In Roger Federer's words: 'I'm calm on the court but emotional inside'

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In Roger Federer's words: 'I'm calm on the court but emotional inside'

Roger Federer lifted seven ATP trophies in 2003, including notable ones at Wimbledon and the ATP Masters Cup. Unlike the previous season, Federer couldn't secure the title at the Masters 1000 level, finishing the season ranked 2nd behind Andy Roddick and preparing an assault on the ATP throne in 2004.

Heading to Melbourne after parting ways with Peter Lundgren, Federer sprinted past the opening three rounds, beating the lower-ranked opponents and facing Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian en route to the semis. Having a negative score against both, Federer ousted Lleyton and David in four sets, finding himself in the Major semi-final for the second time after Wimbledon last July.

Another youngster Juan Carlos Ferrero stood between Roger and the ATP throne, and unlike last August, the Swiss made no errors this time. Federer produced a rock-solid performance to beat the Spaniard 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in an hour and a half, advancing into the second Major final and becoming the 23rd world no.

1 since 1973. It was their seventh meeting and the fourth triumph Federer who never got broken, keeping the pressure on the other side of the net. Ferrero couldn't stay on Roger's level, suffering four breaks to propel Federer into the title match against Marat Safin.

They both had more winners than unforced errors, and it was Federer who held the strings of the encounter in his hands, firing 30 winners and forcing 40 mistakes from the Spaniard. Juan Carlos had a small lead in the lengthy exchanges but that wasn't enough to keep him in contention.

Dominating with his serve and initial groundstroke, Roger earned the victory in the quickest rallies up to four strokes. Federer was the first to experience troubles on serve, facing those four break chances at 3-3. Keeping his composure, the Swiss saved them all, bringing the game home for a massive boost and serving well by the end of the clash.

Roger Federer became world no. 1 after reaching the final in Melbourne 2004.

Juan Carlos lost four points on serve in the first four games, having to repeat that at 4-5 while serving to stay in the set. The pressure became too tough to handle, as he suffered a break at love after a forehand error to hand the set to Roger.

Carried by this momentum, Federer grabbed a double break in set number two in games two and six, clinching it 6-1 and moving closer to the finish line. Roger secured the crucial break in the seventh game of the third set, serving well and emerging at the top with a service winner at 5-4 to become world no.

1 for the first time. "You always get nervous when something means very much for yourself. I'm definitely a guy who is rather calm on the outside on the tennis court, but very emotional inside. I showed everything that was going on inside of myself at the presentation of the trophy in Wimbledon.

It wasn't far away today, but it was more of satisfaction and joy, feeling proud to conquer the ATP world," Roger Federer said.