Competing at his second ATP Masters Cup, Roger Federer delivered his A-game in 2003 to conquer the second notable title of the season after Wimbledon. The young Swiss earned five top-10 triumphs to seal the deal and lift the trophy, finishing the season second, only behind Andy Roddick.
Working with Peter Lundgren since 2000, Roger wanted to make changes, deciding to part ways with the Swede and entering the 2004 season without a coach. In his first official encounter, Federer took down Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in the first round at the Australian Open.
The battle lasted for an hour and a half and Roger had the upper hand all the time, dropping 15 points in 13 service games and never facing a break point. With the pressure on his side all the time, Bogomolov Jr. lost almost half of the points behind the initial shot, suffering five breaks and fading from the court in the third to propel Federer through.
One break of serve in each was enough for Roger to move two sets to love in front, dominating the third and sealing the deal with a service winner in game six for the second round. Before the start of the tournament, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash had criticized Federer for leaving Lundgren just before the first Major of the season, calling it "inexplicable" and drawing Roger's girlfriend Mirka into the story.
As was expected, Federer wasn't happy when he heard about that, saying he doesn't care what Pat Cash thinks as he doesn't know him. Also, the Swiss confirmed he is looking for a coach, making no rush decisions and waiting for the right opportunity in the next couple of months.
"Even without a coach, I feel good on the court.
It's not easy to start the season without a coach, but that was my decision. It was something I thought about a long time, probably for some six months. So, what Pat Cash really says, you know, I don't really care.
I didn't read his article, people told me what he said. I couldn't believe it, as nothing of that is right. I don't even know Pat Cash and can't take his words seriously, as he doesn't know me. I know what is true and what is not valid.
What he is saying is definitely not right; it's not fair. I'm looking for a coach and trying to make the right decisions. I don't want to stress into something and it will take a few weeks or months to make a move.
I don't know who will be my next coach. Working with me is a good challenge for any coach; I'm different than the other guys. You got to get to know each other a bit and feel you can get along well over 20 or 30 weeks a year; that's not easy," Roger Federer said.