Entering the season ranked 6th, Roger Federer was among the best players in 2003, winning seven ATP titles. Two of those came at Wimbledon and the ATP Masters Cup, with the Swiss propelling himself towards the top-tier of men's tennis and preparing an assault on the ATP throne in early 2004.
After more than three years, Roger decided to part ways with Peter Lundgren, embracing the new season with no coach but high ambitions. In the first round of the Australian Open, Federer took down Alex Bogomolov Jr. 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in an hour and a half.
The Swiss never lost serve, stealing the opponent's games five times and delivering a bagel in the third to march into the next round. There, Federer faced another player ranked outside the top-100, ousting a qualifier Jeff Morrison 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 34 minutes.
Roger had to work harder behind the initial shot than in the first encounter, fending off all four break chances and mounting the pressure on the American who was far from those numbers. Jeff had eight aces but it wasn't enough to keep him safe, offering Roger 11 break opportunities and losing serve four times to push the Swiss into the last 32.
Roger secured two breaks in the opener, gathering momentum and controlling the pace with a single break in second and third to move over the top.
Roger Federer reached the third round in Melbourne 2004.
"I'm happy how I played; the conditions suit me and I feel good.
Already during the practice sessions, I felt the court was faster. Also, it's not windy and it makes it easier for me to play at my best. I'm more aggressive on the return, something I lacked in Kooyong. Those are my two notable improvements.
I haven't played against Todd Reid before, don't know much about him but I watched his match today. He's got nothing to lose, especially after a day off tomorrow. He should be fresh for the encounter against me and shouldn't expect long rallies, I don't play that way.
I expect more of myself after a great last season. I know I can win the tournament. Before, I would have been happy with the quarters or the semis. Now, that result would be o.k., but not satisfying. I'm hungry for more. I know what it takes to win Slam and prepare for going all the way during those two weeks.
Tim Henman won Paris and is among the favorites here too. I haven't seen his matches but I'm not surprised by his good tennis. I can face him in the quarters but first I have to beat the Aussie guy," Roger Federer said.