everything for 2021.
Thus, Roger Federer will have to chase the ninth title just a couple of weeks before turning 40, missing a massive chance to lift the trophy a year ago when he squandered two match points in that epic final against Novak Djokovic.
Over the following month or so, we will embrace a journey through Roger's career at Wimbledon and the record-breaking 101 wins he scored in the tennis cathedral in the previous two decades. The 16-year-old Federer had won Wimbledon junior title in 1998, making a senior debut a year later and losing to Jiri Novak in five sets.
Returning to Wimbledon as the player from the top-40 in 1999, Federer still couldn't earn the first Wimbledon triumph, with world no. 5 Yevgeny Kafelnikov toppling the young Swiss in three tight sets.
It was a fantastic performance from the upcoming star, storming over the brother of his junior partner and a friend Olivier and notching a quick victory, dropping only 14 points on serve and stealing half of the return points to march into the second round.
Rochus did break Roger once in the second set, although that gave him nothing, landing 49% of the first serve in and getting broken twice in each set to propel the rival over the finish line. Federer served at 77% and fired 18 aces and many more unreturned serves, keeping the points on his racquet and dominating at the net with his clinical volleys that left Christopher with no answer.
Pumped and motivated, Roger went on to beat another Belgian Xavier Malisse and then Jonas Bjorkman, setting a thrilling meeting against the seven-time champion Pete Sampras. In the clash of former and future Wimbledon kings, Roger prevailed in five sets to reach his first Wimbledon quarter-final and the second in a row at Majors, also playing in the last eight in Paris.
There, Roger Federer lost to the home favorite Tim Henman in a mighty close encounter that lasted three hours and 13 minutes, missing a chance to play in Wimbledon semi-final after winning the first match ever at the tournament that year.