Roger Federer claimed his first Major title at Wimbledon 2003, dominating over the rest of the field and dropping one set in seven encounters to join the tennis immortals. Missing a chance to become world no. 1 in Montreal and Cincinnati, Roger headed to the US Open as one of the favorites, seeking the second consecutive Major crown and his first notable result in New York.
After wins over Jose Acasuso and Jean-Rene Lisnard, Federer faced James Blake in the third round, beating the American 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in two hours to find himself in the last 16. The Swiss fended off three out of four break chances, creating no less than 23 opportunities on the return and converting only three, still enough to seal the deal in straight sets.
The first break came in the eighth game of the opener when James sent a backhand wide, allowing Roger to close the set with a forehand winner a few minutes later.
Still, Roger had the upper hand in the tie break, winning it 7-4 and sealing the deal with another break in set number three to arrange the meeting with David Nalbandian. "I don't know how many break chances I missed.
I know I had a lot of those, especially in the second set. In the past, there were probably some matches with a similar number of wasted break points; that happens. When you miss the first couple of opportunities, the rival starts to serve better and it becomes tougher to break.
I always felt in control in set number two, having the advantage before James climbed back to reach a tie break. We didn't have the rhythm in the opening set, with a lot of fast points. I didn't feel good, especially in the beginning, struggling to find the grip in the cold night session.
It took us a while and I started to play better at the end of the set, scoring a break and closing it. The second set was excellent, from both of us, and I'm happy with my overall performance. My next rival is David Nalbandian and I don't have a great record against him.
I'm positive ahead of our upcoming clash; it's time for me to beat him after being close a couple of times. I'm ready to fight. I'm happy with my return tonight while I still have ups and downs on serve. Still, it is so far so good for me, we will see. I'm much more relaxes after winning Wimbledon," Roger Federer said.