On this day: Roger Federer scores first ATP win in Toulouse at 17

by   |  VIEW 4236

On this day: Roger Federer scores first ATP win in Toulouse at 17

The end of September is packed with milestones from Roger Federer's early career. We remember them as the first pages from the history book written by one of the best players ever! Roger made a debut in the ATP rankings in September 1997, having to wait for another year to claim his maiden ATP victory in Toulouse at 17, on September 30, 1998.

Roger's primary goal in that season was to finish as the junior no. 1, achieving that after a lot of drama and finding time for the first professional steps, making an ATP debut in Gstaad after winning the junior Wimbledon crown and competing at Geneva Challenger in August.

At the end of September, Roger tried to qualify for the ATP event in Toulouse ranked 878th, delivering rock-solid tennis on the fast indoor surface, equipped with solid serve, great movement, attacking style and skillful net covering.

Federer defeated Marcelo Wowk, Alex Radulescu, and Olivier Delaitre in straight sets to find himself in his second main draw on the ATP Tour, gathering the rhythm and momentum and winning all three tie breaks to enter the main draw, well-prepared for more damage there.

His first rival was world no. 45 Guillaume Raoux, and Federer presented a strong statement of his talent and abilities, defeating the Frenchman 6-2, 6-2 in an hour to notch his first ATP win! It was all about the young Swiss throughout the encounter, losing just eight points on serve and never facing a break chance to keep the pressure on his rival.

Federer grabbed 50% of the return points to take Raoux's serve four times from eight opportunities, controlling the scoreboard for a milestone triumph. World no. 43 Richard Fromberg was his opponent in the second round, and Federer notched another victory, beating the rival 6-1, 7-6 in an hour and 25 minutes.

Roger Federer scored his first ATP win in Toulouse 1998.

Roger continued where he left in the previous encounter, taking the opening set 6-1 by a storm with two breaks and prevailing in the second part of the match to advance into the quarter-final.

He wasn't serving as good as against Raoux, although his serve stayed intact, fending off all four break points and taking the tie break 7-5 to find himself in the last eight despite the low ranking position and a lack of experience.

Roger's journey came to its end in the quarter-final when world no. 20 Siemerink toppled him 7-6, 6-2 in 79 minutes, playing the sixth match in less than a week and struggling with a throbbing thigh injury that didn't allow him to show the best tennis, facing ten break chances and losing serve thrice.

Siemerink got broken only once and would win the tournament two days later, proving too strong for Roger and all other opponents he faced that week. For this fantastic run, Roger Federer was rewarded with an immediate bounce in the ATP rankings, cracking the top-400 after gaining 482 positions in just one week!

Until the end of the season, Roger also played in the main draw of the home ATP tournament in Basel, losing to great Andre Agassi in the first round and concentrating on the junior Tour in the closing weeks of the year.